Home > AL > Opelika > Connected Communities > Savor Small-Town Southern Living in Opelika, AL

Savor Small-Town Southern Living in Opelika, AL

A booming economy, outstanding golf and high-speed fiber internet converge to make Opelika, AL, a great place to live.

By Livability.com on March 29, 2023

fiber-optic internet

Nestled in east-central Alabama, Opelika uniquely combines the charms of Southern living with a booming economy, acclaimed golf and a diverse array of cultural and recreational opportunities. Nearby Auburn University’s celebrated athletics and rich campus life provide countless amenities, while Tuskegee National Forest features gorgeous landscapes for outdoor activities, including the magnificent Bartram National Scenic Trail. And I-85 offers easy access to Montgomery, Alabama and Columbus, Georgia, as well as other Southern cities.

Opelika is connected to Point Broadband’s high-speed fiber internet network. The higher download speeds, heftier broadband capacity and greatly improved reliability of fiber make businesses in Opelika — and professionals working remotely from their home offices — as competitive as any large metropolitan area in the country. 

Read on to learn more about the surprising appeals of Opelika — and why it may prove an ideal town for you and your family. 

At the Emerging Crossroads of the New South

Few Southern small towns are more fortunately located than Opelika. Conveniently positioned off I-85 — which runs from Montgomery through Atlanta and Charlotte to Petersburg, Virginia — Opelika’s easy connections to larger cities have helped grow and diversify its economy. 

Alabama’s capital city, Montgomery, is less than an hour’s drive away. Its many historic homes and sites draw people from all over the country. Many are also surprised to learn that Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport can be reached in less than 90 minutes from Opelika. And Columbus, Georgia, with its metro-area population of more 325,000 people, is just over 30 minutes away. 

Opelika’s Bustling Economy Catches the Eye

For the past few decades, Opelika has been a small town on the move, attracting investment from multinational corporations and American Fortune 500 companies alike. Whether due to Opelika’s convenient location on a major Interstate, or its proximity to other large cities, or the high quality of life with lower costs of living — and not least the easy smiles of Opelika’s friendly people — businesses seem to have sensed the appeal of the area.

The 2200-acre Northeast Opelika Industrial Park accommodates several large companies, including automotive parts manufacturer Daewon America, which is headquartered here. Major distribution centers also operate out of the Industrial Park for Wal-Mart and Jo-Ann Stores. These and several other large companies provide thousands of jobs at all skill and education levels to Opelika and the surrounding area, and help fuel the town’s economic engine. 

Additionally, just over the border in Georgia is Kia’s West Point Assembly Plant. With a commute of around 20 miles, many Opelika residents are employed there, helping produce an eye-popping 360,000 cars per year.  And Opelika’s East Alabama Medical Center is a major hospital with 340 beds. It provides first-rate health care to families across the region, as well as employing more than 3,000 people. 

For a small Southern town, the economy of Opelika and the surrounding region is surprisingly diverse. Taking a broader sweep of the town and the region explains why so many decide to settle here!

Natural Beauty Surrounds Opelika

Opelika is blessed with many striking, wild landscapes. Stunning scenery abounds at nearby Lake Saugahatchee, where Opelika residents enjoy boating and other water activities. Its 600 acres teem with bass and other fish that anglers can test their skills at, while birders can enjoy the many bird species that are drawn to the lake.

Just over 20 minutes away is the Tuskegee National Forest and its 11,000 spectacular wooded acres. Within just a short drive, Opelika residents can enjoy its many hiking trails, fishing streams and ponds, campsites, and hunting and wildlife viewing areas. 

Bartram National Scenic Trail, which meanders over eight miles through Tuskegee National Forest, is unforgettable. This serene Scenic Trail — Alabama’s oldest — winds through several types of forest and ecosystems, providing plentiful opportunities for observing wildlife and connecting to the natural world.

One of the South’s Top Golf Locations

Many golfers are surprised to learn just how amazing golf in this part of Alabama is. But with 15 courses in town or nearby, golfers of all levels will find their skills tested — and their eyes astounded by the region’s natural beauty. 

Indeed, Robert Trent Jones, one of the most prominent course designers in the world, famously remarked that his Grand National Golf Course at Opelika was the best natural sites for golf he’d ever encountered. Set along the stunning Lake Saugahatchee, Grand National and its three courses is simply unforgettable. 

And it’s not just the great Robert Trent Jones who marvels at Opelika’s golf environment. Golf World magazine readers voted Grand National the top public golf course in America. There are other courses near Opelika, too, including public and municipal courses, as well as clubs in nearby Auburn, providing nearly endless opportunities for golfers to improve their game. 

Close to College Town Amenities

Opelika is also fortunate to be located just minutes from Auburn, Alabama. Home to Auburn University, Auburn is much more than just one of the South’s great college towns (and storied college football traditions). 

Auburn itself is home to almost 80,000 residents, a robust population that supports a wealth of restaurants, bars, cafes and shops to enjoy. Its many parks can also be browsed for nature and recreation, including its main city park, Keisel Park, and the 190-acre Martin Luther King Park, with basketball courts and picnic areas. Auburn University is also home to the Donald E. Davis Arboretum, a natural paradise in the heart of the campus, complete with a lovely waterfall to discover.

And of course Auburn University hosts a wealth of cultural activities, from music and theatre, to one of the finest art galleries in the Deep South: the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art. Opelika residents can browse this outstanding museum (widely referred to as “The Jule”), which showcases a large collection of 19th century Audubon nature prints, and regional artists from diverse backgrounds reflective of Alabama and the greater Southeast. 

Fiber Internet Powers Opelika Businesses and Families

Opelika’s high-speed fiber internet is provided by Point Broadband. Point Broadband’s advanced fiber technology transmits internet through light, delivering speeds up to 20 times faster than copper-based cable. Thus, multiple users can stream simultaneously on multiple devices, and you can rest assured that your internet will be more reliable. 

And fiber internet offers even more benefits to Opelika. Having such a reliable broadband network lets small business compete with any other major market, both in America and around the world.  

Remote workers, which comprise nearly a quarter of the U.S. workforce, can also feel comfortable living in a small town like Opelika and knowing that their internet connection will be just as fast and reliable as any large city. And Point Broadband offers internet speeds of up to 1 gigabyte per second!

From Opelika’s small town roots and natural scenic beauty, to its bustling economy and high-speed fiber internet, you will be hard pressed to find a more well-rounded small Southern town to call home. And with its easy connections to larger cities in Alabama and Georgia, Opelika’s many conveniences and nearby amenities make it truly stand out among other Southern communities. 

Newsletter Sign Up

Keep up to date with our latest rankings and articles!
Enter your email to be added to our mailing list.