Auburn isn’t just one of the best college towns in the South, it’s also an amazing place to live. This Alabama city is full of small-town charm, cozy traditions and, yes, lots of team spirit. Auburn’s location gives residents quick access to major cities in the surrounding area, like Huntsville and Atlanta, is close to Chewacla State Park and is just a few hours away from the beach. If all that wasn’t enough, the Auburn-Opelika area is one of the fastest-growing metros in the country and the second largest in the state.
Top Industries and Employers: Auburn University and its university-associated services make up the largest portion of the city’s economy.
Best Coffee Shop: Mama Mochas Coffee Emporium
Best Local Beer/Brewery: The Blood, Sweat and Cheers Fruited Gose from Resting Pulse Brewery can’t be missed.
Must-Have Meal: Fresh squeezed lemonade and grilled cheese from Toomer’s Drugstore, a local institution.
Best Co-Working Space: Auburn Office Space is the town’s only co-working space, but when you have one this good, who needs another?
Best Meetup Spot (When Meeting Up Is a Thing Again): The Hound specializes in bourbon and beer — what could be better? The menu is simple and seasonal, but packs a punch.
Creative Hub: Auburn is home to the award-winning Telfair B. Peet Theatre, which hosts several productions each year.
Favorite Weekend Activity: Let’s be real, you have to have the full gameday experience. Start the day by traveling down Tiger Trail, pay homage to the famous Auburn Oaks and end your afternoon with the Buff Nachos from Momma Goldberg’s, an Auburn staple.
Free Way to Have Fun: Pack a picnic for a day of hiking at Chewacla State Park, which is located at the Appalachian foothills and is nearly 700 acres of recreational fun, including swimming, hiking and camping.
Local Dream Job: Plan ahead and submit an application to be an instructor at the Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center, which is set to open in 2021 and this place is going to be a feast for the senses.
- Cara Sanders