Auburn and Opelika are small towns that have a big city feel. Both downtown Auburn and downtown Opelika are always buzzing with things to do. Downtown Opelika has a rustic feel but a rich nightlife with several breweries, restaurants, local shops, and venues. Similarly, downtown Auburn is bustling with local boutiques, restaurants, and bars. These two cities are perfect for families who want to live in an active town without the overwhelming size of a huge city.
Small community feel
Auburn University actively works to bring the local community together. The university stresses the notion that the community of Auburn is not just a community, but a family. Since Opelika is less than a ten-minute commute from Auburn, by extension it is a part of the Auburn family.
Opelika is a small city with a population of around 30,000 people. Because the population is so small, the city has a strong sense of community. The city of Auburn has a population of roughly 64,000 people which may seem like a lot of people, but it pales in comparison to the rest of the larger cities in the state. Both Birmingham (the largest city in Alabama) and Montgomery (the state capital) have populations at an estimated 200,000 people.
Each city is about 60 square miles, meaning you will never have to travel far to go to school or to work. According to DataUSA, the average commute in Auburn is 18 minutes while the average morning commute in a bigger city could reach as long as an hour or more. So, when living in a smaller city like Auburn or Opelika, it is often a relief to know that your daily commute will not take much time from your day overall.
Quality, diverse restaurants
Auburn and Opelika have multiple delicious restaurants to choose from. Because so many foreign exchange students come to Auburn, there is a wide range of cuisines offered. Some notable options include The Irritable Bao (Chinese fusion), Cheetos (Korean fusion dessert cafe), Taqueria y carniceria Durango (authentic Mexican food), Esposito’s (Italian), Irish Bred Pub, Bombay Indian grill, 167 degrees Korean BBQ, Mikata (Japenese steakhouse). Located in the heart of downtown Auburn is Auburn Popcorn Company which serves gourmet popcorn, fudge, and ice cream.
These restaurant selections will expose your family to various cultures and foods. Not only are the restaurants culturally diverse, but they also serve quality food. Some of these restaurants may be pricier than others but each is worth a visit.
Luckily, there are a number of popular restaurants that are reasonably priced in both the Auburn and Opelika areas. Since Auburn is a college town, both cities have an extensive range of fast-food options to choose from as well. It is always nice to have a few cheaper selections for those days when you don’t feel like cooking a big meal.
Fun things to do with your kids
When living in the Auburn Opelika area, your kids will never be bored because there are plenty of things to do to provide entertainment. Chewacla State Park and Hickory Dickory Park are both kid-friendly and full of fun. Hickory Dickory Park has a large swing set and is perfect for younger kids while Chewacla State Park has several lakes to swim in and bike trails that kids of any age will enjoy.
In Opelika, there are multiple venues to provide all sorts of entertainment. Rock N Roll Pinball has over 25 pinball machines and features live music and trivia while Gear Gaming is a one-stop shop for board game play. Cyberzone offers laser tag and a range of arcade games while Surge is a local trampoline park that is perfect for kids with expendable energy.
The Auburn area features its own set of various entertainment venues as well. GoodTimes offers a variety of options such as bowling, arcade games, and even escape rooms. Blade and Barrell is a new local venue that offers the opportunity to try your hand at axe throwing. Because Auburn is a college town, there are multiple D1 level collegiate sporting events to attend.
Auburn’s school system thoroughly prepares students for the rigorous level of academics provided in college. Ranked #12 in Alabama, Auburn High School is one of the best schools in the state. For Opelika dwellers, the Opelika school system also offers a great education to local students. For those who want to consider private education, Lee Scott Academy in Auburn is available to students in grades k-12.
No matter your child’s extracurricular interests, both the Auburn and Opelika school systems offer a variety of after-school activities. Each school provides numerous sporting teams, fine arts groups, as well as various clubs and organizations for your child to enjoy. Auburn schools alone have 14 different sports teams, including a bowling and swim team.
Auburn and Opelika are quaint, charming towns. With numerous local events and things to do, it is nearly impossible to be bored in these two cities. Though the cities of Auburn and Opelika are small in size, the close proximity to each town allows for easy travel between the two. No matter which city you choose to live in, both will offer a well-rounded education, fun family activities, great restaurants, and a strong sense of community.
If Auburn or Opelika is the perfect place for you and your family, contact us today. The Talons Group aims to help you find the perfect home in an amazing community.