Five-star Southern appeal in a budget-friendly, boutique town


Auburn-Opelika is modern hospitality. Here, you'll find a boutique town that's budget-friendly, a backyard full of Alabama pines, trails, and waterways to explore, year-round gentle seasons, legendary restaurants, a hub for engineering, a vibrant and youthful community, and venues that are extensions of our forward-thinking mentality and rooted traditions.

Auburn-Opelika is uniquely Southern.

8 Reasons to bring your meeting or conference to Auburn-Opelika

1. Location:

Auburn-Opelika is easy to get to and easy to love.
Auburn-Opelika is located centrally in the Southeastern region of the United States, with proximity to domestic airports and a laidback drive away from some of the area's liveliest cities. The convenience of flying in and driving over from Atlanta is unmatched. Nine domestic airlines service Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and offer direct, non-stop access from more than 150 U.S. cities. American Airlines services Montgomery Regional Airport with non-stop service from Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX; Charlotte, NC, and Washington D.C., and Delta Air Lines services the airport with non-stop service from Atlanta, GA. Four major airlines service Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport-American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines-with over 100 daily flights to 23 cities and direct, non-stop access from nearly 50 U.S. cities. | Learn more about how easy it is to get here.

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2. Meeting Spaces

From modern and full-service meeting hotels to unique indoor and outdoor venues.
Auburn-Opelika has spaces that can be tailored to your meeting or group event. Choose from the best of both distinctive worlds with the downtown "front door to Auburn" Hotel at Auburn University and the Grand National Marriott Resort & Spa, tucked away just outside of town and alongside a lake and award-winning golf course.

“We have two wonderful full-service properties with meeting and conference space,” said Cindy Pugh, sales manager for the Auburn-Opelika Tourism. “Auburn-Opelika also has unique meeting venues such as the Gogue Performing Arts Center coming in 2019, Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, the Bottling Plant Event Center and several select service hotels with small meeting rooms.”

Experience the allure of the loveliest little village on the plains for yourself at The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center. This warm and friendly Alabama hotel is just a short walk from the excitement of Auburn University and a diverse array of cultural and entertainment attractions. The Hotel at Auburn University is an 85,000 square-foot building featuring 225 tastefully furnished guest rooms and eleven spacious suites. | Learn more about the Hotel at Auburn University.

Indulge in luxury and relaxation at the Auburn Marriott Opelika Hotel & Conference center at Grand National. Recognized as the Top Marriott Hotel in North and South America and awarded area's first Four Diamond distinction by AAA, the Marriott at Grand National is more than just a meeting space. This waterfront resort property faces Lake Saugahatchee and includes a newly added spa facility as well as the Robert Trent Jones Grand National Golf Course.| Learn more about the Marriott at Grand National.

3. Team Building

With year-round warm temperatures, the possibilities are endless.
Auburn-Opelika’s group activities foster teamwork, inspire social interaction, and motivate attendees. From creative art exercises and customizable cooking classes to challenging outdoor excursions, you can create impressions that last long after the meeting.

Auburn-Opelika is the proud home of the Robert Trent Jones Grand National Golf Course. Robert Trent Jones himself proclaimed Grand National as the “single greatest site for a golf course” he had ever seen. Recognized by writers, designers, and players from around the world, Grand National has received accolades for everything from the “world’s prettiest hole” to the “world’s best public course.” Featuring 54 lake-hugging holes open 364 days a year, try your luck at the championship Lakes or Links course, or if you’re pressed for time, 18 holes of one-shotters on the Short Course will still make your heart go pitter-pat.

Golf is not the only way to bond with your team in Auburn-Opelika. Thanks to a group of dedicated volunteers, Chewacla State Park is now home to 30+ miles of multipurpose, mountain biking trails. Mountain biking gives people of all ages and experience levels an opportunity to get outdoors, and these trails offer great riding in all four seasons. Open from sunup until sundown, Chewacla boasts beautiful views, waterfalls, a lake great for swimming or kayaking, and so much more.

4. Foodie Paradise

As seen on Iron Chef Showdown, James Beard Winners and more
Known for our independent restauranteurs and talented chefs, you'll find something suitable for every taste and budget - whether it's a downtown student haunt or a white tablecloth dining room with a 300-bottle wine list. Our restaurants have been featured in Southern Living, Gourmet, and Wine Spectator, just to name a few, and we're pretty proud when the world discovers what we already know. From tapas to tacos, and squash to sushi, make your trip especially memorable when you visit the Auburn-Opelika legends. | Learn more about the Best Bites in Auburn-Opelika.

5. Local Craft Spirits & Live Music

This is how to enjoy your downtime.
Opelika is the proud home of not just one but three craft spirit makers: John Emerald Distilling Company has been making fine liquors including whiskey, gin, vodka, and rum since 2014, Red Clay Brewing Company opened next door in 2015, and Resting Pulse Brewery opened in 2019, offering a variety of rotating seasonal beers, including ales, IPAs, and ciders.  Located in the hip arts district in historic downtown Opelika, the venues often offer or are surrounded by live music and a year-round calendar of special events. | Learn more about Music & Nightlife. 

6. Friendly, Safe, & Affordable

Don’t be surprised if you hear a “War Eagle” from passerbys.
With a full calendar of family-friendly events, there’s something for all ages in Auburn-Opelika (not to mention the dog parks!). Our downtowns are walkable, safe, and our prices aren’t too bad either. | Check out the calendar of events.

“Many of our visitors come here for our Southern hospitality,” Pugh said. “We’re seeing more and more repeat visitors, individuals as well as groups, who are impressed with the way locals welcome them with open arms.”
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7. What Makes Auburn-Opelika Special

Dive deeper into what makes our area unique.
Our eagles: It is one of the most iconic moments in all of college football: Jordan-Hare’s capacity crowd of almost 90,000 rumbling in unison as a rare eagle is released to free-fly in circles around the stadium, eventually landing mid-field on its leathery pseudo-prey. We defy any living, breathing human, regardless of the colors you wear, to not get goose bumps from this phenomenon. Aurea (War Eagle VIII) is a resident of Auburn University’s Southeastern Raptor Rehabilitation Center, where she been raised and trained, along with her bald eagle friend Independence, to open home football games in this inspirational fashion. War Eagle y’all.

The Chihuly: The focal point for the entry of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University, Chihuly’s Amber Luster is a masterpiece of more than 600 individual pieces of hand-blown glass. It took four days to install, one piece at a time, the 17-foot sculpture which weighs more than 1,000 pounds. JCSM features a varied and interesting permanent collection of American and European art as well as a full calendar of traveling exhibitions throughout the year. Open Monday-Saturday with free admission to all.

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8. Customized Hospitality with AOT

To ease the stresses of planning your next event, rely on the broad array of services available from Auburn-Opelika Tourism. Whether you're a dedicated staff planner or an overworked association member, we'll provide the tools you need to ensure a successful event from beginning to end. Contact us for assistance in selecting the best location and securing your guest accommodations, soliciting venue and outside vendor proposals, putting together service requests, and help developing proposals. | Learn more about Meeting Services.

“We act as a concierge or administrative assistant from start to finish while working with our meeting planners,” Pugh said. “We can customize what the planner needs, whether it be finding relevant speakers or arranging off-site activities – you name it.”


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