August is here which means this endless summer is coming to a close. But don't rush into fall just yet! Summer is our specialty here in Auburn-Opelika, so save this post and begin your End of Summer Bucket List!


You can feel good about supporting local growers at farmers markets

Embrace the warm months by supporting the area’s local farmer's markets. There are numerous seasonal markets offering fresh produce from farmers and growers as well as locally produced jams and jellies, baked goods, soaps, honey, goat cheese, locally crafted goods, and other delightful treasures. Auburn and Opelika offer plenty of opportunities to buy fresh and support local with Tuesdays at O Grows, Thursdays at Ag Heritage Park, and Saturdays at City Market.

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Relax, or don’t, at the scenic Chewacla State Park

Chewacla State Park offers 696 acres of scenic glory! Located immediately off I-85 at Exit 51, the park features a 26-acre lake, swimming area, playground, modern campground, picnic areas with tables, grills and shelters, cabins, and plenty of mountain biking and hiking trails.

It’s the perfect spot for rest and relaxation. But who wants that?! Load up your bikes and get ready to tear up some of the best trails the state of Alabama has to offer. Chewacla State Park offers a wide variety of trails: 30 miles ranging from beginner-friendly with progression built in, to hand-built trails with texture and options, along with a small skills area and the state’s only wall ride: a 15-foot-high arc with a 70-degree angle known as The Great Wall of Chewacla.

Didn’t bring your bike? No problem! Rent a carbon fiber, full-suspension mountain bike at James Bros Bikes. Learn more here.

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Cool off with craft beer in historic downtown Opelika

Cool off with a beer at one of two locally owned breweries in downtown Opelika. Resting Pulse Brewing aims to create an atmosphere where you find your “resting pulse” by relaxing and spending time with friends and family. They offer a variety of signature full-flavored craft beers, along with rotating seasonal and session offerings.

Just one block over, Red Clay Brewery and Taproom offers a variety of regular beers named after Alabama history and culture, including an oatmeal stout called Big Swamp Stout, a peppercorn Saisson called Hay Shed Saisson, an Imperial IPA called Hop Jubilee. They also feature a rotating menu of seasonal beers, ales, and sours. Both breweries offer taproom and outdoor seating, perfect for warm summer evenings.

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Bring your axe to Blade and Barrel

Bring your axe, your friends, and your drink of choice to Blade & Barrel this summer for an axe-ction packed experience. Just kidding, they’ll let you rent the axes. With nine axe-throwing lanes and a family-friendly atmosphere, it’s a great way to spend the afternoon. Each throwing lane includes interactive games and Yeti coolers to rent when you bring your own beverages.

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Summer showers keeping you indoors?

Stuck inside because of summer showers? Release your inner gamer at Rock 'N Roll Pinball, a new pinball arcade in downtown Opelika. It features 25 high-end and vintage pinball machines that you can pay to play by the hour. There are 9 large screen TVs, tables, stools, a TV lounge, a bar serving sodas, snacks, and craft and domestic beer on tap.

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Find that special something shopping in downtown Auburn

Summer afternoons are perfect for shopping the many stores and boutiques in downtown Auburn. Looking for something unique? Explore the art-lined walls of the Local Market, tucked in the back of J&M Bookstore. The Local Market features handmade or grown products from local Alabama makers including local honey and jelly, local art, and more. From paintings and handmade jewelry to Auburn memorabilia, you’ll find something perfect for any Tiger fan. The Local Market also has many more finds such as brands like Susan Gordon, Toomer's specialty coffee, and books by James Dean.

Make it an evening and stick around downtown on Thursdays for live music on the patio of St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church. Free performances by local and semi-local musicians from a wide variety of genres will perform at St. Dunstan's every Thursday evening from 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m. so you can listen to live music while shopping.

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Speaking of art, discover the galleries at the Jule – for free

The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University features seasonal, changing exhibition galleries in a modernist-style building set within extensive grounds.

The Crafting America exhibition presents a diverse and inclusive story of American craft from the 1940s to today. The exhibition features over 100 works in ceramics, fiber, wood, metal, glass, and more unexpected materials, and will be displayed at the Jule through September 12.

Also available at the Jule this summer is the collaborative exhibition, Outside In. The exhibition pairs selections from the University’s Audubon Collection with seasonally changing specimens from Auburn’s Museum of Natural History. Outside In will be displayed at the Jule through January 2, 2022.

Admission to the museum is free, and the museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with extended hours on Thursdays until 8 p.m.

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Treat yourself to some ice cream in Opelika

Hot summer days are perfect for a cold, sweet treat. A quick stop by O Town Ice Cream or Mrs. Story's Dairy Bar, both in Opelika, can help cool you off! O Town offers 31 flavors of decadent ice cream and also serves homemade soups and sandwiches for lunch. Mrs. Story’s is a 50s style walk up that serves ice cream and hot dogs.

Be sure to follow @AuburnOpelika on social media for inside scoop on ice cream treats in AO!

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