Fresh Lakes, College Town, Warm Communities ... It's the Eastern Alabama Lifestyle!
At Homegrown Properties, there is nothing more important to us than helping good people realize their dreams. Living where we do feels like a dream to us, and we're excited you're considering moving to, or moving within, Eastern Alabama's iconic and down-to-earth towns, including Auburn, Opelika, Dadeville, Eclectic, Waverly, and Alexander City. From the big game to the great outdoors, scroll down to find information about Eastern Alabama towns and neighborhoods. For more information on community demographics, market statistics, weather, schools and more, including for towns not listed here, search by town or zip code.
Auburn is a relatively small, family friendly and down-to-earth university town set among the rolling hills of East-Central Alabama. Auburn has a total population of approximately 60,000, although Auburn attracts a good number of visitors, and is conveniently located along Interstate 85, less than 60 miles northeast of Alabama’s capital city of Montgomery; about 30 miles northwest of Columbus, Georgia; and 100 miles southwest of Atlanta, Georgia. Alabama’s Gulf Shores can be reached by car in less than four hours. The city of Auburn and Auburn University, which was founded shortly after the city itself, are deeply connected and share several partnerships, including the Yarbrough Tennis Center and the Auburn Research Park. The famed Toomer’s Corner marks the spot where the city and university intersect, and is a widely popular place for residents and students alike to gather in celebration.
Auburn is considered a great place to live, work and raise children. Forbes has consistently ranked Auburn on its lists for Best Places to Retire and Best Small Places for Business and Careers. Additionally, the Auburn City School system has consistently been ranked among the top public school systems in the state and nation. Read on for more information about Auburn University, major Auburn landmarks, Auburn schools and more.
Auburn University is one of the largest universities in the South. Auburn University was established in 1856 as the East Alabama Male College, 20 years after Auburn, Alabama's founding, and has since undergone several transformations to become the major university that it is today, boasting over 28k students, almost two thousand acres, broad academic programs, a storied athletic history, and deep traditions. Since opening its doors in 1856, Auburn University has awarded more than 300,000 academic degrees, and currently, has one of the strongest alumni associations in the SEC with 45,000 members.
For the ultimate college football experience, join the tens of thousands of fans who pack Jordan-Hare stadium on game day. Fans welcome all who wish to join in their revelry. Tailgating is a must and starts hours before the game. A highlight of the game day experience is Auburn's own eagle flying over the field and landing on the 50 yard line - a truly iconic and unique celebration of our team, community and country! What's more, the stadium boasts great food options, family friendly access and amenities, is pristinely clean, offers free bus service to and from the game, and much more, giving it, and the Tigers, a well-deserved reputation for an all-around amazing experience. If you're interested in checking out the action before the season gets underway, plan to attend the A-Day game during Auburn's Founder's Day celebration each spring. As part of the festivities, the football team plays a scrimmage game that gives Auburn fans a chance to preview the Tigers before the fall. You don't want to miss this must-see event! Read more about Auburn University traditions here, including the Toomer's Corner pep rallies where thousands of students, faculty, and fans fill the streets at Toomer's Corner to cheer our Auburn Tigers! The pride and spirit within the Auburn community and campus are palpable through these and other events!
- Toomer's Corner - Toomer's Corner, also known for Toomer's Oaks, is the heart of downtown Auburn. It's the intersection of College Street and Magnolia Avenue, and of the city of Auburn and Auburn University, and is the most common gathering place for college students, residents, visitors, business people and politicians over the years, both for special events and during an average day. Toomer's Drugs, an Auburn landmark since 1896, is located opposite the Auburn campus' edge. See what's going on at Toomer's Corners via the city of Auburn's live webcams or come experience it for yourself!
- Chewacla State Park - Chewacla State Park, part of Alabama's State Parks network, offers just under 700 scenic acres of recreation and is a quick drive from the Auburn-Opelika area. The park contains a 26-acre lake, swimming area, playground, a modern campground, picnic areas with tables, grills and shelters, cabins, hiking and mountain biking trails. In the 1930's, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built six stone cottages in the park, which you can rent year round (and contain modern amenities such as hardwood floors, stone fireplaces, beautiful new bathrooms, modern kitchens, televisions, central heating, cooling and linens). Options also exist to camp via the park's 36 full hook-up camping sites and 10 primitive sites. Camping areas all include shower facilities and easy access to the park's features.
- Tuskegee National Forest - The Tuskegee National Forest is a U.S. National Forest located in Macon County, Alabama, just north of Tuskegee and west of Auburn. The difficulty is easy to moderate, and you'll find both broad ridges with stream terraces and broad floodplains to explore. There are four main hiking trails within the National Forest, three of which are also mountain biking trails, in addition to horse trails, two fish ponds, the Uchee Shooting Range, Tsinia Wildlife Viewing Area, primitive camping and the Taska Recreation Area.
For more information about things to see and do in Auburn, visit the Auburn-Opelika tourism site.
Auburn Schools and Lifestyle
Auburn's elementary, middle and high schools are some of the top in the country - GreatSchools.org rates them a ten out of ten, and the overall school system has received several accolades for excellence in education, including a U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools award for Auburn High School and a Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School award for both Auburn Junior High School and Auburn Early Education Center. Click any of the below links for more information on a specific Auburn school, which "Inspire, Educate, and Empower" Auburn youth.
- Auburn Early Education Center
- Wrights Mill Road Elementary School
- Richland Elementary School
- Dean Road Elementary School
- Pick Elementary School
- Cary Woods Elementary School
- Ogletree Elementary School
- Margaret Yarbrough School
- East Samford School
- J. F. Drake Middle School
- Auburn Junior High School
- Auburn High School
Auburn's blend of family-friendly, retiree, student, and young professional opportunities make Auburn a truly unique city. Many people come to Auburn for its easy access to the outdoors and the community is quite active as a result (popular activities include hiking, biking, kayaking, hunting, swimming and much more). Additionally, its long tradition as a diverse, welcoming city and strong relationship with Auburn University ensure a desirable lifestyle for residents. Auburn's restaurants, shops, businesses, nightlife, museums and other attractions continue to flourish. Its climate is ideal for year-round living, being both typical of the south (think mild winters, early springs, long, hot summers, and warm autumns) and also offers respite from the hot summer months via its nearby lakes and the Gulf Shore, which is an easy drive away. Auburn is an all around great place to live and we encourage you to discover it for yourself!
Opelika, Alabama is Auburn’s sister city. Opelika and Auburn are both in Lee County, Alabama, which is the eighth largest county in the state by population. Both historic and vibrant, Opelika charms residents and visitors alike with its small-town feel and high quality of life for its nearly 30,000 residents. It remains one of the few cities to provide low-cost electric power through a municipally-owned electric department, a bonus to residents, and mirrors Auburn's college-town atmosphere, though on a lesser scale. Major landmarks include the Opelika SportsPlex and Aquatics Center, a branch of Southern Union State Community College (part of the Alabama Community College System), and the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at the Grand National golf course, which hosts the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship in July.
Dadeville, Eclectic, Waverly and Alexander City
From the mountains in the North to the nearly endless lakes and rivers found throughout, Eastern Alabama is home to natural resources like nowhere else. While Auburn and Opelika feel like small towns, they're large cities in comparison to their neighboring towns to the West, including Dadeville, Eclectic, Waverly and Alexander City, making the west side of Eastern Alabama a choice place to live to be far enough away from the main action of the University and city of Auburn, while remaining a quick drive away. In addition to its beauty and expansive recreational opportunities, historic downtowns, quaint bed and breakfasts and inns, old-fashioned Southern cooking and the best BBQ anywhere, are all staples of this region.
Dadeville, Alabama is centrally located just an hour northeast of Montgomery, Alabama's capitol city. From Dadeville, it's a one and one-half hour drive northwest to Birmingham or two hour drive northeast to Atlanta. Dadeville is only 40 minutes from Auburn University and 20 minutes from Alexander City via Highway 280. Dadeville has a welcoming downtown district, with the county courthouse at the center of town and surrounded by historic buildings now housing local businesses and is known as the "heart of Lake Martin", full of southern charm, lakeside activities, and alternating between bustling and serene depending on the time of year.
- Lake Martin - one of the largest man made lakes in the United States, Lake Martin is a popular place for swimming, boating, fishing, water skiing, camping, and golfing. The city of Eclectic, Alabama, is nearby, while the cities of Alexander City, Dadeville and Jacksons' Gap all directly border Lake Martin, offering waterfront living and luxury homes along its shores. Lake Martin residents are a mix of weekenders from Birmingham, Montgomery, and Atlanta, locals who go back generations, visitors from all over the United States, and visitors from neighboring towns, who flock to Lake Martin for its abundant activities and picturesque atmosphere. Waterfront neighborhoods dot the lake, offering lakefront and lake view real estate opportunities, and the towns bordering Lake Martin are also home to charming downtowns, which are nice attractions in and of themselves. Lake Martin hosts several annual events, including fishing tournaments, a fireworks show on the Fourth of July, and the Alexander City Jazz Festival every June in downtown Alexander City and at the Lake Martin Amphitheatre. The Dixie Sailing Club operates on Lake Martin, offering multiple levels of membership, a popular youth program, and hosting periodic races. Other Lake Martin attractions include eagles nest, natural sand beaches, restaurants, camping areas and popular islands, but the major landmarks are the Kowaliga Bridge, and Chimney Rock, a large rock formation named for the chimney shape it resembles. Locals will tell you that Chimney Rock is actually located several hundred yards away from what many call Chimney Rock - that is actually Acapulco Rock. The area around Chimney Rock was part of the Tallapoosa River gorge before Martin Dam was built, and the water is more than 150 feet deep there. A highlight of "The Rock" is watching people jump off its 60-foot peak, which attracts thousands of boaters and adventurers every year. Chicken Rock is Chimney Rock's sister rock and offers the same daring opportunity. Lake Martin is a wonderful place to live and visit.
- Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail - the Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail is part of an interlocking trail system that connects forests and lakeside trails. You can easily go for a short stroll or a moderately strenuous half day hike on these well maintained and marked trails. These trails are some of the most scenic and diverse hiking trails in Alabama, skirting the shoreline of beautiful Lake Martin and ascending to high rocky ridges and bluffs, some with vistas up to ten miles, and overlooking Kowaliga Bay, Chimney Rock, and Smith Mountain. Deer, Turkey, Bald Eagles and other wildlife can be spotted from the Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail system.
- Alexander City - known to locals as "Alex City", Alexander City offers prime Lake Martin access and also so much more, from Wind Creek State Park to the Wellborn MuscleCar Museum and the Playhouse Cinema.
There are so many reasons to call Eastern Alabama home, whether seasonally or year-round. We'd be happy to show you around any of our beautiful communities or answer any questions you may have, so contact us today for more information about your specific interests.