When you come into Auburn to a) see a football game on a glorious fall Saturday or b) to give an extra hug and some cash to a needy, homesick college student or c) because you just want to find some places that appeal more to a slightly older demographic than the typical 18-22-year olds who are in the thick of their college experience, then I have a few suggestions for you based on a recent visit.
WHERE TO STAY??? On a game weekend, you can probably forget about it unless you are willing to pay double the normal rates and “stay for a minimum of two nights.” If you’re the sleeping bag or blow-up mattress type, you might find a few vacant square inches in your child’s apartment or trailer. If you’re one of the VERY lucky ones, perhaps you have your own deluxe motorhome and can come and stay for several days within the shadow of Jordan-Hare Stadium. Otherwise, though, I’d suggest looking for hotel rooms in Montgomery, Columbus, GA or the Lake Martin area.
I did spot a Bed and Breakfast near the railroad tracks and a few steps from downtown Auburn that looked very nice from the outside. It’s a Victorian house painted a beautiful blue called The Crenshaw Guest House and was built in 1890. Check out their website. B & B’s can be a LOT of fun, and I promise that the location of this one is great. As a bonus, a new restaurant — The Depot — recently opened diagonally across the street, which specializes in seafood.
If you come during the week and want a gorgeous place to relax and play a round of golf away from the crowds, then the Auburn-Opelika Marriott Hotel and Conference Center at Grand National is a great choice. Grand National is one of the Robert Trent Jones golf courses, and the hotel is lovely. If you ARE able to book it for a game weekend, they offer a free shuttle service to the Auburn mall and from there you can take the Tiger Transit to the stadium — which I would strongly suggest rather than trying to drive in and search for a parking spot on your own. In addition to very comfortable beds, they offer free wi-fi and a bountiful breakfast buffet (for an additional charge). If you go while the weather is warm, the pool is fabulous.
And, here’s another thought. If you like the great outdoors and somewhat rustic accommodations, consider renting one of the cabins at Chewacla State Park. They were originally built in the 1930’s but were updated in 2003. There are only 6 of them, so plan early if that sounds like something you’d enjoy.
I should, of course, mention the Auburn University Conference Center. It is extremely nice and is right in the center of the action, but you might be fortunate enough to book it for 5 years from now on a game weekend. Alas.
Then, here’s another appealing option. Enjoy the hospitality of great friends who LIVE in Auburn. I think I’d like that best of all.
Check back next Monday for some restaurant suggestions that Steve and I found to be well worth recommending.