Opelika, located in east central Alabama is home to rich history as well as a wide range of activities.

The city grew rapidly after the arrival of settlers. West Point Railroad Company constructed rail tracks from Montgomery to Opelika.

This route was originally used to ship raw cotton. The city quickly became a regional hub and built warehouses and factories for industry and trade.

This industrial heritage is still evident in Opelika’s buildings, streets, and museums, as well as in the parks.

You can also enjoy many outdoor activities in Opelika, such as hiking, biking, golfing, exploring local history, or trying local craft beers.


1. Covered Bridge at Salem-Shotwell

The Salem-Shotwell Covered Bridge can be found at the end of Municipal Park, Downtown Opelika.

Since its construction in the early 1900s, this picturesque bridge has been a landmark in the area.

In 2005, a storm destroyed the original bridge. It fell into the creek below. However, residents of the city salvaged most of the wood and materials and kept them until the rebuilding started in 2007. The current bridge is nearly identical to the original. It was built using cedar wood, longleaf heart pine, and latticework with wooden exterior sides.

The bridge is lit by two lights, so you can enjoy a romantic walk through the park at night.

Covered Bridge at Salem-Shotwell

2. Museum of East Alabama

The Museum of East Alabama has everything you need about Opelika.

The museum focuses on the rich history of the city, including exhibits and artifacts that include Native American dwellings, the American Civil War, and details about a German World War II POW camp at Opelika.

A knowledgeable guide will lead you on a fascinating tour through the region’s history, people, and places. There are a variety of photographs and displays that link the past and present of the city.

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The Museum of East Alabama has everything you need about Opelika.

The museum focuses on the rich history of the city, including exhibits and artifacts that include Native American dwellings, the American Civil War, and details about a German World War II POW camp at Opelika.

A knowledgeable guide will lead you on a fascinating tour through the region’s history, people, and places. There are a variety of photographs and displays that link the past and present of the city.

Museum of East Alabama

3. Tuskegee National Forest

Tuskegee National Forest is located southeast of Opelika.

Although it is the smallest National Forest in America, it offers a wide range of outdoor activities.

There are four trails for nature lovers, including a wildlife viewing area and horse trails. If you prefer more active pursuits, you can also hike on one of the trails or ride a mountain bike through woodland paths.

You can spend an evening under the stars with friends and family, or camp in the forest.

Tuskegee National Forest

4. John Emerald Distilling Company

John Emerald Distilling Company, Opelika is the next stop for whisky lovers who enjoy a “wee dram”.

The distillery is named after John Emerald Sharp, an emigrant from Scotland who arrived in America. It’s open to the public for tasting and tours.

You can learn more about whisky distillation by becoming a “distiller for a day”, perfecting your craft with great people in charming surroundings.

You can also take a tour of the distillery if you are only interested in stopping by for a half-hour.

The entire production process, from barley grain through to the bottle is shown. You can visit the barrel storage area, the storage warehouse, as well as the production and bottling areas. After that, enjoy a glass of fiery nectar in our tasting room.

John Emerald Distilling Company

5. Chewacla State Park

Enjoy 696 acres of beautiful forest, lakes, and trails, as well as recreational facilities, at Chewacla State park.

You can find a variety of activities to suit all ages, including a 26-acre lake, campsites, picnic areas, hiking, mountain biking, and swimming areas.

Anglers have the option to try to catch bass, catfish, and bream. You can also kayak around the lake, taking in the beautiful shorelines as your journey.

Deer, red Fox, and chipmunks can also be viewed as they move through dense woods.

Chewacla State Park

6. Jordan Hare Stadium

Jordan Hare Stadium is a great place to go if you are a sports fan and would like to see an American football match during your stay in Auburn, Alabama.

Auburn University Tigers’ home stadium, this venue can accommodate over 87,000 guests at once.

The stadium hosts college football and concerts. Legends like Blake Shelton, James Brown, and the Beach Boys have all played there.

You must visit the large football murals outside the stadium. They depict some of the greatest moments and legends of the team.

Jordan Hare Stadium

7. Mrs. Story’s Dairy bar

Mrs. Story’s Dairy Bar has been a fixture on Opelika’s streets since 1952. You’ve found the right place if you are hungry and want to grab a quick snack while you wait.

You can only order hot dogs, milkshakes, and ice cream. It’s a bit like an American diner.

This kiosk, which is fourth-generation family-owned, is a popular stop for locals when you’re in Downtown Opelika.

Mrs. Story's Dairy bar

8. Grand National Golf Course

Grand National, located around Lake Saugahatchee is one of the top golf courses along Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.

Grand National has 54 holes spread over three scenic courses.

Play the Lake Course where 12 holes run along the lakeside. Or the Links Course, which features lush woodland and an outstanding par-four 18th.

The Short Course is 18 holes on undulating terrain that will delight golfers all over the globe.

After you have played the day, go to the clubhouse for drinks and dinner with your new friends.

Grand National Golf Course

9. Visit Columbus, Georgia

Columbus, Georgia is just half an hour’s drive from Opelika.

It was once an industrial city. Now it is a fascinating place to explore with museums, riverside walks, and rafting, as well as a host of historical areas.

Highlights include Columbus Historic District and Coca-Cola Space Science Centre. Chattahoochee riverWalk is also available. If you are interested in Alabama history, Columbus Museum is a good choice.

Columbus, Georgia

10. Red Clay Brewing Company

Red Clay Brewing Company is rooted in the southern states as its founders were born and raised there.

Many of their craft beers have been named after personal memories.

“Big Swamp Stout” is named after Opelika, a Muskogee word that means “Big Swamp”. The name of ‘Hop Jubilee” beer is a nod to the late-night ‘jubilees’ they attended at Mobile Bay.

They offer delicious beer and mouthwatering pizza. If you’re looking to host an event, they have 3,000 square feet of space that can accommodate large or small parties.

Red Clay Brewing Company

11. University Chapel

Auburn University Campus’s charming chapel was built originally as a chapel and used to be a hospital for Confederate soldiers wounded during the American Civil War.

It was renovated in classic Gothic style architecture during the 1900s and sold to the college.

It has been a theatre and a YMCA since then. Now it is the University Chapel, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

University Chapel

12. Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve and Nature Centre

This 120-acre trail includes several natural habitats that are ideal for wildlife spotting and bird-watching.

Take your hiking shoes off and take a stroll on Wildflower Trail past Turtle Pond, Butterfly, and Vegetable Gardens, and to the Old Homestead.

The nature playground is open to children with logs, treehouses, and a beaver lodge.

There are more than 30 trails that stretch 5 miles. These trails are great for exploring the area and stopping to have a picnic. Plus, the amphitheater seats 150 for special events, educational talks, and other activities.

Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve and Nature Centre

13. Municipal Park

Opelika is close to home so you don’t have to travel far to enjoy relaxation and recreation.

Municipal Park is located at the edge of Downtown and features many gazebos, picnic tables, children’s playgrounds, and even a vintage train.

The park is surrounded by a small creek, making it an ideal place to spend a day with friends and family.

Enjoy a day filled with fun and celebrations in the heart and soul of the city by bringing your dog, a frisbee, or a set of boules.

Municipal Park

14. Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art

Good art doesn’t require you to travel far.

Auburn’s Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art features a variety of artworks by regional artists and creatives.

There are many things to interest art connoisseurs, from sculptures to art installations to black and white photography.

Group tours are free and available. After you’ve viewed the magnificent creations, you can have lunch or coffee in the museum cafe to discuss your findings.

Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art

15. Cyber Zone

Cyber Zone, a fun and exciting place in Opelika, offers a unique experience.

After you have completed your sightseeing, why not invite friends and family to join you for a fun game of laser tag? Cyber Zone allows you to run around the arena and compete for the highest score. You can also play arcade games or enjoy retro favorites while eating delicious snacks.

Cyber Zone offers many options, including the opportunity to challenge your friends at Atomic Rush or to regress to your childhood with Ms. Pacman and Donkey Kong.

Cyber Zone

Also, check the Top 15 Things to Do in Montgomery of Alabama

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