Auburn, home to Auburn University, the largest in Alabama, is a typical small college town with an inviting campus and attractive historic buildings in a nicely laid out downtown. Standout features include high educational attainment and low unemployment. While the Cost of living Index is very attractive for a college town, home prices are relatively high for the region but still reasonable on a national scale. The economy was once driven by agriculture, primarily cotton, then the university.
Today Auburn has a stronger commercial and industrial component, mainly small businesses and manufacturing. The business-friendly town of Opelika, 7 miles northeast, is considerably more industrial, with distribution centers, automotive parts manufacturers and a Uniroyal plan among others. Opelika has had some crime and education issues, and some live in Auburn and work in Opelika. The greater numbers discovering Auburn’s small town lifestyle, low costs, and advantages of living in a college town have driven strong growth and created some sprawl issues, and there is a comprehensive and innovative development plan to address them. The area is a bit isolated but services and amenities in Atlanta are 110 miles away.
The town sits in an area of gently rolling, wooded hills and level open plain at the geologic end of the Appalachian range. The climate is subtropical with warm, still, humid summers with most days in the 90’s and frequent thunderstorms. Winters are mild and wet with a few cold periods caused by northerly air masses. First freeze is early November, last is late March.