Perhaps no other American college rivalry is as fierce (and as exciting) as the one between the University of Alabama and Auburn University. Each year, these two football teams showdown in the Iron Bowl, the most anticipated event of the season for college football fans across the South.
The Iron Bowl originally began in 1893, when Alabama and Auburn first clashed in Birmingham, then known for its iron production (thus the name). Since then, the two teams have played 81 times, making the 2017 Iron Bowl, scheduled for November 25, the 82nd matchup.
For sports fans headed to Auburn for the big game, we’ve picked out the top places to stay, eat and see while you are there. (For a really unique entrance, call our sales team today to schedule a private charter flight for you and your friends!)
The Auburn-Opelika metro area is 108 miles southwest of Atlanta, Georgia, and 109 miles southeast of Birmingham, Alabama. It is the most populous city in eastern Alabama and borders Columbus, Georgia. Travelers using our private jet services will fly into the Auburn-Opelika Robert G. Pitts airport, 4 miles from downtown. We will arrange for transportation to your hotel as well.
Where to Stay
For the ultimate War Eagles fan, there is no other option. The Hotel at Auburn University truly earns its name as it is just one-half mile (or a 10-minute walk) from the Jordan-Hare Stadium. Here, you will be right in the center of the action. The Hotel has 236 guestrooms and suites, each with modern decor and comforts, including Sealy Posturpedic beds. Guests who upgrade to the Executive Floor also have access to an all-day, complimentary food pantry, and top-floor rooms with views of the city.
Located along the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, this newly renovated hotel has 2,000 acres of natural scenery to enjoy after a day of tailgating and watching football. Amenities include newly built indoor and outdoor pools, 8 tennis courts, and, of course, 54 holes at the nearby golf course. The Executive Kitchen Suite features 2 queen beds, a sofa bed and 833 square-feet of room to spread out with your friends and family.
Located on one of the tallest summits in the area, with panoramic views of Auburn, the Mansion offers 100 acres of charm, elegance and comfort. There are four unique rooms to choose from, plus the Buckingham Suite, which has 3 separate sleeping areas, nearly 2,000 square-feet and accommodates up to 8 people. All guests of the Mansion also receive special access to Auburn’s hottest private club, the Moore’s Mill Club.
Where to Eat
This family-owned restaurant with a hunting lodge atmosphere is popular for its top shelf bourbon, 28 craft beers and a menu that is fit for a hunter: skirt steak, wild game sausage, baby back ribs, bison burgers and sides like loaded mashed potatoes, sweet corn succotash and mac ‘n’ cheese.
Acre is located in the heart of downtown Auburn and specializes in locally-sourced and grown ingredients in traditional southern fare. Chef David Bancroft, who has earned a spot among other top chefs in “Best Chefs of America,” has been featured in Travel & Leisure, Southern Living, Taste of the South and USA Today. Menu items include: fried okra, fried green tomatoes, roasted gulf snapper and duck breast.
No (official) website. No reservations. No seating. But the Story family has been running this local favorite since 1952, so you know the chili dogs and milkshakes are going to be good. You’ll find Mrs. Story’s at 1900 Pepperell Parkway (in Opelika).
Once upon a time, corner drug stores were the favorite meeting spot of American youth. Toomers keeps that spirit alive on the corner of N. College Street and W. Magnolia Ave in downtown Auburn, where locals go for burgers, fries, sandwiches and ice cream.
Located in an old, authentic warehouse district, The Warehouse Bistro is a romantic escape from the hustle and bustle of the college atmosphere of Auburn. Chef Joe Hippley offers nightly specials along with the regular menu (including sole, salmon, pork tenderloin, veal, and seafood pasta) and a full bar. Dine in a private, casual setting, and expect exceptional service with attention to detail.
Things to See & Do
The city of Auburn organizes many special events around the Iron Bowl to help fans kick-off their game weekend. Start with a “Friday Football Luncheon” and hear Coach Malzahn preview the game. Tickets are available at aubtix.com. You can also join a walking tour of the campus beginning at 4:00 p.m. from the Alumni Center. Or head over to the Southeaster Raptor Center for an eagle flight demonstration, educational program and show. From 4:00-6:00 p.m. the Auburn locker room will be open for tours as well.
Bison are the largest terrestrial animals in North America, and at Alabama Bison Co., you can watch them in their natural habitat–from the safety of a wagon pulled by a tractor. Your tour guide will give you history of bison and answer questions about managing the herd. You’ll also see chickens, rabbits and draft horses. Tours are available Tuesday-Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. You can purchase tickets online for $10 per person.
Located at the entry of the University, the Jule Collins Smith Museum has nearly 2,000 works of art, from traditional to contemporary, that are displayed in six changing galleries. A popular exhibit open during the week of the Iron Bowl is MAiZE by Jean Shin, which features sculptures inspired by farmland but made from discarded waste materials like plastic bottles.
About 20 miles southwest of Auburn is the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, a museum dedicated to the first African-American military pilots in the U.S. Armed Forces who fought in WWII. The museum, located inside the historic Hangars #1 and #2 at Moton Field, focuses on the history of the airmen, their training and the aircraft they flew. A full-scale replica of the Red-tail P-51 Mustang is a central piece. The museum is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
A short drive from downtown, Chewacla is 696 acres of hiking and biking trails that often end up at waterfalls. A picturesque creek runs throughout the park, and its 26-acre lake is perfect for water activities like fishing (Lake Chewacla is filled with bream, catfish and bass) and canoeing.
Contact us today and let us help you plan a trip to the iron Bowl. We operate our own fleet and can source any size aircraft from an extensive domestic and international user network, which gives you total flexibility.