Courtesy Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau
Kudos: Since 2008, multiple national publications and websites have touted the virtues of Auburn-Opelika. Two years ago, Forbes.com said it was the sixth fastest-growing small metro in the country; a year later, U.S. News and World Report named it among its “Top 10 Best U.S. Places to Live.” The cities have also been recognized as top places to retire, have a career or start a business. In 2008, GolfWorld named Opelika’s Grand National Golf Course the No. 1 public golf course in the United States. In 2005, Golf Digest named Auburn-Opelika the No. 1 golf city in America.
Hotel rooms: The two cities, with a combined metro area of about 136,000, have almost 2,000 hotel rooms among 27 properties. Seven of them have meeting space.
Location: Lee County, home to Auburn and Opelika, is in east central Alabama, 30 miles west of Columbus, Ga.; 60 miles east of Montgomery, Ala.; 100 miles southwest of Atlanta; and 115 miles southeast of Birmingham, Ala.
Getting there: Auburn-Opelika is on Interstate 85, a popular route for those traveling from Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Mobile, Ala., and New Orleans. The nearest airport is Columbus Metropolitan, 45 minutes away in Columbus, Ga. Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport is about a two-hour drive.
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