Spotlight on Lee, Russell & Macon: Culture & Recreation

From sporting events to historic artifacts, these three counties have it all. Visit musuems, national forests or campus attractions.

Aurea is Auburn University’s living mascot. She is pictured in front of the Samford Bell Tower on campus.

Lee County

Southeastern Raptor Center, Auburn University • The center treats and releases birds of prey and also presents flight programs.

Auburn Athletics • Tributes to Auburn’s athletic prowess include the 87,451-seat Jordan-Hare football stadium, one of the nation’s largest; Auburn Arena, home to basketball and gymnastics; Lovelace Hall of Honor presenting a tribute to athletes; Tiger Trail of Auburn honoring players with plaques downtown; the Toomer’s Corner tradition on game days or for a treat at the soda fountain.

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Grand National – Opelika • Two 18-hole championship courses and a short course on the site Jones himself called the “single greatest site for a golf course” he had ever seen.

Opelika Northside Historic District • This neighborhood of turn-of-the-century homes hosts the Victorian Front Porch Christmas tour.

Opelika Train Depot • This depot in historic downtown Opelika was built about 1920 and recently restored to its original style.

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Opelika Wood Duck Heritage Preserve Siddique Nature Park • This 73-acre preserve and park is home to a large population of birds and wood ducks.

Spring Villa Park • This 350-acre park in Opelika includes an antebellum house, trails, bandstand, outdoor volleyball courts, horseshoe pit, campground and more.

Jule Collins Smith Museum • This Auburn museum features a blown-glass chandelier by glass artist Dale Chihuly, plus an array of exhibits.

Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center • Exhibitions, community theatre, ballroom dancing, concerts, lectures, art classes and special events find a home here.

Museum of East Alabama • Lee County history is displayed in more than 5,000 artifacts at this museum adjacent to the Lee County Courthouse.

East Alabama Southside Center for the Arts • Music and shows take the stage here.

Gogue Performing Arts Center • Auburn’s newest fine arts performance space opened in 2019.

Chewacla State Park. Photo by Lindsey Hands/Auburn Opelika Tourism.

Chewacla State Park • This 696-acre scenic park includes a 26-acre lake, more than 25 miles of mountain biking trails, plus boats, swimming, hiking and camping.

Kiesel Park • This 124-acre Auburn park features trails, an environmental lab and a historic home.

Opelika Municipal Park • This city park features the Rocky Brook Rocket, a vintage miniature train, and the Salem-Shotwell Covered Bridge.

Kreher Preserve and Nature Center • The center offers 110 acres of hiking and birding trails, reptile viewing, waterfalls and a butterfly garden.

The Tuckabatchee Masonic Lodge was built in 1848 and restored in 2012.

Russell County

RushSouth Whitewater Park • This urban whitewater course is a favorite, racing down the Chattahoochee River at Phenix City. There’s disc golf nearby.

Blue Heron Adventure • Zip through the treetops and over the river at Phenix City.

Phenix City Riverwalk • Walk along the Chattahoochee from amphitheater to rafting overlook or cross the river on a pedestrian bridge.

Chattahoochee Indian Heritage Center • This center, on a hill that was once part of the Creek Nation homeland, memorializes the Trail of Tears.

Lakewood Golf Course • This public course, designed by John LaFoy, follows the rolling hills in Phenix City.

Phenix City Amphitheater • This 3,000-seat venue on the Chattahoochee, near the historic Dillingham Street Bridge, offers space for concerts and other events.

East Alabama Motor Speedway • This dirt oval track hosts Late Model, Limited Late Model, Hobby, Bomber and Road Warrior Class races.

Museum of Wonder • Art, artifacts, antiques and more at the museum, next to Possum Trot, which hosts weekly auctions and storytelling.

Phenix City Art Center • This center promotes the arts in the community; nearby is the Idle Hour Park mural.

Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art • This gallery in Smiths Station offers enriching programs, activities and classes.

Fort Mitchell Historic Site • This National Historic Landmark features a reconstruction of the 1813 fort.

Idle Hour Park & Moon Lake • This park and lake in Russell County include trails, playground and splash pad.

National Infantry Museum • This museum has more than 70,000 artifacts from the last 240 years of American military history.

Old Seale Russell County Courthouse • This courthouse was built in 1868 when Seale was the county seat. It features Indian artifacts and a paleontology display.

Crawford Walking Trail/Historic Masonic Lodge • A paved, lighted walking trail runs near the Tuckabatchee Masonic Lodge, built in 1848 and restored in 2012.

Jones Museum • Train memorabilia and a Conway Twitty gold record are among exhibits here.

The Oaks is a three-story Queen Anne Revival-style home that was the home of Booker T. Washington.

Macon County

Moton Field • Moton Field was the only primary flight facility for Black pilot candidates in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.

Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Fly-In • This event, sponsored by the city of Tuskegee, features aerobatics, exhibits, food and fun.

Tuskegee History Center • Home of the Tuskegee Human and Civil Rights Multicultural Center, it shares the story of the county’s three distinct cultures and peoples.

Tuskegee National Forest • This preserve offers natural and cultural history with hiking and mountain biking.

The Oaks – Home of Booker T. Washington • This three-story Queen Anne Revival-style home offers exhibits and tours.

Rosa Parks Birthplace • Tuskegee is the birthplace of civil rights activist Rosa Parks.

Lake Tuskegee • A 92-acre lake, with fishing, sailing and water skiing.

Little Texas Tabernacle • This tabernacle and campground site has hosted camp meetings since the 1850s. The original structure was made of hand-hewn timbers, wooden pegs, hand-split shingles and sawdust floors.

Shiloh Community Historic Sites • The Shiloh Rosenwald School, the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church and the Shiloh Cemetery are all located in Notasulga.

Whippoorwill Vineyards • A family-owned and operated farm winery, Whippoorwill is the only winery in Southeastern Alabama.

Tuskegee University Campus Cemetery • The cemetery is the site of Booker T. Washington’s and George Washington Carver’s graves. Washington was a leading black educator at the start of the 20th century and the first teacher and principal of the Tuskegee Institute. Carver was the son of a slave who became a prominent botanist and inventor.

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