4 museums in Auburn you have to check out

Museum Of East Alabama
Museum of East Alabama in Opelika. (Audrey Kent / The Bama Buzz)

From fine art to a stunning arboretum, Auburn’s museums are a fantastic way to explore the rich history and cultural variety of Auburn and Opelika. No matter your interests, you’ll want to check out these four spots and what each one has to offer.

1. Museum of East Alabama

Located in the heart of Downtown Opelika, The Museum of East Alabama links the past to the present. It focuses on the intriguing history of the region, as well as its agriculture industry from Native American times to the Civil War.

Over 2,000 annual visitors get to discover East Alabama’s and Opelika’s history as it comes alive through over 5,000 local and state artifacts representing many centuries.

The Museum of East Alabama doesn’t just offer a taste of history within their walls but outside of them, too. Christoph Johnson, a talented artist, is responsible for the outdoor mural representing people and historic elements central to Opelika’s regional core.

If you’re a history buff, this museum is worth a walk-through!

2. Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art

Jule Collins Smith Museum Of Fine Art
The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art in Auburn offers art right outside of its walls. (Audrey Kent / The Bama Buzz)

The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art is an art museum on the campus of Auburn University. It is the only accredited university art museum in Alabama, and holds six exhibition galleries within its 40,000 square feet of interior space.

This museum is grounded in art-historical, multi-disciplinary, object-based research and believes in innovation and the freedom to try new things while evaluating the world around you.

It is the cultural heart of Auburn University and welcomes everyone to explore, experience and engage with the visual arts. If you’re looking for paintings, sculptures, sensory experiences and more, this museum is. must-visit.

3. Auburn University Museum of Natural History

Auburn University Museum Of Natural History
The Theropod Dinosaur Egg is an Auburn University Museum of National History exhibit. (Auburn University Museum of Natural History)

The Auburn University Museum of Natural History is a research and education museum with a mission is to conduct biodiversity research, preserve and document our planet’s biodiversity and promote activities related to natural history education for Auburn University and all Alabama citizens.

This museum uses the vast organismal knowledge of the curators and staff to help locals and visitors to discover the natural sciences and appreciate biodiversity. Some of their exhibits include the Theropod Dinosaur Egg and the National Geographic Photo Ark Collection.

The Auburn University Museum of Natural History is open to the public the first Wednesday of each month at 5:30PM for an hour-and-a-half tour. Groups interested in touring during scheduled times are encouraged to contact the museum.

However, the museum’s public displays are open during business hours. They are located throughout Auburn’s campus in the Rouse Life Sciences Building, the Science Center Auditorium Building, Greene Hall and the Crop Improvement Association Building.

4. Donald E. Davis Arboretum

Donald E David Arboretum
The Founder’s Oak is a key feature of the Donald E. Davis Arboretum in Auburn. (Audrey Kent / The Bama Buzz)

The Donald E. Davis Arboretum in Auburn is a public native plants museum and botanical arboretum. It has water features, miles of walking trails and places to relax in a beautiful nature setting.

The arboretum specializes in conserving local plant life, including The Founder’s Oak tree, which is more than 150 years old and has received National Accreditation from the Plant Collections Network for its Deciduous Rhododendron Collection in 2019.

The arboretum also offers engaging events throughout the year, including Auburn’s Azalea Festival, Red, White and Blueberry Bash, an Annual photo contest and more!

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Audrey Kent
Audrey Kent
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