Be Well City Guide: Auburn
Go for a stroll at Kiesel Park, grab some matcha at Whimsy, and hit the books on Cater Lawn.
Auburn is home to some pretty incredible health and wellness spots, so we decided to compile a list of our favorites.
The green juice trend is starting to catch on at Auburn, and you can thank Juice Bar on Moore’s Mill for that. Stop by to try out some green juice, a signature smoothie or smoothie bowl, or grab a light meal. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you might even want to try one of their wellness shots.
If you’re in the mood for matcha, plan to pay Whimsy Beverage Bar a visit. Aside from the fact that their drinks are delicious, they’re sometimes dusted with fun messages or topped with flowers. Basically, if you’re looking for some Insta-worthy drinks, this is the place for you. Don’t worry if matcha isn’t your thing; you can find some coffee-based drinks on the menu, too.
You’ll have to check Instagram for Whimsy’s hours and location, since they change from week to week.
Kiesel Park is one of the best places to enjoy a nice day on the plains. Not many people know about it, but every time I take a friend they always love it. It is home to 2.25 miles of walking trail loops – a plus for those of us who are directionally challenged. Kiesel Park is also an ideal destination for dog-lovers, because the dog-to-human ratio is stellar.
I’m pretty sure everyone has heard of Chewacla, but I would be remiss not to include it in a list of our favorite outdoor destinations in Auburn. Chewacla State Park has it all: hiking, waterfalls, and more dogs. What’s not to love?
Just remember to bring money for the $4 per-person entrance fee.
Stop and smell the flowers, literally. The Donald E. Davis Arboretum is another great place to get outside. Bring a book, a friend, or just yourself. The best part? It’s within walking distance from campus.
Smith Mountain Fire Tower
Fair warning: Smith Mountain Fire Tower is technically outside Auburn city limits, but it’s definitely worth the trip. You can hike half a mile to the tower and climb up to the top for a breathtaking view of Lake Martin.
Unfortunately, your GPS has probably never heard of the Smith Mountain Fire Tower. Check out this website for more information. You can scroll down to the bottom of the page to find a map that will give you directions.
Complete with a salad bar, a juice counter, endless grocery options, and a seating area, Earth Fare makes grocery shopping a little more fun. Earth Fare is a great place to stock up on some natural deodorant, organic produce, and that really good brand of almond milk that you can’t find anywhere else.
If you want to shop local, check out Dayspring. You can grab pretty much everything under the sun here, from new cosmetic products to health supplements. Conveniently located on Opelika Road, Dayspring is close to campus and open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday – Saturday.
The Student Center
I know you're probably picturing the mass chaos of the Chick-Fil-A line at noon and questioning why on Earth I would tell you to study here. But hear me out: The Student Center undergoes a magical transformation every afternoon around 3 or 4 p.m. Once the lunch crowd dies down, the building empties out and becomes a great place to study.
The best thing about studying here is that you can camp out for a while. There are plenty of places to sit, and some of the food and drink options are open pretty late.
Quiet Individual Study Room in Mell
If you're one of those people who needs a more serious study environment without distractions, this is the place for you. Right across from Panera in Mell, there’s a room with a bunch of individual sectioned-off study tables in rows. Each desk cubby has an outlet, which is lifesaving if you’re like me and never have a fully-charged laptop.
This is the sweet spot in RBD – not dead silent like the fourth floor, but quiet enough to actually get stuff done. There’s also something about being in a room specifically designated for quiet study that makes me feel obligated to do schoolwork and resist the urge to check my phone every two minutes.
Cater Lawn is a great place to throw down a picnic blanket and get to work. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to snag a rocking chair on Cater’s porch. It’s definitely a great place to relax between classes with friends, but it’s also a nice place to study when the weather cooperates. This is another fun way to mix it up and avoid RBD during busier times.
Again, you’re probably a little skeptical. But it’s especially important to get creative with your study spots around the busier times since RBD fills up so quickly. The Rec is actually home to a great study spot! If you go to the bottom floor and walk behind The Livingston Courtyard, you’ll see a few comfy chairs and tables. This little area is peaceful, and you’ll probably be able to find a place to sit anytime you go. After all, most people don’t think to study at the same place they workout.
This weekend, take a page from our book and try out some of the coolest health and wellness spots around town.
Be well, Auburn.
Photography: Deon N.