Lined with brick buildings and colorful mural walls, the city of Columbus is just 45 minutes away from Auburn.
Downtown Columbus provides a lot of options within walking distance. Locals visit Iron Bank Coffee Co. on Eleventh Street to start their day. It has specialty lattes, like the “farmer’s tan,” which is filled with caramel and white chocolate, or the “nutty professor” with chocolate and hazelnut.
Matt Kahrmann, who attended medical school in Columbus, said this is his go-to coffee shop.
On Sundays, River & Rail offers brunch and changes its menu seasonally.
The current late summer 2018 spread includes coconut crusted banana French toast, eggs po’ boy and buttermilk pancakes with fruit compote.
Stephen O’Neil Sanders, freshman in biosystems engineering and River & Rail employee, said Columbus has its own personality and has grown substantially over the past few months.
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The restaurant was recently remodeled, and its interior exudes a warm and trendy atmosphere.
If there is a wait time, stroll across the street to take pictures at the expansive mural overlooking the Phenix Mill.
Walk a few blocks over to My Boulánge for some sparkling French lemonade and a berry tart or chocolate croissant.
Nearby are The Southern Pearl Boutique and The Posh Peach, which sell dresses, hair ribbons and necklaces appropriate for an orange and blue game day.
Although the drive is several minutes from downtown Columbus, Bluebelle Artist Market is worth the detour.
It hosts a collection of vendors selling vintage vinyl records, artisan furniture, candles, tea and handmade purses.
As the sun sets, find dinner by the river walk at Eleventh and Bay. It mainly offers seafood, like oysters and shrimp and grits, but they also have other choices like watermelon salad or pork chop with peach relish.
After dinner, end the night at The Loft, which features live music every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and comedy on Thursdays. Order a drink and pair it with buffalo chicken dip or their daily stuffed bread.
Sanders said Columbus is on the rise but still holds true to its Southern hospitality.
It’s a “small town feel in a big city,” Kahrmann said, and its close proximity to Auburn makes for a perfect day getaway.
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