Near the confluence of the North and East Forks of the American River are a good place to swim and drink beer. There is a picturesque old town neighborhood near the statue of a miner just off the freeway. Under the miner, there are large drainage tunnels filled with graffiti that one can explore with a flashlight.
Auburn receives hot summer weather, despite being on the western fringe of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
The nearest commercial airport is in Sacramento, approximately thirty miles away. Auburn has a private airport as well.
Auburn is home to the intersection of Interstate 80 and California 49. Interstate 80 goes right past the downtown area. This makes getting off I-80 rather disorientating, since you take the exit from the freeway only to suddenly find yourself in the middle of the city. Interstate 80 goes west to Rocklin, Roseville, Sacramento, and points west. Interstate 80 goes east to Truckee, Reno, and points east. California 49 goes north to Grass Valley, Nevada City, Sierra City, and points north. California 49 goes south to Coloma, Placerville, Jackson, and points south.
Greyhound has a bus stop in nearby Colfax.
Placer County Transit does operate buses in part of Auburn, but service is limited and does not run on Sundays. It's better to rent a car, especially considering the city's topography, which varies significantly because the city is on a ridge.
Auburn is harder to navigate than the cities to the southeast (Roseville and Rocklin) because Auburn is on a ridge, and not a flat one either. There are a lot of twists and turns on most of the local roads because they are going all around the houses and the steeper parts of the ridge. However, the outer, more recently developed parts of the town are generally laid out more reasonably and are on less undulating terrain than the downtown area is.
Downtown Auburn consists of two separate districts: the historic district, which is right next to Interstate 80, and the modern district, which is to the north.
- 1 Auburn City Hall and Fire House, 1103 High St. The Auburn City Hall and Fire House is a Moderne-style fire station and city hall which was built in 1935. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.
- 2 Auburn Fire House No. 1 (El Dorado St. & Lincoln Way). Auburn Fire House No. 1, also known as Auburn Hose Company No. 1, was built in 1888. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.
- 3 Auburn Fire House No. 2 (at the corner of Washington, Main, & Commercial Streets). Auburn Fire House No. 2, also known as Auburn Hose Company No. 2, was built in 1891. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.
- 4 Auburn Masonic Hall (John H. Robinson Center), 956 1/2 Lincoln Way. The Auburn Masonic Hall is a historic two-story Masonic building located on the Central Square that today operates as a banquet hall and meeting center. It was completed in 1917 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2011. The Beaux-Arts building has brick walls and a terracotta facade.
- 5 Auburn Public Library, 175 Almond St. The Auburn Public Library is also known as Old Auburn Library. The Neoclassical style building was completed in 1909 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 31, 2011.
- 6 Gold Miner (Interstate 80, historic district exit). At the junction of the I-80 off-ramp, Lincoln Way, and Maple Street is this giant statue of a gold miner. You can walk around the statue and go into the small park area that's behind it; however, the noise of the freeway, which is just a few yards from the statue, makes staying at the park for too long unpleasant.
- 7 Oddfellows Hall, 1256 Lincoln Way. The Oddfellows Hall was built in 1894 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011. It is a three-story red brick Italianate home of IOOF Lodge No. 7, founded in 1852. Henry T. Holmes, builder of the Hall, was a '49er and a founding father of Auburn.
- 8 Placer County Courthouse, 101 Maple St (Just above the historic district area). 10AM – 4PM, closed holidays. Completed in 1898, the historic courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The three-story Classic Revival structure originally included both a courthouse and jail. By the 1980s the building had fallen into disrepair, but a $6 million restoration was completed in 1994. Today there is a small museum (no entrance fees charged) with local history and information, including Placer County history from the early Nisenan inhabitants through the latter half of the 20th century and the Placer County Gold collection. A walking tour of Old Town Auburn originates from the courthouse every Saturday at 10AM sharp (rain or shine) that lasts for about one hour.
Auburn is known to be the "Endurance Capital of the World", as many races either start or end here. The Western States Endurance Run ends at Placer High School in Auburn.
There are hundreds of miles of trails (including the Western States Trail) that lead to or from here.
- 1 Auburn State Recreation Area. Auburn State Recreation Area is a state park unit of California, along 40 miles (64 km) of the North and Middle Forks of the American River. The state recreation area (SRA) is situated on the border of Placer and El Dorado Counties. Once teeming with gold mining activity, the area now offers a wide variety of outdoor recreational opportunities. Major recreational uses include trail running, hiking, swimming, boating, fishing, camping, mountain biking, gold panning, horseback riding, road bicycling, and off-highway motorcycle riding. Whitewater recreation is also very popular on both forks of the river, with Class II, III and IV runs. Auburn SRA is also known as the location of a number of endurance races that are hosted throughout the year.
- 2 Hidden Falls Regional Park. Sunrise to sunset daily. Hidden Falls Regional Park is an oak woodlands near Auburn that offers 30 miles (48 km) of trails for hiking, running, biking and equestrian riding. The waterfall that gives the park its name is accessible via a 3.3 miles (5.3 km) loop trail. Parking reservations are required on all weekends, peak use days, and marked holidays, and parking permits must be purchased online prior to arrival.
- 3 Fast Fridays (Gold Country Fairgrounds). Most Friday evenings in summer. In summer, many speedway (motorcycle racing) competitions are held in Auburn.
Many of the restaurants in Auburn are in the historic downtown and modern downtown areas.
- 1 Auburn Alehouse, 289 Washington St, ☏ . The Auburn Alehouse is a craft brewery and restaurant located in the Old Town neighborhood. In addition to several award-winning craft beers, the alehouse features a menu that goes beyond typical pub fare. While staples like burgers, ribs and pulled pork are available, other options include Shanghai lettuce wraps, sushi-grade ahi tuna, jambalaya and fish tacos.
- 1 Best Western Golden Key, 13450 Lincoln Way, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: .
- 2 Holiday Inn, 120 Grass Valley Highway, ☏ .
- 3 Motel 6, 1819 Auburn Ravine Rd, ☏ , fax: .
- 4 Power's Mansion Inn, 195 Harrison Ave, ☏ .
- 1 Rocklin
- 2 Coloma - The California Gold Rush began in Coloma in 1848 with the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill, and today travelers can visit the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park to see the exact spot where gold was found. In addition, the park has a recreation of Sutter's Mill, exhibits documenting the Gold Rush, and the opportunity to pan for gold in the American River. While much of the original town is now essentially a ghost town, there are a few lodging options and restaurants. For visitors seeking adventure, the American River is a popular whitewater rafting destination, and a number of outfitters offer trips that start in Coloma.
- 3 Truckee
- 4 Grass Valley
|Routes through Auburn|
|Sacramento ← Rocklin ←||W E||→ Truckee → Reno|
|Loyalton ← Grass Valley ←||N S||→ Coloma → Oakhurst|
|END ←||N S||→ Rocklin → Sacramento|