Introduction to Opelika, Alabama

Opelika, Alabama, in Lee county, is 26 miles NW of Columbus, Georgia (center to center) and 95 miles SW of Atlanta, Georgia. The city benefits from easy access to the nearby cities and towns with which it shares the Auburn - Opelika metropolitan area. Opelika contains a population of approximately 23,498.

Opelika History

Opelika was first settled in by the whites in the late 1830s. They named the community "Lebanon". The Native Americans, the original inhabitants of the region, were forcibly removed from the area in 1836-1837. The city's present name was derived from a Muskogee term meaning "large swamp". The first railroad entered the area in the 1840s and helped the area to become a commercial center. Opelika was incorporated on February 9, 1854.

Opelika and nearby Attractions

  • Mann Wildlife Learning Museum
  • Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site
  • Chewacla State Park
  • Callaway Gardens
  • Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art
  • Dr. A.D. McLain Medical Museum

Things To Do In Opelika

The city of Opelika offers easy access to several historic sites and museums. The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art features 19th and 20th century American and European art. The Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site is the place where, during World War II, African American men were trained to become military pilots. The city is also home to the world-famous Grand National Golf Course. Golfers can also visit the Beaver Creek Golf Course, Moore's Mill Golf Club, and Pin Oaks Golf Club, and Saugahatchee Country Club. The Chewacla State Park, spread across 696 acres of land, offers facilities for swimming, fishing, boating, camping, hiking, and picnicking. Another place worth visiting in Opelika is the Azalea and Dogwood Trail. Following this trail, created by Nature itself, people can witness the numerous hues of the Southern Azaleas and Dogwood trees.

Opelika Transportation

Air transportation is available from the Columbus Metropolitan Airport.

Opelika Higher Education

Tuskegee University, Auburn University Main Campus, Beacon University, and many other colleges and universities provide opportunities for higher education.


Total Population 28,544
Male Share of the Population 46%
Female Share of the Population 54%
Senior Citizens 14%
Employed Population 16+ 12,696
Age of the Population 37


% of people married 44.3%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 26.2%
Median Earnings25+ $0
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $0
Median Earnings With High School Degree $0


Median Family Income $51,722
% Above Poverty Level 77%
% Below Poverty Level 23%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 20 minutes
% Working from Home 2.7%
% Walking and Biking to Work 0.6%
% Using Public Transportation 0.1%


People Living Alone 29.2%
Median Gross Rent $690
Median House Value $153,500


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 48.2%
US/American 0%
English 8.4%
Irish 7.2%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Opelika Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 26 miles NW of Columbus, Georgia (center to center)
Nearest Large City 95 miles SW of Atlanta, Georgia
County Lee
Metro Area Auburn - Opelika
Standard Zip Codes 36801, 36804
P.O. Box Zip Codes 36802, 36803
Phone Area Codes 334
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 32.645
Longitude -85.378

Opelika Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 4.4 miles
Jan Temp 33 to 55 F
Apr Temp 47 to 75 F
Jul Temp 68 to 90 F
Oct Temp 50 to 76 F
Annual Precip 56.4 inches
Distance 17.9 miles
Jan Temp 30 to 55 F
Apr Temp 47 to 75 F
Jul Temp 67 to 91 F
Oct Temp 48 to 76 F
Annual Precip 56.4 inches
Station CAMP HILL 2 NW
Distance 19.8 miles
Jan Temp 29 to 54 F
Apr Temp 44 to 74 F
Jul Temp 66 to 91 F
Oct Temp 45 to 76 F
Annual Precip 54.7 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Auburn 58,693 $76,066
Camp Hill 1,051 $25,560
Loachapoka 217 $51,042
Notasulga 974 $52,083
Valley 9,444 $49,840
Waverly 266 $92,625

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Opelika Public Libraries

Lewis Cooper Jr. Memorial Library
Opelika, Alabama
(334) 705-5380
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Opelika Hospitals

(Government - Hospital District or Authority)
(334) 749-3411
Emergency Service: Yes

These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
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Opelika High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,230 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 14.4

7343 AL HIGHWAY 51
Serves 542 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 14.5

A Non-traditional School
Serves 95 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 31.7

Study Online in Opelika

Career and College Resources

Real-World Career Reports
Career References and Original Articles
College Directories and Lists
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Info for Opelika Government Officials

Are you an official in the Opelika government or quasi-government agency such as the chamber of commerce, visitors bureau or economic development council? If so, visit our information page for government officials to see how CityTownInfo can support you.

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