There is no shortage of recreational opportunities within Auburn; there are places to hike, bike, kayak, and so much more. The nearby Lake Tahoe area and all it has to offer by way of recreational opportunities are just 85 miles from Auburn. Other ski areas and hiking trails are nearby as are Lake Clementine and Folsom Lake for boating and fishing. A variety of festive annual events provide fun and entertainment for the whole family, such as Auburn's Gold Country Pro Rodeo, the Mountain Mandarin Festival and the community festival.
While Auburn was considered a retirement town for many years, the city has grown to include some 44,000 residents within its sphere of influence. Auburn offers its residents plenty of amenities and an excellent quality of life. As the Placer County seat, the city has benefited from the creation of jobs and associated businesses. The town is home to a 108-bed community hospital and has its own school district. Sierra Community College is located in Rocklin, just 12 miles from Auburn.
The centerpiece of the city is the County Courthouse, a grandiose three-story Classic Revival structure topped by a bracketed cornice and simple Renaissance Revival inspired dome. The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1894. The building itself was renovated during the late 1980s and continues to serve the public today with courtrooms, a historic sheriff's office and the Placer County Museum.
The building is one of four surviving northern and central California courthouses that retain most of their architectural ornamentation and magnificent domes. Before the formation of Placer County in 1851, the hilltop where the present courthouse now stands was the site of bull and bear fights. The county's first courthouse, built of wood and cloth with an adjacent log jail, was erected on Court Street. The building is listed on The National Register of Historic Places.
Another historic location is the Auburn Iron Works that has been operating as a blacksmith's shop in the same locality for over one hundred years. By 1888, George Allen and Joseph Sandhorfer had established this shop at Auburn Station, becoming one of the first blacksmith's shops to operate near the Central Pacific Railroad Station. At that time, the main part of Auburn was one mile to the southwest and Auburn Station, or East Auburn, was just starting to develop. Although the business, as well as the property the shop is on, has changed ownership several times through the years, it has always been run as a blacksmith shop. Built over the Boardman Canal, this shop may well be the oldest continuously operating blacksmith shop in Northern California and it continues to provide a necessary service to the community.