Auburn is part of the Greater Sacramento area and is home to the Auburn State Recreation Area. The park is the site of more sporting endurance events than any other place in the world, giving Auburn the undisputed and internationally acclaimed title of Endurance Capital of the World. Examples include the Western States Endurance Run; the Western States Trail Ride, also known as Tevis Cup Equestrian Ride; American River 50 Mile Endurance Run; American River 50 Mile Equestrian Ride; Way Too Cool 50 Kilometer Endurance Run; Auburn International Half-Ironman Triathlon; Auburn Century 100 Mile Bike Ride, Coolest 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race, Rio Del Lago 100 Mile Endurance Run, Sierra Nevada 50 Mile Endurance Run, and the Coolest Run: Ride & Tie.
The restored Old Town has houses and retail buildings from the middle of the 19th century. The oldest fire station and the Post Office date from the Gold Rush years. Casual gold-mining accessories, as well as American Indian and Chinese artifacts, can also be viewed by visitors at the Placer County Museum. Auburn was the home and birthplace of noted science fiction and fantasy poet and writer Clarke Ashton Smith. A memorial to him is located near Old Town.
The population was spread out with 2,645 people (19.8%) under the age of 18, 1,031 people (7.7%) aged 18 to 24, 2,898 people (21.7%) aged 25 to 44, 4,224 people (31.7%) aged 45 to 64, and 2,532 people (19.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45.4 years. For every 100 females there were 89.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.1 males.
There were 6,139 housing units at an average density of 856.7 per square mile (330.8/km²), of which 3,388 (58.8%) were owner-occupied, and 2,371 (41.2%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.0%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.5%. 8,017 people (60.1% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 5,035 people (37.8%) lived in rental housing units.