A Weekend in Tuscaloosa

Right in the heart of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is the oldest and largest public university in the state: the University of Alabama (or ‘Bama).  Roll Tide … this campus has consistently been ranked amongst the most beautiful colleges in America, and it is not hard to see why. The University of Alabama is 1,800 acres of Southern Charm filled with historic buildings, cultural centers, and breathtaking scenery wherever you go. So, whether you are visiting for the big game or are a student, here are a few things to check out to make the most out of your weekend visit to Tuscaloosa.

10 Must-Do's When Visiting 'Bama Country

(1) Go to a game!
One of the absolute best things to do in Tuscaloosa is to attend a home game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The iconic stadium holds over 100,000 fans! The great college e campus setting and lively tailgates makes game days in Tuscaloosa an incredible and memorable experience. The fans and most of the town dress up in crimson and white adding to the environment. It doesn’t hurt that Coach Saban and the Crimson Tide have won an eye-popping 6 National Championships since 2009 and annually appear at the top of the polls. Download the Crimson Tide Rewards app to get a schedule for all the upcoming games.

Bama Football
Bama Quad

(2) Check out the Paul W. Bryant Museum
Paul Bryant is an Alabama legend and one of the most revered college football coaches in the history of the game. In 1958, Bryant became the head coach at the University of Alabama and during his tenure, helped the Crimson Tide win three National Championships.  The Paul W. Bryant Museum is located on campus and is a must stop to learn more about this legendary coach while also exploring Alabama football history.

Paul Bryant

(3) Go to a concert at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheatre
There is nothing better than sitting outside and listening to a live band play your favorite songs. The Tuscaloosa Amphitheater is the place to go and has a capacity of only 7,470, which makes its atmosphere more intimate and charming. The Amphitheatre hosts both national and local artists so check out what bands are playing and enjoy this ‘Bama tradition.  You will not be disappointed!

Ampitheatre

(4) Visit the Bama Theater
Interested in the arts?  Then check out the Bama Theater, which is Tuscaloosa’s premier performing art center. At the Bama Theatre, you will be able to watch films, theater shows, and even dance events. In addition, inside, you will find beautifully painted murals by Navino Nataloni, and ArtDeco inspired architecture. The Bama Theater is the ideal place to go if you are looking to have a relaxing date night or enjoy with the whole family.

(5) Enjoy a picturesque hike on the Riverwalk
A visit to Tuscaloosa would not be complete without experiencing the Riverwalk. The Riverwalk is a hiking path alongside the beautiful Black Warrior River. This is a great way to check out scenic Tuscaloosa when you want to stretch your legs and see more of what the area has to offer. In addition, there are benches alongside the path, so you can pack a snack and relax with an amazing view of the flowing river.

(6) Stop by the Tuscaloosa Farmers Market
Every Saturday morning between 7am and noon, the Tuscaloosa Farmers Market is held at the Tuscaloosa River Market. Here, local farmers sell amazing and home-grown fresh produce. At this farmers market, you can find everything from grass-fed beef, baked goods, organic produce, delicious gourmet cheeses, and tons of unique crafts. If you want to amp up your Southern cooking game in the kitchen, this is a great place to start!

(7) Picnic at Capitol Park
Capitol Park was the site for the Alabama Capitol when Tuscaloosa was the state’s capitol from 1826-1846. The building burned down in 1923, leaving only the stone foundation and two columns. It was eventually built in to a scenic park. Located only a mile away from campus, this is the perfect place to have a picnic with your friends, plus the ruins make a beautiful backdrop for great photo opps.

Capitol Park

(7) Picnic at Capitol Park
Capitol Park was the site for the Alabama Capitol when Tuscaloosa was the state’s capitol from 1826-1846. The building burned down in 1923, leaving only the stone foundation and two columns. It was eventually built in to a scenic park. Located only a mile away from campus, this is the perfect place to have a picnic with your friends, plus the ruins make a beautiful backdrop for great photo opps.

(8) Challenge yourself at Escape Tuscaloosa
If you are in the mood for a fun challenge, grab your friends and/or family and head over to Escape Tuscaloosa, a 5-star boutique escape game experience. You can choose from three different rooms: abducted, the cabin, and unidentified (coming soon!). No matter what room you choose, you are guaranteed to have a unique and memorable experience.

(9) Get the creeps with a Haunted Tour
If you want to experience Tuscaloosa in a whole new way, you can take a tour of the city with a spooky twist. The Haunted Tour of Tuscaloosa begins at the historic Drish House and stops by some of Alabama’s top-rated most haunted locations. This tour includes a ride on a vintage trolley bus, 15 stops, and brief walking tours in three areas. Enjoy spine-chilling tales while learning about Tuscaloosa’s dark history.

(10) Grab a beer and play arcade games at Loosa Brews
If you are over 21 and are a fan of finely brewed craft beer, you need to stop here. Loosa Brews offers over 60 beers on tap – that you can drink on the spot or take home. Loosa also provides a unique experience by combining an inviting, cozy atmosphere with craft beer and a dozen classic arcade games. So, grab your friends and some pints and have fun!

Beer

Where to Eat During the Weekend

There are a lot of great places to eat in Tuscaloosa, so if you are feeling hungry after your weekend adventures, here are some recommendations:

Dreamland BBQ: Dreamland BBQ opened its first Tuscaloosa location back in 1958. Dreamland is best known for its famous secret recipe barbecue sauce and barbecue ribs- which have been cooked the same way for more than half a century. This restaurant’s relaxed and convivial atmosphere is another strong draw that keeps customers coming back time and time again. Location: 5535 15th Ave E.

River: River is an upscale restaurant located along the banks of the Black Warrior River that offers a variety of Spanish, Southern, and French food. A full brunch menu is offered on Saturday and Sunday mornings and happy hour specials happen Tuesday through Thursday. Located at 1650 Jack Warner Pkwy

Five Bar: Five Bar is an eccentric gastropub in downtown Tuscaloosa, particularly popular among the city’s many college students, so it tends to fill up quickly. The restaurant derives its name from the menu, which lists five snacks, five entrees, five cocktails, ten beers (five standards and five Southern), and ten wines (five red, five white), plus a selection of nightly specials (one for each day of the week). It might sound like a limiting choice; however, this is a case of ‘less is more,’ as every offering is so good that it never causes disappointment. Located at 2324 6th St

Mugshot Grill & Bar: Mugshot Grill is a laid-back bar and community gathering place that first opened in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and has since expanded to several locations, including now in Tuscaloosa. Mugshot’s burgers have been rated Mississippi’s best burger several years in a row. Located at 511, Greensboro Avenue