While a college town known for barbecue and big games may not sound like a place for healthy, athletic people, you’d be surprised to find just how active and healthy we can get here in the deep fried south. Tuscaloosa is a proudly named runners city with a plethora of trails and is home to some of the most flavorful healthy food in the state. With the Triathlon on the same day as Alabama Roots Fest, you’ll find the city in full swing with a buzzing downtown and live music from Robert Randolph and the Family Band in Government Plaza!

  1. Explore nature!

If you aren’t used to the springs in Alabama, you might not know that the outdoors can be immaculate in April, and this weekend will be no different. From Lake Nicol’s cliffs to Lake Lurleen’s sandy shores, you’ll feel at one with nature without having to go more than 20 minutes from downtown.

  1. Take some tea time!

Like any college town, we have an abundance of third wave coffee shops like Monarch or Heritage House that serve some fine brews, but for those who like the serenity of a fresh batch of tea or house-made kombucha, welcome to Tea Town. Located in historic downtown Northport, Tea Town started as a tea bike at our farmers market, then became the brick and mortar hang out for live poetry and original tea mixes.

  1. Pedal over to our bike shops!

Worried your bike needs some last minute repairs or just want to spend some quality shopping time? We have great local and regional stores to meet your needs.

Velocity Pro Cycle in Temerson Square is a fixture in our cycling community with events and races around town.

Queen City Cycles in Pinehurst is known for its quality care when it comes to bike repair. They are dedicated to the art of the bicycle, bringing a love that has really elevated the sport in our city.

Trek Bicycle Store is located in Midtown Village and offers Trek bikes and apparel along with repairs and maintenance. Perfect for those loyal to the Trek brand

  1. I can Escher you we have good art

We have such a thriving art scene in Tuscaloosa, from our growing gallery collections to our museums there’s more than enough art to go around. For some classical and historic works like original John Singer Sargent works to up and coming local artists there is truly something for everyone to enjoy.

Kentuck Art Center

Located in the historic district of downtown Northport, Kentuck dedicates themselves to nurturing our city’s art scene. With their recently renovated space, they have constantly changing exhibits and collections that you’ll find it rare to see the same thing twice. The art campus has over four buildings with free Wi-Fi to make a true art space that’s open to everyone. Hours are: Tues-Fri 10 am-6 pm and Saturday 10 am-4:30 pm

Tuscaloosa Museum of Art

A gift to the city by the late Jack Warner of the Westervelt Company, Mr. Warner was a true lover of the arts with his massive collection that he graciously donated to both his hometown and to a wing in the Met in New York, as well as his private collection in his home. The Tuscaloosa Museum of Art is on the Westervelt campus off of Jack Warner Parkway with a wide collection of original American art.

  1. Find a Foodie Oasis

We are not without some incredible eateries in Tuscaloosa beyond the standard southern classics. With new places popping up, there is always an exciting new element to our foodie scene.

Local Roots

Be on the look out or follow them on Twitter to see with this beloved food truck is going to be around town. With a dedication to great local food, they offer healthier choices with some flavorful salads to more indulgent delights like their crispy pork belly with rice buns.

Animal Butter

With options from hot chicken bao buns to their latest Japanese style pancake, there are exotic dishes inspired by the culinary world of international street food. One of their more popular dishes is their veggie burger that has people considering making the switch to living meatless with the savory treat.

When it comes to cuisine, the Southern States are known for many things, but vegetarian food is probably not one of them. The focus in food is surely set on the amazing barbecue, burgers, and chicken – justifiably.  But as living vegetarian becomes more and more popular, it’s worth looking for options around town that accommodate that! Yet there is no dedicated vegetarian restaurant in Tuscaloosa, but there are some pretty amazing dishes in town that are live-saving for all vegetarians and also a delicious culinary experiment for anybody else. Go out and try these five terrific veggie dishes in Tuscaloosa:

Sloppy Joel at Animal Butter
This recently opened unique bistro is one of the best places to go for vegetarian and conscientious gourmets in Tuscaloosa! They provide the freshest possible ingredients from local farmers and enrich their classic street food dishes with a creative soul. One of the best among their veggie dishes is the Sloppy Joel. This classic is transformed into a root-vegetable alternative, refined with a chili paste and fried shallots. A perfect composition, specially created for vegetarians. Perfect with that goes one of their veggie sides, like the crispy Brussels sprouts or sweet potato fries.

Black-eyed Pea Burger at 301 Bistro
Veggie burgers can be found in almost every chain nowadays, but many can’t beat the burger from the one and only 301 Bistro. The restaurant’s atmosphere inside the old train station is just as amazing as in their beer garden outside, and their Black-Eyed Pea Burger is a fancy taste experience that is definitely worth trying, even if you are usually a meat eater! The breaded bean patty comes on a whole wheat bun and is topped with double cheese, tomatoes, and arugula. The extra magic of this dish is added by the truffle oil and balsamic aioli – an ingenious piece of the class that 301 is known for!

Hummus at Glory Bound
Hummus has not only become a trendy dish throughout the last few years, it is also literally the perfect meal for your lunch – healthy, tasty and filling! At the cultish Glory Bound in downtown Tuscaloosa, hummus is one of the flagship dishes and definitely their specialty! The variety is striking: Choose your favorite hummus out of ten variants, for example, chipotle-lime, Mediterranean olive or spinach-pesto! Or take the hummus-trio and get any three tastes of your choice! Every hummus dish is served with unlimited delicious warm pita bread. The portions look overwhelming, but you won’t have a choice but eat it all in the end – it is simply too good.

Pasta at DePalma’s
Although their pizza and antipasti are pretty amazing as well, the most striking dishes at Tuscaloosa’s favorite Italian restaurant is their pasta! Many of them are also delicious vegetarian options! Dedicated meat free is, for example, the portabello mushroom ravioli, Mediterranean penne with olives, spinach angel hair, their very own DePalma’s pasta with artichoke hearts and much more! All these are so delicious, you don’t even realize or think about missing meat in them. One of the best parts is also the fresh garlic bread that comes with the pasta. So, drive downtown and spend an amazing and not-so-obviously-vegetarian dinner at DePalma’s!

Panini at Sweet Home Food Bar
The one and only Sweet Home Food Bar is always a good choice, no matter if you want to grab lunch, dinner or a leisure brunch on Sundays. You can also find a meatless dish at any time of the day there, but our focus lies on a dish that can be found in their afternoon menu: The Vegetable Panini. These Italian-inspired grilled sandwiches can’t be found at any corner – they should be, though! Sweet Home has a wonderful vegetarian Panini that is made with eggplant, roasted peppers, plenty of cheese and a balsamic dressing. One more delicious dish not only for full-time vegetarians. Be adventurous and try veggie!

While a college town known for barbecue and big games may not sound like a place for healthy, athletic people, you’d be surprised to find just how active and healthy we can get here in the deep fried south. Tuscaloosa is a proudly named runners city with a plethora of trails and is home to some of the most flavorful healthy food in the state. With the Triathlon on the same day as Alabama Roots Fest, you’ll find the city in full swing with a buzzing downtown and live music from Robert Randolph and the Family Band in Government Plaza!

  1. Explore nature!

If you aren’t used to the springs in Alabama, you might not know that the outdoors can be immaculate in April, and this weekend will be no different. From Lake Nicol’s cliffs to Lake Lurleen’s sandy shores, you’ll feel at one with nature without having to go more than 20 minutes from downtown.

  1. Take some tea time!

Like any college town, we have an abundance of third wave coffee shops like Monarch or Heritage House that serve some fine brews, but for those who like the serenity of a fresh batch of tea or house-made kombucha, welcome to Tea Town. Located in historic downtown Northport, Tea Town started as a tea bike at our farmers market, then became the brick and mortar hang out for live poetry and original tea mixes.

  1. Pedal over to our bike shops!

Worried your bike needs some last minute repairs or just want to spend some quality shopping time? We have great local and regional stores to meet your needs.

Velocity Pro Cycle in Temerson Square is a fixture in our cycling community with events and races around town.

Queen City Cycles in Pinehurst is known for its quality care when it comes to bike repair. They are dedicated to the art of the bicycle, bringing a love that has really elevated the sport in our city.

Trek Bicycle Store is located in Midtown Village and offers Trek bikes and apparel along with repairs and maintenance. Perfect for those loyal to the Trek brand

  1. I can Escher you we have good art

We have such a thriving art scene in Tuscaloosa, from our growing gallery collections to our museums there’s more than enough art to go around. For some classical and historic works like original John Singer Sargent works to up and coming local artists there is truly something for everyone to enjoy.

Kentuck Art Center

Located in the historic district of downtown Northport, Kentuck dedicates themselves to nurturing our city’s art scene. With their recently renovated space, they have constantly changing exhibits and collections that you’ll find it rare to see the same thing twice. The art campus has over four buildings with free Wi-Fi to make a true art space that’s open to everyone. Hours are: Tues-Fri 10 am-6 pm and Saturday 10 am-4:30 pm

Tuscaloosa Museum of Art

A gift to the city by the late Jack Warner of the Westervelt Company, Mr. Warner was a true lover of the arts with his massive collection that he graciously donated to both his hometown and to a wing in the Met in New York, as well as his private collection in his home. The Tuscaloosa Museum of Art is on the Westervelt campus off of Jack Warner Parkway with a wide collection of original American art.

  1. Find a Foodie Oasis

We are not without some incredible eateries in Tuscaloosa beyond the standard southern classics. With new places popping up, there is always an exciting new element to our foodie scene.

Local Roots

Be on the look out or follow them on Twitter to see with this beloved food truck is going to be around town. With a dedication to great local food, they offer healthier choices with some flavorful salads to more indulgent delights like their crispy pork belly with rice buns.

Animal Butter

With options from hot chicken bao buns to their latest Japanese style pancake, there are exotic dishes inspired by the culinary world of international street food. One of their more popular dishes is their veggie burger that has people considering making the switch to living meatless with the savory treat.

It’s Gearing up to be a great weekend for events in the One and Only Tuscaloosa! Starting tonight, you can catch some great music around the city beginning with Farmer’s Daughter at Rhythm & Brews! Farmer’s Daughter brings your classic rock, 80’s, 90’s, country favorites, and current radio hits to their sets each night! Right down the road at Green Bar, Ferguson and the Copper Dogs will be taking the stage! Green Bar will also steal the show Friday as they put on a Looksy Special Five Year Anniversary Show featuring Della Ray and Hothead!

Saturday morning, you can grab your fresh produce at the Farmers Market at the Tuscaloosa River Market! Vendors set up ripe red tomatoes and famous Chilton County peaches. Musicians sit propped up against the door, playing guitars as you walk in, and local Food Trucks, bakers, artists, and craftsmen gather here to sell their gourmet grub, fresh-baked yeast rolls, homemade jams and jellies and hand-carved cutting boards.

Later that day head over to the Children’s Hands-On Museum! CHOM is hosting Bead It! Where the children get to bead their own Mardi Gras necklace! All events for CHOM will be included in the admission price.

This weekend there are also One and Only grand openings! On University Boulevard, Animal Butter will be accepting customers for the first time this Friday. Right across from Government Plaza, the highly anticipated Monarch Espresso Bar will be opening their doors for the first time!

We have tons more going on so check out our great upcoming events, and follow us on our social media pages (@visittuscaloosa) for more announcements and events. Tell your friends and we can’t wait to see you around the One and Only Tuscaloosa!