1. Any of Tuscaloosa’s Museums

Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum is one of the great museum options that we have in town. Located at Tuscaloosa’s historic Queen City Park along the Black Warrior River, this museum is filled with knowledge and appreciation of our local and regional history and natural resources through exhibits, museum educational programs, and educational outreach efforts. For the ones who are rather interested in extinct models, the Alabama Museum of Natural History is a perfect place to visit with its ancient fossils and many other exciting things to discover!

  1. Art Galleries

We have some incredible and diverse art galleries in town that are definitely worth a visit. The Kentuck Art Center in Northport is an all-in-one museum, gallery and event location that is now featuring Good Trouble: Civil Rights Past and Present. In the heart of downtown Tuscaloosa lies another local gem: Paul R. Jones Gallery. Currently the exhibition It’s Like That: Selections from the Collection of Rebecca and Jack Drake is on display. Works for this exhibition were selected by independent curator Paul Barrett!

  1. Coffee Shops

What cozier place could there be to hide from a rainy day than a traditional coffee shop? The smell of coffee and pastries in the air, people reading the newspaper, studying or chatting steadily alongside a laid-back playlist…. sounds perfect to us! Tuscaloosa offers many such magical places. For example, the local chain Heritage HouseMonarch Espresso Bar downtown, or the new kid on the block  Just Love Coffee. Choose one and enjoy!

  1. Brewery

Local breweries in Tuscaloosa are the perfect place to spend a gray afternoon among friends and one of America’s favorite drinks: Beer. Druid City Brewing CompanyBlack Warrior Brewing Company, and Loosa offer great brews and relaxed space to lean back and enjoy an ice-cold one on this dreary day. These local treasures have the coolest merchandise to brighten up your wardrobe today!

  1. Shindig

Shindig Family Entertainment Center is another excellent option for rainy days like today. This is your one-stop entertainment center with bowling, laser tag, arcade games, mini-golf, and a restaurant with a lounge! Forget about your worries and completely immerse yourself in all of the family fun that this awesome place has to offer!

A tidy, tan shop front in the heart of downtown Tuscaloosa hosts one of the world’s largest collections of 20th century African-American art. In 2008 the late Paul Jones donated more than 1,700 pieces of his Collection of American Art, valued at nearly $5 million, to the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Alabama and are on rotational display at the downtown gallery throughout the year.

Described as a civil rights activist, Paul Raymond Jones began collecting art in the 1960s when he noticed a shortage of African-American representation in public art exhibits. He collected pieces created in a variety of mediums and from more than 600 artists. Jones wanted his collection used for educational purposes, so his donation to the university has been incorporated to the school’s curricula as a means to promote artistic significance and cultural awareness. Some of the works are on display at galleries on campus and will be made available to other academic institutions and museums throughout the state.

The current gallery exhibit, “In Miniature,” showcases some of the smaller pieces from Jones’ collection and is on display until August 23, 2016.

The gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on the first Friday of each month from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. The gallery is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Be sure to visit the one and only Paul R. Jones Gallery at 2308 6th Street, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401. For more information, contact gallery Director Karen Kennedy at (205)345-3038 or visit http://paulrjonescollection.as.ua.edu/ for more details.

Written by: Karley Fernandez, TTS Public Relations Intern