After months of anticipation, the first game day of the 2020 Alabama Crimson Tide football season is approaching! Although the weekend will look a bit different this year, there are so many ways to experience the city of Tuscaloosa. Below we have put together the Ultimate 2020 T-Town Tour Guide, full of local dining, enticing entertainment, and spectacular shopping. Be sure to stay safe and wear a mask while you explore the town. Enjoy your weekend adventures and let the good times (and the Crimson Tide) roll!
9:00 am – 9:45 am:
The first stop on our itinerary is Babe’s Donuts, located on Greensboro Avenue in the heart of Downtown Tuscaloosa. Known for its sweet treats and delicious coffee, this on-the-go option is currently open for to-go orders, making it convenient to start your day off on a good note! As you embark on your weekend journey stop by Babe’s for a classic donut – or mix it up with a Fruity Pebbles donut – and some cold brew coffee. Before you know it this local gem just might become your new T-Town favorite!
10:00 am – 11:30 am:
Located just down the street at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center is the Sarah Garden Armstrong Exhibit: Threads and Layers. Sarah Garden Armstrong is an Alabama native and alumna of the University of Alabama, returning to Tuscaloosa to share her captivating work through different types of media, from paintings and sculptures to handmade artist books! This Friday is your last chance to visit her incredible exhibit, so be sure to visit the Event page for more information.
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm:
Your next stop along the T-Town Tour is Heat Pizza, located on Government Plaza. Choose wisely their wide selection of pizzas, including vegetarian and gluten-free options! Enjoy your lunch safely outside on the patio, with plenty of space for social distancing. As a matter of fact, Heat’s variety of beer, wine, and cocktails pairs perfectly with this perfect fall weather! With 5 years of experience serving pizzas, salads, drinks, and good times to Tuscaloosa, Heat will make your time here unforgettable.
2:00 pm – 4:30 pm:
The Paul R. Jones Museum has reopened its doors just in time for Bama’s season kickoff! Come experience the eclectic art of T-Town and explore their newest exhibit, “When They See Us, What Do They See?: Perspectives on Black Art”, curated by Barbara-Shae Jackson. The purpose of this exhibit is to ask visitors the question: What does the aesthetic experience of a person perceiving a work of art look like when it does not reflect their culture or personal life experience? Jackson, currently a doctoral student in cognitive psychology at The University of Alabama, is curating this collection to identify the responses of different visitors when they view art created by black and white artists. This weekend is your last chance to visit this thought-provoking exhibit, so be sure to visit the event page for more information.
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm:
Return to Downtown Tuscaloosa for a nice sit-down dinner at Chuck’s Fish where you can enjoy delicious appetizers and savory seafood dishes. This restaurant is a wonderful way to kick-off the weekend and celebrate the beginning of Alabama Football Season with family or friends! With a menu complete with classic cocktails and incredible entrees, Chuck’s is sure to be a crowd-pleaser no matter who is in your entourage.
7:30 pm – 10:30 pm:
Friday night LIVE MUSIC is returning to T-Town! Live from the Bama will begin at 7:30 pm, with limited in-person seating to ensure social distancing. Tickets are available to purchase for $10 here. If you are unable to attend the concert, join in on the fun virtually via the live stream on our Facebook page! Featuring local bands GrAystone and Casie & the NoJoes, this show will be sure to kick off your weekend the right way. Not to mention, all proceeds go directly to the Bama Theatre during this difficult time. To show your support for the irreplaceable Bama Theatre you can donate at your convenience here.
9:00 am – 10:30 am:
Start off your Saturday with a traditional T-Town breakfast at The Waysider, Tuscaloosa’s oldest restaurant in town! Once a regular stop for the great Bear Bryant, this classic local joint is located on Greensboro Avenue. Experience a bit of T-Town’s southern-style cooking with homemade biscuits, complimentary beignets (per request), or ham cooked to perfection. Not much of a breakfast person? No worries, The Waysider has delicious lunch items on the menu as well! Keep in mind that seating is limited, so be sure to budget for time as you may have to wait for a table!
11:00 am – 12:30 pm:
If you need a place to entertain your kids, look no further than the Children’s Hands-On Museum. This educational oasis is a delightful spot where your kids can learn about exciting subjects, like friction and temperature, all while having a blast! CHOM has set several guidelines in place to ensure the safety of all staff and visitors, like temperature screening at the entrance and controlled capacity inside. Ahead of your visit to the museum, check online for more information about exploring this interactive museum safely! If you aren’t comfortable taking your kids to CHOM, you can take CHOM to your kids with CHOM at home! Encouraging interactive learning is now easier than ever before with this resource up your sleeve.
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm:
Now it’s time to walk on over to Avenue Pub for a bit of local flavor to celebrate a football-filled afternoon! This treasure is a wonderful spot for spending quality time with loved ones and indulging in comfort food galore. With tasty sandwiches, fresh salads, and banging burgers, Avenue pub has what it takes to put you in a good mood for the rest of the day. If you just so happen to find yourself needing a spot to watch the Crimson Tide, there is a special offer of local beer for $4/pint during the game.
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm:
Between lunch and the start of the night football games, you can take a stroll around Downtown Tuscaloosa and do some necessary game day shopping. Whether you are looking to spruce up the Tide Pride in your repertoire or hoping to find the perfect crimson outfit, there are plenty of local shops to discover. For men, The Locker Room is a great spot for gameday polos and outerwear for later in the season. For women, whatever your style may be, Vintage Cotton Boutique offers a wide selection of unique pieces to help you put together the ideal football season wardrobe for any occasion!
6:00 pm: Alabama Crimson Tide at Missouri Tigers
ROOOLLLLLL TIDE ROLL into the return of college football! Wear your lucky socks and put your game face on because the highly-anticipated time is officially here. Whether you are at the game or cheering on the tide elsewhere, enjoy Tuscaloosa’s inexplicable, electrifying game-day atmosphere. Bama fans and locals alike know exactly what that feels like. Now is the perfect time to experience T-Town’s Bama fan phenomenon with the rare game-day hotel availability and local businesses eager to share their products/services with you.
10:00 am – 12:00 pm:
Start Sunday morning off the right way at Rama Jama’s with a hearty breakfast at this University of Alabama-themed grill on Bryant Drive. Admire Bryant-Denny Stadium in all its glory as you enjoy more incredible local food. With classic options like fresh biscuits, crispy bacon, and unbelievable ham, it’s no surprise this hometown hit has hundreds of rave reviews. After a long, exciting Saturday of exploring Tuscaloosa and cheering on the Crimson Tide, a southern-styled breakfast at the one and only Rama Jama’s is just what the doctor ordered.
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm:
The Paul W. Bryant Museum is back open for this year’s football season! They are so excited to welcome visitors to town and share the gilded history of Bear Bryant and the Alabama Crimson Tide! After enjoying a Saturday full of football, the Bryant Museum is the perfect place to spend your Sunday afternoon, watching and learning about the history of Alabama Athletics. Walk in the footsteps of Alabama greats with the exhaustive collection of items and memorabilia of past sports history at The University of Alabama. Be sure to visit Bryant Museum’s website ahead of time to purchase admission and check hours of operation.
2:30 pm – 5:00 pm:
Downtown Tuscaloosa is a great place to shop around and discover local businesses that offer clothes, accessories, furniture, and more. Olive Tree Antiques and Twice as Nice are delightful examples of antique shops in Downtown T-Town. Places like these have something for just about everyone with eclectic inventory that is constantly changing. Whether it be kitchenware, jewelry, an antique, or interior decorations you are bound to discover some T-Town treasures that would make the perfect souvenirs.
Tuscaloosa is growing rapidly and we couldn’t be more excited about the new businesses in town. From fruit to cheesesteaks to gourmet doughnuts and more, the options are becoming endless. Here are a few of our favorite new must-try restaurants in town this summer!
Babe’s Doughnut Co. is a family-owned breakfast, brunch and coffee business that recently opened its doors in downtown Tuscaloosa! “Babe’s” sells gourmet and specialty doughnuts that will satisfy all of your sweet tooth cravings. The modern interior makes for a very welcoming environment great for hanging out, studying and of course, eating. Babe’s offers sandwiches and biscuits such as honey butter chicken and bacon avocado. You can also choose from items like muffins, pastries, croissants and a variety of coffee drinks. The specialty doughnuts come in flavors from s’mores to bacon maple all the way to captain crunch and so much more! As strange as some of the combinations sounds, we can promise you they taste absolutely delicious. You won’t regret stopping by on your way into the office for some breakfast and coffee, and your co-workers will surely love you if you throw in a box of doughnuts to take with you!
Frutta Bowls is all about health foods! The franchise began in New Jersey and Tuscaloosa was proud to become the first out-of-state location for the company. Frutta Bowls has a great atmosphere and offers both indoor and outdoor seating and activities. Outside you can grab a table and enjoy the weather, or engage in a little friendly competition of cornhole. Inside you can relax on some couches in the corner and watch some TV, or set up at a table fully stocked with USB outlets for charging your phone and other electronic devices. The food is as good as the atmosphere. You can order fruit bowls made up of acai, pitaya and all the freshest fruit you can imagine. If you want a little more flavor or sweetness in your bowl, you can add coconut flakes, peanut butter, honey or Nutella drizzle on top! The menu also offers delicious smoothies made up of fresh fruits and vegetables. In just a few weeks of being open, the business has already had to adjust its hours due to the high demand of its customers. You don’t want to miss out on the craze!
Philly Boyz is bringing the Philly Cheesesteak to Alabama! The owner is from Philadelphia and is an expert on all things cheesesteaks. He opened the restaurant from scratch in the spring and so far, it has been a hit among locals! The restaurant specializes in authentic cheesesteaks, pizzas, and fries. The ribeye meat is cut in-house and the bread is baked fresh daily to ensure freshness. Philly Boyz is a fast and casual dining spot, but there is no shortage of flavor. The restaurant stays open until 4 a.m. on weekends and with its prime location on the strip, it is the perfect place to go after a night out!
Urban Cookhouse is one of the most popular restaurants in Birmingham and luckily for Tuscaloosa, the owner recently decided to open a location in town! The restaurant relies heavily on serving fresh produce that is locally grown. So much so that the interior is actually decorated with message boards showing where each vegetable in the restaurant came from. The menu is altered throughout the year to ensure quality freshness of foods. Even with the alterations, you can pretty much guarantee year-round that the menu will include steaks, salads, sandwiches, wraps and much more! The Tuscaloosa location is the first of seven to offer a drive-through for pick-up orders. Urban Cookhouse is perfect for an easy, fast, casual and delicious dinner any night of the week, and we are loving having it in Tuscaloosa!
Central Mesa is Tuscaloosa’s newest Mexican restaurant, and so far, we are loving it! The owner is a familiar face in Tuscaloosa as the man behind the one and only Avenue Pub. After three years and immense success with the Avenue Pub, the owner decided to branch out and open a second restaurant downtown. He chose the name of this new restaurant to honor the history of its building that used to be known as Central Shoe Store. While there are tons of Mexican restaurants in Tuscaloosa already, Central Mesa sets itself apart by preparing and cooking everything from scratch, in house. Central Mesa offers traditional Mexican cuisine such as tacos and enchiladas, but adds a little bit of variety with menu items such as the Cuban Sandwich and Brisket and Grits. The restaurant also features a vast variety of tequilas and other liquors for drinks such as margaritas, mojitos and other specialty cocktails. With a unique menu, great atmosphere, ultimate location and experienced Tuscaloosa owner Central Mesa is already shaping up to be one of our favorite new “One and Only” restaurants!