After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the time has finally come. The Druid City Arts Festival, presented by Cadence Bank, is returning tomorrow from 5 – 10 pm and Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm!

 

This 12th annual community event allows guests to explore and shop one-of-a-kind art from over 70 visual artists while enjoying the outdoors on a Tuscaloosa spring day at our lovely Government Plaza! While there, you can enjoy lunch, a snack, or a cold treat from one of your favorite local food trucks, too. Our friends from Buffalo Rock will be there with Pepsi products, too.

 

Showcasing some of Tuscaloosa’s musicians, guests will be able to watch performances from artists including Drum Nation and Alabama Blues Project!  Click here to take a look at the full Stage Schedule, presented by Mercedes-Benz.

 

And, last but not least, one of the great things about this festival is that there are so many engaging activities for adults and children alike. Below we have compiled some of the fun kid-friendly activities that will be available at DCAF this year! We must give a special thanks to our friends at McAbee Construction for their sponsorship of the DCAF Kids Zone.

 

Being on the outside isn’t always such a terrible thing. Especially in a beautiful city like Tuscaloosa or Northport. When you’re spending time with loved ones, eating your favorite snacks, and grabbing a drink or two as you enjoy the wonderful weather. It doesn’t get much better than this. Sometimes just being outside can make a bad day better, so we have decided to make you all a list of some favorite porches to immerse yourself in the outdoors with food and drink close at hand. 

Loosa Brews – Loosa’s porch game has been stepped up since they opened. It has tons of table and bar style seating. It’s partly shaded, but fully equipped to be your next favorite hangout joint! With 63 beers on tap there’s a beer and a chair for everyone there!

Taco Mama – Taco Mama’s outdoor seating faces out onto University drive so whether you’re there to sunset watch or people watch, there’s a sitting activity for every personality! Not only that, but they serve beer and margaritas. So if you’re not huge on the beer scene, you’ve still got a place on their porch!

R & R Cigars – This particular porch is highly slept on because not many people take advantage of this incredible honey hole! R & R is a remodeled Victorian home with a huge front porch and plenty of comfortable seating to drink a beer, smoke a cigar, and watch your favorite game on tv.

Billy’s Sports Grill Northport – Located in the heart of historic downtown Northport, Billy’s offers great wings, their famous chicken sandwich, burgers, salads, and more! You can enjoy a comfortable and family-friendly atmosphere with the ultimate viewing of your favorite sports.  The patio seating is excellent.

Innisfree – Innisfree’s porch is another phenomenal place to kick back and drink a cold one. They have plenty of seating and a whole slew of TVs. With a wide selection of drinks, they have a little something for the whole crew!

And just a few more – because you can’t ever have too many options!  Check out Alcove International Tavern, The Houndstooth, Glory Bound Gyro Co., Heat Pizza, Mellow Mushroom, and the many bars and restaurants located within Temerson Square such as Sage Juice Bar & Speakeasy or Avenue Pub.

Things are buzzing here in Tuscaloosa! Spring has sprung, the flowers are blooming, and the events are poppin’! We have an eclectic lineup for this weekend so follow along so you can be sure to hit the hot spots!

The Buzz About Bees Exhibit
A new exhibit is flying to the Alabama Museum of Natural History! The Buzz about Bees is a collaborative exhibit with the Alabama Museum of Natural History, the West Alabama Beekeepers Association, and the UA Bee Club. The exhibit focuses on the honey bee and features a live beehive that gives visitors an inside look at the honey bees’ honey production and social structure. Head over to view the exhibit that opens Thursday, April 22nd, to get a chance to learn about these incredible creatures!

Stand Up Comedy at Half Shell
Stand Up Tuscaloosa is hosting their very first Comedy in a Half Shell show this Friday, April 23rd starting at 7:30 pm. Acts feature comic “Casio” Matt Mitchell from NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Jay Leno, MTV, and Rick and Bubba as “Casio Kid”. Birmingham’s Peter Davenport who is a cohost of the Goulash Podcast with Chris Ivey will also perform!

Step Into The Rainforest at CHOM
Step into the rainforest this Saturday, April 24th at the Children’s Hands-On Museum! You and your little one can learn how to make a terrarium, learn about venus fly traps, and rain forest animals! All activities are included in admission. For more information on location and hours, visit its website here.

A Rockin’ Radio Show
Love radio rock hits? Like a capella harmony? Then this is the event for you! The hits brought to you in a unique format, live on stage this Saturday, April 24th! The Dixie district chorus champions, present rock radio hits in 4 part harmony with a presentation that will remind you of the great days of radio. To top that off, the classic Bama Theatre is the backdrop for this one-time-only event. Get your tickets fast as seating is limited. You won’t want to miss this!

Piccolo Concert with Kim Scott
Here’s another live concert to get excited about! Amazing piccolo soloist Kim Scott will be attending her live concert this Sunday, April 25th, for a sure-to-be fantastic performance! She is so excited to have the chance to feel the energy of a crowd, and is hoping to see you at Government Plaza from 4 pm! Don’t forget this family-friendly event is also FREE to the public!

Foodie
 
[foo-dee] noun
 
A person who lives and breathes the art of eating food. “Phone eats first” most definitely applies here. 
It’s a big world out there, with big flavors and big portion sizes! We know that Tuscaloosa fully embodies all things fun and football so it should come as no surprise that the food scene here is highly appreciated and curated for everyone’s taste buds. There is no better way to embrace the Tuscaloosa food scene than listening to the advice of local fans/ foodies! After all, word of mouth is the best form of advertising, so here is what we have heard about the tastes of T-Town! 
 
Heat Pizza Bar
Anyone who says money can’t buy you happiness clearly has not spent enough money on pizza! Heat Pizza, located in Government Plaza, serves up artisan pizzas and salads from the freshest ingredients in the area. Not only are the pizzas perfect, but Heat also makes some mean cocktails as well. Let’s take a dive into one particular foodie favorite pizza- the Meat Lovers. Made with house red sauce, pepperoni, Italian sausage, bacon, ham, and fresh mozzarella, this pizza hits almost all of the points on the Food Pyramid. Thin crust, thick crust, or crispy, Heat isn’t picky! Foodie secret, they put the pepperoni under the cheese to ensure the pizza is fully baked and the cheese is melted for you to eat properly. Highly acclaimed and famed- just check the Yelp reviews- Heat Pizza is a foodie’s pizza paradise! 
 
Ingram Farms Crawfish
Our friends at Ingram Farms link with its Cajun connections every Spring to ship the best live crawfish, straight from the bayou, right here to Tuscaloosa. While you might be thinking, how much does a foodie love crawfish? The answer is a lot, especially if we have a southern foodie on our hands. A crawfish tastes like a mix between crab and lobster, but with an extra kick! Most orders come covered in garlic powder, paprika, and Old Bay (plus other spices) so be ready to defeat the heat! Tuscaloosa loves its crawfish so much that Ingram Farms hurries every year to keep its inventory stocked! A real foodie knows you get your order boiled and ready to eat for maximum enjoyment. Pro tip: Do NOT touch your eyes while or after eating crawfish and make sure to wash your hands thoroughly! Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
 
The Avenue Pub
You might be saying to yourself, “TTS, yall talk a lot about Avenue Pub, what’s the deal?” Avenue Pub is a foodie favorite here in Tuscaloosa and, as always, for some great reasons! Locals typically flock to Avenue Pub to get their burger and beer fix, but a true foodie knows there are big flavors beyond the burger. Foodie favorites include the Bacon Burger- no shock there- Thai Nachos, and its Fried Green Tomato BLT. The Thai Nachos are a twist on your normal version, with a spicy switch-up covered in peanut sauce and shredded chicken. Now if you’re from Alabama, you’re no stranger to fried green tomatoes and you’ve probably also seen the movie a handful of times. Avenue Pub’s Fried Green Tomato BLT comes prepared extra crispy in between all of the fixings and rye bread. With delicious food to treat everyone’s cravings and a fun atmosphere, it’s no wonder why foodies flock to Avenue Pub!
 
Waysider Restaurant
Every foodie must get started with the most important meal of the day- breakfast! The Waysider has been serving Tuscaloosa for 70 years and is the oldest continuously serving restaurant in West Alabama. The atmosphere of this little old red house will make you feel at home or even like you’re sitting at your grandma’s table as you wait for your hot stack of pancakes to be served. Foodie to foodie, let’s talk biscuits and gravy. The Waysider is known for its red-eye gravy- a true southern classic! The sweet and salty flavors pair perfectly with its buttery, flakey biscuits. While a keen foodie does love the eats, they also are looking for a great atmosphere! Here, guests feel at ease and taken care of. I mean, with 70 years in the business, The Waysider knows how to keep its audience happy!
 
We know there are so many foodie-approved hot spots here in Tuscaloosa, but we can’t write the novel for you! Go out and explore the tastes of Tuscaloosa on your own! Chat with us @visittuscaloosa on Instagram and Facebook to share your foodie stories!
Friends, food, drinks, and amazing weather! Spring has sprung and so brings the perfect picnic opportunities. Tuscaloosa is home to multiple fantastic, laid-back picnic spots and the same goes for your picnic catering needs! Whether you’re picking up some goodies for a relaxing afternoon on your back porch or finding a flat spot around town to lay out your favorite blanket, we have some great spots to check out for all of your picnic grab-and-go needs! 

 

Picnic Vibes Tuscaloosa
I bet you didn’t know you can book a professional luxury picnic planner here in Tuscaloosa! Picnic Vibes Tuscaloosa is your go-to for all of your pre-planned picnic needs. It’s as easy as choose your picnic vibe, choose your location, and show up! They have multiple packages for you to pick from that include everything from blankets, outdoor decor, place settings, food, and drinks. Wanting to spice up your afternoon? Picnic Vibes has an optional Bluetooth speaker and dessert options according to your package. This is a perfect option for a special afternoon get-together with your closest friends or for a birthday party! You can check out Picnic Vibe’s website here

 

Sage Juice Bar 
Sage Juice Bar is no stranger to fruits and veggies! Its juices and smoothies are made from 100% pressed fruits and vegetables to ensure maximum vitamins and minerals to keep your body strong and energized. You can indeed tell that juices are its specialty by the name, but Sage’s food items are just as prize-winning! Stop by during lunch to grab your goods for a nice picnic out in Tuscaloosa’s beautiful weather! There are many healthy options to choose from like a hearty wrap or a healthy grain bowl. The Riverwalk is not far from Sage’s downtown location, so you can head on over to enjoy the beautiful water and nature surrounding! Fun fact: Sage’s juice bottles and smoothie cups are 100% recyclable so not only are you enjoying a delicious drink, but you’re also one step closer to helping our environment!   

 

Cravings 
Maybe you’re going for a Happy Hour picnic vibe! Cravings is the perfect place to stop by before hitting your picnic destination. With over 150 craft beer labels and over 100 different brands of wine, Cravings will have something that will be sure to have you and your friends excited! Cravings is your one-stop-shop for deli and specialty grocery items. Breakfast is a meal enjoyed all hours of the day and thanks to Cravings, you can order New York imported bagels all day! There are also many sandwiches and salads available if breakfast for lunch/dinner is not your thing. We guarantee you won’t leave empty-handed. Fill your bag, build your own 6-pack, and head to your scenic spot to enjoy!

 

Reggae Flava 
Picnic’s don’t always have to be finger foods and sandwiches! Pick up your grab-and-go food from Reggae Flava for an extra kick to spice up your picnic experience! Reggae Flavas serves up gourmet Caribbean cuisine here in T-Town. There are plenty of options seafood and vegetarian options to pick from as well as multiple chicken wing options to ensure that there is something for everyone! Reggae Flavas is an immigrant-owned business here in town that serves up big flavors that has a winning track record amongst this community. Check out its downtown location to grab your picnic cuisine and soak up the electric atmosphere before heading to your relaxing spot! 

 

Check out these spots for your picnic day out!

While Easter might look and feel slightly different this year, you can still celebrate in a big way! Nothing says an Easter Sunday with your families like beautiful spring weather, classic Easter traditions, and great food. Whether you were thinking about cooking at home or hitting the town, we have some great locations to keep in mind for this Sunday and many Sundays to come. Bring a full heart and an empty stomach!

 

Legends Bistro 

Located on the historic University of Alabama campus, Legends Bistro provides a pristine setting for your Easter Sunday brunch! This year’s meal will be hosted Sunday, April 4th from 11 pm to 2 pm. A little sneak peek of the delicious menu includes a carving station featuring ham, rosemary lamb, and bronzed salmon. Side dishes range from au gratin potatoes, green bean almondine, homemade squash casserole, and more! Don’t worry if you’re looking to stay on the greener side of things, Legends Bistro has an assortment of different salad options. To make this deal even sweeter, adults can eat for $23.95 per person, and children under the age of 10 will be $14.95 per person. Don’t hesitate to make your reservation today- Call 205-343-1125 to claim your family’s spot now!  

 

Side by Side 

Side by Side offers a contemporary take on classic southern comfort food, and that goes the same for this Easter’s menu. This Easter Sunday, Side by Side is offering a unique brunch menu to get you in the spring of things! Featuring items such as delectable french toast, chicken and waffles, smoked salmon, and biscuits and gravy, you simply can’t go wrong with this scene! Doors are open from 10 am to 3 pm for Side by Side’s brunch menu but don’t worry if you can’t make it- Side by Side is offering an Easter special for dinner as well! Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 205-561-5500 or clicking here to visit their online reservation portal.  

 

Brick and Spoon

Nothing screams comfort food like Brick and Spoon! Similar to our friends at Side by Side, Brick and Spoon showcase its tasty flair on southern, cajun cuisines that never disappoints. From Build Your Own Bloody Mary’s to Bayou Benedict, you and your family will be able to find comfort in this menu for sure! Grab your seat this Easter Sunday from 7 am to 2 pm to enjoy this amazing brunch experience!  

 

Avenue Pub

A long-time fan favorite in Tuscaloosa is Avenue Pub. Its brunch menu has claimed the hearts of many over the years and the same can be predicted for this year’s Easter brunch with your family! Its menu boasts several kinds of delicious hand-held options as well as your favorite breakfast items. Did we also forget to mention Avenue Pub has a menu of brunch cocktails? You definitely want to keep this place in mind when preparing for this Easter Sunday! Brunch is served from 11 am to 3 pm.

  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!

Growing up, we all ordered chicken fingers off the kid’s menu- this is probably where our adult obsession with the meal still resides. Fear not, there’s nothing to be ashamed of! Fried chicken fingers are more than a childhood staple, they are a pick-me-up food, a “remind me of home” food, and of course a good option for some after drinks food with your buddies! Have you ever wondered about which chicken fingers in Tuscaloosa hold the ultra-exclusive title of being the best? Well look no further my friends, we have three options here that will make you wonder: Which is worth it?

 

Guthrie’s – $5.76

Alabama loves Guthrie’s. Like, I mean LOVES Guthrie’s to an unhealthy obsession. Fast-food chicken fingers can be iffy, but Guthrie’s does it right every single time and for only around $5. The golden fried chicken fingers are incredibly tender and have the perfect amount of fried crispiness on the outside. Plus, they have their “secret sauce” which sounds mysterious as always but is sheer perfection. It is not too sweet or too salty and tastes like a mixture of mayo, ketchup, and garlic- which initially doesn’t sound prize-winning, but obviously, they are doing something right if people rant and rave about it! Being around for over 50 years has gained Guthrie’s a notable presence in the whole state of Alabama. Pro tip: The workers in the back make sure you are getting the fried tenders straight out of the fryer, so be extremely careful before biting into one of these, or else you might accidentally hurt yourself. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

 

Hoos Q – $7

Yes, Hoos Q is known for its barbeque but they also have some seriously delicious chicken fingers! The Chicken Finger Plate is served with five hand-breaded tenders and served with their version of a “special sauce”. With 5 large chicken tenders, you will probably have enough to take home! The breaded tenders are juicy and perfectly cooked with a soft, easily tearable inside. Not too greasy, not too dry and the sauce is the perfect additive. This option is slightly more than Guthries, but you do get five big and flakey tenders. Any place with a “special sauce” seems to be a breadwinner so it’s no question why Hoos Q is a contender!

 

Southern Ale House – $8

Weighing in only slightly more than the other two is Southern Ale House’s chicken tenders. Of course, we are keeping up the theme with hand-breaded yumminess in our blog but there is a twist on these. Southern Ale House buttermilk brines their tenders before frying to add that extra punch of tenderness to the average chicken tender. Can you guess what else these are served with? If you thought of a special sauce, you’re a winner! The “Slap ‘Yo Mamma” sauce is a light tangy take on the average condiment choices. These tenders are perfectly fried, but definitely not dry. If you’re looking for a good crunch to chicken ratio, Southern Ale House might be in your cards!

 

Quite honestly, we all love chicken and would probably eat chicken fingers on Thanksgiving if it were socially acceptable! All of these restaurants are well known for their takes on classic chicken tenders. Guthrie’s is a long-time classic in the state of Alabama and has a history of serving up good meals and deals. Hoos Q shows us that it’s not all about barbeque and that they can serve up a mean chicken tender basket. Southern Ale House serves up a marinated, crunchy chicken tender that seems to be a fan favorite as well. We know there cannot simply be one “best” of anything in this town, but we are thankful to have so many options within our community!

 

Agree with any of our three? Let us know! Have a rebuttal? Share with us your top chicken tender spot in Tuscaloosa!

Worth It: Tuscaloosa Edition

 

Have you ever heard the saying “we go together like burgers and fries”? The two are a match made in heaven, but a dilemma remains; which burger is the absolute best in town? Welcome to a new little segment we like to call “Worth It: Tuscaloosa Edition”! Today, we will be diving into different price points and qualities of local hamburgers to determine the best bang for your buck. Life is too short to eat a salad, treat yourself to an incredible burger!

 

Hooligans Burger – $5.23

 

First up to bat is a cult favorite from the renowned Hooligans. This classic hamburger comes dressed with all of the necessary basics- mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, and pickle all perfectly placed inside a sesame seed bun. Weighing in at only a whopping $5.23, this is a great deal for a pretty dang good mouthwatering burger. I can’t forget to mention that the $5.23 includes a drink AND fries! If you’re looking for an unbelievable price and an iconic flavor, Hooligans is right up your alley. You can never go wrong with a juicy, classic burger!

 

Local Roots Burger – $9

 

Next up, we have the Local Roots Burger from a hidden gem in town, Local Roots. You might have seen the food truck driving around Tuscaloosa, but a brick-and-mortar restaurant has also opened on McFarland! Local Roots means business when it comes to their southern-inspired creations and their burger is no exception. For $9 you can enjoy a tender ground brisket and chuck burger dressed in cheese, bacon jam, pickles, lettuce, and “special sauce”. Fear not, the special sauce will never disappoint.  The brioche bun on this burger brilliantly enhances the flavor of that special sauce. For a full-flavored burger that won’t break the bank, Local Roots is a hot contender!

 

Avenue Pub Burger – $14

 

Avenue Pub has made quite the impression on the locals here, thanks to its Bacon Burger. Let’s be real, if you add bacon to just about anything, it’s bound to be a crowd-pleaser! For $14 you get a hand-pattied fresh ground beef topped with provolone, mayo, and bacon and a choice of greens, onion, and pickles on the side. Now, this burger can get pretty large and you will need both hands on deck for this one! Avenue Pub’s burger is a juicy, flavor-packed take on the traditional hamburger that puts both Mcdonalds and Burger King to shame. One bite of this bad boy and you’ll understand the hype!

 

All of these hamburgers earn strong remarks in the flavor, value, and satisfaction categories. Let’s review, shall we? Local Roots serves up a super-flavorful take on the hamburger with its deliciously unique sauce. Hooligans is a local staple with their bacon cheeseburgers as the claim to fame. Avenue Pub is the master of the perfect meat to toppings ratio. Now we want to hear from your point of view. What is your favorite burger in Tuscaloosa? Share with us your favorite hamburger hideaways here in Tuscaloosa! And remember, the only bad burger is the one you didn’t eat!

The best time of year is steadily approaching and it seems that the gift list is growing longer by the second. That’s where we come in to save the day. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing some stellar local shops that will make this year’s Christmas shopping a breeze. Not only will this guide save you loads of time, but it’s also a way to show your love and support for the many phenomenal local businesses in Tuscaloosa! Want your favorite shop featured? Send us a direct message and let us know!

For your Brewery Buds…

There is always one kind of gift that gets put to good use with just about every recipient: alcohol. Whether you’re searching for your favorite IPA or a unique kind of wine, we have what you’re looking for in Tuscaloosa! Loosa is a spectacular local bar that offers 63-Taps that you can drink on-premise, or fill up in a growler and take home. They always keep 30 of the freshest draft beers from Alabama breweries plus rare beers from all over on tap. If alcohol isn’t the direction you were thinking, check out their T-shirts, hats, and glassware! Whether you’re a local or a first-time visitor a souvenir is always a great little reminder of your experience here in T-Town. 

For the Evermoving Explorers…

Although the temperatures are getting lower and lower, it is still important to stay active outside whether it is to exercise or for other sporting purposes! Staying outside and distanced is a safe and healthy way to enjoy activities with friends and family, so for all those outdoorsy companions, check out Woods and Water or Wagner’s. Woods and Water is a store that fills every outdoorsy person’s fantasies, whether for hunting, fishing, or other assorted outdoor activities! A local shoe store, Wagner’s, has another seasonal gift guide for everyone to put a holiday spring in their loved ones’ step this season! Browse through the wide selection of shoes and active outerwear divided into for him, for her, for girls, or for boys sections. 

For your Foodie Friends…

Wheww… Where do we even start? To gift a delightful dining experience and incredible Italian cuisine check out the local favorite Depalmas! If a brunch date is more your style, gift your friend with mimosas and a view at River, or with a Southern-styled breakfast at The Waysider. For that unpredictable foodie friend, a Cravings gift card can go a long way. The city’s one-stop-shop for specialty candy, craft beer, wine, dessert, and so much more is located downtown for your convenience.

For the Auspicious Artists…

Bring the artistic wonder of Kentuck Arts Center to family and friends with the power of the Kentuck Festival of the Arts 2020 Virtual Marketplace. This virtual dream come true is available now until December 31st to safely celebrate local artists. With a wide variety of pieces and creations, the Virtual Marketplace is a fabulous way to browse and discover new tastes and trends within the art community all from the safety of your home. Not only is this a safe way to shop, but it also an incredible way to support local artists from around Tuscaloosa and all of West Alabama.

All Fired Up Ceramic Studio offers gift cards for visitors to purchase for their friends and family this upcoming holiday season or year-round for other celebrations! Gifts can come in the shape of gift cards for use at the All Fired Up studio or even take-home kits to move the ceramic fun to enjoy in the safety of your own home! All Fired Up is a delightful spot where you, along with friends or family, can stop by to create and paint your very own pottery creations together. This activity is a relaxing way to both blow off steam and express creativity through shape, color, and design! Visit All Fired Up’s website to learn more about the store and their different gift offerings.

For the Reserved Relaxers…

In the chaos that has been 2020, many people are looking for ways to healthily unwind and enjoy time to themselves or just time in peace and quiet. Tuscaloosa is home to several spots where you can find the gift of “solace” to give to one of your closest companions. Ernest and Hadley offers gift cards, branded gifts, and even store memberships as part of their gift gallery and is sure to provide a thoughtful and easy gift to give a book lover or someone looking to read more heading into the new year. Monarch Espresso Bar is another way to give the gift of peace and quiet by offering gift cards to give to friends and family this holiday season.

Arts and Entertainment

Thursday Concerts on the Rooftop is featuring One Horrible Family this week! Originally a larger band formed two years ago, this group preferred a more intimate trio. All music students at the University of Alabama (one a former student), the group is capable of really any genre but performs mostly R&B, 80s music, and jazz. With most of their experience being in larger bars in Tuscaloosa, they are excited to relax at the Lookout for a night of rhythm and soul. The fun starts at 6 pm, and you do not want to miss this! 

 

Jump into the holiday spirit with the arts at the exclusive Christmas Open House at Kentuck’s Gallery Shop! Enjoy 10% OFF IN-STORE AND ONLINE! Join the holiday fun at Kentuck’s Christmas Kickoff Open House from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday, November 7, and from 12 to 4 pm on Sunday, November 8. Support local artists this holiday season and find unique gifts for all of your loved ones! Use code CHRISTMASOPEN2020 for 10% off our online shop!

 

Fun for the Youngsters

On Friday Para will be hosting Kids Night Out at 5:30 pm at the McDonald Hughes Community Center! The Kids Night Out event will keep the kiddos busy for 3 hours of educational and recreational fun! Pizza, juice, and dessert will be available for all participants to enjoy throughout the event. There will be swimming so make sure to pack swimwear, dry clothes, and a towel. Life jackets will be provided when needed. Registration for this fall fling is available here.

 

The Children’s Hands-On Museum of Tuscaloosa is hosting Sweater Weather on Saturday from 9:30 am- 4 pm. CHOM is a beloved local gem where children explore, create, and discover every time they visit. When they say “hands-on” they really mean it! Learning through play is what our exhibits are all about. This special seasonal extravaganza will include autumn weather science, leaf color experiments, and fantastic fall wreaths! All of these engaging activities are included in admission.

 

Uniquely Local

At 7 am this Saturday the farmers market will be open and ready to safely serve you! Handmade treasures galore awaits at the Rivermarket until 12 pm. From scented bath bombs to handmade woodwork you are bound to find something that piques your interest at the farmers market. Face coverings are required for all who wish to go inside and shop and social distancing will be in effect. 

 

Also available on Saturday is an Intro to Vinyasa Workshop at the Yoga Bliss Studio. Vinyasa is a form of active yoga that involves different postures in consecutive succession to offer a more balanced bodily effect. Yoga is an activity that is diverse in its styles and Vinyasa yoga is considered to be one of the most dynamic styles you can enjoy! Yoga Bliss is located on Queen City Avenue and hosts several classes a week, including many similar introduction classes for all yoga beginners! For more information about the Vinyasa Workshop, visit the Yoga Bliss Facebook event page.

 

The House Plant Collective bus will be making a special appearance at Druid City Brewing on Sunday from 2- 5 pm. At House Plant Collective the mission is to create Birmingham’s first mobile plant store while providing the community education needed for the plants to thrive. Shop plants, grab a beer, and enjoy your serene Sunday supporting local!

 

Written By:

Will Baggett & Jamie Hoven

Fall has arrived, and with it came that familiar crisp autumn air, which means the outdoors are calling our names! See for yourself  Tuscaloosa’s breathtaking back yard…and it doesn’t stop there, either. This city’s stunning landscape paired with phenomenal local businesses elevates an already beautiful destination into a MUST-DO Road Trip. Whether you are looking to wind down with an outdoor picnic, take an adventure hiking through the fall foliage, or shop like there’s no tomorrow, let these 10 reasons why Tuscaloosa should be your next weekend getaway guide your planning process. After all, you don’t want the legendary Tuscaloosa Experience to pass you by!

1.jDowntown Tuscaloosa:

A recent addition to the city’s outstanding coffee shop scene is about to open and we couldn’t be more excited! Just Love Coffee prioritizes that sense of community as a business. The laid-back & relaxed atmosphere that makes Just Love Coffee Cafe so special was created to be different than the stuffy reputation of most specialty coffee shops. Downtown Tuscaloosa is a prime place to shop until you drop. Whether you are looking for your next gameday attire at The Pants Store, or searching for an antique accessory at Twice as Nice, this area is ideal for shopping at a vast variety of places that are all conveniently located!

2. Riverwalk

Offering a serene view of the Black Warrior River, the Riverwalk is also the place to hammock, picnic, or relax! There are numerous picnic tables, benches, and gazebos to provide a comfortable environment, allowing you to get the most out of your experience with the great outdoors of T-Town. Let your mind take a rest from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If you are looking to work up a sweat and take advantage of the cooler temperatures, there is also a running path along the Riverwalk to enjoy in the morning or throughout the day. In addition to these activities, the Riverwalk is located close to a number of restaurants to enjoy either at the start or at the end of a delightful Autumn day, like Market House Boutique, Another Broken Egg, and River. Be sure to carry a mask with you for safety if you intend to visit any of the restaurants or businesses on the Riverwalk!

3. Lake Harris

Lake Harris is one of the many nearby lakes that offers an incredible setting for a number of different outdoor activities. There are plenty of picnic areas and a beach, where one might spread out a blanket to enjoy their lunch or simply take in the scene. In addition to these spots, there are a number of trees gathered close by the bank, perfect for setting up a cozy hammock! For those who are looking to stay active, there is a 1.76-mile hike around the lake through the trees. As the weather cools down, this area will become a peaceful gathering place for all who wish to experience some of Tuscaloosa’s many hidden gems.

4. Farmer’s Market

The Tuscaloosa Farmers Market is a spectacular shopping spot where you can find anything from a hand-cut Maple & Walnut Cutting Board to a hand-poured Yellowhammer candle scented Alabama Shores, all within walking distance. Each Saturday from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. local vendors of all specialties gather at the Tuscaloosa River Market to show off their wares to the community. If you plan on discovering the market’s incredible vendors this Saturday, wear a mask and be prepared to follow all social distancing guidelines!

5. Children’s Hands-on Museum

CHOM is a wonderful place in town where children explore, create, and discover something new every time they visit.  When we say “hands-on” we really mean it!  Learning through play is what CHOM’S exhibits are all about, where kids are encouraged to touch, feel, and play in fantastic exhibits.  Three floors of fun await with 24 exhibits, offering newborns and 13 year-olds alike an opportunity to completely immerse yourself in fun learning processes.

6. Kentuck Art Center

This local favorite offers a unique view into the minds of the endlessly talented local artists all around Tuscaloosa. From handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry to kitchen pitchers, this gold mine is ideal for a one-stop-shop for all of your holiday gifts. The Kentuck Gallery Shop offers an incredible shopping experience unlike any other online and/or in-person! Also, the 49th Kentuck Festival of the Arts is open NOW until December 31, 2020. With over 180 artist shops specializing in categories like clay, glass, jewelry, mixed media, sculpture, and wood you are bound to find the perfect Christmas present for everyone on your list!

7. Bower’s Park

Bower’s Park is a nearby public park that offers quite a few activity opportunities, like a disc golf course or several fields for rent. Not much different from regular golf, disc golf is an active way to stay busy on a delightful weekend outside! Those looking to get into this sport need to be sure and purchase discs ahead of time, however. As far as a field for rent, Bower’s Park has a number of different fields, baseball/softball or multipurpose, that can be rented out for a small gathering of friends to safely play a pickup game of baseball, softball, and more! Before visiting Bower’s Park, be sure to bring along a mask in case of other visitors.

8. Civil Rights Trail

As temperatures slowly start to drop, it is prime time to spend the day walking around outside and exploring new places. Among the many adventures that await you in town is the Civil Rights Trail, where anyone has the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of history and learn about how the Civil Rights Movement shaped the City of Tuscaloosa. Located primarily in Downtown Tuscaloosa, this trail is perfect for staying active and demonstrates a profound learning opportunity for those who are not aware of the history of Tuscaloosa. Thanks to its proximity to Downtown Tuscaloosa, the Civil Rights Trail is also a good opportunity to discover local dining options, such as Reggae Flava and Brummi’s Yummies. For more T-Town treasures along the trail check out the official guide here.

9. Government Plaza

If you are looking for a versatile area that offers wide-open spaces to safely enjoy this city, then the Government Plaza is the spot for you. Located in the heart of downtown, this 5-acre park makes social distancing a breeze. Soak in all of the cozy fall vibes while diving into a good book from Ernest and Hadley, grubbing on delicious Heat pizza, sipping on some Monarch coffee, or maybe even unwinding with your favorite yoga flow. After months on end of being trapped inside now is the time to relax and appreciate nature in all its wonder. If you want your furry friend to tag along, the sidewalks surrounding the park makes for the perfect path for walking with your furry friend.

10. Lake Tuscaloosa

This local hangout has everything you need for an unforgettable lake day with friends and family. Lake Tuscaloosa has earned its reputation as the perfect fishing spot with bass, sunfish, crappie, and more. If fishing isn’t for you, stand on the shore, hike the lake’s cliffs, or simply take in the captivating views! Only a short drive from the city, this lake makes pairing a morning out in nature and Rama Jama’s iconic Southern breakfast unbelievably easy as well. You are bound to have a blast at this local treasure, especially in this beautiful fall weather.

 

When you’re ready to plan your next road trip to T-Town check out all of the exceptional hotels this city has to offer!

 

Written by: Jamie Hoven