If you’re traveling to Tuscaloosa for the Alabama / Auburn football game on Saturday, November 26, check out the details in the images below for Alabama Gameday info. For more information, you may also visit uagameday.com.

We hope that you enjoy your stay in Tuscaloosa and encourage you to come back and visit us again!

The ultimate gameday experience in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, home to The University of Alabama and the Crimson Tide, offers one of the most electric atmospheres that college football has to offer. Sometimes called “The City of Champions,” Tuscaloosa is a vibrant community filled with local restaurants to satisfy every palate, a walkable downtown complete with live music, outdoor spaces to explore, and a destination that’s easily accessible – no matter what direction you’re coming from.

For a true taste of the game day experience, kick off the weekend with a trip to the Bryant Museum, where you’ll find exhibits, artifacts, and memorabilia that traces the long history of The University of Alabama football. Once you’re done taking in the knowledge of Alabama Football’s legendary past, it’s time to enjoy the beautiful campus. From the museum, walk over to the Quad for what will become a tailgating experience you won’t soon forget. Hundreds of tents are filled with friends and family as they join in fellowship, indulge in great food and drinks, and cheer on other football teams across the nation as they await Alabama’s kickoff.

Bryant Museum

Another stop you won’t want to miss is the Walk of Champions and the Coaches Walk, located at the north end of Bryant Denny Stadium. The Walk of Champions includes granite tablets commemorating the school’s title seasons. But what makes it so special on game days takes place two hours and 15 minutes prior to kickoff. The Alabama team buses drop the players and coaches off at the walkway where thousands of fans greet them with smiles and roaring cheers to watch some of college football’s most elite walk to the locker room.

After cheering on the Tide, it’s time to experience the energetic nightlife in T-Town. While there are many options to select from, be sure to check out options located along The Strip, Downtown, or in Temerson Square, as well as a variety of other locations throughout the city. Many restaurants and bars feature live music, especially throughout game day weekends.

Downtown Tuscaloosa

Whether you arrived to town early or have time before returning home, consider exploring the Tuscaloosa Civil Rights Trail. This self-guided, 18-stop trail includes many stories to help you understand Tuscaloosa’s place in civil rights history, but most importantly, highlights the history of how Tuscaloosa’s color barrier was broken by the courageous efforts of many black and a few white foot soldiers.

When planning your trip, search visittuscaloosa.com for all things Tuscaloosa. We welcome you with open arms and know you’ll make legendary memories to last a lifetime while here. Roll Tide!

A Game Day Must: Don’t miss out on a Denny Dog (aka Stadium Dog). Quite possibly the next best thing outside of the game itself and sold in Bryant Denny!

Photo Credit: Alabama Athletics

The crisp autumn air has arrived and the pumpkins have started to proudly show up on Tuscaloosa’s front porches. Which means that we have good news for those of you looking for things to do in Tuscaloosa in October!  

While we may only be a few days into the new month, the festivities of Fall and Halloween are certainly upon us!  Tuscaloosa and West Alabama boast many events this time of the year that are fantastic for both residents and visitors.  Whether you tack on an extra day or two while visiting for an Alabama football game, or simply want to jump in the car for a quick weekend trip, we hope you’ll support some of these local events when visiting Tuscaloosa.

As always, if the Visit Tuscaloosa team can assist you as you plan an upcoming trip to our community, please feel free to call us at 205-391-9200 or request a visitor guide by submitting this form.

OCTOBER 2022

Tuscaloosa Barnyard Pumpkin Patch
Friday: 1 – 6 pm  |  Sat & Sun: 10 am – 6 pm
Admission: $12 per person
11453 Turner Bridge Road, Tuscaloosa, AL 35406

The Tuscaloosa Barnyard Pumpkin Patch is something that locals look forward to each year!  Admission to the pumpkin patch offers access to many fun activities such as feeding animals, playgrounds, a corncrib, hay play, wagon ride, the Charlotte’s web and much more!  Pumpkins are $7 per pumpkin, no matter the size.  Kiddos want to ride a horse or pony, or drive a tractor?  Those options exist too!

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8TH:

Ghost Hunt at Tuscaloosa’s Historic Drish House
7:00 – 11:00 pm
Admission: $50

Just in time for the Halloween Season! This is an Exclusive Paranormal Investigation that Psychic Lesley Ann Hyde and the professional Paranormal Investigation Team, Psychics and TV Personalities The Southern Ghost Girls Have Investigated The Historic Drish House in Tuscaloosa, Al. You will get to Investigate with them for this amazing event. You will get to use Real Paranormal Investigation Equipment just like you see on tv.  This is an interactive paranormal investigation and Everyone is Invited to join in the ghost hunt to see what paranormal evidence is discovered. Join the Southern Ghost Girls Team and you will have a hauntingly amazing experience.  Click here to purchase a ticket.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16TH:

T-Town Witches Ride
3:00 pm registration, 5:00 pm ride begins
Registration: $25

Benefiting the Arc of Tuscaloosa, this annual bike ride is a whimsical Halloween tradition with participants dressing up as witches and “flying” through the streets of Downtown Tuscaloosa.  This two-mile bike ride offers great fun for those over the age of 18.  Have children?  Bring them for the fun in the kids play area as the adults enjoy the witches ride. New for 2022, the event will also offer a one-mile walk.  Prizes will be awarded for the Best Dressed Witch, Best Broomcycle, and the Best Group Theme!  Participation is $25 per person.  Purchase a ticket by clicking here.

OCTOBER 24 – 28:

Haunting at the Museum (Gorgas House Museum)
9:00 am – 12:00 pm  |  1:00 – 4:30 pm
810 Capstone Drive, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487

Hosted at The Gorgas House Museum, located on campus, this year’s event will run from October 24-28 and will provide FREE haunted tours sharing the spooky stories associated with this home, which is one of the oldest structures on The University of Alabama campus.  Former UA President and Confederate General Josiah Gorgas passed away in this home… but his spirit is apparently alive and well.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25TH:

Tech or Treat
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Tuscaloosa Gateway Innovation and Discovery Center | 2614 University Blvd. East Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Do you have a little princess, superhero, goblin or ghoul who loves science and technology? Gather up your trick-or-treat enthusiasts and join the City of Tuscaloosa for Tech or Treat at the Gateway on Tuesday, October 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. Similar to “trunk-or-treat,” at the City’s Tech or Treat, families go from table to table collecting candy. At each table, children are introduced to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) opportunities by interacting with City departments and community organizations. Tech or Treat is free and open to all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27TH:

Northport Police Department Fall Festival
5:00 – 8:00 pm
Kentuck Park | 3401 5th Street, Northport, AL 35476

Put on your best costume and join us for Northport Police Department’s Fall Festival October 27th from 5:00pm – 8:00pm at Kentuck Park. We’ll have trick-or-treating, bounce houses, a hay ride, a costume contest, food trucks, and a whole lot of fun!

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28TH:

Haunting at the Museum (Alabama Museum of Natural History)
4:30 – 7:00 pm
Alabama Museum of Natural History | Smith Hall on Campus

The Alabama Museum of Natural History visitors are encouraged to attend this fun after-hours event to celebrate Halloween with spooky children’s stories, crafts, mad scientist experiences, and much more! Free and fun for all to attend.

Tuscaloosa Public Library Boook-tacular
6:00 – 8:00 pm
1801 Jack Warner Parkway, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

All ghouls and ghosties are invited to a Boooook-tacular evening at the Main Branch of the Tuscaloosa Public Library.  They will have food and activities for the entire family to enjoy, including face painting, balloon animals, games, a petting zoo provided by Tuscaloosa Barnyard, and summer reading favorite, Roger Day! They will also be joined by frightfully fantastic community organizations and local food trucks with wicked good refreshments.  Don’t miss this ghoulish celebration at the most booo-tiful library of the river!

Harvest Jam in Midtown Village
5:30 – 8:30 pm
Midtown Village
Beer Tasting Ticket: $5

Come JAM with Midtown Village!  Harvest Jam will be held on Friday, October 28th from 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM on the green! 

This free fall event is for music fans, farmers market shoppers, craft beer lovers, and families!  Enjoy a craft beer tasting presented by Adam’s Beverages, live music, pop-up vendors, and activities! Donations from the craft beer tasting will benefit Child Abuse Prevention Services in Tuscaloosa, AL.  Grab your beer sample, and then select the perfect pumpkin at our Pumpkin Patch benefiting Child Abuse Prevention Services!

Click here to purchase a BEER TASTING ticket for $5.

Freaky Friday 8k Run
8:00 – 11:00 pm
101 Bridge Avenue, Northport, AL 35476
Registration: $30

The 13th annual Freaky Friday 8K Run takes place on a scenic yet scary course during the darkness on the Friday before Halloween, “Freaky Friday”. There will be a post-race awards ceremony complete with food and drinks at Dreamland Barbecue along with a costume contest prior to the start of the run.  Local radio stations and craft beer will also be on hand for registered runners.  Click here to register!

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29TH:

Boo! In the Park & Touch-a-Truck
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Sokol Park | 5901 Watermelon Rd. Northport, AL 35473

Tuscaloosa County Parks and Recreation Authority is hosting two free events: Boo! in the Park and Touch-a-Truck on Saturday, October 29 at Sokol Park from 9:00 a.m. – noon. The Touch-a-Truck event will include sensory friendly “quiet time” (no sirens, etc.) from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. followed by the exploration of all types of vehicles from 10:00 a.m. – noon. Vehicles will include heavy equipment/machinery, tractors, fire trucks, cars, and trucks. The annual Boo! in the Park will be held concurrently and consist of carnival-like games, candy, and more. The Tuscaloosa Police Department plans to join with their helicopter and a K-9, as well as the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter and the Tuscaloosa Public Library.

Halloween at the Transportation Museum
1:00 – 4:00 pm
1901 Jack Warner Parkway NE, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Visitors are encouraged to come to the Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum in their costumes on Saturday. October 29 from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm and see the costumes from the year 1905 on display in the new Threaded Through History exhibit!  The Museum will be decorated with fun Halloween outdoor inflatables and fall cut-outs.  There will be holiday music, candy, and light refreshments.

15th Annual Rocky Horror Picture Show
8:00 – 11:00 pm | Ticket Price: $20 – $27
Bama Theatre | 600 Greensboro Ave. Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Pink Box Burlesque is back at the Historic Bama Theatre on Saturday, October 29th for their 15th Annual Rocky Horror Picture Show! It’s an artistic composition with a humorous and provocative stage show that you just simply don’t want to miss.  Doors open at 7pm. Costume Contest (with cash prizes) at 8pm. Show starts at 8:30 pm.  Click here to purchase tickets today.

Editor’s Note: Russell Jones of Coker, Alabama, is a USCG Certified Guide on the Black Warrior River in Tuscaloosa County, as part of the Alabama Guide Service. Tailrace fishing below Bankhead and Holt dams can be outstanding during certain times of the year because you can catch a wide variety of fish at night, as well as during the day. The success of tailrace fishing is dependent on how much current is being generated by the hydroelectric plants, the spillways and/or both. The amount of current and the color of the water in the tailraces will dictate how you should fish, and what lures you should use. You can contact Russell Jones at 205-454-7313; www.alabamaguideservices.com; and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AlabamaGuideService/.

During the summer months, some of the best tailrace fishing will be at night on the Black Warrior River. Fish often hold in the underwater structure in the tailraces, especially bass. Due to this, one of my favorite lures is a Bandit 200 crankbait that I’ll paint solid-black. I’ll reel it very slowly, try to get it down to the bottom and bounce it off the rocks because that time is usually when the bass will attack. The Bandit 200 is a small-profile bait, but it can really be effective at the dams at night, when the current’s not running. I’ll also use the Valiant jig – in brown or watermelon colors – and the shakyhead rig at night around the rock piles that I find with my depth finder.

I must admit that my favorite tailrace to fish is the one at the bottom of Bankhead Dam – also known as Lock 17 – at the head of Holt Lake. However, there are numbers of rock piles in this tailrace that will eat-up the lower unit of your motor. So, never run very fast when you start getting close to the dam. Normally, when I’m fishing the tailrace, I have my big motor kicked-up, so that if my boat hits a rock pile, it will ride over it. I’m also being very cautious with my trolling motor when I’m moving around in this tailrace, to keep from damaging my propeller or the shaft of my motor. I keep my depth finder on to continuously look for different rock piles and bottom structure that I may not have seen before.

If you’re fishing a tailrace at night, LiveScope sonar can be very effective at showing you the rock piles that you may run into in front of the boat or that are present in the slack water in the daytime. However, when the current’s running, and the water’s very turbulent, your LiveScope won’t be nearly as effective as in the slack water or when night fishing with no current. If you’re in the tailrace in the daytime and there’s hardly any current at all but plenty of slack water, a LiveScope can help you locate those underwater rock piles that the bass hold in and behind when the current’s running and mark them as waypoints so you can fish them in the daytime when the current’s running.

Fishing Black Warrior River Tailraces in Tuscaloosa County when the Spillways are Running

Editor’s Note: Russell Jones of Coker, Alabama, is a USCG Certified Guide on the Black Warrior River in Tuscaloosa County, as part of the Alabama Guide Service. Tailrace fishing below Bankhead and Holt dams can be outstanding during certain times of the year because you can catch a wide variety of fish at night, as well as during the day. The success of tailrace fishing is dependent on how much current is being generated by the hydroelectric plants, the spillways and/or both. The amount of current and the color of the water in the tailraces will dictate how you should fish, and what lures you should use. You can contact Russell Jones at 205-454-7313; www.alabamaguideservices.com; and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AlabamaGuideService/.

When the Warrior River starts to flood upstream of Bankhead Dam, often the spillways will be opened to allow some of that excess water to move downstream. Depending on how many of the spillways are open, this time can be dangerous to fish in the tailrace. However, if you can see slack water and stay there, you’ll catch a good number of fish.

Usually when the spillways are open, the water will be muddy. So, I’ll fish with bright-colored lures. I’ll be using a Rat-L-Trap, a spinner bait, brown – or green-colored Valiant jigs and an Alabama Rig with big white swimbaits on it. Then, I’ll try to cast it out and get it in the current. We’ll still be looking for the same type of fish that hold in the tailrace – spotted and largemouth bass, saltwater striped bass, hybrid striped bass, catfish, white bass, drum, skipjack (hickory shad) and any other fish that have come upriver to feed on the abundance of shad holding and feeding in that swift water.

Another tactic that I may use when there’s a lot of current coming from the spillways and/or the hydroelectric plant is I’ll cast topwater lures in the slack water just off the current. I’ll be using a walking bait like the Zara Spook, a popping bait and a buzzbait. Many times, some of the better-sized fish may be holding on that current seam between the slack water and the current from the dam. When those fish see activity on the surface, they’ll often attack.

Editor’s Note: Russell Jones of Coker, Alabama, is a USCG Certified Guide on the Black Warrior River in Tuscaloosa County, as part of the Alabama Guide Service. Tailrace fishing below Bankhead and Holt dams can be outstanding during certain times of the year because you can catch a wide variety of fish at night, as well as during the day. The success of tailrace fishing is dependent on how-much current is being generated by the hydroelectric plants, the spillways and/or both. The amount of current and the color of the water in the tailraces will dictate how you should fish, and what lures you should use. You can contact Russell Jones at 205-454-7313; www.alabamaguideservices.com; and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AlabamaGuideService/.

I like a big spinner bait when I fish in the tailrace to see what’s biting, and where the fish are holding. The current will decide what size spinner bait I use – either a 3/4- or a 1/8-ounce spinner bait. When I’m fishing a spinner bait in the tailrace, I don’t use a trailer. Some days I may use a trailer hook, but more than likely, I won’t. I like either a solid-white or a shad-colored spinner bait – like gray and white with sparkles in it. If the water’s muddy, I prefer a chartreuse-colored spinner bait and skirt. The blades on my spinner baits will be silver, double willow-leaf blades – one large and one small. The willow leaf seems to get the spinner bait down faster than the Colorado blade on a spinner bait does. I also like a 7’3” rod and usually will fish the spinner baits on fluorocarbon line – generally 17-20 pound test.

Editor’s Note: Russell Jones of Coker, Alabama, is a USCG Certified Guide on the Black Warrior River in Tuscaloosa County, as part of the Alabama Guide Service. When fishing on the Black Warrior River, Tailrace fishing below Bankhead and Holt dams can be outstanding during certain times of the year because you can catch a wide variety of fish at night, as well as during the day. The success of tailrace fishing is dependent on how much current is being generated by the hydroelectric plants, the spillways and/or both. The amount of current and the color of the water in the tailraces will dictate how you should fish, and what lures you should use. You can contact Russell Jones at 205-454-7313; www.alabamaguideservices.com; and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AlabamaGuideService/.

The Alabama Rig holds five jig heads with a soft, plastic swimbait attached to each jig head. In Alabama, you can use all five jig heads on your Alabama Rig. However, in other states, you only may be able to use two or three jig heads. I’ll place 1/4-ounce shaky head jigs on each one of the five wires of the Alabama Rig. Some anglers prefer a lighter jig head, but I like the 1/4-ounce to get the rig down quicker to where I think the fish are holding, as well as keeping it off the bottom, by reeling fairly fast. I use either 3.5 NetBait Little Spanky swimbaits on the jig heads or True Bass Hollow Body swimbaits. The True Bass swimbaits are tougher than the Little Spanky ones and somewhat more expensive. When I’m fishing with the Little Spanky ones, I like the bright, pearl-colored bodies. When the river’s water is clear, I like the True Bass colors that resemble a shad better than the Little Spanky ones.

I fish the Alabama Rig on a flipping stick big frog rod that’s either 7’6” or a 7’11” long. I use 50-pound-test braided line. Some people prefer to use a monofilament line, but I’m more comfortable using braided line, like Berkley’s Power Pro braid. The secret to catching fish on the Alabama Rig in the tailrace is to reel it fast enough to keep it from getting hung in the bottom, yet slowly enough to get it down close to the bottom. The first time I start throwing it, I may get hung-up a couple of times, but I usually can pop my line and get the rig off of whatever it’s hung. 

For instance, if I’m fishing a 20-foot bottom, I want the Alabama Rig to be between 15 – 20 feet deep, possibly 18 feet. If I’m fishing in 8-10 feet of water, I try to keep the Alabama Rig in 6-7 feet of water. The Alabama Rig also has blades on it that give the bait a lot of flash. Using this bait, I catch a wide variety of fish. I’ve caught 20-pound catfish, 15–20 pound stripers, hybrid striped bass – often two or three at a time – largemouth bass, spotted bass, drum and skipjacks (hickory shad). However, I’m really targeting spotted bass and have caught three spotted bass on one Alabama Rig before at the same time. The biggest was a 3-pounder, and the other two were 12-14 inches long. I’ve also caught two, 4-pound spotted bass on the same Alabama Rig at the same time.

Fish the Alabama Rig with Swimbaits in the Warrior River Tailraces with Russell Jones

With Outdoor Writer, John E. Phillips, and Jalen Conner

Editor’s Note: 27-year-old Jalen Conner is a native of Tuscaloosa and has been fishing Tuscaloosa County’s Holt Reservoir for eight years. A criminal justice student at Tuscaloosa’s Stillman College, Conner fishes two tournament trails – the S.A.B.A and the Jim Austin.

Jalen Conner and I went fishing upriver from Rock Quarry Boat Ramp (more info here) on Holt Reservoir in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, in early June. From 7:00 am to noon, we caught 10 bass and probably missed twice as many, with the biggest bass weighing about 4 pounds. While that bass was in the live well, it spit-out a crawfish it just recently had been eating. This clued Jalen into the fact that a soft-plastic Zoom Z-Craw was exactly the right bait for the bass we wanted to catch. 

“The crawfish color I fish, as well as what most anglers fish on Holt Reservoir, is the Alabama Craw,” Conner explains. “Its main body is orange, and its pincers are red. During the summer months, the Zoom Z-Craw in the Alabama Craw color is the exact color of the crawfish here at Holt at that time. The crawfish will be in the grass, so when the currents aren’t running, or the current’s light, the bass will move into the grass to feed on the crawfish. However, they’ll eat crawfish almost every day during the summer.” 

Another color of the Z-Craw that Conner fishes in the summertime is a watermelon red. He dyes the pincers with chartreuse dye. Conner fishes two types of the Zoom Z-Craw – the Junior and the larger Zoom Craw.

“I don’t tell the bass what size of crawfish they want to eat,” Conner explains. “I’ll flip both sizes and colors down the bank and in the grass. Whichever-size Craw gets the most bites is the one I’ll continue to fish. I think the bigger Z-Craw causes a reaction strike from the nearby bass, and that’s why it receives more bites than other baits do.”

Conner went on to explain: “When I’m fishing the Z-Craw, I’ll rig it Texas-style with a Gamakatsu 3/0 hook with a 3/8-ounce tungsten bullet weight in front of it. I then peg the weight to the eye of the hook. Although the Junior and the larger Z-Craws in the Alabama Craw and the watermelon red are my favorite colors, I’ll also fish a purple Craw that looks like a small bluegill. Bluegills and crawfish are what the bass are primarily feeding on in the grass and on the bank structure in the summer at Holt.” 

Jalen Conner fishes on the Black Warrior River
Jalen Conner catches a fish on the Black Warrior River in Tuscaloosa County

Tuscaloosa, AL – Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports (TTS) has partnered with the Bama-Q Grilling Series to host Grilling in T-Town on Saturday, July 9th at Druid City Social as an official Steak Cookoff Association (SCA) competition.  With the goal of creating more opportunities for family-friendly events that unite the community through food sport, TTS is working with local private chef and traveling food judge Alison Hudnall and experienced food sport promoters, Alabama Coasting and Bama-Q productions, to bring this SCA sanctioned event to Downtown Tuscaloosa.  

Admission is free to the public and guests will enjoy food trucks, a sampling tent, local vendors, cold drinks, live music, and a family-friendly atmosphere.

This SCA-sanctioned event and World Food Championship qualifier invites top-tier traveling competitors as a way to promote food sport tourism to the City of Tuscaloosa.  Local businesses, organizations, and amateur backyard cooks are invited and encouraged to register to compete as well. The top-performing locals will be recognized and eligible to win special prize packs. The competition will also feature a World Food Championships qualifying event with the best dessert taking home a golden ticket to the World Food Championships Finals in Dallas.

To ensure a level playing field, all steaks for the competition are provided by local sponsor Northriver Cattle Co. and are included in the competitor registration fee. Judging will be completely blind.

Food sport has become a new American pastime.  As food sport has grown, various sanctioning bodies have emerged across a large range of cooking styles, methodologies, and categories of food. KCBS, FBA, MBN, IBCA, SCA, PNWBA, WFC are just a few sanctioning bodies that offer both seasoned chefs and everyday cooks a chance to take home a win. With cash prizes up for grabs, many have turned to food sport as a way to monetize a hobby. Each sanctioned competition offers up another opportunity for any competitor to land themselves a spot on a national stage.​

Learn more about the SCA format and rules by visiting https://www.grillinttown.com or by contacting David Calametti. Click here for the SCA registration link.

From hiking and fishing to biking, boating and more, Tuscaloosa County is the perfect playground for outdoor enthusiasts. If you’re looking for things to do in Tuscaloosa – or around the community – you’ve come to the right place for outdoor options!

Whether you’re chasing adrenaline-fueled adventure or a leisurely stroll in the sun, Tuscaloosa’s proximity to countless lakes, rivers and trails gives visitors easy access to the great outdoors. Discover how to experience the best of Mother Nature. 

RIVER RANGERS 

The heart of Tuscaloosa is the Black Warrior River, and the Tuscaloosa Riverwalk is a testament to the city’s adoration of this waterway. With 4.2 miles of woodsy, pet-friendly paths along the river’s southern bank — plus a playground and splash pad for the littles — there’s fun to be had around every bend.

Tuscaloosa Riverwalk
Credit: Trail Therapy Life

The new Randall Family Park and Trailhead along the northern bank of the Riverwalk adds to the excitement, offering additional places to play, explore and revel in the river’s beauty. Tuscaloosa’s neighboring city, Northport, also offers a paved path connecting guests to its historic downtown.

PLAYTIME PROS 

Thanks to the city’s array of parks and playgrounds, playtime is never far away. At the sprawling Sokol Park, discover bike trails, playfields and Mason’s Place, the city’s first public all-inclusive playground, designed to allow children of all ages and abilities to play together. 

Hurricane Creek Park is home to a creek with multiple swimming holes, rope swings and waterfalls, plus about 7 miles of hiking trails. To check out more parks and playgrounds, visit tcpara.org

If a round of golf is more your speed, head to Ol’ Colony Golf Course. Fun fact: The 18-hole, public course is also home to the UA golf teams.

LAKE LOVERS AND CAMPING CONNOISSEURS 

Lake Lurleen State Park is only 9 miles from Tuscaloosa, but this scenic retreat feels worlds away from the hustle of Tuscaloosa on game day. The park features 91 campsites with water and electric hookups, but the real star of the show is the lake itself and its 23 miles of shore-hugging trails that beckon hikers and bikers alike. 

Other local favorites include Lake Nicol, which is popular with bird watchers and paddleboarders, and Harris Lake, where you’ll often find locals going for a swim or relaxing in a hammock. Venture a bit further afield to discover Deerlick Creek Campground, where 46 campgrounds are nestled in a forest along the shores of Holt Lake. Need a Paddleboard rental? Check out Tuscaloosa Paddleboard for a convenient option! Need a pontoon boat rental? Check out Pier 43 on Lake Tuscaloosa.

Lake Nicol
Lake Nicol Photo Cred: @andrela.barao

FISHING FANATICS 

Anglers in Tuscaloosa don’t have to travel far to find a place to cast their lines. The Black Warrior River runs right through town and contains thousands of spotted bass per river mile, making it a dream destination for fishing. Just 5 miles north of town is Lake Tuscaloosa, a man-made reservoir with nearly 180 miles of shoreline perfect for fishing. When you’re ready to put a boat in the water, check out this blog for some boat landings in the area.

Fishing in Tuscaloosa County

Still looking for things to do in Tuscaloosa? Continue to explore our website or contact our office today for personalized suggestions!

Not many communities have six different bodies of water within 25 minutes (or less) from their downtown, but Tuscaloosa and Northport do!  The natural resources hidden within our community are abundant – but many have no idea how lucky we are. If you’re looking for things to do in Tuscaloosa, you’ve come to the right spot! In hopes to help educate residents and guests, we’re dedicating an entire blog series to Tuscaloosa’s Outdoor Adventures.  Recently, we shared about the Tuscaloosa Riverwalk and are excited to highlight Lake Lurleen State Park today.

Lake Lurleen State Park is located nine miles northwest of Tuscaloosa and Northport.  It’s 1,625-acres offers plenty of recreation and relaxation to enjoy your surroundings and to feel the tranquility of the nature that surrounds you!  Well, besides their annual Camp Fear Trick or Treat event – that might not offer much relaxation, but it sure is a {spooky} highlight each year!

Things to do in Tuscaloosa - Lake Lurleen State Park
Photo Credit: Alabama State Parks

Facilities, Activities, and Amenities

The facilities at Lake Lurleen State Park include a modern campground, activity building, picnic areas, play areas, pavilions, a beach and bathhouse, fishing piers, RV storage, boat rentals, and boat-launch areas. The state park also offers over 23 miles of multi-use trails ranging from easy to moderate in difficulty. Several miles hug the shoreline of the lake and are open to both hikers and mountain bikers. 

The beach is definitely one of the most popular parts of the park.  With sand in your toes and refreshing water to cool off, Lake Lurleen can be a chill day of relaxation… or of high-level mountain biking and exploring experience, too. You truly can have the best of both worlds.  

It’s not uncommon to see the beach filled with families playing, dogs swimming, fishermen casting their pole, and much more on a nice summer day.  In fact, the State Park offers rentals such as fishing and paddle boats, canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards.  The main attraction, though, is the beautiful 250-acre lake. It measures nearly one and a half miles in length, one-half mile wide, and at its deepest is 48 feet. 

Things to do in Tuscaloosa - Lake Lurleen State Park - Boat rentals
Photo Credit: Alabama State Parks

Now, for all you fishermen, the lake has largemouth bass, bream, catfish, and crappie. Needless to say, anglers are sure to reel in a nice catch with some patience. Boat-launch areas and pier and bank fishing are available.  Gasoline motors of any size may be operated on the lake but there is no water or jet skiing allowed. All State and Federal boating laws are enforced and children age 8 and under are required to wear approved personal flotation devices at all times while in a boat.

Entrance Fees, Park Hours, and Camping at Lake Lurleen

The park is conveniently located near local attractions and resources including: the cities of Northport and Tuscaloosa, The University of Alabama campus, Northport Wal-Mart, gas stations, restaurants, and much more.  You truly have no idea that you’re just a few miles from town when in the park!

Daily Park hours are 7 am to sunset.

Lake Lurleen State Park offers reasonable fun with affordable entrance fees (excluding camping):

There are a variety of camping options, including 91 modern campsites with water and electric hook-up; 35 sites with sewage drain connections. Modern bathhouses are conveniently located throughout the park as well.  Camping reservations can be made by telephone (205-339-1558) with Lake Lurleen State Park.  Reservation office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 am – 4 pm.  You can also make a reservation online or through the Central Reservation Center (1-800-ALA-PARK).  Those office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 am – 5 pm.

Things to do in Tuscaloosa - Lake Lurleen State Park - Camping
Photo Credit: Alabama State Parks

Want to view a map?  Click here to view a Lake Lurleen State Park Map.

At the end of the day, the communities of Tuscaloosa and Northport, along with others in West Alabama, offer outdoor adventures such as Lake Lurleen State Park, legendary sports experiences, history that’s shaped us, artists that enhance us, and some of the South’s most soulful food.  Yes, we most certainly are Alabama’s “college town” … and so much more!

Request a visitor guide today to begin planning your next trip to #VisitTCL and we hope you’ll considering exploring Lake Lurleen State Park!

Take a timeout from your Tuscaloosa sports adventures and grab some grub at one of Tuscaloosa’s finest sports-centric eateries!

The Historic WaysiderBest known as the place where legendary coach Bear Bryant ate breakfast (his favorite was country ham), The Waysider serves up southern meals in a historic red house near downtown Tuscaloosa. Visiting from the rival team? You can expect your pancakes to be served in the shape of an elephant.

The Historic Waysider - Tuscaloosa's best sports-centric eateries

Nick’s in the Sticks: No, not that Nick … Nick’s in the Sticks is an iconic Tuscaloosa landmark known for delicious steaks, massive onion rings and its signature drink, The Nicodemus. Leave your mark on Tuscaloosa by adding a signed dollar bill to the ceiling.

Baumhower’s Victory Grille: Owned by former Alabama star Bob Baumhower, this sports bar is home to “Hey Coach!”, a live radio show broadcast from the restaurant, which allows you to get up-close with ‘Bama’s coaches.

Baumhower's Victory Grill - Tuscaloosa's best sports-centric eateries

Ajian: Looking for fast-casual sushi? Try Ajian, owned by former Alabama quarterback A.J. McCaron, who led ‘Bama to back-to-back national titles in 2011-12.

Rama Jama’s: Located in the shadow of Bryant Denny Stadium, Rama Jama’s is the place to go for fabulous food. Breakfast served all day, a wide variety of sandwiches, and the best sweet tea and milkshakes this side of heaven. Fan of a BLT? Kick off game day with a National Champion BLT – currently, that’s 18 strips of bacon.

Dreamland Bar-B-Que: It all started with a dream when God visited John “Big Daddy” Bishop and told him to open a restaurant. The original Dreamland, built by the hands of Big Daddy and located in Tuscaloosa, opened in 1958. Since then, this BBQ joint has been nationally recognized for their hickory-fired ribs, white bread, and BBQ sauce. Today, the ribs are still prepared using the same technique Mr. Bishop used more than six decades ago. PS – Their banana pudding is pretty legendary, too.

Dreamland BBQ - Tuscaloosa's best sports-centric eateries

Gallettes: It wouldn’t be gameday without indulging in a famous Yellow Hammer from Gallettes! This potent tailgate cocktail is served in iconic yellow plastic tumblers. While the recipe is a secret, some guess it’s a mix of vodka, rum, amaretto, orange and pineapple juices.

Northport Spotlight – Billy’s Sports Bar & Grill: With one location in Birmingham and their second location in Historic Downtown Northport, Billy’s was designed to be comfortable. It’s local’s favorite spot for good food, live music, great drinks, and a relaxing atmosphere to catch your beloved sports teams on TV. During football season, Billy’s offers a free shuttle to and from campus.

Billy's Sports Bar & Grill - Tuscaloosa's best sports-centric eateries

The Tuscaloosa and Northport communities are filled with incredible eateries and this is just a few of the many sports-related restaurants we have to offer! Check out our Eat page to find even more.