The City of Tuscaloosa has a plethora of activities to do and places to enjoy, but there are a few incredible local gems that are just waiting to be discovered! So, what hidden treasures are the locals not telling you about? We pulled together a list of spots around Tuscaloosa that you may not have heard of and could potentially become a regular part of your rotation! These suggestions range from delicious food and drink destinations to quiet spaces to relax and unwind for a bit.

      1. Kentuck Art Center

For those who are looking to explore the fine arts side of Tuscaloosa, the Kentuck Arts Center is a local spot that more people ought to be aware of! Located off-campus in Northport, the Kentuck Art Center is a collection of many different artists and creators exhibiting their work for anyone to see and learn about. Kentuck’s mission is “to perpetuate the arts, engage the community, and empower the artist” and is open all year long for anyone!

      2. Catfish Heaven

Named for their delectable catfish offerings, Catfish Heaven is a fish lover’s dream! Fried and prepared fresh daily, Catfish Heaven is a local restaurant that has been serving up savory catfish and irresistible hot wings since 1993. For over 25 years, the brothers that opened Catfish Heaven have been making this delightful and delicious destination in the Historic West End of Tuscaloosa a local favorite! Catfish Heaven’s dining room is currently closed for safety due to COVID-19, but they are still offering take-out orders for anyone looking to expand their list of go-to restaurants in Tuscaloosa!

      3. Cravings

As a spot filled to the brim with a diverse collection of drinks, beers, wines, and more, Cravings is a must for anyone looking to expand their drink repertoire. In addition to drinks, Cravings is also a good place for a bite to eat! There is an offering of snack foods, deli favorites, and an incredible breakfast offering for everyone to enjoy. Not to mention they serve unbelievable Detroit and Sicilian style pizza that will turn you into a regular customer in no time. Visit Cravings to discover new drink favorites and see if it becomes one of your new go-to spots in Tuscaloosa!

      4. Ernest & Hadley’s

Ernest & Hadley’s is a charming local bookstore located a few blocks away from Downtown Tuscaloosa just waiting to be discovered. This bookstore is filled with popular picks, classical favorites, and even highlighted works from local Alabama writers! In addition to being a store, Ernest & Hadley’s regularly hosts events that are open to any and all visitors, so be sure to check online ahead of time for more information. Currently, Ernest & Hadley’s is operating with safety in mind and is allowing only five (5) patrons at a time and even has a curbside pick-up option available for anyone who would prefer not to enter the store!

      5. Ruan Thai

Since 1991, Ruan Thai has been serving up fresh and savory authentic Thai food to students and locals alike with their extensive menu of delectable offerings. Ruan Thai offers both a lunch and dinner menu and even has dedicated portions of its menu for its sushi dishes and curry specials. Due to COVID-19, Ruan Thai is currently available through curbside pickup and through the delivery service, Crimson 2 Go. This locally-owned, authentic Thai restaurant is located on the Western end of the Strip and is the perfect local option for authentic Thai food in Tuscaloosa!

 

      6. Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center

The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center is a place for fans of fine arts and culture to explore and for everyday adventurers to discover! It is home to a rotating lineup of galleries that exhibit the thought-provoking and insightful power of the mediums of the fine arts. Not only is the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center a delightful spot to immerse yourself in fine arts and culture, but it is also a stop on the Civil Rights Trail of Tuscaloosa! In addition to visiting the resident exhibit, this center is an important site to learn the history behind it as it pertains to the City of Tuscaloosa as a whole.

 

      7. Catch 22

If you are looking for a bar to hang out and enjoy outstanding cocktails at the end of a long day, Catch 22 is the place for you. As the home of house drink specialties galore, including pickle-, cucumber-, and even pepperoncini-infused vodka, this bar is known for creating a unique flavor in each creation. Located in Downtown Tuscaloosa on 6th Street, this is a great place for anyone looking to unwind with some boutique cocktails and refreshing favorites! Additionally, Catch 22 has recently extended their outdoor patio to accommodate social distancing requirements and create a safe environment for customers!

 

      8. The Oasis

Located in Cottondale is a restaurant named The Oasis, offering a welcoming and Southern environment with the delicious food to back it up! The Oasis is famously known for its savory burgers and their incredible appetizers, including jalapeńo poppers, fried pickle spears, and fried mushrooms. The Oasis is truly a hidden gem for eating and may soon become one of your regular food spots in town! In order to accommodate the COVID-19 situation, The Oasis is currently only able to offer pick-up orders that can be placed at the restaurant.

 

      9. Innisfree’s Lucky Lunch

I know what you’re thinking. “Everyone knows about Innisfree…”. Although that may be true, many regulars and first-time visitors alike don’t know about the spectacular meat and three meals available from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. With classic options like chicken parmesan, chicken tenders, or country fried steak you can experience irreplaceable southern cooking right in Downtown Tuscaloosa! The meat + three meal also falls under $10, so Innisfree is easy on your bank account, too. 

 

      10. Van de Graaff Park

Whether you’re looking for your next nature adventure, picnic spot, or photoshoot set this local treasure has it all. Fish, hike, or camp on the gorgeous acres of Van de Graff with its breathtaking parks and large ponds stocked with freshwater fish! Along the way, you can also find a section of Alabama’s oldest iron bridge crossing over Mill Creek. This local’s secret is nestled in Northport. Revel in nature’s beauty and enjoy some fresh air at Van de Graaff Park. 

 

Written By: Will Baggett

Edited By: Jamie Hoven

Evangeline’s hit the local restaurant scene by storm, and for good reason! The restaurant is considered to be one of the city’s premier fine dining establishments. Best of all, Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports is giving a $50 Evangeline’s gift card to one lucky winner next week on Instagram or Facebook! Join us as we show you everything that Evangeline’s has to offer.

Evangeline’s has a wide selection of dinner options that are sure to satisfy any visitor. The restaurant offers one of the best filet mignons in Tuscaloosa. Served with a garlic-infused potato puree, sautéed broccolini, and jumbo lump crab mornay sauce, the dish is both sophisticated and delicious. If you’re in the mood for lighter fare, try the summer peach salad. A bed of romaine and organic mixed greens is topped with peaches, strawberries, blueberries, candied pecans, goat cheese, and a house-made peach and poppy seed dressing to create this delightful and summery salad. Craving seafood? Evangeline’s has that too! Their phenomenal crab cakes are a must, so much so that al.com included them in 100 dishes to eat in Alabama before you die. If you’re looking for a nice dinner in Tuscaloosa, Evangeline’s is one of the perfect places in town!

Evangeline’s also serves dessert to ensure that you finish your meal on a sweet note. There are a few classic options on the menu, including chocolate cake and peanut butter pie, but Evangeline’s offers so much more than classic treats! Lemon sorbet is the perfect option for those looking for something to complement the Tuscaloosa summer heat. There are even a couple of cheesecake options! Try blueberry cheesecake to get that summer feeling that accompanies fresh berries, or choose the praline pecan cheesecake for an irresistibly sweet crunch. No matter what you choose, rest easy knowing that each option is fresh and delicious.

There’s a lot that goes into making Evangeline’s the pinnacle of high class, including its atmosphere and high-quality ingredients. White tablecloths paired with a black ceiling emanate big-city sophistication, while the shot glass votives that sit on each table bring back the warmth that’s expected in southern towns like Tuscaloosa. Make sure you dress up to match that comfortable classiness, whether that means your Sunday best or your finest eveningwear. Keeping with the high-quality vibe, Evangeline’s also uses local produce in all of their dishes. Their fresh fruits and veggies are sourced from Katie Farms in Coker, Alabama. The atmosphere and high-quality dishes at Evangeline’s combine to make something totally unique, making the restaurant a must-visit!

 

The Fourth of July is (almost) here! Time to enjoy the long weekend of burgers and hot dogs on the grill, sunshine, music, boats, fireworks, bonfires, friends, and family! While this year may look a little different, this holiday can provide some much-needed relaxation from the mental stresses of daily, routine life, especially in 2020. Not sure how to spend your weekend in the one and only Tuscaloosa? No worries, we have gathered some ideas below to help you make the most of Independence Day weekend.

 

Sparks Fly

It wouldn’t be a Fourth of July celebration without fireworks, and the City of Tuscaloosa is putting on a show that is viewable from downtown at 9 p.m. this Saturday! Free parking is available for all viewers at the Tuscaloosa amphitheater and the Intermodal Facility parking deck. Be sure to tune in to local Tuscaloosa radio stations to listen to live music accompanying the spectacular show. The Tuscaloosa fire department urges leaving the performances to professionals.

 

Wide Open Spaces

Another major component of celebrating the Fourth is basking in the glorious summer sun. Tuscaloosa is the perfect place to relax in the great outdoors with so many beautiful lakes, rivers, and parks. Lake Tuscaloosa has everything you need for a traditional family lake day, whether you boat, fish, or swim. You and the entire family are bound to have an unforgettable Fourth celebration at this local hangout. Another option is Lake Nicol, a man-made lake with a slew of trails that meander to captivating Cliffside views. These ledges make for a perfect spot to get away from it all in under a 15-min drive. Take in the picturesque waters on a paddleboard or admire the serene views while hiking in one of the most secluded and naturally beautiful places in the city.

 

Picnic Like a Pro

If you aren’t up for this adventure, pack a bag and enjoy a picnic on the captivating campus of The University of Alabama! Waitr also has offered a 50% off delivery special this weekend! Take advantage of this phenomenal deal and order from your favorite local restaurants! Whether you choose a juicy burger from Rama Jama’s, the game-changing wings from Catfish Heaven, or an unforgettable Chipotle Marinated Pork Tenderloin from Southern Ale House! For dessert, check out The Whimsey Cookie’s adorable and delicious Fourth of July Cookie Set.

 

Cool Down

If you need a cool down from the Alabama heat, stop by Las Piñas on McFarland Blvd for some homemade ice cream, chili powder popsicles, or fresh street corn! This family-owned business brings a modern twist to the classic ice cream shops. They serve 100% homemade frozen treats and snacks with the combination of Mexican and American flavors! If snow cones are more your style, Summer Snow is the perfect spot for you! With over sixty flavors to try, this shaved ice shop has proven itself as a staple within this community.

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

  1. Explore nature!

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

  1. Take some tea time!

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

  1. Pedal over to our bike shops!

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

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

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

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

  1. I can Escher you we have good art

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

Kentuck Art Center

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

Tuscaloosa Museum of Art

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

  1. Find a Foodie Oasis

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

Local Roots

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

Animal Butter

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

School is winding down as students around town head into spring break, but Tuscaloosa will be buzzing with events all weekend. This may be the perfect time to try that restaurant you want to eat at but is always packed. Both the Crimson Tide baseball and softball teams will be in town this weekend, and both are off to great starts this season. Band of Brothers will be rockin’ all day Saturday with the Tuscaloosa United concert. The Children’s Hands-On Museum hosts “Science Saturday” which will be tons of educational fun. Get out and enjoy the beautiful city of Tuscaloosa this weekend, and don’t forget the new entertainment district will be in effect on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 9:30.

 

Alabama Baseball vs. New Mexico State

The Crimson Tide baseball team will be in town all weekend trying to sweep New Mexico State. Bama baseball is off to an excellent start this season and cheering them on in the country’s nicest college baseball facility, Sewell-Thomas Stadium, is always a blast. Friday’s matchup begins at 6:00 pm, Saturday’s is at 2:00 pm and Sunday’s is at 1:00 pm. To purchase tickets before the games visit www.rolltide.com.

 

Alabama Softball

Alabama softball has a tradition of excellence, and you’ll have multiple chances to experience it in person this weekend. The Crimson Tide will host Boston College at 4:00 pm and Fordham at 6:00 pm on Friday. On Saturday, Alabama will start off the day by playing Boston College at 1:30 pm, followed by Fordham at 4:00 pm. Bama softball will wrap up the weekend by playing Samford at 1:30 pm on Sunday. Grab your tickets before the game by visiting www.rolltide.com.

 

Tuscaloosa United Concert at Band of Brothers

Band Of Brothers will be hosting the Tuscaloosa United Concert “Coming Together Through All Forms of Music” on Saturday. This will be a full day of Bluegrass, Funk, Rhythm and Blues, Country, Jazz and more! In addition to music, the Battered Wild food truck will be on site! The doors open at 1 p.m., and music is hitting the stage at 3 pm. There is free entry for people age 10 and under. For more information contact Lawrence Edwards at (205) 246-2569 or Myrus Nall at (205) 886-9491.

 

Science Saturday at CHOM

Bring your children to “Science Saturday” at the Children’s Hands-On Museum in downtown Tuscaloosa. There will be scientific lab stations set up throughout the museum for the children to explore. The fun begins at 10:00 am and goes until 4:00 pm. Enjoy some educational fun this weekend!
Follow us on social media (@visittuscaloosa) to stay up-to-date on important events. Tag us in your photos for a chance to be featured on our social media accounts. We love seeing Tuscaloosa through your eyes!

In the One and Only Tuscaloosa, there are so many places to go and things to see. These 10 things are popular among the locals and won’t break the bank. So take a chance and try something new!

1. Children’s Hands-On Museum (CHOM)
This museum has been providing children with fun activities and events since 1984. There are three floors of fun for children of all ages. The Great Pumpkin Party and the Monster Walk Scavenger Hunt are two events that are happening soon. Admission is less than $10! CHOM is a great place to take the kids and enjoy a day of fun!

2. Paul W. Bryant Museum
This museum is a blast from the past! Check out over a hundred years of Crimson Tide memorabilia and football history. Visit the Paul W. Bryant museum to see what it takes to be “nothing but a winner.” Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children.

3. Arboretum
If you’re a dog lover then the arboretum is the place for you! The arboretum is sixty acres of the great outdoors. Check out the dog park, community garden, as well as the hiking trails. The best part is that it is completely free!

4. The Waysider
Take a trip to Paul “Bear” Bryant’s favorite breakfast destination. It truly is the breakfast of champions. The restaurant is packed with decades of Alabama memorabilia. The Waysider offers made-from-scratch biscuits and gravy all for just under $3!

5. Homegrown Alabama Farmers Market
Edit: We regret to inform you his event will no longer happen. If you are interested in farmers’ markets in Tuscaloosa then check out the Tuscaloosa Farmers’ Market at the River Market.

6. Babes Donuts
A family-owned breakfast, brunch and coffee business located in Downtown Tuscaloosa. The menu features gourmet doughnuts unlike anything else you’ll find in town. Flavors include: bacon maple, sourdough, Reese’s Peanut Butter, Heath Bar sprinkle, Captain Crunch, Fruity Pebbles, S’mores, red velvet, blackberry cream cheese and others. Seasonal offerings can range from King Cakes during Mardi Gras to candied blood oranges. Stop by and grab a treat for under $10.

7. Steel City Pops
Nothing is better than a Steel City Popsicle on a hot Alabama summer day. They have many flavors to choose from, so there is a flavor for everyone. Flavors include: Arnold Palmer, Bosc Pear with Honey, Champagne White Tea, Cinnamon Apple, Cranberry Orange, Lime, Plum with Rosemary, Pomegranate, Strawberry Fig, Strawberry Lemonade, Avocado, Buttermilk, Carrot Cake, Chocolate, Coconut, Coffee, Maple Bacon, Bourbon, Pumpkin, Toasted Marshmallow, Vanilla Bean. All popsicles are $4.49 and under.

8. Black Warrior River
The Black Warrior River is absolutely stunning and the perfect place to go on a hot summer day. You can cast a line and catch some fish or bring your own boat and cruise the water. The Black Warrior is also perfect for paddle boarding or just floating down the river. Don’t feel like getting in the water? That’s fine because the Tuscaloosa River Walk runs along the river and offers beautiful scenery. It’s the perfect place to get some exercise or take your dog for a walk.

9. City Café
For decades, locals and students alike have enjoyed the homemade cooking served up at City Café. At lunchtime, this restaurant is packed with locals stopping in for a tasty meal at a reasonable price. Stop in and enjoy a meat and three for under $10. You won’t be disappointed, it’s just like mama makes it.

10. Gallette’s Yellowhammer
Stop by Gallette’s and sip on a Tuscaloosa favorite. People from all over the United States have enjoyed Yellowhammer’s from the One and Only Gallettes while in Tuscaloosa. The Yellowhammer is a staple on gameday at the University of Alabama. Their yellow cup is a popular accessory for the Crimson Tide fans walking around the quad. Visit Gallette’s and try one for yourself.

Written by Rachel Horton

Buckle up for another exciting weekend in Tuscaloosa! The entertainment kicks off with local favorite, CBDB, returning back for a homecoming party. These purveyors of joyfunk got the wheels turning in Tuscaloosa and will be playing at Druid City Music Hall on Friday night. In case you were unaware or in need of something to do on Saturday, football is back in Tuscaloosa! The Alabama Crimson Tide is taking on the Ole Miss Rebels Saturday night, hoping to improve to 5-0 for the second consecutive season. If your weekly dose of Bama football isn’t enough, Alabama volleyball takes on Missouri Sunday to conclude this weekend’s festivities.

 
Want to start the weekend on a high note? Look no further than Druid City Music Hall on Friday night as CBDB brings their progressive rock sound to where it all began, right here in Tuscaloosa! CBDB has shared the stage with a variety of acts including Blues Traveler, Tim Reynolds, Umphrey’s McGee, Moon Taxi, The Revivalists, among many others. The band, consisting of Cy Simonton, Kris Gottlieb, Glenn Dillard, Paul Oliver, and Mike Sinopole, has been touring all over the country and will assuredly bring the heat to a hometown show. Joining them is special guest Tesheva who will start the tunes at 9:00 pm. Doors open at 7:30 pm and tickets can be purchased online as well as at the box office.

 
Alabama returns to action under the lights of Bryant-Denny as they go up against the Rebels of Ole Miss. This highly anticipated matchup is sure to bring some excitement as Alabama continues to roll through the schedule. Ole Miss enters the contest off of a bye week at 2-1 with victories over South Alabama and Tennessee-Martin, while the Crimson Tide is coming off a walloping 59-0 victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville. You can also enjoy events like the Elephant Stomp, the Walk of Champions, and check out the Bryant Museum or grab a “Yellowhammer” at Gallettes while you’re in town for the game! Kickoff is set for 8:00 pm so be sure to pace yourself throughout the day. Alabama enters the matchup as a 28 point favorite.

 
Saturday also has events for the kids! A great way to get out of the sun is by taking your young ones to the Children’s Hands-On Museum for the Kid’s Tailgate Party. The event lasts from 10 am – 4 pm and allows children to participate in activities such as creating a mascot mask and decorating a spirit cookie. This is the perfect opportunity to make gamedays fun for the entire family!
Conclude the weekend by witnessing high caliber volleyball as Alabama takes on Missouri at 1:00 pm at Foster Auditorium. Alabama (12-4) enters the contest after a thrilling win against Arkansas on Wednesday night. The action starts at 1:00, but make sure to arrive early to grab a bite to eat from the concession stand or snag a picture with Big Al!

 

We have a ton going on throughout the fall months and are excited about the upcoming holiday season. Give us a follow on our social media pages (@visittuscaloosa) for more announcements and future events. Tell your friends and we can’t wait to see you around the One and Only Tuscaloosa!

 

Written by Will Wyatt

Five reasons to attend the Soul of America Film Tour at Band of Brothers.

Acclaimed English Film Maker Nic Askew (Soul Biographies Series) has set out to find and document the ‘Soul of America’ in these divided times. On Wednesday, September 20th he will be live on location at Band of Brothers to tell the story of ‘The Soul of America’ and of how the Human Soul might be witnessed by anyone willing to stand still enough. This film lives in exploration. The event will mix also feature live music from Matt Jones’ new album ‘Redemption’. The event begins at 5:30 and runs until 7:30. 

  1. 1. Film! Have you ever wanted to be in a film or experience the film making process? English Film Maker Nic Askew will be on site filming footage for his upcoming project “The Soul of America.” This could be your opportunity to get on screen as a part of Askew’s experimental film making style and share your thoughts about the division in America. Anyone remotely interested in film and the process of creating a film will enjoy this unique experience.
  2. Music! Local musician Matt Jones will perform live beginning at 5:30. Jones is a singer/songwriter from Tuscaloosa. He has recorded four albums and is currently touring to promote his latest project, Jones’ website describes his music as “beautifully paints pictures with words through melody over the landscape of his southern roots.” This is a great opportunity experience some of the best local music Tuscaloosa has to offer.
  3. Food! Local Roots will be on site in their food truck until 8pm. Local Roots offers delicious meals made entirely from locally sourced ingredients. You haven’t experienced Tuscaloosa until you have dined on Local Roots’ Bacon-Egg-Lettuce-Tomato or their Gulf Shrimp Tacos. Their food also pairs well with our next reason to attend…
  4. The Beer! If you haven’t tried Tuscaloosa’s very own Band of Brother’s craft beer then you are missing out. These guys have perfected the art of brewing and are kind enough to share it with the rest of the world. “Monk on the Radio” and “Voodoo Mild” are two of their best offerings and provide a unique taste of Tuscaloosa.
  5. All of the above! This is a unique event that showcases the best music, food, beer, and people that Tuscaloosa has to offer. The combination of these elements will create an unforgettable experience for you and your friends that you simply won’t find elsewhere.

The One and Only Tuscaloosa is packed with excitement this weekend! This weekend Tuscaloosa is hosting the Alabama High School Athletic Association Regional Softball Qualifier! High Schools from across the region will be competing for a chance to play in the state tournament! Schools from 1A all the way to 7A will be in Tuscaloosa playing their tournament games. Head out to Bowers Park to get in on all of the action!

If you’re more interested in music than sports, we have that too! Tarred & Feathered will be playing at Southern Ale House this Thursday! You can join the band on the patio as they play a variety of songs through the decades with their own flair and three-part harmony! With a nice mix of guitars, banjos, and percussion, it’s a perfect recipe for a good time.

The music continues into Friday! As expected, Live at the Plaza continues this week. This week Government Plaza will be filled with the sounds of Campbell Station! This trip has created a country/rock fusion that is truly special. Each week for the event, downtown is transformed into an entertainment center. Places nearby like Alcove and Monarch will be serving up cold beverages and even university drive establishments like Cravings and Black Warrior Brewing will be joining in on the fun! Best of all, the event is completely free and perfect for the whole family!

Friday is sure to be a day remembered by many because it will be the day that Deontay Wilder becomes inducted into the Alabama Boxing Hall of Fame. Because this is a brand new hall of fame, Heavyweight Champion of the World Deontay Wilder will be in the very first entry class for the establishment. The induction will be part of a live professional fight card where he, along with others, will receive an official induction trophy!

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

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

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

  1. Explore nature!

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

  1. Take some tea time!

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

  1. Pedal over to our bike shops!

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

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

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

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

  1. I can Escher you we have good art

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

Kentuck Art Center

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

Tuscaloosa Museum of Art

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

  1. Find a Foodie Oasis

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

Local Roots

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

Animal Butter

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

This weekend is overflowing with events in the One and Only Tuscaloosa! Starting tonight and lasting all weekend long, you can catch some incredible artists at Druid City Music Hall! Starting with Elephante on Thursday, you can catch him, CBDB, and Muscatine Bloodline each night following!

On Friday, you can catch the American Shakespeare Center at the Bama Theatre while they’re on tour presenting “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare! While they’re in Tuscaloosa, you can also catch one of their showings of “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”!

If theater makes you hungry, you’re in luck! Saturday is the 11th Annual Great Tuscaloosa Chili Cookoff! You can enter a chili heaven as 35 teams compete for coveted trophies for Best Chili and Best Costume, Booth, and Showmanship. Chili sampling, live music by Angela Hamiter & the Able Brothers and Robert Morgan, children’s activities, free cheese biscuits and free ice cream, and valuable drawing prizes including a large HDTV will all be on the chopping block for this incredible event!

If a Chili Cookoff isn’t enough to warrant an incredible Saturday, Rhythm & Brews is hosting the Alabama State Arm Wrestling Championship! After you eat your chili you can wash it down with a cold brew as you watch the strongest men and women in Alabama battle it out for the arm wrestling title!

Finally, have some fun with the kids as the Children’s Hands-On Museum hosts the Mad Hatter’s “Southern” Tea Party on Saturday. You never know who you’ll run into in Wonderland! The children can sample southern treats, knave of hearts tarts and tea sandwiches! Try not to lose your head while playing flamingo croquet with the Queen of Hearts and craft your own “Mad Hatter” hat!

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

Our great state of Alabama is home to several icons, with the invention of white sauce at Big Bob Gibson’s, to the array of infamous ribs that continue to prove our place in the world of Barbeque. Tuscaloosa has more than their fair share of BBQ legends in town, with iconic institutions that have continued the proud tradition of Alabama BBQ being some of the best in the world. From the dynamic decade of the 60s to the decadent 80s, the druid city has hosted several wizards of the BBQ pit.

Dreamland

John “Big Daddy” Bishop grew up in a turbulent time for the south but came to rise from his job as a cement finisher to the face of his own dream. There was a brief moment where his iconic institution wouldn’t have existed, as he debated on how to provide better for his family with either his restaurant dream or opening a mortuary. Luckily one night, the legend goes; he dreamed about running a restaurant and never could get the dream out of his mind. He then opened up Dreamland the same year Paul Bryant started his coaching career at Alabama. Originally he served classic American staples like burgers but found he had a talent with barbecue. His success leads to the other items being removed from his menu and focused on his ribs. The crowd would grow with a racial diversity in a time where there was plenty of division. Students from the University of Alabama in town would mix in with the black residents who first came to dreamland. Leading to its city-wide popularity. It wasn’t just excellent ribs people came back for, Big Daddy ensured his customers felt like family at his establishment by encouraging his staff and family who worked beside him to create a welcoming atmosphere. People. This combination of legendary ribs and excellent service allowed his dream to grow beyond city limits. Today his success has lead to a franchise that extends across Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Dreamland continues to grow, with his friendly face gracing the logo of their rib empire.

Archibald & Woodrow’s BBQ

Tuscaloosa spot on the BBQ map wouldn’t have happened if the Archibald family didn’t open across the Black Warrior in Northport for business. Today, they have several locations around town, but the original house of ribs history starts back in 1962. The husband and wife duo of George and Betty Archibald quit their jobs and along with their son George Jr. opened the BBQ joint. While its location was hard to find at first, many were determined to find the source of the scented hickory smoke. Once inside people were greeted with a small menu packed with flavor with pork shoulder and slabs of ribs alongside white bread and the potato chip of the south, Golden Flake. The tiny house only offers three seats at the counter, six in a small dining room, but plenty of picnic tables to enjoy the long warm Alabama days outside. Archibald’s iconic status in Tuscaloosa wouldn’t be complete without a tie to the legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Considered to be one of his favorite spots to eat, many more people have since followed the coaches footsteps to find its hardly changed since his era. Today, the success of the Archibald family has grown into three other locations under the name Archibald & Woodrow’s BBQ, and serves the classic ribs, alongside wings, pulled pork sandwiches, and several sides. The sweet hickory smoke now wafts across the city, but its source will always be the charming little house that is packed with over 50 years of a well-smoked pit and some of the best ribs of the south.

Moe’s original BBQ

The established barbecue scene around town had become well understood by the 80s, with Dreamland growing and Archibald’s smoke wafting over the city, locals and tourists alike came to understand the flavor found in the college town along the Black Warrior. Three university students, from Athens, Huntsville, and Tuscaloosa became close friends united in their love of southern cuisine and culture.  It was in 88’ the boys met Moses Day to learn the ways of fire roasting meat. Moses had a pit set up in his backyard that grew to be well known around town. The boys would leave their southern state for the Rockies in Vail Colorado to refine their cooking skills. Eventually opening up something they came to find was lacking in the mountainside state. They boys would use the skills and pit mastery they learned from Moses to open up Moe’s Original BBQ bringing Alabama style barbecue to the North. Their popularity allowed them to come back to Bama with locations across the state, and eventually to the place where it all started. Opening their Tuscaloosa location in 2010, nine years since they began their own dream of contributing to the legacy of barbecue in Alabama.

Today, any visitor to this college town can find more than enough barbecue to satisfy their savory desires. From local legends and icons to the city’s ability to inspire the future generation of pit masters to a national level of success, it’s easy to see why we are well marked on any BBQ map.