Tuscaloosa is located in the heart of West Alabama, and in the South, which means our warm weather season is around for a bit longer!  Although this community has an abundance of adventurous outdoor attractions, sometimes, you just need indoor options to beat the heat.  Whether it’s an ice cream shop or a trip to the bowling alley, we’ve got just what you need to enjoy Tuscaloosa… a bit on the cooler side.

Las Piñas is a family-owned business that is excited to bring a new modern concept of ice cream shops. Serving 100% homemade frozen treats and snacks with the combination of Mexican and American flavors makes Las Piñas a great spot to cool you off and cure your cravings.
They are located at 2003 McFarland Blvd. E Tuscaloosa, AL 35404

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Thursday: 12 (noon) – 8 pm
Friday – Sunday: 12 (noon) – 9 pm

Another way to escape the humidity is taking a trip to Bowlero.  This reinvented bowling alley includes dining, sports, entertainment, and recreational games. They also have incredible food and drinks, as well as an electric atmosphere and service. What are you waiting for? Grab your best friends and join the (air-conditioned) party at Bowlero!
They are located at 2001 McFarland Blvd E, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404

Hours of Operation:
 Monday – Thursday: 5 pm – 12 am
Friday: 5 pm – 1 am
 Saturday: 12 (noon) – 1 am
Sunday: 12 (noon) – 10 pm

If you’re a fan of the arts, you’ll love the Paul R. Jones Gallery. The Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at The University of Alabama includes one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of 20th-century African American art in the world, grown over decades by the one and only Paul Raymond Jones.
 They are located at 2308 6th St. Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday: 9 am – 5 pm
Closed Saturday and Sunday

Situated in a quaint and cozy historic home, Ernest & Hadley Bookis Tuscaloosa’s Indie Bookstore that’s located in the heart of downtown Tuscaloosa. This store strives to provide a unique selection of new, used and rare books, and other creative materials from local, regional, and international sources. If you have a deep love of books and wish to share that passion with others, this store is perfect for you. With a village approach, they provide space for book clubs to meet, authors to hold book signings, and even artists to exhibit their craft!
They are located at 1928 7th St. Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Saturday: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Closed Sunday

      1. Tuscaloosa’s Museums

Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum is one of the great museum options that we have in T-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 those 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!

      2.  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 Mario Andres Robinson- A Brush with Time is on display. The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center is another great place to explore on a rainy day. Their gallery hours are 1-3 pm Monday – Friday and this week, they show the Tuscaloosa County Schools Art Exhibit!

      3. 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 Turbo Coffee,  Monarch Espresso Bar downtown, or the new kid on the block  Just Love Coffee. Choose any of these and you won’t be disappointed!

      4. 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 Company, Black 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!

      5. 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!

 

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!

We’ve got big plans this weekend here in Tuscaloosa! With our city’s winning basketball streak being over for this year, we have to look forward to something new and exciting to keep our spirits up! There’s something for everyone to enjoy this weekend, so stay tuned to hear all about this weekend’s events!

 

Laine Hardy at Druid City

We cannot explain how thankful we are that concerts are back in town! You and your friends can head to Druid City Music Hall this Friday, April 9th, to watch Laine Hardy put on an energizing show. You can buy your tickets online at Druid City’s website for the 9 pm show. Masks are still required when entering the venue and must be worn when drinks are not in hand! Remember to be responsible and have a great time!

 

Bird Fest at Moundville

Spring is in the air and so are Alabama’s beautiful native bird species! Nestled along the banks of the Black Warrior River, UA’s Moundville Archaeological Park (MAP) hosts its annual Birdfest Friday and Saturday, April 9-10, 2021. Birdfest guests can take a bird walk with local experts, including Dwight Lammon (Tuscaloosa, AL). Information on wildlife conservation, bird watching checklists, birdhouse plans and much more will be available and free of charge to everyone. To register for your attendance click here

 

Over the Edge

Ready for a thrill-seeking experience? The only urban rappelling experience is here in Tuscaloosa this Friday, April 10th! Over The Edge is a benefit event for the great work of Youth For Christ. All participants will rappel 140 feet from the top of The Tower in downtown Tuscaloosa. Bring a go-getter attitude and leave all your fears at home! For more information visit Over the Edge’s website

 

Tuscaloosa Story Walk

This Sunday, April 11th at 11 a.m., PARA, and the Tuscaloosa Public Library present the grand opening of the Tuscaloosa StoryWalk®! Enjoy a beautiful Saturday morning on the Riverwalk while strolling down the trail and reading a fun story! StoryWalk® is an innovative and interactive way for readers of all ages to enjoy a story and the outdoors at the same time. Laminated pages from a children’s picture book will be displayed along the RiverWalk trail. As you stroll down the trail, you are directed to the next page in the story. A StoryWalk® engages young readers and is a great way to practice Active Reading skills!

1. The River Walk

Disguised behind all of the commotions of Tuscaloosa lies the scenic River Walk. The 4.5 miles of path that runs directly next to the Black Warrior River serves as an ideal spot for picnics, dog walks, or leisurely strolls. Get out of the house, grab a friend, and go enjoy the view!

 

2. Dreamland BBQ

If you are from Tuscaloosa, or just Alabama itself, you know about this famous spot. Founded in 1958 by “Big Daddy” John Bishop, Dreamland has been a staple in Tuscaloosa’s food scene, serving communities across the state and even the country. You can still visit the original Dreamland location at 5525 15th Avenue East in Tuscaloosa. Pro Tip: Get the banana pudding.

 

3. Civil Rights Trail

To understand the rich history of Tuscaloosa’s civil rights history, it is crucial to examine the Civil Rights Trail. Many Alabamians are aware of the civil rights history that surrounds our state, but many might not be aware of the important events that took place in Tuscaloosa. The trail has 18 stops that tell of the extraordinary action that shaped this town forever. Visit https://civilrightstuscaloosa.org/trail/ to print your trail brochure. 

 

4. Downtown

Downtown Tuscaloosa has maintained its southern charm over the many years of change. Find a stylish outfit at The Pants Store, indulge in a nice dinner at Depalma’s, or sip on a craft cocktail at Sessions Bar. With dozens of businesses, new and old, its streets offer exciting experiences for everyone!

 

5.  Lake Tuscaloosa

Right smack in the middle of Tuscaloosa you can fish, boat, or lie out with your friends at gorgeous Lake Tuscaloosa. This is the perfect spot for a quick, relaxing day trip with your friends or family. With 117 miles of shoreline, you sure won’t run out of room to play!

 

6. Crimson Tide Football

Alabama football fans have the honor of being some of the loudest, rowdiest fans in all of college football. To be honest, it’s hard to bite your tongue when your team has won 18 National Championships AND you have a larger stadium than Auburn. 

 

7. The Strip

The Strip. Home to Quick Grill, the Yellow Hammer, and of course, Rounders. College kids love it, locals- well, probably don’t hate it too much. This is truly the place to go if you want that thrilling nightlife experience with a hint of college kid energy. Experience the electric energy on the strip that adds such an exciting element to Tuscaloosa!

 

8. Nicks in the Sticks

Nothing beats family-owned cooking- especially family-owned SOUTHERN cooking. Nicks in the Sticks has been serving the Tuscaloosa community since 1953 and has gone down in history ever since. Even though the venue is quite small, they dish up big flavors. If you have the chance to go, don’t forget to put a dollar bill on the ceiling! 

 

9. Breweries

What’s a good ole southern town without a good taproom? Tuscaloosa is home to 3 craft breweries: Loosa Brews, Druid City Brewing Company, and Black Warrior Brewing Company. New to the Tuscaloosa beer scene is The Grocery Brewpub that is set to open in the next few months! 

 

10. The Immense History

While this one post could be a novel, T-Town has been a historical hotspot for centuries! Once the state capital in 1825, Tuscaloosa has been the home to the Creek Indian tribe and the site of a Civil War standoff. Grab a friend and discover the antiquity of Tuscaloosa throughout the many museums and tours offered throughout the town.

 

11.  Kentuck Art Festival

Nothing screams fall in Tuscaloosa like changing leaves, football, and seasonal festivals. For 49 years, the Kentuck Art Center has been the epicenter of creativity for this community. The Kentuck Festival is filled with great music and art pieces from over 270 inspired creatives. While 2020 put a damper on the previous year’s fun, we are hopeful for the new year and the continuation of the spirit of Kentuck! 

 

12.  Tuscaloosa Farmers Market

Shop local, eat local, enjoy local. Supporting the Tuscaloosa community has never been easier thanks to the farmers market’s weekly Saturday appearance! Get your weekend fix of artisan bread, farm-fresh vegetables, and fabulous finds from your local small business owners at the Tuscaloosa Farmers Market- but remember to wear your mask!

 

13.  The People

A deadly virus and a couple of tornados. It will take more than that to rock this town to its core! This community has endured so many hardships throughout the years. Yet still, we emerge stronger than ever and proud of the community we have built together! I could think of 1,000,000 reasons why I love Tuscaloosa, but 15 will have to do justice for now!

The weekend is just around the corner and we cannot wait to dive into some of the events that will be happening this week. Your weekend in Tuscaloosa can be jam-packed with fun festivities for all, leaving anyone who participates bound to have a blast. Let’s ditch the week-day blues and put on our optimistic shades for the weekend. Below are some exciting events that will create incredible memories that are sure to last a lifetime.

Laughs at Loosa

This Friday Stand Up Tuscaloosa invites you to Loosa Brews for some comedy on the patio with our Headliner Dan Alten from Louisville, KY, and featuring comics Paige McBride from Birmingham, Zach Bragg from Columbus, MS, and New Yorker Bobby Lockwood. This show is packed with goodness. So come grab a drink, find a seat, and get ready for a fun time with the coolest tribe around. The seating is available starting at 7:30 p.m. and the showtime is at 8 p.m. 

Live Music on the Rooftop 

We love live music at the Lookout Rooftop Bar and this week’s performer is going to slay! Enjoy a beautiful view of downtown Tuscaloosa as you treat yourself to their great variety of food and beverages. Friday Night on the Rooftop with Brian Rhea will begin at 7 p.m. Let the music take you away as you kick off your weekend with a tremendous start!

Run it

The Tuscaloosa Half Marathon is this Saturday at Government Plaza and Downtown Tuscaloosa! The start time for the race is 7 a.m. Ideally located, runners get a sampling of the rolling hills along the Black Warrior River, the jaw-dropping Tuscaloosa River Walk, portions of the University of Alabama campus, and some quaint downtown neighborhoods. The participants will have plenty of room to spread out and fully enjoy the event! 

Hoppy Easter

From 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday Children’s Hands-on Museum will be hosting an Easter extravaganza like no other! Get egg-cited and hop on down to CHOM for extraordinary egg science experiments and other cool crafts!

  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!

The weather is a bit dreary in Tuscaloosa, but that doesn’t mean your week has to be! While this city does have plenty of outdoor fun for you and your family, let’s not forget the great indoors! Here are a couple of great ways to dodge the rain and have a great time doing it.

 

  1. Axe Throwing
Looking to awake the sleeping lumberjack within? Civil Axe Throwing can help you do just that! This thrilling activity is super simple to learn, and everything has been designed with your fun and safety in mind. Axe throwing is a perfect way to blow off some steam and have fun with some friendly competition with friends and family! Not sure if this is for you? Think of this activity as throwing a dart, except you might need two hands! Walk-ins are always welcome but you can save your spot ahead of time by visiting Civil Axe’s website.
  1. Catch a Movie
Have we forgotten about movie theaters in 2021? The Golden Globe Awards were last month and there were some hot movies nominated! We have been inside for much of the last year, most likely binging every Netflix movie known to man. CMX Cinemas Hollywood 16 Theater (formerly Cobb Theater) is open and showing new movies daily! Sanitation precautions are in place and masks are required upon entry until you seat yourself. We all have a movie junkie personality, and get real- we missed that movie theater popcorn! 
  1. Educate Yourself!

The museum scene in Tuscaloosa is evergrowing. While it’s rainy outside, you can visit exhibits from art to natural history! The Alabama Museum of Natural History has shown its beauty through exhibitions, collections, and quality programs of teaching, research, and service for over 150 years. The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center has served as a hub for the arts in Tuscaloosa. You can currently observe the newest exhibition, “Eye Music” by Elizabeth Rand Photography. New exhibitions are opening every month so there is no absence of great talent to enjoy!

  1. Coffee Shops
Something about rainy weather makes us want to curl up somewhere cozy with a warm drink. Thankfully, Tuscaloosa is home to many homey coffee shops! Grab yourself a cup of your favorite coffee or tea and listen to a podcast or even catch up on some overdue work! Five Java, Heritage House, and Just Love Coffee Cafe all offer free wifi and tons of indoor and outdoor seating so you can bring a friend along! Have a cup, or two, and let this weather pass by! (There are many other coffee shops in our area, so tag us on one of your favorites!)
  1. Breweries
Maybe rainy weather makes you want to get your buzz on. The beer scene in Tuscaloosa is definitely on full blast 24/7! Black Warrior Brewing Company, Loosa Brews, and Druid City Brewing Company allow you to get an early start on your happy hour while sheltering from the rain. The best beer we drink is the ones with friends, so get your crew and get on! Loosa also has an arcade in the backroom so don’t be shy with your quarters!



If you partake in any of these activities this week, tag us on Instagram, @visittuscaloosa! 

Wondering what’s happening down here this weekend in the City of Champions? Don’t worry, we got you covered! With all of the snow and ice behind us – hopefully – we are eager to get out of the house and shake the dust off! Let’s take a closer look at what’s hip-happening in Ttown this weekend!

 

Live Music

Ah yes, this city sure does love its music! With live music happening most Thursdays at the Lookout Rooftop Bar, you simply can’t go wrong! Grab some buddies or your furry friend and head to the Lookout for a night filled with funky jams and fun drinks. Live music is performed every Thursday night from 6 pm to 9 pm. Want to see the lineup? Click here to check it out! Remember, the Lookout Rooftop is smoke-free and pet friendly, and practicing all social distancing protocols to offer you a fun night out!

 

Druid City Music Hall is newly renovated and welcoming artists back onto its stage! Rumours: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac is coming to town this Friday, Feb. 26th. Rumours is the country’s premier Fleetwood Mac tribute band. Based in Atlanta, GA, Rumours captures the energy of Fleetwood Mac at the height of their career by blending perfect harmonies, precise instrumentation, and a visually engaging stage show. Sounds like something you would enjoy? You can visit Druid City Music Hall’s website to purchase tickets! And as always, remember your mask ladies and gents.

 

For the Children

Another week, another family fun event at the Children’s Hands-On Museum! Come help The Lorax, Cat in the Hat, and Hortoncelebrate (early) Dr. Seuss’s 117th birthday! A photo booth, crafts, and games will all be included in admission. This is a safe, socially distant celebration so bring your snazziest mask and a great attitude!

 

TTown History

As we all can agree, our city is full of rich, engaging history. The Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum is proudly hosting “Stitching Together Tuscaloosa’s History” for the dates of February 16 – March 27. This University of Alabama student-curated exhibition was created as a celebration of Tuscaloosa’s ever-changing and diversifying communities. This exhibition takes a new look at the Tuscaloosa Bicentennial Quilt through the lens of Black History and the rich stories spun by African American quilters. This free admission event is a perfect way to educate yourself and others about our community while also observing the amazing craftsmanship of the Bicentennial Quilt!

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.

PETrifying Places

Lake Tuscaloosa has everything you need for an unforgettable lake day with friends, family, and fluffy companions. This local hangout has certainly earned its reputation as a fantastic 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 with your pet by your side! Everyone is bound to have a blast in this comfortable cozy weather. Only a short drive from the city, this lake makes pairing a morning out in nature with Rama Jama’s iconic Southern breakfast unbelievably easy. This sport-centric bar & grill serves a variety of American eats, including all-day breakfast, sandwiches & shakes!

 

Across the river and north of downtown Northport, you’ll find one of PARA’s many phenomenal developments: The Van De Graff Arboretum. This 33-acre beauty has it all, from freshwater ponds and protected swamplands to porch-style swings and a historic bridge over a peaceful creek. This park splendidly showcases the natural southern beauty Tuscaloosians (and their furry friends) admire and cherish. The hidden gem within the park is the reused 1882 King Bowstring Bridge mentioned previously. Once used to cross the Black Warrior, it closed in 1896, slowly becoming forgotten until the park reclaimed it. With surreal views and unforgettable places to explore Van de Graff makes for a picturesque place for your next fall picnic!

 

Spooky Shopping Spaces

Immerse yourself into your character this weekend by stepping into the past and finding your one-of-a-kind halloweekend costume at some of our incredible, local antique stores! Druid City Vintage opened at the end of last year and already has the potential for an instant T-Town “must-do”. Whether it’s a Jimi Hendrix tee or a Vintage Handheld (and still working) Basketball Game that will put the perfect finishing touch on your Halloween costume, you’re bound to leave this gold mine smiling.

 

Twice as Nice is another local thrift/consignment shop that blesses this community. This gem has been in business for 20 years in its current location with over 16,000 clients. Specializing in high-end designer clothing, furniture, and antiques this spot is another go-to for finding a creative and unique last-minute costume!

 

Formidable Football and more Frightening Fall Functions

Para is hosting BOO! in the park this Friday, which is a two-part spooky extravaganza including Trick or Treat Trails and a Halloween Double Feature! Bring your blankets and lawn chairs and round up the whole family for this night of fun! Hotel Transylvania will begin at 6:30 pm and Hocus Pocus will begin at 8:30 pm. Social distancing will be enforced, please wear your mask. Enter through the Sokol Park entrance off of Ol’ Colony Road. Gates open at 5:30. Food trucks and concessions available.

 

BeWEAR of the $100 Surprise Giveaway we’ve been cooking up. Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports has teamed up with FIVE bar to raise Mask Awearness AND make your Friday even better! Our red SUV (with our logo on it, you can’t miss it) will be parked in front of this local favorite at 5:30 pm tomorrow wearing, you guessed it, a face mask! Follow the instructions displayed on the windshield for a chance to win a $100 Gift Card to FIVE! You can go ahead and solidify the plans you made to kick off the weekend early with drinks and grub right after work. Enjoy fine dining and shoot your shot for a chance to win a $100 Gift Card to an iconic Tuscaloosa restaurant!

 

Don’t stop the fun after FIVE because Twelve25 will be hosting a Fright Night Halloween Costume Competition this Friday! Wear your iconic costume for a chance to win $50, $100, or $200 AND VIP access for 8! This is an adult Halloween celebration you definitely don’t want to miss, starting at 8 pm. World of Beer is also having several specials starting TONIGHT exclusively for this Halloweekend.

 

Here it is, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…Get your Terrifying Tide Pride on for Saturday night at 6 pm as the Crimson Tide faces the Bulldogs! Hoop, holler and have a full-out hoot cheering on the Bama Family this weekend. For everyone’s safety, many updates have been made for the 2020 season. Head to The University of Alabama’s 2020 Gameday Information Page for all the details. If you are looking for more updates regarding the Alabama Crimson Tide Game Day Experience read the article here!

This Halloweekend be smart, wear a mask, and enjoy Rolling with the Tide!

 

**Masks and social distancing required for ALL events.

 

Written by: Jamie Hoven

Great Grub

 

1. If savory Lamb Chops topped with Blackberry Reduction and a side of Garlic Mashed Potatoes and sautéed Kale sounds like your dream dinner, then you should definitely include Evangeline’s in your T-Town itinerary. As one of the area’s premier restaurants, this divine treasure provides exceptional service for private intimate dinners, social events, and corporate parties. From a small rehearsal dinner to a lavish party for friends and family, Evangeline’s has the atmosphere to create the ideal experience.

2. Do you consider seafood, steak, & sushi three of your main food groups? If so, then Chuck’s is most definitely calling you. Offering a diverse menu in trendy surrounds with a loft & full bar, this local favorite has a well-earned reputation as a T-Town staple. It is also perfect for special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries. Crowd favorites include the crab cakes, sushi, scallops, and pizza. With attentive service and an unforgettable dining experience, you’ll always leave this happy and stuffed – and ready to come back again.

 

3. It would be a disservice to Tuscaloosa cuisine to discuss our incredible local dining without including Central Mesa. Established in 2017 by owner Craig Williams, this local treasure offers a Southern twist on traditional Latin-American dishes. The story of the restaurant is built upon a passion for providing fresh, great-tasting food and cocktails. Every dish is prepared in-house from scratch to ensure quality taste. The heart of the restaurant beats to provide a relaxed atmosphere and sense of community, where people can come and enjoy exceptional food and drink.

 

Awesome Arts

 

4. Ignite the creative in you and experience the Dinah Cultural Arts Center’s current exhibit, Stephanie Kirkland: “Windswept: Abstract Landscapes”. This moving collection of acrylic paintings was inspired during a road trip out West, which included hiking through Glacier, Zion, and Grand Canyon national parks. This week’s gallery hours of 1:00 p.m.to 3:00 p.m. offers the last chance to witness this captivating creation firsthand. Trust us, you don’t want to miss it!

 

5. Kentuck Art Center 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 holiday gifts. The Kentuck Gallery Shop offers an incredible shopping experience either online or in-person!

 

Scenic Views 

 

6. Fall foliage peak is on the horizon and one of the best places to take in the changing season is the Riverwalk. This first-rate paved trail sits along the southern bank of the Black Warrior River near downtown Tuscaloosa and is suited for both walkers and bikers. Along the 4.5-mile trail, there are a variety of (dog-friendly) park areas, benches, gazebos, and trees for hammocks and picnics. The pathway also provides a playground near the Public Library and a splash pad at the Bama Bell dock for the kids. For nighttime walkers, it is well-lit with street lamps along the way.

 

7. Get a taste of the (tamer) Tide. Take in the jaw-dropping beauty of UA’s campus in its most unique form: somewhat still and tranquil. Casually absorb the captivating architecture and elaborate landscaping that is so easy to take for granted during the football fan frenzy that accompanies one of the greatest dynasties in college football history. It offers another great place to enjoy the fall colors while viewing landmarks such as the President’s Mansion, Denny Chimes, Bryant-Denny Stadium, and historic Foster Auditorium – where Malone-Hood Plaza and the Autherine Lucy Clock Tower celebrate the spot where the University of Alabama was first integrated.