After months of anticipation, the first game day of the 2020 Alabama Crimson Tide football season is approaching! Although the weekend will look a bit different this year, there are so many ways to experience the city of Tuscaloosa. Below we have put together the Ultimate 2020 T-Town Tour Guide, full of local dining, enticing entertainment, and spectacular shopping. Be sure to stay safe and wear a mask while you explore the town. Enjoy your weekend adventures and let the good times (and the Crimson Tide) roll!
9:00 am – 9:45 am:
The first stop on our itinerary is Babe’s Donuts, located on Greensboro Avenue in the heart of Downtown Tuscaloosa. Known for its sweet treats and delicious coffee, this on-the-go option is currently open for to-go orders, making it convenient to start your day off on a good note! As you embark on your weekend journey stop by Babe’s for a classic donut – or mix it up with a Fruity Pebbles donut – and some cold brew coffee. Before you know it this local gem just might become your new T-Town favorite!
10:00 am – 11:30 am:
Located just down the street at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center is the Sarah Garden Armstrong Exhibit: Threads and Layers. Sarah Garden Armstrong is an Alabama native and alumna of the University of Alabama, returning to Tuscaloosa to share her captivating work through different types of media, from paintings and sculptures to handmade artist books! This Friday is your last chance to visit her incredible exhibit, so be sure to visit the Event page for more information.
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm:
Your next stop along the T-Town Tour is Heat Pizza, located on Government Plaza. Choose wisely their wide selection of pizzas, including vegetarian and gluten-free options! Enjoy your lunch safely outside on the patio, with plenty of space for social distancing. As a matter of fact, Heat’s variety of beer, wine, and cocktails pairs perfectly with this perfect fall weather! With 5 years of experience serving pizzas, salads, drinks, and good times to Tuscaloosa, Heat will make your time here unforgettable.
2:00 pm – 4:30 pm:
The Paul R. Jones Museum has reopened its doors just in time for Bama’s season kickoff! Come experience the eclectic art of T-Town and explore their newest exhibit, “When They See Us, What Do They See?: Perspectives on Black Art”, curated by Barbara-Shae Jackson. The purpose of this exhibit is to ask visitors the question: What does the aesthetic experience of a person perceiving a work of art look like when it does not reflect their culture or personal life experience? Jackson, currently a doctoral student in cognitive psychology at The University of Alabama, is curating this collection to identify the responses of different visitors when they view art created by black and white artists. This weekend is your last chance to visit this thought-provoking exhibit, so be sure to visit the event page for more information.
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm:
Return to Downtown Tuscaloosa for a nice sit-down dinner at Chuck’s Fish where you can enjoy delicious appetizers and savory seafood dishes. This restaurant is a wonderful way to kick-off the weekend and celebrate the beginning of Alabama Football Season with family or friends! With a menu complete with classic cocktails and incredible entrees, Chuck’s is sure to be a crowd-pleaser no matter who is in your entourage.
7:30 pm – 10:30 pm:
Friday night LIVE MUSIC is returning to T-Town! Live from the Bama will begin at 7:30 pm, with limited in-person seating to ensure social distancing. Tickets are available to purchase for $10 here. If you are unable to attend the concert, join in on the fun virtually via the live stream on our Facebook page! Featuring local bands GrAystone and Casie & the NoJoes, this show will be sure to kick off your weekend the right way. Not to mention, all proceeds go directly to the Bama Theatre during this difficult time. To show your support for the irreplaceable Bama Theatre you can donate at your convenience here.
9:00 am – 10:30 am:
Start off your Saturday with a traditional T-Town breakfast at The Waysider, Tuscaloosa’s oldest restaurant in town! Once a regular stop for the great Bear Bryant, this classic local joint is located on Greensboro Avenue. Experience a bit of T-Town’s southern-style cooking with homemade biscuits, complimentary beignets (per request), or ham cooked to perfection. Not much of a breakfast person? No worries, The Waysider has delicious lunch items on the menu as well! Keep in mind that seating is limited, so be sure to budget for time as you may have to wait for a table!
11:00 am – 12:30 pm:
If you need a place to entertain your kids, look no further than the Children’s Hands-On Museum. This educational oasis is a delightful spot where your kids can learn about exciting subjects, like friction and temperature, all while having a blast! CHOM has set several guidelines in place to ensure the safety of all staff and visitors, like temperature screening at the entrance and controlled capacity inside. Ahead of your visit to the museum, check online for more information about exploring this interactive museum safely! If you aren’t comfortable taking your kids to CHOM, you can take CHOM to your kids with CHOM at home! Encouraging interactive learning is now easier than ever before with this resource up your sleeve.
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm:
Now it’s time to walk on over to Avenue Pub for a bit of local flavor to celebrate a football-filled afternoon! This treasure is a wonderful spot for spending quality time with loved ones and indulging in comfort food galore. With tasty sandwiches, fresh salads, and banging burgers, Avenue pub has what it takes to put you in a good mood for the rest of the day. If you just so happen to find yourself needing a spot to watch the Crimson Tide, there is a special offer of local beer for $4/pint during the game.
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm:
Between lunch and the start of the night football games, you can take a stroll around Downtown Tuscaloosa and do some necessary game day shopping. Whether you are looking to spruce up the Tide Pride in your repertoire or hoping to find the perfect crimson outfit, there are plenty of local shops to discover. For men, The Locker Room is a great spot for gameday polos and outerwear for later in the season. For women, whatever your style may be, Vintage Cotton Boutique offers a wide selection of unique pieces to help you put together the ideal football season wardrobe for any occasion!
6:00 pm: Alabama Crimson Tide at Missouri Tigers
ROOOLLLLLL TIDE ROLL into the return of college football! Wear your lucky socks and put your game face on because the highly-anticipated time is officially here. Whether you are at the game or cheering on the tide elsewhere, enjoy Tuscaloosa’s inexplicable, electrifying game-day atmosphere. Bama fans and locals alike know exactly what that feels like. Now is the perfect time to experience T-Town’s Bama fan phenomenon with the rare game-day hotel availability and local businesses eager to share their products/services with you.
10:00 am – 12:00 pm:
Start Sunday morning off the right way at Rama Jama’s with a hearty breakfast at this University of Alabama-themed grill on Bryant Drive. Admire Bryant-Denny Stadium in all its glory as you enjoy more incredible local food. With classic options like fresh biscuits, crispy bacon, and unbelievable ham, it’s no surprise this hometown hit has hundreds of rave reviews. After a long, exciting Saturday of exploring Tuscaloosa and cheering on the Crimson Tide, a southern-styled breakfast at the one and only Rama Jama’s is just what the doctor ordered.
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm:
The Paul W. Bryant Museum is back open for this year’s football season! They are so excited to welcome visitors to town and share the gilded history of Bear Bryant and the Alabama Crimson Tide! After enjoying a Saturday full of football, the Bryant Museum is the perfect place to spend your Sunday afternoon, watching and learning about the history of Alabama Athletics. Walk in the footsteps of Alabama greats with the exhaustive collection of items and memorabilia of past sports history at The University of Alabama. Be sure to visit Bryant Museum’s website ahead of time to purchase admission and check hours of operation.
2:30 pm – 5:00 pm:
Downtown Tuscaloosa is a great place to shop around and discover local businesses that offer clothes, accessories, furniture, and more. Olive Tree Antiques and Twice as Nice are delightful examples of antique shops in Downtown T-Town. Places like these have something for just about everyone with eclectic inventory that is constantly changing. Whether it be kitchenware, jewelry, an antique, or interior decorations you are bound to discover some T-Town treasures that would make the perfect souvenirs.
It’s summer in Tuscaloosa and locals and tourists alike are looking for ways to spend their free time. Luckily for us, The City of Tuscaloosa is hosting Live at the Plaza for the fourth consecutive summer. For those who are unfamiliar, Live at the Plaza is held every Friday night in June and July at the Government Plaza and features live music from local musicians. To prepare you for the excitement of this event, we’ve come up with 5 reasons why you should attend Live at The Plaza this summer.
Live music, a great atmosphere, and a fun, new way to spend a Friday evening- for no cost! If you ask us, it doesn’t get much better than that. If you’re looking for a way to save money and still get the most out of your summer, this is a perfect opportunity for you. All you have to do is show up, bring a blanket or a lawn chair, sit back, and enjoy.
There are two things in life that are pretty hard to beat: A well put on show and quality music. Live at the Plaza provides the opportunity for the community to gather together and enjoy the talent showcased not only from right here in Tuscaloosa but all over the South. The diversity of performances over the summer will satisfy music lovers few and far between. There will be a variety of music played from jazz, alternative, country, rock, and others. Some highlights from this year’s musical lineup include the Lamont Landers Band, The John Wilson Band and Orange Constant. For other bands check out our lineup list here.
The food trucks and vendors
Along with enjoying the performance, you will have the opportunity to shop and eat. Local vendors and food trucks can apply to have a space surrounding the lawn to sell their goods. Look out for local nonprofits and retailers that you’ve seen around town. And we can’t forget about the food! Although we don’t know exactly who will be there yet, we know it’s going to be good. Participants can count on some of the most popular businesses around our area renting out the space. Look out for some of your favorites, such as Local Roots or La Mexicana.
It’s fun for everyone
One of the greatest aspects about Live of the Plaza is that anyone can go and enjoy their time. It’s the perfect opportunity to get the family out of the house and spend quality time together. Kids and adults alike will love the lively atmosphere of the concert. And you can bring your pets! Additionally, it’s the perfect way to enjoy time with friends, or a date night. Although you can’t bring your own alcohol, you are allowed to purchase drinks from surrounding bars and restaurants and stroll around the Plaza while enjoying the music and atmosphere. They’ve got it all covered: the food, the drinks, the music. How much better does it get?
The Government Plaza is right in the middle of all the Downtown action. There’s retail stores, coffee shops, restaurants and bars all within walking distance. And its outside! Even though it can get hot here in the summer, the concerts are at night which will cool things off. You can bring a picnic blanket or a lawn chair as you enjoy the show. The atmosphere of Live at the Plaza is hard to beat- and something you won’t want to miss.
Now that you know a little bit more about what to expect, it’s time to get excited. Tell your family and friends so they can look forward to it as well. Live at the Plaza is going to be a hit, just as it has been in the summers before. We hope this has helped you know what to look forward to, and we hope to see you there!
Written by Anna McAbee
Live at the Plaza Concert Lineup
The City of Tuscaloosa has scheduled the musical acts highlighting the diverse musical offerings of Tuscaloosa area for the fourth annual Live at the Plaza concert series in Government Plaza every Friday night in June and July.
Each week’s free concert will run from 6 to 9 p.m. and will feature a local band in the family-friendly atmosphere of Government Plaza, adjacent to the downtown Intermodal Facility parking deck behind City Hall.
The scheduled acts, which are subject to change, are:
June 1: John Wilson Band
June 8: Orange Constant
June 15: Jake Austell (of the J’s ) Trio and then 4G
June 22: Druid City Songwriters and then Mulligan Brothers
June 29: Lamont Landers Band
July 6: The Kemistry Project
July 13: Alabama Blues Project and then Earl “Guitar” Williams
July 20: Corey Nolan and then Plato Jones
July 27: Tim Few and then Sweet Home Symphony
New this year is the addition of exhibitor space on Government Plaza during each concert. Local non-profits, organizations and retailers are encouraged to rent exhibitor space for just $25 at each performance. Food trucks and catering vendors may also apply to serve at each performance. Food vendors and exhibitors may apply at tuscaloosa.com/latp.
This year’s shows will coincide with the downtown entertainment district. Under the new entertainment district, alcohol can be purchased from participating restaurants and bars within and on the district boundaries and taken to Government Plaza and other areas within the district, which includes several surrounding blocks.
To hear music from local Tuscaloosa artists like Lamont Landers, check out our Spotify playlist below.