Let’s be honest, the first word that comes to mind when you hear “Tuscaloosa” is most likely football. While the Crimson Tide dynasty is undeniably an incredible aspect of T-Town, it is impossible to experience the entirety of our city without the missing pieces. Your answer, most likely, was not history, but what if I told you it deserves a spot in the top five, at least? Below we have compiled just a few of the different ways to immerse yourself in the diverse and captivating history of the one and only Tuscaloosa!
The most extensive historical attraction in Tuscaloosa is the Tuscaloosa Civil Rights Trail, with 18 stops spread throughout Downtown Tuscaloosa. This trail is a compilation of historical Civil Rights sites throughout town, where prominent events occurred, whether it was the location of a riot, a safe house for those escaping racial persecution, or exhibitions of art from Black artists and creators. The Tuscaloosa Civil Rights Trail is a wonderful activity for families and friends to walk around historical Tuscaloosa and learn about the rich and difficult history of the city. Each location along the trail offers a different glimpse into a not-so-distant past and can be an important lesson for all of us in modern times!
Built in 1835 and surviving nearly two centuries, the Battle-Friedman House is one of the oldest standing buildings in the City of Tuscaloosa. The history of this house lies in its journey of ownership from family to family over the last two centuries. The house was originally built by the Battle Family, a plantation-owning couple from North Carolina who had recently moved to Tuscaloosa. Then, towards the end of the Reconstruction Era in 1875, the Battles foreclosed on the house, and its ownership was transferred over to the Friedmans, a Hungarian family who had moved to Tuscaloosa to open up a store and eventually became a respected member of the Tuscaloosa community. Ultimately, the Friedman family willed the house to the City of Tuscaloosa in 1965, and has since been preserved as a location of historical significance located just outside the heart of Downtown Tuscaloosa!
For fans of historic architecture and intricate design, the Jemison-Van de Graaff Mansion is a beautiful destination throughout Tuscaloosa’s history. This mansion was built in the late 1800s, with its construction being halted for the Civil War, causing a number of incompletions in the initial construction of the mansion itself. The mansion was designed by architect Samuel Sloan – also known for designing Bryce Hospital – but was unfortunately built by slaves, given the timeframe in which it was constructed. Before becoming an official historical site to the City of Tuscaloosa and in addition to being used as a residence, the Van de Graaff Mansion has also been used at the city library. Admission to the mansion for viewing is free, plus the space is available for rent for events and celebrations! For more information about the mansion, visit its dedicated website.
As the host of a number of exhibits and featured speakers over the years, the Alabama Museum of Natural History is one of the most impressive buildings on the University of Alabama campus. This museum is home to many different exhibits, collections, and programs dedicated to educating its visitors about the natural wonders of Alabama and the Earth itself. It dives into the ancient and modern history of all the nature that is all around us, even here in the City of Tuscaloosa! The museum is housed inside Smith Hall on campus, just off the quad, and is open to all who wish to learn more about the science that lives around us in our everyday lives. For more information about admission and hours of operation, visit the Alabama Museum of Natural History website on the University of Alabama website.
For those avid fans of both Crimson Tide athletics and the history of Tuscaloosa, there is no better place to visit than the Paul W. Bryant Museum. This museum is an exploration into the history of not only the best coach in the history of collegiate football but also the history of one of the most decorated athletic programs in the history of all collegiate athletics! Extensively archived over the course of the university’s history, the exhibits and videos featured in the museum show an in-depth look into the growth and evolution of Alabama athletics navigating through segregation, World War 2, and of course, the beginnings of the Iron Bowl rivalry! The museum is open Thursday to Sunday with varying admission prices – including free for visitors aged 6 years or younger – so be sure to visit the museum website for more information, as well the opportunity to buy admission ahead of time.
Lake Lurleen is a site of natural beauty located close to the City of Tuscaloosa and is ripe with natural wonders for all to discover! Lake Lurleen is a 250-acre Lake Lurleen home to many varieties of fish, and measures nearly one and a half miles in length, one-half mile wide, and goes as deep as 48 feet! Visiting Lake Lurleen State Park in Fall is one of the best times to visit as leaves are changing colors and the temperatures are moderate enough to enjoy a relaxing hike or a walk around the area. The park facilities include campgrounds, picnic areas, play areas for kids, pavilions for gatherings, beaches, piers for fishing, RV storage, and boat rentals. Admission is required for day use, so be sure to visit the Lake Lurleen State Park website to learn more about admission prices and the rules and regulations of using the park’s facilities on a daily basis.
Located about 13 miles south of the City of Tuscaloosa is the Moundville Archaeological Park, one of the most prominent Native American heritage sites in modern-day North America. This park was once the location of the largest city north of modern-day Mexico and was home to the Mississippian tribe of Native Americans. On this 326-acre preservation, 800 years ago, the Mississippian tribe celebrated with festivals and ceremonies, sites of which are visible today for visitors! As an extension of the modern-day City of Tuscaloosa, this is a destination of great historical significance to the original peoples that inhabited our country centuries ago. This site is currently hosting the Virtual Moundville Native American Festival, a celebration of the original peoples who inhabited this land and their rich culture that survives to this day. Joining in on the festival is a beautiful opportunity to learn more about an ancient civilization that thrived and prospered only a short distance away from Tuscaloosa!
Written by: Will Baggett
Edited by: Jamie Hoven
Do you feel like mixing it up this weekend? Well, then you’re in luck! Take a journey back in time and discover the City of Tuscaloosa’s critical role in the Civil Rights Movement. Enjoy the great outdoors and the energetic vibe of Downtown Tuscaloosa while uncovering this city’s diverse history on Tuscaloosa’s Civil Rights Trail!
This trail is a collection of 18 sites scattered throughout Downtown Tuscaloosa, exhibiting key locations where the Civil Rights Movement and pivotal moments in the struggle of Black Americans took place in Tuscaloosa. From historical political sites to memorial sites named for famous Black Americans, the Civil Rights Trail celebrates the heroes of the movement and makes for an incredible outdoor walk through time.
Below, we have put together a rough timeline of a walk along our local Civil Rights Trail, including pro tips along the way. In addition to the trail itself, we have included several nearby Black-owned businesses to visit for decadent meals and delicious treats! Follow along with this brochure guide for more information about each of the incredible stops throughout the journey.
Start your day at Capitol Park (1) amongst the rubble of a building where the Alabama State government met from 1826 to 1846. This building was where many of the slave codes were legislated and enacted to protect and promote white supremacy throughout the State of Alabama. The remains of the old legislative building are a somber reminder of what happened in Tuscaloosa and all that came afterward in the following century during the Civil Rights Movement.
Close by Capitol Park is the second stop on the Civil Rights trail: The Lynching and Old Jail (2) stop. Designated by a historical marker, this old jailhouse building served as the county jail from 1856 to 1890 and held both white and black prisoners. However, through its years of operation, lynchings of Black prisoners occurred – eight of which are chronicled by the historical marker found at this site.
A short walk away is a newly opened food truck-turned-restaurant, Reggae Flava. This fresh addition to Timmerson Square is a popular Black-owned restaurant that serves up delicious Caribbean flavor for all its patrons. Whether you’re craving tender Oxtail or Pineapple BBQ Jerk Salmon, you’ll have no trouble finding your new favorite dish.
After indulging a hearty meal of Caribbean cuisine, head to the corner of University Boulevard and Lurleen Wallace Boulevard to find the next stop on the Civil Rights Trail: The Druid Theatre and Hollywood (3) stop. The then newly-integrated theatre was the site of two angry white mobs in response to the Civil Rights Act in 1964. These incidents brought Tuscaloosa into the national spotlight, sparking outrage among many.
Nearby is another stop along the trail: The Mob at the Flagpole (4). This designated meeting location during the Civil Rights movement was the hub for students and local citizens to gather and express their discontent as the status quo was being challenged in the City of Tuscaloosa. Most notably, this flagpole was where a mob met to respond to the integration of the University of Alabama in 1955 when Autherine Lucy was admitted to the college.
Another few stops along the Civil Rights Trail to consider at this point are Woolworth and Sit-Ins, (5) First Black Legislator: Shandy Jones (6), and the Kress Building and Bus Boycott (7).
The next stop of the Civil Rights Trail is the Paul R. Jones Museum (8), a museum created by a powerful figurehead in the history of Civil Rights in Tuscaloosa. Paul R. Jones was once denied admission to the University of Alabama Law School in 1949 based on his race but then went on to fight for the Civil Rights Movement in the South. The museum is a collection of African-American art pieces donated by Jones to the University of Alabama in 2008 at a value of $5 million. The Paul R. Jones Museum is a beautiful expression of the journey he endured facing racism head-on. This magnificent exhibition of modern African-American art rotates different pieces in and out, with new shows regularly.
The Alston Building (9) is famous for two things, Governors George and Lurleen Wallace were married here, and Robert K. Shelton ran the United Klans of America from a three-room suite on the fourth floor.
At the midpoint of your walk along the Civil Rights Trail, you can stop by Brummies
Yummies for a quick sweet treat! Brummi’s Yummies is another Black-owned business in town located along the Civil Rights Trail. This delightful bakery has several sweet treats to satisfy your cravings, whether it is Cookie Dough Brownies, Orange Dreamsicle Cupcakes, or other unforgettable treats. It is a great place to stop by and take a rest before enjoying the remainder of Tuscaloosa’s Civil Rights Trail.
The next stop on the trail is the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center (10).
In the Southeast portion of Downtown Tuscaloosa, there are other additional stops to be made along the Civil Rights Trail: The County Courthouse and Marchers (11), Greensboro Avenue Churches (12), Bluefront District (13), Bailey Tabernacle CME Church (14), and Hunter Chapel AME Zion Church (15), the oldest African American church organized in Tuscaloosa. It was also the first church to host Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who spoke here in 1955.
First African Baptist Church (16) is one of the last stops along the Civil Rights Trail and is one of the more important ones. First African Baptist Church was the site of “Bloody Tuesday”, which was a violent attack on peaceful protesters by Tuscaloosa Police and white extremists who had been deputized. Built as a haven for Black worshippers upset with the discriminatory practices of the First Baptist Church, this church has stood at the corner of 4th Street and 24th Avenue since 1900 and is an important milestone along the Civil Rights Trail of Tuscaloosa.
Another stop to visit after First African Baptist Church is the Murphy-Collins House (17). Originally the private home of Tuscaloosa’s first black mortician, it is now a museum focusing on the life of African-Americans in the 1900s. Read more about this stop in the brochure guide linked above.
The Howard-Linton Barbershop (18) is the final stop and is one of the more unique spots along the trail. The owner of the barbershop, the late Reverend Thomas Linton, was a powerful figure in the fight for Civil Rights in Tuscaloosa, working closely with Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy throughout the Civil Rights Movement. Additionally, this barbershop was the hiding place for Autherine Lucy when she was escaping the mob of white citizens after she attempted to integrate the University of Alabama. Reverend Linton’s shop is filled with mementos and artifacts that showcase the struggle of Black Americans living in Tuscaloosa and the South throughout the Civil Rights Movement.
After you have finished your day along the Civil Rights Trail of Tuscaloosa, be sure to head to one of the many Black-owned restaurants in Tuscaloosa to show your support! There are many different restaurants around Tuscaloosa with delicious dinner meal offerings, including Archibald & Woodrow’s BBQ, Catfish Heaven, KSV, and King’s Kitchen.
Written By: Will Baggett
Edited By: Jamie Hoven
Safety is the top priority for returning to campus, but that does not mean sacrificing the ability to enjoy yourself and to enjoy new experiences, especially in the City of Tuscaloosa. There are plenty of ways to maintain a safe, physical distance while also enjoying what Tuscaloosa has to offer, whether it be the scenic views, rich history, or the one-of-a-kind businesses and restaurant culture of this city. Below, we have compiled a list of ways to stay socially active while also being socially distanced!
The different lakes located around Tuscaloosa have been a regular relaxation spot for students over the years. In order to have a fun and peaceful time, visiting one of the nearby lakes is a modern time twist on a classic activity for UA students. These lakes are not only wonderful places to swim and rent kayaks for, but they are also a peaceful spot to read a book and enjoy the nature of the Tuscaloosa area. What better way to substitute a library table or a lakeside picnic table? These lakes offer services that allow you to either rent paddleboards for the day, paddle your own kayak around to the different scenic spots along the lakefront, or layout at the beach to continue working on your summer tan! The most popular lakes around the City of Tuscaloosa to check out are Lake Lurleen, Lake Nicol, and Lake Tuscaloosa.
Civil Rights Walk
The City of Tuscaloosa has a history intertwined with the Civil Rights movement, and there is a presence of that history all around Downtown Tuscaloosa. Traveling through history along the Civil Rights Walk is a way to stay active outdoors and be proactive about the history and importance of the Civil Rights Movement to our city. Visit (website) to locate the markers located around Downtown Tuscaloosa and learn more about the lasting impact that the Civil Rights Movement has made on the history and people of the City of Tuscaloosa. Visit here to learn more about the Civil Rights Trail of Tuscaloosa and how you can find more and more resources regarding the Civil Rights Movement in Tuscaloosa.
Historic Downtown Tuscaloosa
Downtown Tuscaloosa is a relaxing area of town where anyone is free to walk around and wander from door to door to find something they feel drawn to. There are numerous boutique stores and businesses where eclectic finds are inevitable. If you’re looking for a new wardrobe, or maybe just some refreshing new pieces, check out Pause Boutique, Effie’s Inc., or Pants Store! Walking around Downtown Tuscaloosa is a peaceful yet adventurous activity for all to find unique local while staying active after months of quarantine. However, Downtown Tuscaloosa does feature a lot of locations that would require entering a building, so be sure to pack a mask and be safe when visiting indoor storefronts and shops.
Self-Guided UA Tour
The University of Alabama has a rich history that every student and resident of Tuscaloosa ought to learn and become familiar with. At the heart of it all is The Quad, which is filled to the brim with its own history but also offers one of the most picturesque areas of campus. A refreshing way to stay connected to the culture of the university while maintaining physical distancing outdoors is to take a stroll around the University of Alabama campus and soaking in the history of the many buildings and locations. Many locations, including the ones located on the Quad, include historical markers that indicate the historic significance of their existence (or previous existence) and offer a glimpse into what truly defines this university.
Enjoy the scenic nature of the Black Warrior River from the comfort of a relaxing hammock or a light jog along the riverfront. The Riverwalk is 4.2 miles of a paved trail that offers visitors a place to enjoy the outdoors in a way that is safe and distanced from others, and versatile enough that anyone can find themselves enjoying an afternoon out and about. The Riverwalk is a great place to go on a quick run, exercise on a bike, and walk your dog, plus offers serene and scenic spots for reading a nice book or enjoying a delicious picnic. Whether you are wanting to stay physically active through exercise and movement or if you are wanting to simply sit outdoors and soak in the sunlight and fresh air, the Riverwalk is a must-do.
Golf and Disc Golf
In order to stay distanced while remaining active, certain sports offer more distanced situations than others, like golf or disc golf. There are several public golf course options located near Tuscaloosa including Ol’ Colony, North River Yacht Club, The Links at Tuscaloosa, Indian Hills Country Club, Tall Pines, and Hidden Meadows. Each of these courses is available on weekends and offers a variety of offerings to satisfy the most serious players and to welcome the more introductory players. If you are more of a disc golfer than a traditional golfer, Bower’s Park is the place to be, thanks to a full 18-hole course primarily located on wooded terrain and featuring beginner and professional tees for players of all skill ranges! Whether you are driving a golf ball or a disc, these activities are a safe way to get back into the swing of things!
A staple of campus life is enjoying the food trucks that make their way onto campus or throughout Tuscaloosa. These days, food trucks are a great way to stay outdoors and distanced while also supporting local businesses of Tuscaloosa. Not only are you able to be smart about what you are eating, but you may discover a new favorite dish or new favorite dining destination! We offer a phenomenal variety with options like Catch a Taste, Aces Tuscaloosa, Cheese Louise Tuscaloosa, and Urban Cookhouse. Food trucks appear in various locations around the city, so be sure to plan ahead of time to be aware of where certain trucks will be located and what their menu will look like! Remember to wear a mask at all times except when you are eating in order to maximize caution and ensure the safety of yourselves and those around you.
Local Farmers Markets
A health-conscious and locally-oriented outdoor activity that everyone can take advantage of is enjoying a farmers market. In Tuscaloosa, a few wonderful options for outdoor farmers markets are Homegrown Alabama Farmers Market, Ingram Farms, Northport Farmers Market, and the Curbside Farmers Market. Shopping at a farmers market can expose you to new flavors to up your cooking game, and they support the local farmers that stock the markets. Be sure to wear a mask while visiting local farmers markets for the health and safety of yourself and the vendors working the markets!
Written by: Will Baggett
Black Belt Adventures recently created a weekend tour of Alabama’s Black Belt, showcasing the region’s best eateries, pit stops, and local goods. The Flavors of the Black Belt Adventure of course passes through Tuscaloosa, stopping by some of the city’s best restaurants and unique locations along the way. To see what made the cut and to take your own adventure through Tuscaloosa, follow along with us!
Archibald and Woodrow’s BBQ
Archibald and Woodrow’s BBQ began serving the Tuscaloosa community from a small cinderblock building in 1962. Three generations later, the restaurant is known across the country for serving some of the best barbecue and ribs that the South has to offer. Archibald and Woodrow’s barbecued ribs, pork, and chicken are known for their trademark hickory-smoked flavor, and their house-made sides and sauces complement each item perfectly. If you’re looking for authentic Southern barbecue in Tuscaloosa, give Archibald and Woodrow’s a try!
Avenue Pub has been serving refined pub classics and a variety of craft beers to the Tuscaloosa community since 2014. Dishes like fish and chips and fried green tomato BLTs are made in-house with locally sourced ingredients, creating simple but memorable dishes. Make sure you try one of their local beer options while you’re there! The restaurant’s laid-back atmosphere creates a sense of community with every guest, making Avenue Pub the perfect place to visit for a casual and welcoming dining experience.
In 2017, Central Mesa began serving authentic Latin American food with a Southern twist in downtown Tuscaloosa. From hot chicken tacos inspired by the classic Nashville dish to beer-battered cod tacos that are straight from the Atlantic Ocean, Central Mesa offers one of the city’s most unique menus. The restaurant prides itself on serving fresh and delicious dishes alongside clean cocktails in a laid back atmosphere. If you’re looking for a unique fusion dining experience, Central Mesa is the place to be!
Chuck’s Fish opened in downtown Tuscaloosa in 2006 with the intention of showing off the best seafood that the Gulf of Mexico has to offer. The restaurant is named in honor of UA graduate Chuck Morgan, a civil rights attorney who fought against racial inequality during the peak of the Civil Rights Movement. Along with freshly harvested seafood, Chuck’s Fish also offers naturally-raised beef and an award-winning sushi bar. If you’re looking for a high-quality dining experience with a great atmosphere, look no further than Chuck’s Fish!
Depalma’s is Tuscaloosa’s premier destination for Italian cuisine that is both authentic and delicious. Since 1995, Depalma’s has been serving pastas, pizzas, calzones, and other entrees to locals and visitors alike. They also offer a wide drink selection as well as desserts, including Depalma’s famous white chocolate bread pudding. The restaurant’s cozy atmosphere coupled with its prime location in the heart of downtown Tuscaloosa makes it a must-try during your next visit!
Since 1958, Dreamland BBQ has been serving hickory-fired ribs and other barbecued favorites to the Tuscaloosa area. Over the years, Dreamland has become one of the most celebrated barbeque restaurants in the South. While they’re known for their iconic ribs, white bread, and sauce combination, Dreamland also serves barbeque sandwiches, smoked sausages, half chickens, and more! Check their online menu for availability at each location, and keep Dreamland in mind the next time you’re craving barbeque!
Located on the banks of the Black Warrior River, River is Tuscaloosa’s top destination for urban dining with beautiful views. Since 2016, River has been serving tender steaks, savory flatbreads, specialty oysters, and more to the Tuscaloosa community. River prides itself on its great food and personal service, and its spacious dining terrace makes the perfect backdrop for a refined dining experience. If you’re looking for fine dining with beautiful riverfront views, choose River!
Along the Way
Besides some of the best dining in the South, Tuscaloosa also has some great sights and spots to visit! The Alabama Museum of Natural History has been celebrating the state’s natural history through exhibits, teaching programs, and service for over 150 years. While on The University of Alabama’s campus, stop by the Paul W. “Bear” Bryant Museum to learn more about the campus’s famous football history. See some of the program’s most memorable moments displayed through state-of-the-art exhibits. To satisfy your artsy side, visit the Kentuck Art Center to learn more about the creativity of the Tuscaloosa community or enjoy one of their year-round programs. Round off your tour around Tuscaloosa with a drink at Black Warrior Brewing Company, which offers a large variety of craft beers and wines that are made in-house.
Black Belt Adventures’ many trails focus on the food, drinks, stays, and sights you’ll encounter on your trip, and shopping lists tell what local goodies you’ll want to pick up along the way. While on your adventure, make sure to enter Black Belt Adventures’ Feed Your Adventure Photo Contest! Simply snap a photo along one of their trails and upload your photo to their website. More information can be found on their website’s Flavors Photo Contest page. View the full brochure here and happy trails!
Congrats to all of The University of Alabama’s 2020 graduates! You deserve to relax, relish, and reminisce in one of the most remarkable college football towns in the nation. You might think it stops there, but Tuscaloosa goes far beyond football. Thanks to excellent lodging, exceptional eats, and endless local gems, T-Town offers unforgettable experiences whether you roll with or away from the tide. Read on for tips to get the most out of your weekend getaway in the Druid City.
Whether you are attempting a last-minute road trip or scheming a self-indulging staycation in the near future, you’re in luck. Some of our city’s incredible hotels have availability for the next few days! For a traditionally southern experience, check out Bama Bed & Breakfast, located a mere two blocks from Bryant-Denny Stadium. Providing five gorgeous rooms to choose from, hot tub access, and complimentary breakfast + basket of snacks, this place goes above and beyond to accommodate for their guests! If Tuscaloosa’s fantastic local shopping and dining is calling your name, check out Embassy Suites, Home2 Suites, or Hotel Indigo. All of these highly-rated hotels are a short walk to the heart of downtown T-Town, home to many iconic places that give this city personality. Haven’t quite found what you’re looking for? There are more amazing local hotels with availability for this weekend!
Gather with family, friends, and fellow graduates to celebrate this chapter in life with some spectacular dining options, all fresh and all local! Enjoy a graduation sushi platter special at Chuck’s Fish, or venture down the street for a taste of Gulf Coast seafood with a New Orleans flare at Half Shell Oyster House. Another elegant option that encompasses the vibrant life of this city is River. Have your cake and eat it too at this restaurant with dinner and a view of the Black Warrior River. And of course, one can never go wrong with a dinner at DePalma’s to enjoy some delicious homemade bread and pasta made fresh to order.
What is a weekend getaway without souvenirs? For those die-hard Bama fans, you can stock up on some of the coolest Alabama gear at local stores like Bama Stuff and JCG Apparel. Be sure to look out for brand new alumni clothing! Not a Bama fan? Not a problem. Tuscaloosa is home to a variety of local favorites that are sure to impress guests and locals alike. If you enjoy shopping at unique boutiques you are in the right place. Effie’s Inc. is nestled in the historic district downtown and is known for its outstanding customer service. Whether you are perfecting a special occasion outfit or just enhancing your wardrobe, Effie’s carries the latest trends for a variety of lifestyles and ages. It also doesn’t hurt that the entire website is 50% off (excluding new arrivals). Another hidden treasure in town is Pause Boutique. Enjoy endless jewelry, clothing, shoes, accessories, and more at this special local shop! For men’s clothing, swing by University Blvd. and check out Pants Store and The Locker Room! Both stores provide stellar customer service and a vast selection of fashionable products that can appeal to everyone.
What is a quick weekend trip for some is a spectacular staycation for others. Regardless, Tuscaloosa can’t wait to welcome you all with open arms (abiding by social distancing guidelines, of course). We hope this helps enhance your experience in our beloved city!
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!
This weekend is blessing us with spectacular sunny skies, so don’t be afraid to explore the captivating city by foot and soak up the rays. Tuscaloosa’s Civil Rights Trail is the perfect way to spend time with your family and immerse yourself in the rich history of Druid City! With over 15 sites scattered all across Downtown Tuscaloosa, you now have the chance to enjoy the outdoors, spend time with friends and family, and learn about this city’s history.
One of the historically significant sites in town is Foster Auditorium, which was the location of the Stand in the Schoolhouse Door. Despite Governor George C. Wallace’s futile efforts, Vivian Malone and James Hood became the first African Americans to register for classes since the university’s inception. Two incredibly famous sites on the local trail represent the march of Bloody Tuesday, a peaceful protest walking from First African Baptist Church to the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse in opposition to the segregation at the county courthouse. Other prominent locations along the way include Capitol Park, Druid Theater, the Alston building, and many more historically rich locations. A complete list of landmarks with their addresses can be found here, along with historical context and details surrounding each event.
Each landmark on this trail marks extremely important moments that happened in Tuscaloosa. The trail does a phenomenal job of bringing so many beautiful stories to life, whether it be the first black legislator or significant protests that occurred throughout the town. All of these stories come together in the end to paint a picture of Tuscaloosa’s role in the civil rights movement. This trail enables many to share their personal experiences regarding the fight for civil rights, and all of their stories deserve to be heard. The American heroes who marched and fought for their freedom deserve to be remembered and honored.
This trail has become such a vital piece of our country’s past, with its influence spanning far beyond the confines of the Tuscaloosa city limits. So, what are you waiting for? Take time this weekend to spend time with loved ones, enjoy the beautiful weather, and travel back in time to discover the rich history of Tuscaloosa!
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.
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.
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.
It’s safe to say that Tuscaloosa is a big city, and like any busy area, there are so many unique areas that make it special. With so many different sides to explore, we wanted to take you on a virtual tour and highlight everything that this city has to offer. Join us as we guide you through Tuscaloosa and show you what makes our city the One and Only!
Downtown Tuscaloosa is the perfect area if you’re looking to shop, eat, or just hang out! With a variety of different local businesses to explore, the area is a hub for entertainment.
Shop: The Pants Store is one of the best downtown destinations for men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories. With name brands like Carhartt, Steve Madden, Quay, Yeti, and more, you’re sure to find something stylish at an affordable price. Find the Pants Store on University Boulevard and get shopping!
Eat: Located on Greensboro Avenue, Central Mesa is the downtown destination for Mexican food with a unique twist. Their dishes include hot chicken tacos and spinach and mushroom quesadillas, but more traditional salads and sandwiches are also on the menu. Central Mesa also has a wide selection of beverages, including specialty cocktails and happy hour specials.
Hang out: If you’re looking for a spot to grab a drink and relax, look no further than Tavern 1831! Situated just off of University Boulevard behind Depalma’s, Tavern 1831 offers a variety of craft beer, mixed drinks, seltzers, and specialty shots. There’s never a cover charge, so feel free to stop in and cool off with one of their daily happy hour specials!
By the River
The Black Warrior River is one of Tuscaloosa’s most scenic locations. Whether you’re looking to get active or simply visiting for the beautiful views, this local favorite has something to satisfy everyone.
Eat: River is one of Tuscaloosa’s best fine-dining establishments. Located on the banks of the Black Warrior River off of Jack Warner Parkway, River serves steaks, seafood, salads, and more. They also offer deals on wine, draft beers, and specialty cocktails during happy hour. If you’re looking to enjoy fine dining with beautiful riverfront views, River is the perfect spot!
Shop: If you’re looking for the latest in women’s fashion, stop by Market House Boutique! With an array of women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories, you’re sure to find something for your next night in or out. Market House Boutique offers more than just clothes; pick up something for your home while you’re there!
Hang out: The Riverwalk is the perfect place to spend a summer evening in Tuscaloosa! Located off of Jack Warner Parkway, The Riverwalk is a paved walking trail that spans over 4.5 miles of the southern bank of the Black Warrior River. Walk along the path, take a jog, or sit on a bench and take in the spectacular views!
Off the Beaten Path
Being in the city is great, but there are just as many places to explore that are only a short drive from the main part of Tuscaloosa!
Eat: Nick’s in the Sticks has been family owned and operated since 1953, and it’s fair to say that this local favorite is a hidden gem. Nick’s in the Sticks is best known for their delicious steaks, giant onion rings, and their famous drink, The Nicodemus. Visitors love the restaurant’s atmosphere and high-quality service. Don’t forget to bring a dollar to sign and add to the collection on the restaurant’s ceiling!
Hang out: Tuscaloosa has tons of parks that are situated on the outskirts of town. Hurricane Creek Park is one of these! Located off of Old Birmingham Highway, this spot is a local favorite for outdoor activities such as swimming and hiking. If you’re feeling bold, try kayaking down the creek, or feel free to simply relax on the banks and take in the park’s natural beauty!
Get ready for crystal clear skies and sunny days this weekend in Tuscaloosa! Now is the perfect time to explore the unique, local gems of this incredible city. Whether you are savoring brunch at a local cafe, capturing a captivating view of Black Warrior River, or rocking out to some live music at your favorite bar, this town has what you need to make this weekend unforgettable.
The River Market
Visit the Tuscaloosa River Market Saturday for fresh, local produce and homemade goodies. Check out Savory Occasions table for warm bread pudding, or cool down with Tori’s Water Ice snow cones with flavors like tropical rainbow, green apple, cherry, pineapple, blue raspberry, and mango. Curbside pick-up is still available for select vendors. If you plan to attend, don’t forget your facemask! You will not be able to shop the market without it.
Double down on tunes this weekend at Alcove International! Make plans Friday for the sweet sounds of SouthTown starting at 10 PM. They cover classic rock, blues, and dance songs. Saturday night get ready for some rock and roll performed by Non-GMO at 10 PM.
You can catch The Brick and Hubba Show at Rhythm and Brews tonight, and Carson Carlisle Saturday at 10 PM!
If you don’t feel like spending money, The Actor’s Charitable Theatre (ACT) will present a free concert in Capitol Park tonight at 7 PM! Come check it out for a night of live entertainment with your family and friends!
The Great Outdoors
Balance yourself and rent a paddleboard at Lake Nicol! What better way to soak up the rays? Tuscaloosa Paddleboard provides high-quality YOLO boards, and guaranteed fun. This is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and simultaneously get in a great workout! Plus, the view is a spectacular bonus. If you’d rather stay on dry land, check out their local trails and explore the beauty that Tuscaloosa has to offer. Pack a lunch and a picnic blanket to make the most out of these warm summer days.
Try Something New
Grab your brunch crew and head over to Another Broken Egg to enjoy their brand-new menu! Start off with sweet beignets with orange marmalade sauce, and a refreshing summertime cocktail. The Watermelon Cucumber Cooler is the perfect treat for a beautiful weekend!
If you are craving something a little more Southern and traditional, we’ve got the perfect place for you! Mae’s Southern Café uses authentic family recipes for every dish. Need help deciding what to order? Mae’s is famous for their fall off the bone ribs, smoked for 3 hours, and worth every bite! You can’t complete a southern meal without Mae’s sweet tea. Brewed, steeped, and sweetened to perfection every time.
|Complimentary beignets at Waysider. Check out brunch locations here.
|$5 margaritas at Central Mesa.
$5 burgers with a side at World of Beer.
|$4 Pitchers of Bud Light, Budweiser, Shock top, Sweetwater 420, and Yuengling at Buffalo Phil’s.
$2 sushi at Chuck’s.
|½ price wine glasses and bottles at Chophouse.
|½ price wings at Innisfree.
|$5 draft beer and wells at River.
|Buy one get one free boneless Thursdays at Buffalo Wild Wings.
|$5 signature cocktails at Heat Pizza.
|$10 Chicken Philly Po’boy at Brick and Spoon.
|$2 tallboys at The Filling Station.
|½ price burgers at Chophouse.
|$3 White Claws at Copper Top.
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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
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
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.
- 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.
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.
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.