The City of Tuscaloosa is one of the most picturesque college towns in the South, and there is no question as to why! Denny Chimes, the Black Warrior River, and Woods Quad are only a few of the beautiful locations around the city that are perfect for photography and social media content. We have pulled together a list of 10 spots in and around the City of Tuscaloosa that are sure to spice up your photo album and give your social media feed a boost!
- Empty Lot between Monarch and Alcove
At first glance, visiting the lot between Monarch Espresso Bar and Alcove Bar may not seem to be the right location for an Instagram photoshoot, but with the right ideas, it can make your followers do a double take! The lot between Monarch and Alcove is vacant and is mostly used for outdoor seating, but there is an abundance of exposed brick, just waiting to be used as a backdrop. This brick background along with the greenery of the area offers just the right amount of rustic aesthetic that your following won’t begin to believe you are just blocks away from Downtown Tuscaloosa!
- Grace Aberdean Habitat Alchemy Mural
Located at the corner of 9th Street and 22nd Avenue in Downtown Tuscaloosa is a furniture store: Grace Aberdean Habitat Alchemy. This delightful furniture shop is local and community-oriented, serving the purpose of selling vintage and recycled furniture in an expressive and frugal way. However, for a unique and exciting new addition to your social media repertoire, check out the mural located on the side of the shop’s building! The mural is painted on an exposed brick wall, so it has the added benefit of being rustic and artsy at the same time, adding an interesting subject to your photography.
- Old Bama Logo on the Side of Gas Station
If you are looking for a unique setting for your upcoming Instagram post, but want to keep rolling out your support of the Crimson Tide, take a quick trip out to Skyland Boulevard near the Walmart Neighborhood Market (not the Walmart Supercenter). Located across the street from the Neighborhood Market store is a gas station that features a mural of an old Alabama Athletics logo that is nothing short of a masterpiece. Timing is crucial for this backdrop as it is located in the parking lot and your shot might be obscured by a car or two. Once the timing is right, get your shots in and show off your Tide Pride!
- Kentuck’s Green Fence
In Historic Northport near the Kentuck Art Center, there is a bright green fence along the side of the sidewalk between two buildings that sticks out among the historic and rustic feel of the area. This fence, adorned with a snake-like decoration, is a delightful backdrop to use when looking for your next Instagram post! The sweet, lime green backdrop of this fence is perfect for showing off multi-colored outfits and high energy subjects to complement its unique location amidst historic buildings. Be careful taking pictures in this spot due to the proximity to the busy road in and out of Northport!
- Private Parking Deck on Greensboro
Located just off Greensboro Avenue by Five Bar is a private parking deck that services patrons of all the nearby businesses and restaurants, but why not use it as the setting of your next Instagram post? This space offers an unexpected backdrop to your social media content, but its unexpected nature is its distinctiveness! The walls feature red stenciled writing over the spaces,
- Walkway between Bryant Conference Center and Alumni Hall
Hidden among two university buildings towards the edge of campus, this spot between Bryant Conference Center and Alumni Hall is a secluded area with trees, grass, and benches for a variety of potential Instagram-worthy pictures. This area between the buildings provides a more private space to share everyday pictures of yourself and friends, without having the ordeal of others walking in and around your shot! This spot is also a great place to experiment with shadows in your photos, given that it is located between buildings and has a number of trees in the area, so be creative!
- Shelby Hall corridor
Shelby Quad is one of the most picturesque spots on the University of Alabama campus. It only makes sense that the interior areas of Shelby Hall would also offer beautiful new perspectives to mix into your social media feed. Walking into the front lobby of Shelby Hall, you are welcomed by a massive lobby that is already photo-worthy, but as you explore more into the building, you will discover the corridors throughout the building and between buildings that provide incredible framing for anything from graduation pictures to simple everyday Instagram posts!
- The Westervelt Company
The headquarters of The Westervelt Company is one of the more unique spots to find around the Tuscaloosa area. This is because it is a fully-designed, elaborate Japanese garden! The Japanese gardens at the Westervelt Company were designed and built by the previous occupying company’s president, Jack Warner, who returned from World War 2 having been enamored with the architecture and design of Japan. The Japanese gardens and accompanying buildings are currently used as the headquarters of The Westervelt Company, but double as a beautiful expression of Japanese architecture and design that will take your photography and Instagram feeds all the way to Japan!
- Marr’s Spring
Located behind B.B. Comer Hall and the Ferguson Student Center is Marr’s Spring, a small park with a pathway through it where peace and quiet can be found amidst the chaos of the University of Alabama campus. This park features a small pond and a bridge over two cisterns, surrounded by a number of towering trees, offering a natural setting in the middle of campus away from the hustle and bustle of the campus. Discover how beautiful this area is for photography and social media content by visiting at Golden Hour or even on a peaceful, rainy day!
- Lake Harris Dam Trail
For those who are looking to get outdoors for their photography and social media content, the Waterfall Branch Trail is a wonderfully obscure option! This trail is located Northeast of town on Lake Harris and if you follow along the hiking trail there, you will find the wonderful backdrop of nature for your Fall photos as we get later and later into the year. In addition to the trails through the woods, the views of Lake Harris also make for picturesque backdrops!
Written By: Will Baggett
Edited By: Jamie Hoven
The Tuscaloosa mural on The Strip is the perfect backdrop for your next photo! Its vibrant colors spell out the city’s name, but there’s more than meets the eye! Jason Tetlak, the mural’s artist, created a technique he calls “red reveal.” When the mural is viewed through a red lens, the word “Tuscaloosa” changes into the phrase “Druid City.” The mural is painted on the side of Egan’s Bar, a Tuscaloosa favorite for over 40 years. If you’re feeling hot after taking your pictures, stop in and cool off with one of their mixed drinks or local craft brews!
The Riverwalk is a paved trail that offers captivating views of the Black Warrior River. With multiple park spots, including benches and outdoor tables, it’s the perfect place for a photo session or a picnic! The Riverwalk is only a short drive from downtown, making it easy to grab a bite from a restaurant like Reggae Flava on the way! Reggae Flava offers a variety of gourmet Jamaican cuisine options, including jerk chicken, curry shrimp, and fish tacos. After filling up on amazing food, make sure you take some beautiful photos!
Hurricane Creek Park
Hurricane Creek Park is a local favorite that makes for a gorgeous setting spending time outdoors and capturing the splendor of nature! The scenery is breathtaking, making this park the ideal place to practice your portrait or nature photography. While you’re there, make sure you enjoy everything the great outdoors has to offer! Take a dip in the creek, walk along one of the park’s hiking and bike trails, or simply sit on the creek bank and take in the tremendous surroundings.
While it may seem out of the ordinary, greenhouses can make for a striking backdrop that brings personality and pop in to all of your photos! In 1984 Tuscaloosa was blessed with Brown’s Greenhouses, a local plant nursery with an expansive selection of indoor plants, shrubs, flowers, and vegetables. Pose with some hanging baskets, stand among the rows of luscious flowers, and explore all 16 of the greenhouses to discover your absolute favorite herb! When it comes to purchasing plants, Brown’s Greenhouses not only has stellar quality but outstanding prices as well.
Black Warrior Railroad Bridge
The railroad bridge that crosses the Black Warrior River would be a fantastic area for your next photoshoot! Located a short drive from downtown behind the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, the wooden and steel truss bridge dates back to 1898. While you’re near downtown, be sure to stop by Alcove International Tavern and grab a drink to find sweet relief from the sizzling summer heat! Alcove offers a wide variety of local craft beers and mixed drinks at reasonable prices, and visitors have raved about the bar’s laid-back and unique atmosphere!
Capitol Park is a historic park in Tuscaloosa that’s perfect for taking photos while learning about the city’s history! Capitol Park is the first stop on Tuscaloosa’s 18-stop Civil Rights History Trail. When Tuscaloosa was the capital of Alabama, Capitol Park was the home of the city’s leading governmental buildings. Only two columns and a foundation remain, and the location is a favorite of many photographers in the area. If you find yourself drained snapping photo after photo, you’re in luck! Nearby is Babe’s Doughnuts, a coffee shop and bakery that serves homemade doughnuts, breakfast bowls and sandwiches, and specialty coffees. Stop in for a sweet treat and a pick-me-up on your way to or from Capitol Park!
The University of Alabama
The University of Alabama has countless iconic spots throughout campus for breathtaking photographs! The Quad, President’s Mansion, Bryant-Denny Stadium, Denny Chimes, and many more Capstone classics make this an ideal photography destination. While you’re visiting campus, take the short walk down to The Strip and grab a bite to eat from one of the local restaurants. If you’re looking for Thai food and sushi, grab a to-go meal from Surin of Thailand! From California rolls to fried rice, they have something for everyone to enjoy. College students love it for its reasonable prices and expansive menu. If you’re in the mood for a drink, stop by Gallettes! Known for their famous Yellowhammer cocktail, Gallettes offers specials on wells along with mixed drinks and more!
Van de Graaff Arboretum and Historic Bridge Park
Van de Graff Arboretum and Historic Bridge Park is a beautiful outdoor setting for your next photo session! Located a short drive from Tuscaloosa in Northport, the park’s King Bowstring Bridge is the perfect backdrop. The park prides itself on this historic feature, as the bridge is one of the four spans that crossed the Black Warrior River from 1882 to 1896. Van De Graaff park also has a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy! Hiking, fishing, and camping are just a few of the many amenities that are offered.