Fall has arrived, and with it came that familiar crisp autumn air, which means the outdoors are calling our names! See for yourself  Tuscaloosa’s breathtaking back yard…and it doesn’t stop there, either. This city’s stunning landscape paired with phenomenal local businesses elevates an already beautiful destination into a MUST-DO Road Trip. Whether you are looking to wind down with an outdoor picnic, take an adventure hiking through the fall foliage, or shop like there’s no tomorrow, let these 10 reasons why Tuscaloosa should be your next weekend getaway guide your planning process. After all, you don’t want the legendary Tuscaloosa Experience to pass you by!

1.jDowntown Tuscaloosa:

A recent addition to the city’s outstanding coffee shop scene is about to open and we couldn’t be more excited! Just Love Coffee prioritizes that sense of community as a business. The laid-back & relaxed atmosphere that makes Just Love Coffee Cafe so special was created to be different than the stuffy reputation of most specialty coffee shops. Downtown Tuscaloosa is a prime place to shop until you drop. Whether you are looking for your next gameday attire at The Pants Store, or searching for an antique accessory at Twice as Nice, this area is ideal for shopping at a vast variety of places that are all conveniently located!

2. Riverwalk

Offering a serene view of the Black Warrior River, the Riverwalk is also the place to hammock, picnic, or relax! There are numerous picnic tables, benches, and gazebos to provide a comfortable environment, allowing you to get the most out of your experience with the great outdoors of T-Town. Let your mind take a rest from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If you are looking to work up a sweat and take advantage of the cooler temperatures, there is also a running path along the Riverwalk to enjoy in the morning or throughout the day. In addition to these activities, the Riverwalk is located close to a number of restaurants to enjoy either at the start or at the end of a delightful Autumn day, like Market House Boutique, Another Broken Egg, and River. Be sure to carry a mask with you for safety if you intend to visit any of the restaurants or businesses on the Riverwalk!

3. Lake Harris

Lake Harris is one of the many nearby lakes that offers an incredible setting for a number of different outdoor activities. There are plenty of picnic areas and a beach, where one might spread out a blanket to enjoy their lunch or simply take in the scene. In addition to these spots, there are a number of trees gathered close by the bank, perfect for setting up a cozy hammock! For those who are looking to stay active, there is a 1.76-mile hike around the lake through the trees. As the weather cools down, this area will become a peaceful gathering place for all who wish to experience some of Tuscaloosa’s many hidden gems.

4. Farmer’s Market

The Tuscaloosa Farmers Market is a spectacular shopping spot where you can find anything from a hand-cut Maple & Walnut Cutting Board to a hand-poured Yellowhammer candle scented Alabama Shores, all within walking distance. Each Saturday from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. local vendors of all specialties gather at the Tuscaloosa River Market to show off their wares to the community. If you plan on discovering the market’s incredible vendors this Saturday, wear a mask and be prepared to follow all social distancing guidelines!

5. Children’s Hands-on Museum

CHOM is a wonderful place in town where children explore, create, and discover something new every time they visit.  When we say “hands-on” we really mean it!  Learning through play is what CHOM’S exhibits are all about, where kids are encouraged to touch, feel, and play in fantastic exhibits.  Three floors of fun await with 24 exhibits, offering newborns and 13 year-olds alike an opportunity to completely immerse yourself in fun learning processes.

6. Kentuck Art Center

This local favorite 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 all of your holiday gifts. The Kentuck Gallery Shop offers an incredible shopping experience unlike any other online and/or in-person! Also, the 49th Kentuck Festival of the Arts is open NOW until December 31, 2020. With over 180 artist shops specializing in categories like clay, glass, jewelry, mixed media, sculpture, and wood you are bound to find the perfect Christmas present for everyone on your list!

7. Bower’s Park

Bower’s Park is a nearby public park that offers quite a few activity opportunities, like a disc golf course or several fields for rent. Not much different from regular golf, disc golf is an active way to stay busy on a delightful weekend outside! Those looking to get into this sport need to be sure and purchase discs ahead of time, however. As far as a field for rent, Bower’s Park has a number of different fields, baseball/softball or multipurpose, that can be rented out for a small gathering of friends to safely play a pickup game of baseball, softball, and more! Before visiting Bower’s Park, be sure to bring along a mask in case of other visitors.

8. Civil Rights Trail

As temperatures slowly start to drop, it is prime time to spend the day walking around outside and exploring new places. Among the many adventures that await you in town is the Civil Rights Trail, where anyone has the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of history and learn about how the Civil Rights Movement shaped the City of Tuscaloosa. Located primarily in Downtown Tuscaloosa, this trail is perfect for staying active and demonstrates a profound learning opportunity for those who are not aware of the history of Tuscaloosa. Thanks to its proximity to Downtown Tuscaloosa, the Civil Rights Trail is also a good opportunity to discover local dining options, such as Reggae Flava and Brummi’s Yummies. For more T-Town treasures along the trail check out the official guide here.

9. Government Plaza

If you are looking for a versatile area that offers wide-open spaces to safely enjoy this city, then the Government Plaza is the spot for you. Located in the heart of downtown, this 5-acre park makes social distancing a breeze. Soak in all of the cozy fall vibes while diving into a good book from Ernest and Hadley, grubbing on delicious Heat pizza, sipping on some Monarch coffee, or maybe even unwinding with your favorite yoga flow. After months on end of being trapped inside now is the time to relax and appreciate nature in all its wonder. If you want your furry friend to tag along, the sidewalks surrounding the park makes for the perfect path for walking with your furry friend.

10. Lake Tuscaloosa

This local hangout has everything you need for an unforgettable lake day with friends and family. Lake Tuscaloosa has earned its reputation as the perfect 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! Only a short drive from the city, this lake makes pairing a morning out in nature and Rama Jama’s iconic Southern breakfast unbelievably easy as well. You are bound to have a blast at this local treasure, especially in this beautiful fall weather.

 

When you’re ready to plan your next road trip to T-Town check out all of the exceptional hotels this city has to offer!

 

Written by: Jamie Hoven

Another great weekend in the works in the One and Only Tuscaloosa! Start off strong as we celebrate the triumphant return of the seminal garage, indie, country, punk, yet Alabama rock-n-roll collective, The Dexateens as they take the stage at Green Bar! The torch carriers of ‘Blue Collar Rock’ are proud to announce their first official release in over four years and their sophomore offering on Cornelius Chapel Records, the label started by the band and run by extended band family. The ‘teens are proudly contrived of a cabinet maker, a carpenter (or two at times), multiple restaurant and bar employees, and one full-time Drive-By Trucker!

The music continues into Friday as Live at the Plaza returns this week with Justin Oliver! Oliver is a Tuscaloosa native and rising star that competed in the television series “American Idol” in 2012. With his R&B/Soul single “Bipolar Love” on iTunes, you can expect government plaza to be filled with some great music! Along with Live at the Plaza comes an entertainment district, incredible food trucks, and its pet and kid friendly! What more could you ask for in an event?

Right down the street Band of Brothers Brewing Co. is boiling up some Crawfish! The Crawfish Boil will start at 7 PM with Tekknology serving up some jams to go with your supper! Band of Brothers always has fun with their events and this should be no different! Enjoy some great brews, tasty food, and smooth tunes as you wrap up your Friday in style!

Of course, it’s not a successful weekend in without visiting the Farmers Market at the Tuscaloosa River Market! Opening at 7 am, it provides fresh fruit, vegetables, grain and more! Accompanied by lovely live music you can stroll through the market, or grab some freshly brewed iced tea to cool off. Local food vendors like bakeries and others also offer a nice range of snacks. The Farmer’s market is the perfect place to kick off a relaxed Saturday or to buy the ingredients for next week’s meals!

Father’s Day is this Sunday! What better way to spend it than with your kids? If you have young ones, SuperDad Day at the Children’s Hands-On Museum is the perfect event! Your kids can meet Batman, wear their favorite superhero costume, and even make a great gift for their dad! All activities are included in admission so once the kids are in they can have fun with all the awesome activities CHOM has planned!

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

We’re gearing up for another great weekend in the One and Only Tuscaloosa! Kick your weekend off a little early and join a family fun night of local and nationally acclaimed tap dancers this Thursday! “Tap into the Night” is produced and directed by Gregg Russell, emmy nominated choreographer and founder of L.A. based Tap Sounds Underground. Gregg has worked with such stars as: Bette Midler, Gene Kelly, The Nicholas Brothers, Michael Jackson, Gregory Hines, and Kenny Ortega. It’s not every day that you can watch world class tap dancing in Tuscaloosa which makes this a program you shouldn’t miss out on!

Friday night you can catch “Mulan” by the Actor’s Charitable Theater! The Summer Camp program will be presenting this play all weekend long at the Bama Theater! For those who haven’t seen the famous Disney movie, the story starts soon after the Huns have invaded China, and it is up to the misfit Mulan and her mischievous dragon sidekick, Mushu, to save the Emperor! Defying the village matchmaker, Mulan takes up arms and disguises herself as a boy in order to spare her father from having to serve in the army. As the great battle with the Huns approaches, Mulan must choose between revealing her true identity as a girl or saving all of China with her clever plan.

Kick off your Saturday with the Tuscaloosa Farmers Market! Located at the beautiful Tuscaloosa River Market, you can find anything from the famous Chilton County peaches to freshly brewed iced tea! Musicians sit propped up against the door, playing guitars as you walk in and put together a great atmosphere as you shop for your produce. Additionally, local Food Trucks, bakers, artists, and craftsmen gather here to sell their gourmet grub, fresh-baked yeast rolls, homemade jams and jellies and hand-carved cutting boards. Popular summer foods include tomatoes, Chilton County peaches, squash, corn, and local honey!

You can wrap up your weekend with Band of Brothers Brewing Co. this Saturday as they welcome Earl Guitar Williams & The Juke Band! Known in and around his hometown of Bessemer, Earl Guitar Williams is no stranger to blues lovers. He is recognized for the electrifying sound of his guitar and harmonica. Earl discovered his interest in music at the tender age of seven, and crafted his own guitar by using a cigar box, broomstick, and fishing cord. This marked the beginning of Earl’s musical career. At the age of nine Earl became a regular fixture on the porch of Mr. Gip, now a backyard juke joint in Bessemer, Al. Earl currently plays in numerous venues and with various blues artists!

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

The One and Only Tuscaloosa is filled to the brim this weekend with fun events! Kick off the end of your week with the Lamont Landers Band at Live at the Plaza! This local band will be playing everything from blues to rock and even some funk! As a part of the entertainment district, you can purchase alcoholic beverages from restaurants and bars within the district boundaries that include several surrounding blocks!

Saturday is absolutely packed with events for all ages! Kick off your morning at the Farmer’s Market at the Tuscaloosa River Market! With incredible goods such as Chilton County peaches or perfectly ripe tomatoes and even musicians serenading you as you walk in, it’s a great experience! That’s not all you can find there though. The baked goods you can find here are some of the best in town! The Farmer’s Market is the perfect place to kick off a relaxed Saturday.

Right across town is the third annual Black Warrior Paddle Board Championship! Located at Lake Nicol and hosted by Smith Lake Paddle Boards. There will be three races and plenty of fun for a morning in the park! This would be a perfect outing for dog lovers as the park is pet-friendly! Root on your favorite racer or cheer on the lot as they coast by on their paddle board! If you’re feeling really adventurous, there’s still time to sign up!

That’s not the only race going on around town this weekend! The Fifth-Annual Kid’s Triathlon will be going on at Lake Lurleen! This event is a great way to promote healthy, active lifestyles for kids – while supporting a great cause, Secret Meals for Hungry Children. The race distances are very beginner-friendly and is sanctioned by USA Triathlon ensuring that all standards for your child’s safety are met!

Wrap up your weekend at the 20th Annual BBQ and Blues at the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport Terminal! As is the theme of this weekend, this event is also a fundraiser and is raising funds for the DCH Help and Hope Patience Assistance Fund! Each ticket includes entry to the event and a BBQ plate provided by McAbee Pigfitters! Featuring a silent auction, live music, and more, this is sure to be an incredible event!

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

This weekend is packed with fine arts in the One and Only Tuscaloosa! Tonight you can head across the river to Kentuck for their Art Night! This event will serve as the official opening reception for Chris CHUB Hubbard’s show “20 Years of Heaven and Hell: Current Works and a Look Back”! Not only that, but there will be pop-up shops for local artists, demonstrations, cob oven pizza, and live music! Art Night has been a staple for the first Thursday night of each month!

On Friday, it’s downtown Tuscaloosa’s turn with the First Friday Art Crawl! Galleries, studios, and businesses across downtown will be open and participating in the art crawl including Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, Harrison Galleries, and Grace Aberdean Habitat Alchemy. First Friday is completely free to everyone and is filled with excitement! There will be live music at different venues and some incredible works of art!

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

If you’re more of a music person, head over to Government Plaza for the concert series “Live at the Plaza” where the Matt Jones Trio will be playing! Matt Jones is a local artist who beautifully paints pictures with words through melody over the landscape of his southern roots. With an arsenal of original and cover music, he’s surely an act you won’t want to miss!

Finally, wrap up your night by heading to the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater for Soundgarden! Soundgarden achieved its biggest success with the 1994 album Superunknown, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard chart and yielded the Grammy Award-winning singles “Black Hole Sun” and “Spoonman”. As if you need another reason to attend, VH1 ranked Soundgarden at number 14 in their 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock!

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

Written By: Barrett Elder – Digital Media Specialist

Because Easter is a favorite when it comes to family holidays, this Easter weekend in Tuscaloosa is packed with great things to do for the whole family!

Start your weekend tonight downtown at the Green Bar. For only $5 you can enjoy the Soul Mechanics, a unique funk band with an amazing sound that rocks stages all over the southeast! And don’t forget about Green Bar’s amazing drinks! With great cocktails and craft beer, there’s something for everyone here!

The weekend itself is packed with a ton of cultural highlights for young and old! Friday holds two amazing activities for history fans: “Remembering the Great War” is a panel including UA history professors speaking about different aspects of World War I, e.g. the American involvement in the conflict and many others. Free and open to the public, it starts at 4 pm at the 205 Gorgas Library. Or visit the History Workshop at 251 ten Hoor Hall at 3 pm and learn about works of graduate students including the Spanish-American War and others!

Kids love Easter and they will love this Friday’s event as well! Take them to Tuscaloosa Children’s Hands-On Museum and let them join the great Easter egg hunt! From 5 to 7 pm the little ones can search for over 1000 eggs, indoor and with provided bunny bags! The hunt begins at 6 pm sharp – don’t be late!

Saturday has a perfect early bird activity: The Farmer’s Market at the Rivermarket! Opening at 7 am, it provides fresh fruit, vegetables, grain and more! Accompanied by lovely live music you can stroll through the market, or grab some freshly brewed iced tea to cool off. Local food vendors like bakeries and others also offer a nice range of snacks. The Farmer’s market is the perfect place to kick off a relaxed Saturday or to buy the ingredients for your Easter meal!

Let down this fantastic weekend at a thrilling University of Alabama Women’s Tennis match! Watch the Crimson Tide fight this season’s last match against the Missouri Tigers this Sunday at 1 pm. Admission to Alabama Women’s Tennis is always free! So come out and support Seniors Erin Routliffe, Joanna Savva, and Danielle Spielmann in their final home action of the season! Roll Tide!

Also, check out our blog about the Top 5 Places to have Easter Brunch on Sunday!

Written By: Katharina Horvath – Intern

It’s looking like another awesome weekend for events in the One and Only Tuscaloosa! Kick the weekend off tonight with The Sweet Lillies as they take the stage at Green Bar with their high energy Americana sound! The band’s melodic tunes have quickly captured the hearts and music souls of fans in Colorado and beyond! Based out of Colorado’s Front Range, The Sweet Lillies are continually expanding their audience and reach, building fan and critic support through an unwavering commitment to creativity, a contagious love of music, and a get-up-and-dance attitude that spreads lots of love and smiles.

On Friday, get your Bama gear on and head to Coleman Coliseum to watch the Women’s Gymnastics Team take on Boise State! It’s princess night at the coliseum so the first 500 kids will receive a crown for wearing a princess costume and getting their photo with princesses on the concourse. With Alabama and Boise State being just two ranks apart at number 6 and 8 respectively, this is sure to come down to the wire!

If sports aren’t your thing, the Astronomy group in the Dept. of Physics & Astronomy will be hosting a public night at Moundville Archaeological Park. Prof.’s Ron Buta and others will lead a deep-sky observing session from 7-10pm! The park does not charge for after-hours admission for these programs, so it will be completely free and incredibly interesting!

Saturday is packed with awesome activities all day long! Start off your Saturday at the Farmers Market at the Tuscaloosa River Market! Vendors set up ripe red tomatoes and famous Chilton County peaches. Musicians sit propped up against the door, playing guitars as you walk in, and local Food Trucks, bakers, artists, and craftsmen gather here to sell their gourmet grub, fresh-baked yeast rolls, homemade jams and jellies and hand-carved cutting boards.

If you’re one to choose donuts over vegetables, you can eat your donuts and exercise at the same time at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Krispy Kreme Challenge! There’s two miles you get to run in this event: the mile before you eat a dozen donuts and the mile after. If you race as a team, there are team prizes for best costume, best team name, and lots of other aspects of the race. course, you can participate and not eat the donuts if you do not wish to!

Finally, this Saturday from 10-4pm, the Children’s Hands-On Museum (CHOM) is celebrating Mardi Gras: CHOM Style! Kids can enjoy King Cake, fun masks, beads, and moon pies! To top it off, DJ Chuckie will be spinning tunes from 10 am – Noon! This is a can’t miss event for kids!

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

Photo Credit: Melissa Baines

 

It’s Gearing up to be a great weekend for events in the One and Only Tuscaloosa! Starting tonight, you can catch some great music around the city beginning with Farmer’s Daughter at Rhythm & Brews! Farmer’s Daughter brings your classic rock, 80’s, 90’s, country favorites, and current radio hits to their sets each night! Right down the road at Green Bar, Ferguson and the Copper Dogs will be taking the stage! Green Bar will also steal the show Friday as they put on a Looksy Special Five Year Anniversary Show featuring Della Ray and Hothead!

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

Later that day head over to the Children’s Hands-On Museum! CHOM is hosting Bead It! Where the children get to bead their own Mardi Gras necklace! All events for CHOM will be included in the admission price.

This weekend there are also One and Only grand openings! On University Boulevard, Animal Butter will be accepting customers for the first time this Friday. Right across from Government Plaza, the highly anticipated Monarch Espresso Bar will be opening their doors for the first time!

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