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!
Let’s face it: because of the coronavirus pandemic, vacationing likely looks a bit different for everyone. Thankfully, there are other options. A staycation means you can still spend a weekend away from home without ever having to leave the city, and planning one is easy in Tuscaloosa! With so many local restaurants, shops, and unique locations to enjoy, there’s no shortage of things to do. We’ve compiled a schedule below to help you plan your next Tuscaloosa staycation!
Located in the heart of downtown and only a short walk from lots of bars and restaurants downtown, Home2 Suites is a beautiful hotel with a modern atmosphere. With a spectacular view of the downtown Tuscaloosa nightlife, there are several amenities that make this hotel a top choice. Enjoy free, hot breakfast, free wi-fi, free parking, and the indoor pool!
Candlewood Suites is another fine hotel for your weekend staycation. With a convenient location near Interstates 20 and 59, you can check out one of Tuscaloosa’s many attractions including The University of Alabama campus, a plethora of museums, nature trails, and plenty of unique shops! Experience top-notch customer service, spotless rooms, luxurious beds, and a great pool! Enjoy all that this special hotel has to offer by making a reservation online today!
Along the banks of the Black Warrior River and just minutes away from campus and downtown, enjoy a breathtaking view at Residence Inn on Rice Mine Loop. This hotel is devoted to giving guests an amazing experience from start to finish, including great amenities like complimentary Wi-Fi, a free breakfast buffet, complimentary grocery delivery service, a grilling patio with fire pits, 24-hour fitness center, and an indoor pool. This hotel is also pet-friendly, so bring along the whole family for this staycation!
Out and About
If you’re looking to spend some time in the great outdoors this weekend, look no further than Lake Lurleen. The park is located only 20 minutes outside of town, and visitors can enjoy activities such as hiking, swimming, fishing, kayaking, just to name a few. Lake Lurleen is also known for its birding trails, and don’t forget to stop by the park’s Nature Center to learn more about the region’s plants and wildlife!
Sokol Park is another outdoor spot that’s perfect for a weekend afternoon. The park is located a short drive from Tuscaloosa in Northport. Sokol Park offers a wide variety of facilities, including multipurpose fields, bike trails, and a track. There’s also a dog park if you want to bring your favorite furry friend!
If shopping is more your speed, Earnest & Hadley Booksellers is a hidden Tuscaloosa gem. With a wide selection of used, new, and collectible books for sale, you’re sure to find the perfect one for you! Earnest & Hadley also offers books from local authors, including fiction and nonfiction works. Stop by the store today, or shop online if you’re looking to social distance!
For a laid-back dining experience, GloryBound in downtown Tuscaloosa is a local favorite. With over 15 types of gyros to choose from, including chicken bacon ranch, surf-n-turf, and veggie, this restaurant can satisfy any craving! In 2014 & 2015 Restaurant Hospitality ranked the pepperjack gyro as one of the best sandwiches in America! Enjoy the juicy rotisserie seared beef and lamb wrapped with lettuce and onions topped with pepperjack cheese, crispy bacon, and phenomenal comeback sauce!
If you’re interested in fine dining in a classy atmosphere, stop by R. Davidson Chophouse! This restaurant is located downtown and has a number of sophisticated dishes. From jumbo lump crab cakes to the RD Chophouse burger, their expansive menu ensures that there’s something for everyone! Make your reservation online on their website, or order takeout if you’d prefer to eat at home.
Out on the Town
If you’re looking for a sweet treat, Brummi’s Yummies is open downtown and ready to serve you some of their homemade baked goods! Custom cakes and cupcakes are their specialties, but banana pudding, cheesecakes, and brownies are also available. No matter what you’re in the mood for, Brummi’s Yummies is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth!
If you’re looking for after-dinner drinks this weekend, drop by Nocturnal Tavern! This local gothic-styled club/bar is located in the dark little corner of Tuscaloosa. Enjoy the mysterious atmosphere and Victorian-style as you choose between domestic and imported beverages, as well as a variety of mixed drinks. They open at 5:00 p.m., so don’t hesitate to get the party started a little earlier this weekend.
The summer season of open roads and clear blue skies is quickly approaching. The time is now to relax, explore, and treat yourself. This year, try something different: a staycation! Now more than ever is the perfect time to experience Tuscaloosa as if you were a tourist in your hometown. We’ve taken it upon ourselves to plan the perfect Tuscaloosa staycation for you. After all, having an excellent staycation in Tuscaloosa is simple with all of the amazing stops just outside your front door!
9 A.M.: Breathe Easy
The greatest way to truly feel out of your mundane routine is to get some much-needed pampering at a spa. Tuscaloosa has several great spots ranging from the pinnacle of luxury, to more cozy and affordable that can give you that all so needed feeling.
Across the river, Spa Belle La Vie is a luxurious oasis for self-indulging in some elaborate pampering. They have facials, massages, and therapies like seaweed wraps and salt scrubs designed to wash away all your stress and give you a renewed, relaxed state of mind.
Chancee’s Spa is a hidden gem on the south side of downtown that is tucked away in a quaint brick home. The wellness spa specializes in massages and facials that are much more affordable for those who want to treat themselves without having to break the bank.
2 P.M.: Check-in
The next step in planning a staycation is finding the perfect getaway. Tuscaloosa has a couple of standout options that can serve as your home away from home.
Located on The University of Alabama’s campus, Hotel Capstone is a historic, full-service hotel within a short drive from downtown. Great dining is just outside your door with a contemporary restaurant and lounge on-site for your convenience. Legends Bistro offers a diverse menu with affordable options for even the most discerning of palates.
The Embassy Suites Hotel is minutes from Capitol Park and Murphy African American Museum. The suite-style lodging and luxurious bar/lounge give the hotel a sense of comfort and hospitality. The indoor pool and Side by Side restaurant all contribute to why this hotel would be the perfect place for a staycation.
4 P.M.: Explore
Our city’s natural beauty offers a wide range of places and hidden gems to enjoy the great outdoors during your staycation.
Just 20 minutes outside of town is the grand dame of lakes –Lake Lurleen. Take a quick drive out and explore the rustic beauty of the woods with the shimmering waters gracing the shorelines and beaches. The park features more than 23 miles of multi-use trails that are open to both hikers and mountain bikers. The park also features a Nature Center, fishing, facilities, and paddle boats.
While a popular hangout for students, there’s no denying the beauty found up along the cliffs of Lake Nicol. The lake is left open to explore with meandering paths along the cliffs and the open waters to canoe or swim around. It can feel like a totally different world far from any civilization without having to go too far from home.
7 P.M.: Dinner
There’s no better way to end a day in Tuscaloosa than at one of the city’s locally-owned restaurants.
Depalma’s is a Tuscaloosa gem with Italian pasta classics as well as pizza and calzones on the menu. For an appetizer, be sure to try their stuffed mushrooms or breadsticks! For now, you are able to take all of these delicacies straight to your hotel room to feast in peace!
If you’re looking for a more laid-back atmosphere, Avenue Pub is just around the corner! Kick back, grab a drink on tap, and be sure to enjoy some phenomenal pub food like the iconic Thai Nachos or the Bacon Burger.
10 P.M.: Drinks
After dinner, Tuscaloosa has many local breweries and bars where you can grab drinks.
Loosa Brews is a locally-owned bar and retailer that has been specializing in quality craft beer since 2014. They offer 63 taps and have a full-service arcade, including a large number of classic arcade machines and pinball machines.
Black Warrior Brewing Company is another great downtown option for after-dinner drinks. The brewery and tap-room have been a staple in Tuscaloosa since 2012 and serve their own beer and wine creations.