Whether you’re looking to explore the outdoors or simply need an activity that allows for safe social distancing, Tuscaloosa is a hidden gem, especially as we work our way through the summer and come upon a beautiful fall season.  If you’re planning a trip to Tuscaloosa, we encourage you to check out the many local trails within our community.  To help, we’ve identified a few uniquely local top picks below!

We’d love for you to tag @VisitTuscaloosa in any photos you take when you’re here!

Lake Lurleen is a favorite of locals looking for relaxation and recreation alike! The park’s trails are open to hikers and mountain bikers, and the park offers 91 campsites for those looking for an extended stay. If that isn’t enough to draw you in, the park also boasts fishing, swimming, boating, and a beach. Whether it’s walking your dog along the shoreline or renting a kayak, Lake Lurleen truly has something for everyone!

About 20 minutes from Tuscaloosa lies another paradise for those looking to enjoy the outdoors: Lake Nicol. This local favorite offers a chance to get off the beaten path and explore the wonder of mother nature. The many species of birds that call the area home make for excellent birdwatching. Visitors also enjoy kayaking, paddleboarding, and picnicking on the shore.

Hurricane Creek has been an important part of the Tuscaloosa community for decades. In fact, the park’s popular Eagle Scout Trail was planned and blazed by local scouts. Explore this local favorite by canoeing down the creek, traversing the park’s biking and hiking trails, or simply taking in the native plants and wildlife. 

Located just 10 minutes east of The University of Alabama campus, the Arboretum has grown to become a perfect spot for an outdoor getaway.  Dozens of native and non-native trees provide a nice shade to enjoy the nearly 60 acres of land, situated in the heart of Tuscaloosa.  It’s also located adjacent to the former University golf course and VA Center.

Munny Sokol Park trails offer over 11 miles of trails where the locals enjoy running, walking, or mountain biking. Located a short drive from downtown Tuscaloosa, Sokol Park offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options, where dogs are also allowed but must be kept on a leash. This park also contains a brand new all-inclusive playground so kids of all ages and abilities can enjoy Sokol. 

The Riverwalk is perfect for those who don’t want a strenuous hike. This is an excellent paved trail located along the southern bank of the Black Warrior River near Downtown Tuscaloosa.  The pathway has plenty of benches, gazebos and hammock-friendly trees for quick breaks and picnics. and offers a playground near River and Another Broken Egg, and a splash pad near the old Bama Belle dock. The trail is well lit.

Last September, Tuscaloosa Tourism & Sports helped launch the Let’s Go There campaign, a domestic initiative to inspire future travel amid the coronavirus pandemic. All sectors of the travel industry united to encourage Americans to keep their travel flame lit and plan for “one day.”

For most of us, that day is here.

The vaccination rollout has been a strong success here in the U.S., cases have fallen dramatically from the winter surge and we are seeing businesses across the country reopening and welcoming back customers. I, like many of you, am ready to stop wondering and start wandering and reignite a sense of adventure that only travel can bring. In Tuscaloosa, our community events such as the USA Triathlon Duathlon National Championships, Tuscaloosa Amphitheater shows, and Live at the Plaza are picking up steadily. Additionally, our hotels continue to see a positive uptick in bookings, attractions and museum traffic is picking up nicely, and our community members are filled with hope and excitement as they look forward to all that’s coming this year! It’s a great time to visit Tuscaloosa.

I am thrilled to see the return of our industry and the travelers we serve. We’ve all missed traveling—the excitement, the anticipation that comes with planning a vacation, spending time with friends and family, and exploring different parts of our great country. And of course, Tuscaloosa has missed our guests this past year—hopefully, that will soon change.

According to an April Harris Poll and Destination Analysts survey, 77% of Americans plan on traveling this summer. In fact, two-thirds of Americans have some sort of travel planned (36%) or booked (30%). While many of us may be dreaming about our next vacation, we need to ensure that we are taking the crucial step of actually booking and taking a trip in the U.S.

Thanks to the strong safety measures in place and the ramped-up vaccination campaign, this is the right moment to reclaim our time lost and renew our sense of adventure. Americans rightly remain concerned about protecting their health and safety and so are we. It has and always will be our top priority. We have Plexiglas to protect our gatekeeper, increased weekly cleaning routine, and enforced social distancing to ensure everyone’s safety.

When you and your family are ready to say “Let’s Go There”—and I hope that will be very soon—Tuscaloosa is ready and eager to welcome you back.

Let’s not spend another day in the ordinary and go find the extraordinary.

National Travel and Tourism Week 2021 (May 2-8) spotlights the collective strength of the U.S. travel industry.

 

This National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), there is more reason than ever to celebrate the collective strength of the U.S. travel and tourism

industry and its dynamic workforce.

 

The 38th annual NTTW, taking place May 2-8, recognizes the Power of Travel and the critical role our industry will play in bringing back our vibrant

communities, restoring the economy, rebuilding our workforce, and reconnecting America.

 

Prior to the pandemic, the travel industry was a powerful economic engine, supporting jobs and driving local economies in every pocket of America. The industry had experienced 107 straight months of growth, generated $2.6 trillion in economic output, supported 17 million American jobs, and delivered a $51 billion trade surplus to the U.S. Unfortunately, that strong growth trend plummeted last year due to the pandemic. Travel spending in the U.S. declined 42%, costing the economy $1.1 trillion, while hard-working Americans supported by travel made up a staggering 65% of all U.S. unemployment. Here in Tuscaloosa, travel spending went from $697 million in 2019 to $450 million in 2020. However, Tuscaloosa—and the travel industry—is resilient.

 

While we faced extraordinary challenges in the past year, our industry united like never before, lifted each other up, aided one another, and devoted ourselves fully to the task of supporting and restoring all sectors of travel. This year’s NTTW is an opportunity to turn the page to a new chapter in our industry’s story and celebrate its collective power by spotlighting the innumerable ways travel will drive recovery, bring Americans together again, and help define our country’s path forward.

 

Tuscaloosa is participating in NTTW by incorporating the Power of Travel content into all of our social media platforms for the week.

 

From the Civil Rights Trail to The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa’s travel and tourism industry contributes so much to our local economy and our community’s unique character. From all of us at Tuscaloosa Tourism & Sports, we are so excited to share the full power of our industry—and the strength and spirit of Tuscaloosa—this NTTW.

 

Foodie
 
[foo-dee] noun
 
A person who lives and breathes the art of eating food. “Phone eats first” most definitely applies here. 
It’s a big world out there, with big flavors and big portion sizes! We know that Tuscaloosa fully embodies all things fun and football so it should come as no surprise that the food scene here is highly appreciated and curated for everyone’s taste buds. There is no better way to embrace the Tuscaloosa food scene than listening to the advice of local fans/ foodies! After all, word of mouth is the best form of advertising, so here is what we have heard about the tastes of T-Town! 
 
Heat Pizza Bar
Anyone who says money can’t buy you happiness clearly has not spent enough money on pizza! Heat Pizza, located in Government Plaza, serves up artisan pizzas and salads from the freshest ingredients in the area. Not only are the pizzas perfect, but Heat also makes some mean cocktails as well. Let’s take a dive into one particular foodie favorite pizza- the Meat Lovers. Made with house red sauce, pepperoni, Italian sausage, bacon, ham, and fresh mozzarella, this pizza hits almost all of the points on the Food Pyramid. Thin crust, thick crust, or crispy, Heat isn’t picky! Foodie secret, they put the pepperoni under the cheese to ensure the pizza is fully baked and the cheese is melted for you to eat properly. Highly acclaimed and famed- just check the Yelp reviews- Heat Pizza is a foodie’s pizza paradise! 
 
Ingram Farms Crawfish
Our friends at Ingram Farms link with its Cajun connections every Spring to ship the best live crawfish, straight from the bayou, right here to Tuscaloosa. While you might be thinking, how much does a foodie love crawfish? The answer is a lot, especially if we have a southern foodie on our hands. A crawfish tastes like a mix between crab and lobster, but with an extra kick! Most orders come covered in garlic powder, paprika, and Old Bay (plus other spices) so be ready to defeat the heat! Tuscaloosa loves its crawfish so much that Ingram Farms hurries every year to keep its inventory stocked! A real foodie knows you get your order boiled and ready to eat for maximum enjoyment. Pro tip: Do NOT touch your eyes while or after eating crawfish and make sure to wash your hands thoroughly! Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
 
The Avenue Pub
You might be saying to yourself, “TTS, yall talk a lot about Avenue Pub, what’s the deal?” Avenue Pub is a foodie favorite here in Tuscaloosa and, as always, for some great reasons! Locals typically flock to Avenue Pub to get their burger and beer fix, but a true foodie knows there are big flavors beyond the burger. Foodie favorites include the Bacon Burger- no shock there- Thai Nachos, and its Fried Green Tomato BLT. The Thai Nachos are a twist on your normal version, with a spicy switch-up covered in peanut sauce and shredded chicken. Now if you’re from Alabama, you’re no stranger to fried green tomatoes and you’ve probably also seen the movie a handful of times. Avenue Pub’s Fried Green Tomato BLT comes prepared extra crispy in between all of the fixings and rye bread. With delicious food to treat everyone’s cravings and a fun atmosphere, it’s no wonder why foodies flock to Avenue Pub!
 
Waysider Restaurant
Every foodie must get started with the most important meal of the day- breakfast! The Waysider has been serving Tuscaloosa for 70 years and is the oldest continuously serving restaurant in West Alabama. The atmosphere of this little old red house will make you feel at home or even like you’re sitting at your grandma’s table as you wait for your hot stack of pancakes to be served. Foodie to foodie, let’s talk biscuits and gravy. The Waysider is known for its red-eye gravy- a true southern classic! The sweet and salty flavors pair perfectly with its buttery, flakey biscuits. While a keen foodie does love the eats, they also are looking for a great atmosphere! Here, guests feel at ease and taken care of. I mean, with 70 years in the business, The Waysider knows how to keep its audience happy!
 
We know there are so many foodie-approved hot spots here in Tuscaloosa, but we can’t write the novel for you! Go out and explore the tastes of Tuscaloosa on your own! Chat with us @visittuscaloosa on Instagram and Facebook to share your foodie stories!
Love is in the air! It’s almost Valentine’s Day- fresh flower deliveries, a fun night on the town, or maybe just a Netflix night in. Either way, we have some fun ideas for you to make sure you get the final rose this Valentine’s Day!

For the Foodies

Do you show love through food? Or maybe, you just love eating food. Well, do we have the perfect spots for you and your sweetheart to hit up this weekend! Everything from gourmet pasta to wine tasting, we got you covered! 

For the Adventurers

Are you the type of couple that can’t stand to be stuck inside? Maybe romantic candlelight dinners aren’t for you- and that’s perfectly okay! It’s always exciting to get outdoors to enjoy nature but what better way to do that than with the one you care for. And on Valentine’s Day nonetheless! Here’s what we’ve got in mind for you:

For the Singles

If you’re anything like me, you might be riding solo this Valentine’s Day. *Cue sad violin music* Hey, it’s all good! Pull the selfish card, make yourself your favorite meal, and pop on a little Netflix because this day is all about you! And let’s be honest, who loves you more than you? Here are some Valentine’s Day ideas that scream “I Am Single and I Love It”:
Whether you’re taking one for the team this year or are feeling lovey-dovey with your partner, this Valentine’s Day has opportunities for all kinds of enthusiasts. Don’t be shy! Message us on Facebook or Instagram to share with us how you spent your romantic weekend!
Written By: Olivia Nonnengard

Thanksgiving at Chuck’s Fish

It is Thanksgiving week, and Chuck’s Fish is gearing up for their most important event of the year: the Chuck’s Fish Thanksgiving Feast. Chuck’s celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday each year by opening up shop on Thanksgiving Day and providing free meals all afternoon to those who are in need and those that just don’t feel like cooking. They have provided over 3,000 meals in the last two years and are not going to let COVID-19 ruin their holiday spirit. If you don’t need a free meal, you can donate to their cause when you pick yours up! Even though the dining room will be closed for this year’s Thanksgiving Feast, Chuck’s will still be offering to-go, drive-through, or walk-up (takeaway) orders for all who need a Thanksgiving meal. In addition to providing meals for the community, Chuck’s will also be taking donations that will benefit Habitat for Humanity! Chuck’s Fish is located at 508 Greensboro Avenue and will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 11 AM until 3 PM, but check the Chuck’s Fish Tuscaloosa Facebook page for more information throughout the week.

 

Thanksgiving Hours Blog

Finding a place to eat around the holidays can truly be a Nightmare Before Christmas, but we have you covered! For Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s day, we have compiled a list of restaurants in and around Tuscaloosa and provided their adjusted hours of operation in response to the holiday season. Visit the 2020 Tuscaloosa Restaurant Holiday Hours blog on our website to determine the best place to visit for a holiday meal, just in case! Stay tuned to the restaurant’s websites and social media pages for more up-to-date information.

 

Holidays on the River (Ice Skating) 

Wintertime has returned to the Black Warrior River, which means that Holidays on the River is back open for everyone to enjoy! Holidays on the River is an ice-skating rink located at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, open to the public from now through January 18th. For health and safety, this year the ice rink is limited to 50% capacity, hand sanitizing stations are located conveniently throughout the area, and guests are kindly asked to wear a mask at all times while enjoying the ice rink and related festivities! Visit the Holidays on the River website to learn more about Ticket Rates and special celebrations held at the rink throughout this holiday season!

 

Gameday

Don’t let the holiday season distract you too much from what time of year it is: the Iron Bowl! The Alabama Crimson Tide will be facing off against the in-state rivals, the Auburn Tigers, this Saturday at 2:30PM in Bryant-Denny Stadium, hosting College GameDay for the second time this season. It is important to note that masks are still required for entrance into the stadium and there will be procedures in place to keep fans physically distanced from each other for safety! You can also download the UA Gameday mobile app for up-to-date information about safety, traffic/parking, and more. We will see you there Saturday when the gates open up at noon!

 

Local Businesses for Black Friday

After all the craziness of the Thanksgiving holiday, there is nothing better than put yourself right back into more craziness for Black Friday! If you are browsing through Midtown Village, don’t miss out on Vintage Cotton Boutique and Alumni Hall. If you are walking through Downtown Tuscaloosa, you can’t miss The Locker RoomEffie’s Inc., or Pause; Boutique to name a few. All around Tuscaloosa, local stores will be open for all your holiday shopping needs, however, this year will look a little different. It is important to remember to wear a mask at all times and keep hand sanitizer close while shopping on Black Friday!

 

College Gameday has made its way back to Tuscaloosa and from playing with a furry friend to socially distanced football, there are tons of things to do all around town! If you find you are needing to fill your time with something other than football, the City of Tuscaloosa has plenty to offer. Whether you want to enjoy live entertainment, do some shopping, or even visit some exciting museum exhibits, we have made a list of some incredible activities available to do throughout the weekend for everyone! As always, be sure to bring a mask along wherever you go in Tuscaloosa for the safety of yourself and the safety of others.

For everyone’s safety, many gameday updates have been made for the 2020 season all around campus. If you are part of the lucky 20 percent allowed into the stadium, head to the University of Alabama’s 2020 Gameday Information Page for all the details on what you need to know to stay safe and keep those around you safe. If you are wondering what has been updated and added to the Alabama Crimson Tide Game Day Experience, read the article here on the University of Alabama website!

It is rare to be able to come to Tuscaloosa on a gameday Saturday without having to plan several months in advance. This year, as I’m sure you’re aware, is different than any other because of the open availability at some of our incredible hotels. Now is the time to take a road trip down and see what T-Town is all about. For information on the diverse selection of our city’s hotels, many within walking distance of Tuscaloosa’s unique restaurants, shopping, and entertainmentclick here.

Have you been missing the entertainment of live music since March just like us? Hotel Indigo near Downtown Tuscaloosa near the Black Warrior River is home to the Lookout Rooftop Bar that features a wide menu of cocktails and food, and even hosts live concerts safely outdoors! This gameday weekend, the Lookout Bar is hosting concerts at the Hotel Indigo featuring Brad Kuehner on Thursday and Mama Dixie & The Prize Inside on Friday. There is limited seating at the Lookout Bar, so make sure and arrive early to grab a seat and a bite to eat before enjoying live music to start off a long weekend of SEC football!

The Tuscaloosa Metro Animal shelter offers a unique experience they call Happy Hour. Happy hour allows members of the community to help a dog’s mental health by getting the animals out of the kennel environment and allowing them to get exercise. If you’re looking for something fun to do tomorrow, you can check an approved dog out between the hours of 12-4 PM at their shelter. With a valid driver’s license and a participation contract, you will be ready to have a fun day with your new best friend! Find out more information on their website!

If you want to feel what our city’s champions have felt like, swing by the Paul W. Bryant Museum to get a picture with the Coaches Trophy/National Championship Trophy! The Bryant Museum operates on specific gameday hours, so visit the Gameday Facebook page here to confirm when the museum is open for business this upcoming Saturday. The museum recommends purchasing admission ahead of your visit to ensure admittance and to offer an idea of visitation for the curators to healthily operate the museum according to their health protocols. For more information on pricing and exhibits available for viewing, visiting the Paul W. Bryant Museum website!

A wonderful way to start off a gameday full of activity is to visit the local farmers market to browse all the local Tuscaloosa vendors have to offer! Even on game day, the Tuscaloosa Farmers Market at the Tuscaloosa River Market is hustling and bustling as usual along the Black Warrior River! Starting early on Saturday at 7:00 AM and only going to 12:00 PM, the Tuscaloosa Farmers Market is open for business for all the Crimson Tide fans in town. Additionally, this farmers market currently features a curbside option for those who are being extra safe with COVID-19. For more information on the farmers market and the available vendors, visit the Tuscaloosa Farmers Market website here.

The Children’s Hands-On Museum is brewing up some trouble this upcoming gameday on October 17th at their Witches Brew, so if you are looking for somewhere to take the kids away from the chaos of a game day, stop by! The CHOM is open and operating regularly, with additional safety protocols instituted to ensure the safety of all the visitors. With exciting and fun exhibits for kids – and even adults – of all ages, the experiential learning the museum has to offer is a must-do activity in town. Visit the Children’s Hands-On Museum website to find admission and get a sneak peek of all the fun in store for you and your kids!

Written by: Will Baggett

Tuscaloosa has so many restaurants, shops, and outdoor spaces to enjoy, but sometimes it can be difficult to let the good times roll when you’re on a tight budget. Thankfully, there are so many activities around town that are either low-cost or free! With endless restaurant specials and outdoor attractions galore, it’s so easy to experience Tuscaloosa to the fullest without breaking the bank!

FOOD

Baumhower’s: Baumhower’s Victory Grille is a restaurant and sports bar chain founded by former Alabama football player Bob Baumhower. The restaurant offers specials that make it easy to dine out without breaking the bank! Their Halftime special is Monday through Friday from 2-6 p.m., with half-priced appetizers and drink specials. Every Thursday from 6-9 p.m. is Girls Night Out, featuring a 2-for-1 menu and discounts on beer and wine. With two locations in Tuscaloosa, stop by this week to enjoy the casual atmosphere and great specials at Baumhower’s!

Catch a Taste: Catch a Taste is a food truck in Tuscaloosa that specializes in wings and hot dogs. Their wings can be made in a variety of flavors, including favorites such as sweet honey barbeque and sweet heat. The truck offers daily specials from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., including deals on Polish dawgs, wraps, and wing combos of many sizes. Catch a Taste stops at a different location every day, so make sure you check the stop schedule on their Facebook page to know where they’re located!

Heat Pizza Bar: Founded in downtown Tuscaloosa in 2015, Heat Pizza Bar offers artisan pizza and salad made from fresh ingredients. The restaurant has different specials every Monday through Thursday, including deals on specialty pizzas and cocktails. Heat Pizza also has Happy Hour drink specials Monday through Friday from 2-6 p.m. Check out their website to see the full list of specials, and drop in to try one out!

Ruan Thai: Ruan Thai is Tuscaloosa’s top destination for a variety of Asian dishes, including traditional Thai favorites and sushi rolls. The restaurant offers curry specials every weekday for only $8.95, including dishes such as red curry and khao soi. The full list of specials is available on their website. If you’re in the mood to experience something different, Ruan Thai is a delicious and budget-friendly option!

OUTDOOR

Will May Dog Park: Will May Dog Park is one of the best places in Tuscaloosa to take your furry friend out to play. The park is open daily from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. and offers fenced-in areas for small dogs, large dogs, and a training yard. Best of all, it’s free! Enjoy Tuscaloosa’s hot summer days with your dog at Will May Dog Park!

Snow Hinton Park: Snow Hinton Park is one of Tuscaloosa’s most well-known parks. Facilities including lighted athletic fields, grills, and picnic tables are available for the public to use. Snow Hinton Park is easily recognizable because of its giant jungle gym, but there are also smaller play structures available. There’s something for the whole family to enjoy for free at Snow Hinton Park!

Bowers Park: Another free outdoor space that’s chock-full of fun activities is Bowers Park. Amenities such as disc golf, lighted tennis courts, volleyball nets, and a playground make this the perfect place to spend an afternoon with family and friends. There’s even an indoor facility with fitness equipment and a wood floor gym! Stop by Bowers Park today to enjoy everything that this wonderful park has to offer!

SHOP

The Shirt Shop: The Shirt Shop has been a Tuscaloosa classic since 1979. The shop specializes in upper scale men’s, women’s, and youth clothing, including a wide selection of gameday attire. In the men’s department, you can purchase two pairs of AFTCO shorts and get a free hat! While you’re at The Shirt Shop, make sure to inquire about designing your perfect gameday polo. With so much to choose from, you’re guaranteed to find something for the whole family!

Today, June 19, marks an incredible milestone for black liberation. Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Recognize today as an opportunity to listen, learn, and act as we fight for progress and equality within our own community. We have compiled a list of 5 ways you can celebrate Juneteenth this year in Tuscaloosa!

 

  1. Educate Yourself

One of the very best approaches to fully understand what Juneteenth means is to simply spend time listening and learning. We have the Civil Rights Trail that collects, preserves, and tells the stories of the important struggle for civil rights in Tuscaloosa. The trail, museum, and other resources represent the historical honesty necessary for our community to prosper. Enjoy the summer sun and immerse yourself in the rich civil rights history of this city.

 

  1. Support Black-Owned Businesses

Another incredible way to celebrate this holiday is to support all of the amazing black-owned businesses right here in Tuscaloosa. Want to branch out and try something new? Check out Reggae Flava’s delicious, gourmet Jamaican cuisine! They also have fun drinks like the Frozen Pina Colada or the Blue Coconut Rum Runner. If your appetite is far from adventurous, check out the local staple Catfish Heaven. Although their dining rooms are closed, now is the perfect time of year to grab some wings to-go and enjoy the fresh air! For all black-owned businesses in town check out Young Tuscaloosa’s list!

 

  1. Juneteenth Jam

Tonight, the Lookout Rooftop Bar will be celebrating Juneteenth with a limited edition “Juneteenth Jam” cocktail created specifically for this holiday! This concoction can be made with your favorite bourbon or vodka & fresh blackberries! Take in the breathtaking view of the city and enjoy the savory flavor of your delicious cocktail. It’s the perfect refreshing way to kick back and enjoy time with your friends and family!

 

  1. Celebrate

Don’t miss out on Tuscaloosa’s Juneteenth 2020 Celebration this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Snow Hinton Park.  Bring your entire family because there will be voter registration, census registration, games, face painting, and so much more!

 

  1. Take Action

It is so important to take time to learn about Juneteenth, but the holiday represents much more than simply education. Juneteenth represents the power of change. Educating yourself on our nation’s history can only take you so far, it’s the tactical actions that make the real difference! One way to embody the spirit of Juneteenth is to volunteer online with the United Nations and its “Let’s Fight Racism” initiative. Put your skills to work for a great cause. There are a plethora of ways you can volunteer, whether it be writing an article, developing a communications strategy, or even designing an infographic.

7 Ways to Conquer your Child’s Boredom in Tuscaloosa

Create a lifetime of unforgettable memories right here in Tuscaloosa this summer. Kids are out of school, so the pressure is all on the parents to entertain the little ones! Lucky for you, we have an abundance of engaging activities for the whole family to enjoy- especially the young ones! Whether you end up crafting with a take-home pottery kit or indulging in a sweet treat like yogurt and fruit popsicles you (and your kids) are bound to have a wonderful time in the one and only Tuscaloosa!

SWEET TREATS

1. Summer Snow

Cool down with some shaved ice at this local hot spot. Kids will love the vast variety of flavors to choose from, and you will too! From dreamsicle to butterscotch, Summer Snow has a little something for everyone to enjoy in this phenomenal summer weather.

2. La Real Michoacana

This hidden gem is of Tuscaloosa’s best-kept secrets! La Real Michoacana has a wide variety of popsicles and is always working on new flavors! Try flavors like Key Lime Pie, or refreshing Peach. They also have chips and tamales if you are looking to snack on something a little more filling.

3. Steel City Pops

Get something fruity, creamy, or cookie-based, the choice is yours! All pops are gluten-free and made with natural ingredients. Steel City Pops rotates flavors based on the season, so you are guaranteed satisfaction with a light and refreshing treat that pairs perfectly with the toasty summer weather in Ttown!

4. Babes Doughnuts

This sweet spot has so many options to please the entire family! Babe’s doughnut flavors range from Fruity Pebbles to Maple Bacon. They also serve wraps, cold brew coffee, and signature lattes! If you’re avoiding lines, they are still taking orders over the phone. Give them a call and enjoy a delicious doughnut to kick start your day the right way.

CRAFTY/LEARNING ACTIVITIES

5. All Fired Up

This paint your own pottery studio in Tuscaloosa is the perfect place to spend some getting creative with your loved ones. If you’re not ready for a public outing, All Fired Up also has a wide variety of take-home pottery kits that includes a guide with tips and tricks to create the best final product. Whether you make a Dunder Mifflin Coffee mug or a set of 2 teardrop bud vases to decorate your home, All Fired Up has options to reflect any personality and style!

6. Children’s Hands-On Museum

The Children’s Hands-On Museum has something for every day of the week to make learning an interactive and enjoyable experience. Under new social distancing guidelines, CHOM has come up with CHOM at Home to keep your kiddo’s entertained and learning. Visit their website to see what interesting topics they have planned for this week and fun facts that will have the entire family entertained!

GET ACTIVE

7. Ice Cream Run Remote Run

Get rid of that cabin fever and get the whole family out for the Ice Cream Remote Run. This run Is taking place during the entire month of June and can be completed wherever you please, on your own time. This is the perfect opportunity to promote a healthy and active lifestyle and to create a bonding family group activity. What are you waiting for? Grab the whole family and head to the Riverwalk, UA campus, or visit one of the many trails Tuscaloosa has to offer. If that’s not enough, all participants will also receive a medal at the end of the month.

The Tuscaloosa restaurant scene is continuing to expand with a variety of restaurants. With everything from seafood to southern comfort food and a plethora of cultural influences, there are so many different options to explore. There’s no time like the present to check out what these five new Tuscaloosa restaurants have to offer!

 

King’s Kitchen

King’s Kitchen is the place to go if you’re craving comfort food at a great price! The restaurant has been in business since 2019 and is located on Hargrove Road. Like a typical meat-and-three, diners can choose from a variety of combinations depending on the day, including southern fried chicken tenders, spaghetti casserole, and meatloaf. Burgers, sandwiches, and salads are also available. Whatever you’re looking for, it’s on the menu and can be picked up curbside at King’s Kitchen!

 

The Juicy Crab

If you’re in the mood for seafood, The Juicy Crab has got you covered! The Georgia-based chain has been expanding across the southeast since 2015, and Tuscaloosa got a location of its own in 2019. Situated in Midtown Village, the Cajun-inspired restaurant prides themselves on their special and secret seasoning blend. Blue crab, shrimp, crawfish, and a variety of other seafood favorites are on the menu. Quell those seafood cravings with curbside pickup from The Juicy Crab!

 

The Biscuit Shop

If you’re looking for homemade southern food, look no further than The Biscuit Shop in downtown Northport! The restaurant opened in October 2017 and has been serving up scratch-made biscuits and sandwiches ever since. The menu changes monthly, so be sure to check in regularly to try new flavors and find your favorites. The only catch: you have to get there before they sell out!

 

Reggae Flava

You may know Reggae Flava as the most colorful of Tuscaloosa’s food trucks, but the restaurant recently expanded to a brick-and-mortar location in downtown Tuscaloosa! Authentic Jamaican cuisine is their specialty, serving dishes such as curry chicken, pineapple BBQ jerk salmon, and Jamaican pepper steak. If you’re interested in trying something new, Reggae Flava is an excellent choice!

 

Twelve25

If you’re looking for a laid-back atmosphere to enjoy, stop by Twelve25, the newest spot on The Strip! Twelve25 opened in early 2020 and has been thriving in its first year. This spot combines sports, electronic gaming, and nightlife entertainment to create an atmosphere that is unlike anything else in Tuscaloosa! Their menu is filled with burgers, salads, and street-style tacos, and they also offer a traditional bar.

Visit Tuscaloosa continues to monitor the rapidly changing situation related to the spread of COVID-19. We understand that concerns for health, safety, and the impact on meeting attendance, among other issues, affects our community. Our main priority is the health and safety (physically, economically, and socially) of the residents and visitors of the Tuscaloosa community.

According to the City of Tuscaloosa, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself from getting sick:

We encourage all travelers and attendees to follow the guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We want to encourage residents of Tuscaloosa to continue supporting local restaurants while maintaining safe social-distancing practices. The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama has compiled a spreadsheet of independent & local restaurants offering take-out, drive-thru, & delivery options. Find the list here, and check back as this spreadsheet continues to grow: tuscaloosachamber.com/support-local

Latest News

Follow these links for real-time updates and information:

On March 12, the Southeastern Conference announced the suspension of regular-season competition for teams in all sports on SEC campuses, as well as SEC championship events, until March 30. This includes all SEC events at Texas A&M University. To learn more, visit rolltide.com.

On April 2, the Governor of Alabama announced a statewide stay-at-home order. This went into effect on Saturday, April 3 at 5:00 P.M. The new order allows people to travel to obtain necessary supplies, including food, medication and equipment needed to work from home, and products needed to maintain safety, sanitation and essential maintenance of a home or residence.

Health Authorities and Academics

Looking for more information? Here is a shortlist of trusted resources.