15 Best Things to Do in Tuscaloosa

15 Best Things to Do in Tuscaloosa

Tuscaloosa is believed to be the fifth largest city in Alabama and its main centre of education, commerce and trade.

It is also home to the University of Alabama and the football team. The city is very colourful and joyful and provide a large number of unique and affordable fun options to the visitors.

The city has some unique and world famous cafes. Tuscaloosa is also home to administrative offices of Alabama, making it one of the well-managed and disciplined cities in the entire state.

The city has a large number of tourist attractions, the most famous of which you have been covered in this article:

Tuscaloosa Riverwalk

Tuscaloosa Riverwalk
Deutschlandreform, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Riverwalk in Tuscaloosa is not something less than a scenery turned into reality. The Riverwalk is spread over a trial of 2 miles, which is converted into a path along the banks of black warrior river.

In addition to that, a large number of shops, eateries, and a playground is also there. The place turns out to be an ideal location for kids as well as adults and suitable for activities such as walking, jogging, bicycling, picnicking, or just chilling.

The food in the eateries alongside the part is quite delicious and affordable at the same time. The Riverwalk also has a unique combination of colourful please during different seasons, which definitely attracts most of the tourists.

Paul W Bryant museum

The museum was opened in the year 1988 for paying tributes to coach Paul Bryant, who trained the Crimson Tide football team. It is believed that he was so efficient in his teachings that the team secured six national championships under his coaching.

The museum is built on the campus of University of Alabama. Since, the museum is dedicated to a football coach, it has a large number of displays and exhibitions which deal completely in football and its history in Tuscaloosa.

A large number of collection of the museum is dedicated to the life of the famous coach. Along with coach Bryant, the museum also pays respects to other notable football coaches and players.

The Tuscaloosa Amphitheatre

Tuscaloosa amphitheatre
Ttownfeen, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Tuscaloosa amphitheatre is a big open area located on the banks of the black warrior river. This theatre was designed by a famous construction company and opened in the year 2011 for public.

The amphitheatre is built on an area covering 15 acres of land and has a capacity of taking 8400 guests at a time. It is largely used as a site for conducting public events such as concerts, music festivals, and other festivals.

Since its opening, the theatre has witnessed a large number of concerts and events from well-known artists around the world. It also offers box seats and premium stage views along with a ticket upgradation and rental spaces.

Children’s Hands-on Museum

In a city full of war memorials and historical items, the children’s hands on museum is a place where children can find a refugee during their trip to Tuscaloosa.

This museum has been built using some unique technologies and offers as much as 25 exhibitions aimed at teaching various things to children in a fun way. Most of the exhibitions at the museum focus on teaching Arts, civics, stem technology, etc.

However, it is important to note that only children aged between 0 to 13 years are allowed in the museum. Alongside the normal exhibitions, the museum also organises events such as Halloween parties, nickelodeon day of play, school field trips, educational tours, and much more.

The museum also provides for private reservation for organising birthday parties, making it one-stop destination for fulfilling all requirements of a child.

Factory Tour of The Mercedes-Benz Visitor Centre

Mercedes Benz visitor centre comes as a total surprise to visitors in Tuscaloosa. The factory outlet here has been functioning since 1999 and producing world-class luxurious Mercedes cars.

Along with that, the Centre is also one of the major tourist attractions in the city and showcases how the Centre has grown in the past two decades.

The factory tour basically gives you a slight peek-a-boo into the Manufacturing Process, the spare parts used in the process, and an exhibition of the most iconic race cars and famous concepts. The entry to the centre is free throughout Monday to Friday.

Capitol Park

Capitol Park was the site of capital in the year 1826. The seat was shifted in 1847 so the building was converted into a college. This college, Alabama Central Female College stood on the premise till the year 1923.

The building got severe fire in 1923 and was demolished to the grounds. However, at present capitol Park presents the site of water remains from the severe fire.

The park is surrounded by lush green grass on all the sides. Capital Park in Tuscaloosa is one of the place where people enjoy the ruins of history and present at the same time.

Bryant-Denny Stadium

Bryant Danny Stadium
Rob Hainer / Shutterstock.com

The city has always honoured its great people, and Bryant-Denny. Stadium is another example of that honour. Opened in 1929, the stadium was a tribute to George Danny, the President of University of Alabama.

The stadium has received laurels in world, and is the eighth largest stadium in the entire world. It has a capacity of in taking more than one lakh visitors at a time.

The stadium is also famous for hosting some of the major events for home team as well as states college teams football at present the stadium is joint home to Alabama high school athletic Association and Auburn University’s Jordan Hare Stadium.

The Jemison- Van De Graaff Mansion

Jemison- Van De graaff mansion
William McDill / Shutterstock.com

This house in Tuscaloosa is believed to be one of the most advanced and beautifully designed historical houses when it was built in 1859.

The important thing to note is that while the house was still under construction, civil war broke out in Alabama and the construction was never completed. But, the part that was completed still is a source of awe to many people as it was perfectly and intricately completed by local workers.

It is also believed to be the first place in Tuscaloosa which had its own bathroom and a gas plant. It was eventually converted into a city library at one point. At present, the property is open for rental services, witnessing many weddings and ceremonies.

Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse

Federal Building in Tuscaloosa
William McDill / Shutterstock.com

Spread over an area of 127,000 ft.², the Federal building and US courthouse were built in 2011. The buildings are a living example of efforts of revival of Greek architecture and significant historical art.

This is one of the most expensive infrastructures that stand in Tuscaloosa and it was built with the cost of $47.8 million.

The place could easily be said to be the judicial hub of Tuscaloosa as it houses United States District Court, bankruptcy Court, FBI, and many other buildings of administrative importance. The paintings in these buildings are also worth admiration.

Old Tavern Museum

Old Tavern museum is one of the buildings that was built in 1827 and still stands in its original form. During its operation, the tavern welcomed Confederate soldiers and military officers.

Today it is one of the standing examples of historical Southern architecture style. The property has been restored once and converted into the museum right after the restoration.

The original antique and vintage pieces of the building are still preserved in the museum as it exhibits the local history of the region.

Lake Nicol

It is a local lake which is beautifully surrounded by forests around all the sites. The lake has a wooded public park nearby. It is quite accessible from the university boulevard.

The Park and the lake itself are located at a central place which makes them quite accessible from all the other places in the city. The place is open for public residents as well as visitors and offers various activities such as fish catching, boating, and picnicking in and around the property.

During the summer seasons, the lake also serves as one of the famous sports for birdwatching and is quite heavily crowded with different species of birds from around the world. It also offers an opportunity to explore the surrounding forests and wild areas, making it an interesting place especially for the younger generation.

Alabama Museum of Natural History

Alabama Museum of Natural history
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Another famous tourist attraction in Tuscaloosa, the Alabama museum of natural history has been existing for last 150 years.

The place shows the history of people in Alabama and different forms of art that they have adopted over time. It comes under the property of University of Alabama and provides ample opportunity to increase your knowledge about the history of Alabama.

The museum has permanent exhibitions and organizes temporary exhibitions on various topics. Certain historical items from Neolithic age are also on display in this museum.

It is also believed that one of the largest creatures discovered during the time when humans were not on earth was also discovered in Alabama. All these things are on display in this museum.

DePalma’s Italian Cafe

The famous Italian cafe in Tuscaloosa has been in picture for last two decades now. The cafe is known for serving authentic Italian food. The best part about the food served in the cafe is that the food is made from fresh ingredients.

The menu of the cafe is also quite expensive and includes a large variety of dishes. Another attractive thing about this cafe is that it has an open kitchen so that the visitors can see how their food is being cooked while they wait for it to be served.

The cafe also provides for specialities like customising your own pizzas, handmade food items and much more. Along with the delicious food, the restaurant also serves fresh beverages ranging from espresso to craft beers.

Mugshots Grill and Bar

Mugshots Grill and bar is a chain restaurant which started functioning in 2004 in Mississippi. Its branch in Tuscaloosa was opened in September, 2007. Since 2007, the place has been a famous spot for local gatherings and hangouts.

This particular bar is famous among the locals for the good quality food they serve at very affordable prices. The burger served here has been voted as the best burger in Mississippi for consecutive years.

Apart from that, the bar offers an extensive and rich menu which include different type of burgers and appetisers. They also offer specially handcrafted beers from local breweries. Mugshots grill and bar is a must visit place during local festivals to enjoy the culture and liveliness of Tuscaloosa.

Dreamland Barbeque

Dreamland barbeque is another franchise restaurant which has opened its branch in Tuscaloosa. The race two was first opened in year 1958 by John Bishop and is quite famous.

The barbeque is especially known for their secret recipes which have been followed for cooking dishes for more than 50 years and still continuing.

The restaurant offers different type of southern food to its visitors. It also has a bar in full service which serves some of the best drinks from local microbreweries.

Dreamland Barbeque has an open kitchen where customers can watch their food being cooked and enjoy the food afterwards. The staff is courteous and friendly and offers best service.

Apart from what is covered in this article, Tuscaloosa has other attractions as well. Another famous restaurant such as Archibald and Woodraw’s barbeque, rivers, certain other museums and historical homes, lakes and parks are also present in the city.

Tuscaloosa is one of those places in Alabama which could not be covered in entirety even in a week. Being a dynamic and expansive city that Tuscaloosa is, it is definitely going to be one of your favourite vacation destinations around the world.

You would not want to miss even a single item from this list above and hence maker proper plans for your upcoming trip to Tuscaloosa.