You might be thinking about where to visit in Alabama. And you might not be thinking of visiting the city of Tuscaloosa. But you could be wrong if you think so. And, I am going to convince you that Tuscaloosa can be one of the most interesting places to visit in Alabama.

The city of Tuscaloosa is located on the banks of the Black Warrior River in western Alabama. Tuscaloosa is the 5th largest city by population in Alabama. Tuscaloosa is the home of the University of Alabama and is also known to be a college town and famous for its football team.

So, without wasting any time let’s find out the best places to visit in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.    

Top 17 Places to visit in Tuscaloosa
Best Places to visit in Tuscaloosa

1. The river walk

The river walk in Tuscaloosa along the banks of the Black Warrior River is one of the best places to visit in Tuscaloosa. This 4.5-mile-long trail along the river starts at Capitol Park and ends on the east side of Manderson Landing. The long trail is well decorated for the walkers and bikers. This scenic route is a nice place to be to enjoy nature’s serenity.  

Tuscaloosa Riverwalk
Tuscaloosa Riverwalk

The Tuscaloosa riverwalk area is surrounded by cafes and restaurants where you can spend quality time. Dog parents can also have a walk with their dogs around the river walk. Along the path, there are many benches where joggers can relax. There are ample areas to park your vehicles around and enjoy a quick run to stay fit.

2. The River Market

Tuscaloosa River Market is a weekly affair that is held on the banks of the Black Warrior river. Many farmers across the countryside come to sell their local produce in the Tuscaloosa Farmer’s Market. 

Timings: Every Saturday from 7 am-noon, year-round.

Tuscaloosa Farmer market
Tuscaloosa Farmer market

Over 70 farmers and artisans come to sell their fresh fruits, vegetables, grass-fed beef, eggs, loaves of bread, material goods, arts, farm-fresh meats, and much more.

Locals come around this market to have a nice stroll around the market on a Saturday morning and start their weekend with a lot of farm-fresh and local goods.

3. Government Plaza

Government Plaza, spread across five acres in area is located in Downtown Tuscaloosa. This place is a significant and popular place to relax among the locals. Every Friday a local band performs in the plaza during 6-9 pm. With drinks and food, locals enjoy a fun time on their weekends here.

Government Plaza
Government Plaza

This place remains open throughout the week. People can visit this place for a nice short evening stroll around the park during summer.

4. Moundville Archeological Park

Moundville Archeological Park is one of the most prominent places at the University of Alabama. South of Tuscaloosa around the Black Warrior River Moundville Archeological Park is located. This is also one of the nation’s premier native American Heritage Sites.

Moundville Archeological Park
Moundville Archeological Park

The park is spread across 326 acres where 800 years ago Mississippian people constructed 29 flat-topped earthen mounds around a large green vacant area. For a long time, this place operated as a full-grown town. By the 1500s’ this town was abandoned mostly.

You can get some stunning views of these ancient monuments and the Black Warrior River. Around this park, you can also enjoy a half-mile nature trail for walking, picnicking, and other recreational activities.

5. Lake Tuscaloosa

Lake Tuscaloosa is the main source of water in Tuscaloosa. This lake was man-made in 1970 by Thronton Jones to provide water to the people of Tuscaloosa by creating a Dam on the river.

The giant Lake Tuscaloosa is spread across 5,885 acres of area that provides the people of Tuscaloosa with different recreation opportunities. People can enjoy fishing, boating, and, swimming.

Fishing black bass and largemouth bass is quite popular among fish anglers. Being one of the largest water reservoirs in western Alabama many water sports are held here.

6. The Children’s Hands-on museum

If you are looking for a place to visit that your kids would then the Children’s Hands-on Museum is the place to be. This place is located nearby Bama Theatre and the Government Plaza.

You can take your children here on weekdays from 9.30 am- 4 pm. Here children can play, learn and enjoy. They will have a good hands-on experience in farming, market, science, old village lifestyle, and much more.

They also arrange special school visits, birthday parties, and other events for kids. You can plan one for your kids here.

7. Capitol Park

Capitol Park, Tuscaloosa is maintained by Tuscaloosa County Park & Recreation Authority. This Park has historical significance. During 1826-1846 this park was the designated Alabama Capitol. Later, after it was moved to Montogomery it was used as the building of Alabama Central Female College.

Capitol Park
Capitol Park

Later in 1923 unfortunate accident burned the whole building. Only two pillars of the building are still standing there as a memorial to the history of the park. This place is now decorated as a park for recreation for the people of Tuscaloosa. You can come here with your family and have an easy relaxing time.

8. The University of Alabama

The University of Alabama is one of the main attractions in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It is the reason why Tuscaloosa is known to be the college town of Alabama. The University of Alabama is a place of significance in Alabama’s history with many museums, cultural facilities, and historical landmarks.

University of Alabama
University of Alabama

UA is also known for being the largest library in the whole city of Tuscaloosa. Everybody in the city can visit the library and collect books from there. The campus is one of the largest with 1970 acres spread across the center of the city.

The University of Alabama is also the home to its popular Football team Crimson Tide. Locals love to cheer for their home team when they play in the Bryant-Denny Stadium nearby.

9. Bryant Denny Stadium

Bryant Denny Stadium was established in 1929 inside the campus of the University of Alabama. This is one of the major attractions for the locals of Tuscaloosa. It is the home ground of the champion school football team of Crimson Tide.

Bryant Denny Stadium
Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Bryant Denny Stadium is the 8th largest stadium in the USA and the 10th largest stadium in the whole world. The stadium is named after the former Head coach Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant and former president George H. Denny.

The stadium has a seating capacity of over 100,000. Watching a game with a jam-packed stadium makes the atmosphere electrifying. So, if you got a chance to watch them play don’t miss out. 

10. The Bama Theatre

This Theatre opened in 1938 and is still in business. This place is considered to be a historic place for art and entertainment. This place is located in downtown Tuscaloosa and people enjoy a relaxed date night here with many good restaurants and pubs around this place is a good place for weekend hangouts.

Bama Theatre
Bama Theatre, Tuscaloosa

This theatre hosts local concerts and performances as well as acoustic nights. This place is currently managed by the Arts Council of Tuscaloosa. If you are a sucker for old-school arts and drama then this is the place for you in Tuscaloosa.

11. The Tuscaloosa Amphitheatre

There is something about sitting outside with a live crowd and listening to your favorite band play live music. That’s what you experience here.

The giant Tuscaloosa Amphitheatre is one of the newest addition to the popular places in Tuscaloosa. This place is located a few minutes away from the University of Alabama and the Bryant- Denny Stadium, near the famous Tuscaloosa river walk trails.

Tuscaloosa Amphitheatre
Tuscaloosa Amphitheatre

This amphitheater hosts music events. It has a seating capacity of 7,470 and is popular among the locals as popular bands perform here. You will have a great time here surrounded by a live audience cheering for their favorite bands performing live.

There is plenty of parking near the theatre that makes it easy for you. The clean and engaging atmosphere around this place is the reason why people love coming to this place. Do check out this place while you are in town.

12. Mercedez-Benz Visitor’s center and plant tour

If you love cars and the engineering that goes behind them, this is the place for you. This state-of-the-art facility is unique as it is the only visitor center of Mercedez-Benz outside Germany. This place was opened in 1997 and allows visitors regularly.

Mercedez-Benz visitor center
Mercedez-Benz visitor center

They also build some popular automobile models here in this center. Here you will find some of the oldest models and iconic classic Mercedez-Benz automobiles. The visitor center is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 am- 4:30 pm. You can also have a factory tour around the 2-mile area of the whole facility.  

13. Snow Hinton Park

Snow Hinton Park is one of the largest parks in Tuscaloosa. This giant lush green park near Hargrove E Road is maintained by the TCPARA. This is one of the most visible parks in Tuscaloosa spread across a 40-acre area.

This large park area has a walking track, pavilions, a large climbing net, public art display, and large open green fields. This place is quite popular among residents who love to spend their time here with their friends and family enjoying a picnic. Your children would love to play around on a sunny morning.

14. Alabama Museum of Natural History

Alabama Museum of Natural History is the oldest museum in Alabama. This museum was founded in 1831 and is located in the Smith Hall of UA. It is one of the largest museums in Alabama that has such diversity in its collection.

Tuscaloosa Museum of Natural History
Tuscaloosa Museum of Natural History

The museum has collectibles such as dinosaur fossils, items relating to zoology, geology, ethnology, history, photography, and much more. The special attractions are the fossil of a giant dinosaur, the skull of an American Mastodon, and the Hodges meteorite. Every year new items are added to their list of collectibles.

A visit to this place can be fun if you are coming with your children. They are going to enjoy this place a lot.  

15. Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park

Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park is a park spread across 1500 acres near the unincorporated town of McCalla in Tuscaloosa County. This historical state park is divided into three counties for hiking, camping, and outdoor recreation.

The center of attraction in this place is the Tannehill Ironworks. The hillsides of Tannehill are rich in iron ore and were one of the earliest suppliers of iron and steel in Alabama. Here in this place, you will feel timelessness immersed in history. The cotton gin, pioneer farm, a working gristmill will remind you of the era when slaves were used for iron extraction.

You can enjoy a small hike on the trails in the Tannehill region. You can also reserve wooden cabins or go camping. You can enjoy the historical artifacts of the 19th-century iron industry of Alabama.

16. Lake Lurleen State Park

Lake Lurleen is located nine miles northwest of Tuscaloosa and Northport. Around Lake Lurleen, in 1625 acres large area a natural park is built for recreational activities like camping, cycling, jogging, boating, fishing, hiking, and much more. The area around the park is well decorated with benches, tables, and shades where you can enjoy a good time in the park.

Lake Lurleen State Park
Lake Lurleen State Park

You can get some good recreational activities with your kids and family around the park with very low entrance fees. You can get the details here.

17. Jamison-Van De Graaff Mansion

Jamieson-Van De Graaff Mansion is a historical museum near Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This mansion was built in 1862 for senator Robert Jemison Jr and his family. From 1958-1979 the mansion served as the Tuscaloosa public library. In 1992 the mansion was turned into a historical museum and landmark for the public of Tuscaloosa.

Now, this mansion is used for multiple purposes. The mansion is also rented for weddings, events, and photoshoots. The mansion authority also provides free tours to the public every week. You can also come in large groups for a tour around the museum and the house to know about the history of this place. This is truly one of the most beautiful historical places in Tuscaloosa.

Thank you for being with me this far. And if you have made it this far then I think you have a different view of Tuscaloosa. And, you would like to visit this place to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Black Warrior River, the Tuscaloosa lake, the ancient history of Tannehill Ironworks, and Moundville Archeological Park that will amaze you.

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