Welcome to Fifty Grande’s Best of the U.S. Bucket List series. This is your one-stop travel guide to the best, most unique and quintessential experiences of a city, state or event. Want to know how to “do” Tuscaloosa? We’ve got you covered. Curated by experts, vetted by in-the-know locals, this is all you need to have the best trip ever. If we’ve written a Bucket List, we recommend you go. If it’s on this list, it’s the best the city has to offer right now. Consider this your one-stop answer to “What are the best things to do in Tuscaloosa?”
For the uninitiated, Alabama is football nutso. The over-the-top fan frenzy peaks in Tuscaloosa, home of the state’s flagship university, the University of Alabama, and its elite college football team. The aura of the Bama’s Crimson Tide permeates almost every aspect of the city. But, Tuscaloosa was a city before the university ever existed. If you look past the stadium brimming with fans, you will find a city with a long history and a rich, non-football culture. In fact, for a brief time, Tuscaloosa was once the state capital of Alabama. The city’s proximity to the Black Warrior River means there are plenty of excellent recreational lakes and parks. Downtown, a newly formed entertainment district has bars, restaurants, the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, and allows you to freely carry your drinks outside. Yes, come to Tuscaloosa in the fall for the football games, but there’s plenty of reasons to visit the capital of college football in the offseason, too.