I don't have to remind you that Tuscaloosa is a mecca for professionals, professors, artists, and families. They gather here for business from across the globe for international car manufacturing, paper, and forestry, The University of Alabama, and the small-town vibe that still lingers.
This month, take pride, and make it a point to discover Tuscaloosa as a tourist. These are my top 10 recommendations:
- The collection at the Tuscaloosa Museum of Art celebrates American masters in furniture, china, and paintings. The architecture is as unique, generous, and surprising as its founder, Jack Warner. And it’s free!
- The Archeological treasures at Moundville Archaeological Park. As kids, we loved cowboys and Indians. Remember when we realized they were more than a back-yard game? Take a child to experience one of the many festivals that celebrate this local treasure.
- Get lost. Use the Historical Markers app, and fill the kids with history as you travel down our back roads. Click the app, and you’ll see dozens of sites right here in the Tuscaloosa area – many of them from the 1800s, and many of them downtown.
- Art Night in Northport and First Friday in Tuscaloosa are both wonderful events, featuring great art exhibits and demonstrations around town. For specific dates, be sure to check the weekly calendar on druidcityliving.com.
- Explore PARA. Take advantage of this public plethora of activity. Pools, a horse arena, art classes, tennis, music, activities and camps for the kids, and climbing parks that soar to the sky are open to all to explore. For more, visit tcpara.org.
- Lake Tuscaloosa. I don't need to remind you of that special spot. Fall is a great time to find that special home to take tailgating to another level and explore. Local? Enjoy a day renting a boat at Smith's Marina or get paddle boards and take them out on the river. There is still time to master a canoe or watch the rowing team train in front of one of the many waterfront restaurants.
- Local breweries and music are trickling across the city streets, and around the Historic Drish House, there is always a food truck and some activity going on at Band of Brothers. Check out Loosa Brews’ huge selection of suds. And Druid City Brewing and Black Warrior Brewing are creating unique southern brews in our own backyard.
- The Bryant-Denny Stadium tour is outstanding, and the Bryant Museum will help you and guests to town understand the craze that is Alabama Football.
- Treat yourself, and shop local. Visit a flower shop, meander in an antique or designer shop here in town. You don’t have to spend a lot: Twice as Nice Consignments is an excellent option. Find a unique vase to put by your bed, and fill it with flowers.
- “Visit” your own home. Find a way to make it a cozy, special haven for your family as we ease into routines and schedules of fall. After all, if not to nurture the ones we love, what is home for?