Things to Do in 'Bama
word Tuscaloosa comes from two Creek and Choctaw words: tushka (warrior)
and lusa (black).
The city received its name from
the Indian chief Tuskalusa, who was defeated by Hernando de Soto
resides on the southern bank of the Black Warrior River and Northport
is on its northern bank.
is so named because of its origins as a river port--the northern-most
port on the Black Warrior in the 19th century.
1865, during the Civil War, Federal troops (Croxton's Raiders)
tore through Northport, crossed the river, and
burned most of the University to the ground. At the time, the University--founded
in 1831--was a military school.
- Many historical
markers are spread throughout
Tuscaloosa County--including several related to this raid.
facts about Tuscaloosa
to 165,062 souls.
of which--including Jeremy and Marysia--own their home.
travel time to work: 21.2 minutes. But Jeremy and Marysia are
a 10-minute drive or, preferably, a 20-minute bike ride,
averages for April:
sales per capita: $9,652.
per square mile: 124.5. Soon to increase with the influx of
Visual Tour of Tuscaloosa
what Tuscaloosa looked like in 2000, before Jeremy and Marysia
got their house. Jeremy put this collection of photos together
for Christmas 2000.
- Call ahead. Some
area attractions may close for Spring Break on the 5th.
- Bama Theatre
- Silver Screen
Series: The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.
A comedy about marriage! But parallels between the film and Jeremy
and Marysia are not advised.
- 7:30 p.m. on Friday,
Saturday, and Monday; 2:00 matinee on Sunday only.
1938, the Bama Theatre served as the community's grand movie house,
as the only air-conditioned building--an odd but interesting mixture
of Art Deco and the lavish so-called "atmospheric" style
of theatre architecture. The interior
is decorated in the Moorish style of Renaissance Spain.
of local artisans including one Marysia H. B. Galbraith!
diagonally across the street from the Globe. Drop by after the
hosts a great arts & crafts fair in the fall. Make your plans
now to return to 'Bama.
1991 Park St.
around the corner from Jeremy & Marysia's house. Features
photos of the Faucett family, who built our house in 1930!
- Cargo Folk Art Gallery
- A fine collection of Alabama folk artists.
- Westervelt Warner
to North River Yacht Club.
centers on American art and decor, largely from the period of the
Revolutionary War to the Civil War, but including 20th century
works as well. In
it, you can find Winslow Homer, James McNeil Whistler, Childe Hassam,
Georgia O’Keefe, John Singer Sargent,
Andrew Wyeth, Edward Hopper, Mary Cassat, Frederic E. Church, Thomas
B. Durand, and James Peale, among others. See the Tuscaloosa
News story on its recent opening.
Hands-On Museum (CHOM)
exhibits dealing with history, science, health, media. Planetarium & gift
- Will T. Murphy African-American
- House from c.
1925 features 2 rooms with changing exhibits relating to culture
blacks; antique doll collection, rare books, period furnishings.
- Mercedes-Benz Visitor
Center (Factory Tour
is dying to
go on this one himself. Maybe you can lure him away from the
wedding festivities long enough to check it out.
10 miles east of downtown Tuscaloosa, on I 20/59.
University of Alabama
- Alabama Museum of Natural
Meteorite--the only one in recorded history
a human (Annie Hodges, November 30, 1954)!
- Paul W. Bryant
(The Bear!) Museum
- If you like
college football, this is the spot for you. Memorabilia honor
one of the winningest coaches of all time.
- The Gorgas House
- Built in
1829, the house is one of only four structures to
survive the burning of the University during the Civil War.
- The Stand in
the Schoolhouse Door
Office & the home of Alabama Public Radio's All Things
- Reese Phifer
Hall (formerly the UA Student Union).
- Marysia's Offices
work is so important that it requires two offices: Carmichael
Hall and TenHoor Hall
- Scenic Areas
- Lake Lurleen
- 1,600 acres
of recreational area for camping, hiking, swimming and fishing
in the 250-acre lake--named for Alabama's only woman governor,
Lurleen B. Wallace.
- 10 miles
west of Tuscaloosa on US 82.
- Black Warrior
River walk and park
short walkway and picnic tables at which to sit and watch
the river flow. Keep
your eye out for barges filled with coal!
- University of
meadow, bog, and woodland wildflower gardens of native Alabama
plants and plant communities.
years ago, Moundville was the largest city in North America.
See the large
mounds that Native Americans left behind.
Walking trails with nice views of the Black Warrior River.
human remains are no longer viewable.
drive south of Tuscaloosa.
was Alabama's state capitol from 1826-1846. This archaeological
site uses actual bricks and stonework from the original
Capitol building to outline the ground floor plan and the
partial rotunda. Several of the massive columns have been repaired
placed on their original sites.
- (205) 477-5711
around the ruins of the pre-Civil War Tannehill Iron Works,
trails and restored pioneer buildings.
miles east of Tuscaloosa, on I 20/59.
- Antebellum Buildings
- Prewitt Slave
14 miles north of downtown on US 43. Take a right on Bull Slough
Road and then another right on Old Byler Road, the oldest public
Alabama, and follow it to its end. The cemetery is to the left
of a private home on the edge of the lake. The owner welcomes
cemetery is on the site of the former plantation
of the Prewitt family who settled the area in about
1820 and are said to have imported some of their slaves directly
Africa. After the Civil War, many of the former Prewitt
slaves continued to live in the area and buried their dead
- Old Tavern Museum
in 1827. Period furnishings, exhibits of old artifacts, folklore.
House & Gardens
Revival townhouse built in 1835. The house contains an important
collection of period furnishings
art. The formal gardens are considered the oldest surviving
documented gardens in Alabama.
de Graaff Mansion
to the inventor of the Van
de Graaff Generator! The 1862 antebellum
mansion is one of the finest remaining examples
of Italianate architecture in the South.
- More Information
on Historic Tuscaloosa
beyond the chain restaurants
- Cost Legend
- $ = under
$10 per person
- $$ = $10-20
- $$$ = over
$20 per person
Luther King Drive, Northport.
place--mostly for take-out. Some say it's the best BBQ in town.
- Best food in
town, but pricey.
519 Greensboro Ave (downtown), reservations recommended.
- Café Venice
favorite spot for Italian cuisine.
2321 University Blvd (downtown), reservations accepted, but
usually not needed.
- The City Cafe
- The best place
for a Southern breakfast, but closed 5-12 April.
- Hmmmmmm, cathead
biscuits. Yep, the size of cat's heads!
- The Cobblestone
and lunch spot.
2314 4th St (downtown).
- The Coyote Cafe
flavored dishes. Owned by Arman.
1006 7th Av,
coffee place, serving a nice variety of sandwiches.
- May close for
Spring Break (5-13 April).
- 750.0203, 1301
- The Cypress
- Right on
the river. Good barge-watching. Steak and seafood.
501 Rice Mine Rd, reservations not accepted, be prepared to
- DePalma's Cafe
- Popular local
place for Italian cuisine.
- 759.1879, 2300
University Blvd (downtown).
- Dreamland Drive-Inn
renowned BBQ--reviewed in the NY Times, for gosh sakes.
so good it'll make your tongue want to slap your brains out."
5535 15th Ave. East. Good idea to call for directions.
- Ezell's Catfish
the South. Catfish is farmed here.
3520 McFarland Blvd (1 mile north of the Interstate).
- Seafood and
steak, with a Cajun accent.
1653 McFarland Blvd (north of the River, in the Galleria shopping
- The 15th Street
- Good, inexpensive
burgers and Southern cooking, but not really a "diner."
1410 15th St.
- The Globe
- The site of
Marysia and Jeremy's first date so you know it must be good.
- Varied, international
- Founded by theater
majors. (Get it?)
- 391.0949, 430
Main Av, Northport.
- Hooligan's American
& Mediterranean Restaurant
a gyro or some baba ghanouj or hommos? They got it.
favorite spot for lunch.
1915 University Blvd.
revived restaurant. Used to be pretty good!
Loop Rd, near the VA Hospital.
- Los Tarascos
Mexican fare--considering how far we are from the border.
(Arizona visitors should keep their Mexican-food chauvinism
in check, please.)
- 553.8896, 1759
Skyland Blvd East (1/2 mile east of McFarland).
- Manna Grocery
- Tasty vegetarian
dishes in a health-food store, but only open at lunch.
- 752.9955, 2300
McFarland Blvd (2 miles north of the Interstate).
- Mellow Mushroom
- Excellent pizza
and Italian dishes.
- 758.0112, 2230
University Blvd (downtown).
- Roly Poly
(in tortilla) "sandwiches." A favorite lunch place.
2300 4th St (downtown).
- Saigon Vietnamese
- Relatively new
restaurant, but rapidly gaining a following.
- 752.8844, 502
- Modest setting,
but above-average Chinese food.
- 333.8886, 3380
McFarland Blvd, Northport (north of the River, 1 mile west of
- Taqueria El
our favorite Mexican restaurant.
1726 McFarland Blvd (just east of route 69).
- Tokyo Japanese
Steak & Sushi Bar
cooked before your eyes. Quite a show! Or you can just eat
at the sushi bar.
6521 Highway 69 South (2 miles south of the Marriott
Hotels on Skyland Blvd).
than the City Cafe for breakfast? You be the judge.
crowded for breakfast. Deal with it.
1512 Greensboro Av.
- Birmingham (an hour's
drive east of Tuscaloosa)
- Birmingham Civil
- A self-directed journey through
the Civil Rights Movement and human rights struggles of today.
the street from the church where four girls were killed in the
(toll free), 520 16th St. North.
Furnaces National Historic Landmark
- A blast furnace
from the 19th-20th century--converted into a historical landmark. Fascinating!
molten iron pours occur throughout the year--including April 13th.
- 205.324.1911, Twenty 32nd
St North, near 1st Avenue North.
- For more attractions:
some historic photos are from AlGenWeb.