A College Town All Grown Up: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Adventure, Fun, And Glorious Foods Await You In A Girlfriend Weekend in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Tuscaloosa is a perfect destination for a girlfriends’ weekend getaway. From a centrally-located train depot to a walkable college town filled with museums, a river walk with a farmers’ market, farm-to-table eateries, quirky, unique shops, and even a microbrewery, you’ll find a weekend filled with food, arts, history, and entertainment.

tuscaloosa food gallery

Foods  of Tuscaloosa: Left (Clockwise): Appetizer sampler at Cypress Inn; Fruit plate at The Side by Side, Country ham, grits, eggs, and redeye gravy at The Waysider; Raw cheese from AA Farm Creamery at the Tuscaloosa River Market.


Amtrak’s Crescent train runs from New Orleans to New York, with a multitude of stops at quaint southern cities, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, one of them. Whether traveling from northern or southern destinations, the Crescent train arrives in Tuscaloosa at approximately 1 p.m., allowing plenty of time to get a fun weekend started. The train depot is just a five-minute taxi ride from downtown Tuscaloosa and the Home2Suites by Hilton, so drop the bags at your luxurious (yet efficient) room, freshen up, and get ready to explore.

  • Check-in at Home2Suites by Hilton. Within walking distance of downtown dining, entertainment and businesses, the hotel features an indoor saline swimming pool, modern fitness center with personal TVs and MP3 player docks, and spacious, modern suites with full kitchens. There’s free breakfast each morning, as well.
  • Explore Downtown T-Town by foot. Just a few blocks from the hotel, stop for refreshments at Cravings, a specialty grocery, wine bar, and beer garden. Then head off to explore unique shops like The Makers Market, with all local hand-crafted items.
  • Just down the street is the Grand Hall Art Gallery. The gallery, located upstairs inside the Federal Building, features 16 stunning murals created by artist, Caleb O’Connor. It’s a stunning depiction of Tuscaloosa history that you won’t want to miss.
  • After an afternoon walking downtown Tuscaloosa, you’ll be ready for dinner and the best view of the sunset in T-town at the Cypress Inn, located on the river.

tuscaloosa gallery

Activities and sights of Tuscaloosa. Left (Clockwise): Lucy Clock Tower at the University of Alabama; Museum at Moundville Archeological Park; Outdoor gardens at Tuscaloosa Museum of Art; Tuscaloosa River Walk.


It’ll be a full day of exploring, so enjoy a hearty southern breakfast at The Waysider: Southern breakfast at its finest.

  • Head to the Farmers’ Market at the Tuscaloosa River Market, then take a chance to savor the local flavor, sights, and sounds on the Tuscaloosa River Walk.
  • Visit the Tuscaloosa Museum of Art where you’ll explore one of the largest and greatest collections of American Art.
  • Head to Archibald’s BBQ for lunch. Voted #6 on the “Best BBQ in the US” list by USA Today, and #3 on Southern Livings “South’s Top 50 Barbecue Joints,” is located in a small building with just a handful of barstools and tables, but it’s worth a visit to taste this southern, tangy BBQ.
  • Explore the University of Alabama campus, where history abounds. From Civil War to Civil Rights, there are some interesting historical sites, and of course, the Museum of Natural History–where the only meteorite is ever known to strike a human is housed; plus the Bryant Museum where the history of the Crimson Tide is told.
  • Blaze the short trail of 15 minutes from downtown to Moundville Archaeological Park to transport you back in history. This must-see on any trip to the area will open your mind to a whole new Native American experience.
  • After so much exploring, quench your thirst with a refreshing afternoon beer at the Black Warrior Brewing Company, then return “home” to your hotel room to freshen up and get ready for a night on the town.
  • Stop for a wine tasting at Carpe Vino, then step over to Epiphany Cafe—New American Farm-to-Fork Cuisine—for appetizers.
  • After sampling a couple appetizers, walk just a few blocks over to The Side by Side for dinnerJames Beard award winning Chef, Chris Hastings, created this concept located inside the Embassy Suites Hotel in downtown Tuscaloosa. His eclectic approach combining the freshest local ingredients, a Southern flair, and a unique dining experience make for a winning combination.
  • Visit the Temerson Square Entertainment District and burn off some calories dancing. Tuscaloosa is, after all, a funky little college town where live music can be found every night of the week.


  • Enjoy a hearty brunch at  Five Bar restaurant before jumping back on the train.
The last night of our girlfriends’ weekend having cocktails at The Side by Side.

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