Here are some fun things residents and tourists can do in Tuscaloosa!


By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Isabel Hope

Tuscaloosa is a great city with lots of fun things to do year-round. Whether you are a long-time Tuscaloosa resident looking for something new or a tourist exploring the city, here are some community favorites that might be good to check out: 

The University of Alabama Arboretum

The University owns 60-acres of land 10 minutes east of campus that currently holds hiking trails, greenhouses and a butterfly garden. It was established over 50 years ago and there is a new greenhouse being developed for future research. Take a hike down some of the trails and see a few butterflies.

Social distancing is encouraged. Outdoor location provides more safety from COVID-19.

Van Graaff Park and Arboretum 

This is a 141-acre land property in Northport that houses hiking trails, freshwater ponds and wetland ecosystems. Camping, boating and fishing are available.

Outdoor location provides more safety from COVID-19.

Rita’s Italian Ice and Frozen Custard 

Rita’s opened on the Strip in Tuscaloosa earlier this year and has been buzzing with community members. Italian ice is served daily with flavors like green apple, Sour Patch Kids red and blue raspberry among others. You can get some custard too!

Social distancing is more difficult due to the smaller nature of the building. Employees wear masks.

Just Love Coffee Cafe

Created by UA graduates with “entrepreneurial spirits,” according to its website, Just Love is serving coffee, smoothies and meals on University Boulevard. The cafe opened locally over the last year and has gotten many positive reviews online.

The building is large enough for social distancing and employees wear masks. Outdoor seating is available.

Steel City Pops

This is a classic must-stop location for anyone local to Tuscaloosa or visiting for the first time. Steel City Pops serves fresh popsicles in a variety of flavors from strawberry lemonade to buttermilk. With a popular location in downtown Tuscaloosa, there is usually a busy crowd.

Outdoor seating is available. Social distancing is more difficult due to the smaller nature of the building.


Bowlero is a bowling alley, arcade and bar that has gained popularity in Tuscaloosa in recent years. You can order food, rent a bowling lane and have spacious parties or gatherings (assuming it is COVID-safe.) Also, the black lights and overall arcade-style decor is incredibly fun to look at. 

Social distancing is manageable due to how large the building is. There is plenty of room to spread out and you can rent a bowling lane in advance to ensure your own space.

Live at the Plaza

The city of Tuscaloosa will be holding outdoor movie nights with food trucks and entertainment every Friday in June and July. These events are 100% family-friendly, open to the public for free and give you a great look at Government Plaza and downtown Tuscaloosa.

The outdoor setting provides easier safety from COVID-19.


Right outside of Bryant Denny Stadium, you can now find Tuska, the 7-ton elephant statue recently installed on UA’s campus. It is a great location to take pictures and admire the campus’ new elephant friend!

This is a high-foot traffic area, but being outdoors makes social distancing easier. 

The Black Warrior River

While there are many fun restaurants and shops to visit around the river, including Heritage House, River and Another Broken Egg Cafe, it can also be relaxing to walk around the river itself. With a trail that extends from the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater through Manderson Landing, it is a beautiful woodsy location to get some exploring in. Also, every Saturday morning this area has a local farmer’s market. 

The outdoor setting provides easier safety from COVID-19.

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