No matter what your interests, Tuscaloosa County offers a wealth of attractions, activities, and events for discovery and enjoyment. You can choose your own pace and style of fun! Unexpected treats abound in Tuscaloosa County. Recreational and sports activities are challenging, diverse and fun. The community has earned a reputation for unique, entertaining festivals; while history comes alive in our beautiful, treasured antebellum homes.
Simply put, whatever whets your appetite for entertainment, exercises your creativity, inspires, excites or just relaxes you, the recreational and attractions menu of Tuscaloosa County is full, week after week. It’s just a fun place to live and enjoy life!
Known as PARA, the Tuscaloosa County Parks and Recreation
Authority has enjoyed enormous success as one of Alabama’s unique
countywide recreational programs. PARA operates over 30 parks throughout
Tuscaloosa County totaling over 2,000 acres of public park and recreational
In addition, PARA provides citizens year-round with a full range of facilities, recreational programs and activities for every age. New, modern community centers are strategically located throughout the metro community.
Swimming pools; softball, baseball and soccer fields; lighted tennis courts; picnic and family pavilions; a 104,000 square foot multi-purpose arena; walking trails; boat landings; and a new, award-winning public golf course, Ol’ Colony, was selected on the top five new public courses in America by Golf Digest. Various other PARA athletic complexes all combine to provide the citizens of Tuscaloosa County exceptional opportunities and outlets for fun and family recreation.
From sailing to skiing to championship bass fishing, Tuscaloosa County is a mecca for watersports. Among the most popular lakes for recreation include Lake Tuscaloosa, Holt Lake, Lake Lurleen Wallace, Lake Nichol, and Oliver Lake; and of course, the Black Warrior River provides additional water sports and riverfront recreational opportunities.
Tuscaloosa County surprises visitors with our abundance
and variety of museums, galleries and other visitors’ attractions.
Among some of our unique offerings are:
Alabama Museum of Natural History
Alabama Museum of Natural History, featuring exhibits from the Age of Dinosaurs and the Ice and Coal Ages. An Alabama treasure!
Bryant Museum, featuring memorabilia and exhibits of Alabama Crimson Tide football since 1892 and other related sports exhibits.
Mercedes-Benz Museum & Visitors Center
Mercedes-Benz Museum & Visitors Center, one of Alabama’s top tourist attractions, provides visitors with an up-close view of the star-studded history of Daimler-Benz, the world’s premier automobile manufacturer. The story is chronicled in exciting, interactive exhibits at the Visitor’s Center, the first of its kind outside Germany; and explores the technological innovations and development of Mercedes-Benz.
Children’s Hands On Museum
Children’s Hands On Museum, provides a delightful experience for children of all ages with a variety of special programs and hands-on, participatory exhibits. Moms and dads enjoy this, too!
Kentuck Museum, features a gallery of exhibits of some of the region’s finest crafts and art works provided by the South’s finest artisans and craftsmen. Kentuck Museum is located in Downtown Northport, selected as one of the “Top 100 Small Art Communities” in America.
Art paints the landscape in the Tuscaloosa area. Among some of the top art collections include: Garland Art Gallery on the campus of The University of Alabama; Moody Gallery of Art; Warner Collection at the Gulf States Paper Corporation headquarters; Junior League Gallery at the Bama Theatre; and other collections on display at various historic homes in the area.
Beautiful, well-maintained historic and antebellum homes are located throughout the Tuscaloosa-Northport area, providing a sense of history and unique attractions. Among some of the more popular and prominent include: President’s Mansion at The University of Alabama (1841); Jemsion-Van de Graaff Mansion, now the site of the Tuscaloosa Visitor’s Center (1859); Murphy-Collins House, which houses Tuscaloosa’s African American Museum; and the Old Tavern (1827).
Other antebellum treasures include the: Gorgas House (1828);
Battle- Friedman Home (1835); Dearing-Swaim House (1835); Guild-Verner
Home (1822); Mildred Warner Home (1820); McGuire Strickland House (1820);
Shirley-Christian-Harper House (1840); and the University Club, which
was the Governor’s Home during the era when Tuscaloosa was the state
capitol of Alabama (1821).
Capitol Park has partially excavated ruins of the site of Alabama’s Capitol, when Tuscaloosa was the seat of state government from 1826 to 1846.
Denny Chimes, built in 1929 and restored in 1986, is a prominent landmark in Tuscaloosa and on the campus of The University of Alabama. The chimes, named for former University Presi-dent George Denny, rings every quarter hour and also plays late afternoon concerts. The sidewalks surrounding the tower include the “Football Walk of Fame”, with foot and hand prints of former Alabama athletic greats.
Moundville Archaeological Park
Moundville Archaeological Park, located in Moundville, 15 miles south of Tuscaloosa, is part of the Alabama Museum of Natural History. The park is internationally recognized as one of the most important prehistoric Indian settlements and ceremonial centers in North America. An archaeological museum, temple restoration, and ceremonial mounds are located in the park along with annual festivals and events.
Tannehill State Park
Tannehill State Park spreads across 1,500 acres of scenic, wooded hills in northern Tuscaloosa County. The park is built around the ruins of the pre-civil war Tannehill Iron Works, and includes historic trails, restored pioneer buildings and regular events, such as Tannehill Trade Days. The park is a delightful and popular attraction in West Alabama.
Bryant-Denny Stadium is home to the University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team. Each fall, the 84,000-plus seat stadium, one of the finest in the nation, rings with the sound of “Roll Tide” and is the setting for national championship level college football.
Tuscaloosa County is home to some of the state’s most exciting and unique events and festivals. Annually, people from all over Alabama and the Southeast come to Tuscaloosa for a diverse line up of entertainment and fun-filled opportunities for the entire family. Among some of the annual happenings include:
Festival of The Arts
Kentuck Festival of The Arts, held in October of each year, has become one of the South’s most prestigious and recognized arts and crafts festivals. Held at Kentuck Park in Northport, the festival draws over 200 of the nation’s top artisans and craftsmen and over 25,000 visitors.
International City Fest and Weindorf
International City Fest and Weindorf, held in Downtown Tuscaloosa, has become of the state’s premier music festivals, drawing top name entertainment and a marvelous menu of events for every age. An international flavor permeates City Fest, and Weindorf provides an authentic German village setting for this unique event now being held in May each year.
Heritage Week, one of the region’s most popular and long-standing pilgrimages and historical weeks, is held in early April each year. The week-long event draws people from throughout the South to Tuscaloosa County’s beautiful antebellum and historic homes and sites along with many related activities.
Sakura Festival, the traditional Japanese celebration of Spring, has been held in Tuscaloosa for over 12 years and reflects the community’s commitment to international relations. The festival provides a diverse menu of Japanese arts, cultural experiences, exhibits and forums in celebration of the community’s partnership with Japan.
Dickens Christmas, an annual family-filled Christmas experience in Downtown Northport, provides an old-fashioned, traditional holiday treat. Strolling artists and musicians, food and entertainment makes this a memorable event each year to kickoff the Christmas season.
Christmas Afloat is held annually on the Black Warrior River in Tuscaloosa, and features holiday-lighted boats and watercraft. The event has become a Christmas tradition.
Other events throughout the year fill the entertainment agenda of residents and visitors alike in Tuscaloosa County. Alabama Crimson Tide football weekends, including the traditional Homecoming Week; Stillman College football weekends; the West Alabama State Fair; and a host of other fun-filled activities complete the menu designed for fun and entertainment.
Tuscaloosa County offers a feast for the eyes and ears,
as the arts are celebrated daily on stage, in the theatre and throughout
Whatever the season or the specialty, the Tuscaloosa area community offers an extraordinary year-round calendar of arts and cultural activities that rank among the best in the South. Our cultural offerings are unsurpassed by even some larger metropolitan areas; as a result the community’s cultural assets are interwoven with our economic progress and continue to enrich our exceptional quality of life.
The Arts Council and its member organizations provide a coordinated year-round calendar of events. Theatre, dance, opera, visual arts, music, crafts, festivals, films and educational programs......these and more provide Tuscaloosa County with exceptional cultural opportunities.
The Arts Council also provides educational programs for children throughout the year. The community actively encourages the involvement of children in theatre, music, dance and art through programs, such as: Bama Fanfare; the SPECTRA program, which provides guest artists in school cultural enrichment; Art 4 All; and summer arts workshops.
In addition, The Arts Council maintains a 24-hour a day Hotline that describes the varied menu of attractions and events.
The beautiful, restored 1930s-style Bama Theatre is a performing arts center in Downtown Tuscaloosa, offering a full calendar of music, dance, theatre, stage productions, and film. The Bama is home to the Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre, Junior League Gallery of Art, and other community-based cultural activities.
A state-of-the-art, teaching and performing theatre, the Bean-Brown Theatre is located on the campus of Shelton State Community College and is home to Theatre Tuscaloosa, one of the region’s most acclaimed community theatres.
Moody Music Center
Opened in 1988 on the campus of The University of Alabama, the Moody Music Building is one of Tuscaloosa’s primary cultural performing arts centers. The Center provides an extraordinary annual calendar of cultural and entertainment experiences, featuring national and international performers and artists, from classical and opera to jazz and popular.
With its 1,000-seat Concert Hall, considered one of the most acoustically perfect facilities of its kind in the nation, the Moody Center is home to the Tuscaloosa Symphony; the internationally acclaimed Cadek String Quartet; and to the famous, magnificent Holtkamp Organ.
Formed in 1979, the Tuscaloosa Symphony has become a vital part of the Tuscaloosa arts and cultural fabric and one of the most successful regional symphonies in the Southeast. Very few communities of comparable size or larger can claim its own symphony of such exceptional quality. The Symphony provides an annual season of concerts in addition to performances in our schools, pops concerts, and various other entertainment venues.
With its roots in the 1920s, Theatre Tuscaloosa has grown into Alabama’s top community theatre and one of the region’s best. Offering a full calendar of drama, comedy and musicals each year, Theatre Tuscaloosa provides area citizens with exceptional performances at the Brown-Bean Theatre, located on the campus of Shelton State Community College.
University of Alabama’s Department of Theatre
University of Alabama Theatre presents excellent performances regularly at the Gallaway Theatre as well as plays in the Allen Bales Studio Theatre. The University’s Department of Dance offers unique performances throughout the year, including Dance Alabama.
Stage and Screen Hall of Fame
Located on the campus of Shelton State Community College, the Alabama Stage and Screen Hall of Fame salutes the state’s amazing collection of celebrity talent, from Fannie Flagg to Jim Nabors and beyond..... and inspires new generations of emerging actors to follow their dreams and opportunities.