College Towns: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Learn more about Tuscaloosa, Alabama – home of the University of Alabama.

Photo: Ua.edu

The Town: Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Nicknamed the “Druid City” for the many water oaks that line the town, Tuscaloosa, Alabama is a typical Southern college town: friendly, charming and bustling with activity.

Settled on the Black Warrior River, the city is hilly in the northeast and marshy in the southwest. This is the South, so you can expect it to be warm (and sometimes very hot) year-round. No snowy winters here.

University Boulevard, known as “the Strip,” is the center of nightlife on campus.

The School: University of Alabama

The University of Alabama, or “The Capstone” as it is more commonly known, is the flagship public university in the state, with an enrollment of 30,000 students. Denny Chimes is the name of the campanile on the quad, which has become the iconic image for the school’s campus. It boasts a well-rounded academic curriculum, highlighted by the doctoral program in health education, which is ranked in the top 10 nationally.

Football reigns as king at Alabama (or just “Bama”) with seven national titles to the school’s name, the most recent coming in 2009. That year, Mark Ingram was awarded the Heisman Trophy, the first winner in the school’s illustrious history.

What to Do

University Boulevard, known as “the Strip,” is the center of nightlife on campus. During the fall, weekend activity revolves around football. With a capacity of more than 100,000, the entire city of Tuscaloosa can fit into Bryant-Denny Stadium, and on many Saturdays, it seems like this is the case. Students meet on the quad Friday night for pep rallies, tailgating starts at the crack of dawn on Saturday, and celebrations after the game usually spill through the rest of the weekend.

It’s not all football, however. The first Thursday of every month is known as “Art and Soul,” where all the art galleries in Tuscaloosa stay open late and are free to the public.

Where to Eat and Drink

Playboy named the Houndstooth the No. 1 college sports bar in America, but make sure you get there early if you’re going to try and catch a game.

Dreamland Bar-B-Que has a simple menu: ribs, sandwiches, and bread. But once you taste the food you won’t be hankering for anything else. If you’re just passing by, you can have some of their famous grub mailed to any location in the United States.

Did You Know?

In the movie of the same name, Forrest Gump plays football for Bear Bryant at the University of Alabama.

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