If your parents, or any family and friends, are coming to visit you in Tuscaloosa, you’re in the right place! After my last two and a half years at Bama, I’ve had my fair share of parent (and occasionally sibling) visits. One thing I have learned, from personal experience, is that parents LOVE Tuscaloosa. Whether you want to give your parents a look into your college experience or just want to have a relaxed weekend visit, there are a lot of options that you can choose from.
Let’s start with restaurants! There are a couple staples in Tuscaloosa that are a must during your weekend with the parents. Rama Jama’s is open Monday through Saturday from 7am to 4pm right next to Bryant-Denny Stadium. Rama Jama’s is a famous spot for all fans of the Tide to enjoy breakfast, lunch, and delicious shakes. Besides the great food, Rama Jama’s is full of cool Crimson Tide Memorabilia on every wall. Another classic spot in Tuscaloosa that should definitely be on your breakfast itinerary is Waysider, which is open Tuesday through Sunday, so it’s the perfect stop on your parents last day of the weekend visit. Waysider is a cozy breakfast nook with the best Southern breakfast you can find – the beignets are to do die for!
If you’re interested in a nice dinner, look toward downtown Tuscaloosa. Chuck’s Fish, Chophouse, and Half Shell Oyster House are just a few of my favorite restaurants, assuming you want something more on the pricey side. They’re also perfect for special occasions if you ever need a birthday or anniversary spot! My personal favorite of these is Chucks Fish’s. They have a variety of options from seafood to pizza, but I always get the sushi. The Wine Market is another relaxed option for nighttime wining and dining, if you’re in the mood for a bottle of wine and a charcuterie board!
Now, if you’re looking for other good options that won’t break the bank, I have a few more. For good Mexican food and margaritas, try Taco Mama or Central Mesa. For good, but cheap, Mexican food and margaritas, I always turn to Don Tonos. Don Tonos is right next to Rhythm and Brews, so you’re in for a good time from when you slide into the booth until you end the night at Rhythm! If you all are on the hunt for other options, you could try Avenue Pub, World of Beer, or Innisfree Irish Pub. Each of these options have high quality food, stocked bars, and a lot of televisions for your sports watching needs!
Speaking of sports, you cannot bring your parents to Tuscaloosa without at least trying to stop by one of UA’s games. In the past, pre-pandemic, it has been an option to upgrade student tickets for football games, which makes it possible for visitors to join you in the student section. Since that is not as easy to arrange now, I recommend looking for regular tickets online at websites like StubHub, and hopefully you will find some reasonably priced tickets to any of Bama’s games! I know I am going to do everything in my power to lock down some basketball tickets before this season comes to a close.
During the day, enjoy a walk, fresh air, and pretty views of the river with your parents at the Tuscaloosa River Walk. Then, stop by one of the three Supe Store locations and shop for some UA merchandise! If they haven’t seen it yet, give your parents a tour of our beautiful campus, and be sure to show them the five statues of our legendary coaches who have led the Crimson Tide to championships right outside of the stadium! I never get tired of showing off UA to my family and friends who come to visit.
The night life in Tuscaloosa is probably what got UA ranked #1 on The Princeton Review’s list of party schools in the U.S., but nevertheless, the bar scene is still perfect for when your parents come to visit! Even if you’re 19 or 20 years old, you can go in as underage to Rhythm and Brews to enjoy live music and maybe even convince your parents to ride the bull! This is a perfect option for those of you who want to take your parents to a bar but cannot get into 21+ bars yet. Some other popular bars in Tuscaloosa for ages 21+ are Gallettes, The Booth, and Jackie’s Lounge. Gallettes is the place to go for a signature Yellow Hammer drink. My personal favorite for when my parents are visiting is Jackie’s Lounge. Jackie’s has a great atmosphere with pool tables, darts, and even karaoke on Thursday and Saturday! If you’re looking for a fun spot for food and drinks, Hotel Indigo has The Lookout Rooftop Bar right on top of the hotel for anyone in Tuscaloosa to come and enjoy beautiful scenery and a fun atmosphere.
Now that you have this list of my favorite spots for when your parents come to visit T-town, you are sure to be considered the best weekend host! There’s never a reason to be bored in Tuscaloosa, and now you can show your loved ones the many things to love about living here! Roll tide!
Picture Courtesy of The Crimson White.