Many people associate the Alabama town of Tuscaloosa with Crimson Tide football; however, Tuscaloosa is an exciting city that has a lot to offer beyond a thrilling football team. Tuscaloosa, Alabama is a growing city that is rich in history, resources, beauty, and fun things to see and do. Tuscaloosa ranks as Alabama’s fifth largest city, and offers residents and visitors a nice place to live, work, or visit.
Tuscaloosa was incorporated as a town in 1819, and has a current population of approximately 100,000 residents. Originally named for the paramount chief, Tuskaloosa, the city of Tuscaloosa has seen its share of battles, Civil Rights movements, and natural disasters throughout its history. Most recently, Tuscaloosa faced significant destruction on April 27, 2011 when a classified EF-4 multiple-vortex tornado plunged through the city. This history-making tornado was approximately 1.5 miles in width, and was the cause of death for more than 50 people within the city of Tuscaloosa. This tornado also became known as the costliest tornado at that time in American history, due to the amount of property damage that was left in its path. After some major reconstruction efforts, today the city of Tuscaloosa is thriving and has made a dramatic recovery since the 2011 tornado. A well-known Alabamian meteorologist, James Spann, summed up the recovery by stating that “I think people would go through there (Tuscaloosa) today and they’d have no idea that a tornado came through there. The high traffic spots look great”.
Another interesting thing about Tuscaloosa is that the high-end automobile manufacturer, Mercedes-Benz, built their first assembly plant within North America in Tuscaloosa County. Today, you can visit the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Visitors Center and Factory Tour, and have the chance to see this one-of-a-kind Visitors Center and Mercedes Museum, along with a tour of the manufacturing plant. A visitor who was recently there, quoted, “If you are traveling near this facility on I-20 and I-59, stop in, it’s free. There are several museum-worthy Mercedes vehicles and former race cars. Many nice displays, and a decent gift shop with some unique Mercedes-Benz items. The staff is very informed, too”.
The University of Alabama is located in Tuscaloosa, and is a major economic contributor and a large part of the Tuscaloosa lifestyle within the city. This University was established in 1820, and it is the flagship location for all of the University of Alabama System. The University of Alabama is regularly ranked by the U.S. News & World Report as being among the top 50 public universities throughout the entire country. The University’s football team also ranks among one of the best college teams in the country. Nicknamed the Crimson Tide since 1907, this outstanding college football team won the BCS National Championship in 2009, 2011, and in 2012. They also were the champions in the College Football Playoffs in 2015. Under the expert leadership of some very well-known head coaches, including greats like Paul William “Bear” Bryant, and current coach, Nick Saban, Jr, the Crimson Tide football team has continued to thrive for many years. The city of Tuscaloosa has adopted the name “The City of Champions” based on this remarkable team.
Tuscaloosa has received the award for one of the “50 Best College Towns”, because of the presence of the University of Alabama. It is also the home of Stillman College and Shelton State Community College. Tuscaloosa has also been named, in recent years, one of the “Most Livable Cities in America”, “100 Best Communities for Young People”, and one of the “Best Places to Launch a Small Business”. These are some excellent awards for the city of Tuscaloosa.
As you can imagine, from these distinguished awards, Tuscaloosa offers a lot of fun things to do for people of all ages. An example of one interesting place is located not far from the campus of the University of Alabama; and that is the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater. Encompassing 15 acres along the banks of the Black Warrior River, the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater is a prime location for numerous arts and entertainment venues that locals can enjoy year-round. Another attraction is the Tuscaloosa River Market. Also located along the banks of the Black Warrior River, the River Market hosts weekly Farmer’s Markets, as well as many other public events throughout the year. Tuscaloosa is home to a number of museums, also, including: the Paul W. Bryant Museum, the Children’s Hands on Museum, and the Tuscaloosa Museum of Art. For the outdoor enthusiast, Lake Tuscaloosa has a lot of water-focused activities available and the Riverwalk Park in Tuscaloosa offers hiking trails and wildlife sightings, as well.
Tuscaloosa is a vibrant town for residents and visitors to enjoy. Located slightly southwest of Birmingham, Tuscaloosa offers folks a variety of residential communities, business opportunities, city-wide resources, education choices, and entertainment varieties. It is truly a town that has a little bit of everything.
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