First time visit to Tuscaloosa, AL? Explore Tuscaloosa, AL like a student

first time visit to Tuscaloosa, AL

First time visit to Tuscaloosa, AL?

Explore Tuscaloosa, AL like a student

First time visit to Tuscaloosa, AL? Though I am no longer a student, I will give you some insight into what college life is like at the University of Alabama and how to explore Tuscaloosa, AL like a student. With football season 2 days away this is a fitting post. Tuscaloosa, AL-home of the Crimson Tide, ROLL TIDE ROLL! As an undergrad student, I fell in love with Ttown. Why? The underlying charm this city possesses. Any person, football fan or not, is susceptible to this charm.The city that brings friends together and weaves memories into an experience only once lived-if you are fortunate. There are many things in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to indulge in!

  1. The QUAD

The charm begins at the Quad. If this is your first time visit to Tuscaloosa, AL, you have to take a stroll here! The square of vibrant greens and positive vibes is located at the center of campus. Home to Gorgas library, studying students, motivated tight ropers, and fit Frisbee frolickers.

The quad is beautiful in all seasons. The summer is filled to the brim with green grass and shade trees-perfect for napping under. Fall is my favorite and is utterly breathtaking. There is a panorama of orange, yellow, and red hues as far as the eye can see. However, don’t get caught on the quad without high rain boots during heavy rain because you may float away!


The charm oozes its way downtown to “the strip”-A place where bars, live music, restaurants, and shops entice the youth to play. Rounders, Coppertop, El Rincon, The Houndstooth, and Black Warrior brewing are wonderful, to name a few. Whether you own a car or not, no worries. The crimson ride greets you with A/C and crimson clothed seats for a comfy ride around campus, including downtown.


Bryant-Denny stadium, my beloved, and what dreams are made of! This is where all the charm gathers 4 months out of the year. College football is the heartbeat of the south. Folks become near comatose and lacking purpose during the off season. Alabama football is the best of the SEC and, much of the time, the nation!

At this stadium you can consume Dreamland BBQ’s pulled pork nachos and a coke while watching the Greeks drunkenly stumble along in their fancy attire and Freshman hike to the nosebleed sections of novelty. The student section will bring you friendships that last millennia. No matter your differences, all become one when you hear, “This is Alabama Football!”. From the body paint and ESPN signs to the shakers and hounds tooth hats, there is nothing more exhilarating!

Mother Nature’s Fury

Upon visiting campus as an alumni, I’m filled with mixed emotions. Pride is the dominant one as I see how campus has grown and the city has rebuilt after the devastating E4 tornado wrecked havoc in 2011. I was a student during that nightmare. It has been nearly 6 years that I experienced the SCARIEST day of my life! I was still a student when this nightmare hit.

I was writing a final paper for my final semester when the apartment went DARK. I heard a train horn blaring but realized the train was “early” today. It wasn’t the train. Out my window, I saw the tornado’s furious, black spirals and countless debris swirling towards me. I froze with fear, shook myself out of it, and ran to my bathroom.

My phone died as I called Michael, living in Montgomery at the time. I thought I was a goner! At the last minute, the tornado skipped over my complex and DEMOLISHED a community not 1 mile from where I lived. (the below 4 photos are taken from Google images)

44 people were killed including a handful of seniors awaiting graduation, like me. Survivor’s guilt is real, why did I live and the others did not? 

How do you deal with a traumatic experience? Have you met a tornado head on before? 


When I see new coffee shops and craft breweries I know this city will remain on the map for years to come. My sister-in-law begins her journey this Fall and will begin to explore Tuscaloosa, AL like a student. I’m proud to pass the torch.

There are so much to see for your first time visit to Tuscaloosa, AL. Oh Ttown, how I will always love you, in spite of the terrible roommates and fortunately for those who became sisters, the tough classes that taught me my trade, the advisers who guided my passions, and the tide for bringing me more National Championships to brag about.

Thank you most for being my first home away from home where you groomed me into the adult of today! Rammer Jammer Yellowhammer, Give ‘Em Hell Alabama!!

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Be well and Travel often!



Where will your travels take you next?⇓ (How about North Alabama?)

**This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are my own**

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About Author

Maegan and Michael are Adventurous Southerners who share their world journey and approach to living the travel lifestyle. You can expect humor and lighthearted banter blended with REAL travel stories and tips. Maegan is a registered dietitian, while Michael has an excerise science background, but both are outdoor lovers, and revel in the beauty of cultures unlike their own. Now, Maegan and Michael are working towards expat life through remote work. Join the adventure. Do you love to travel? Does your full time job or career prevent you from living the life you dream of? This is the duo to follow. Feel free to contact us if you have questions.


  1. […] football! I am an Alabama Crimson Tide fan (since birth) but religiously follow the SEC network win Saturdays in the Fall. I blame this on my Southern heritage. Despite having a younger sister, I grew up surrounded by ~5 […]

  2. It must feel great to visit your alma mater. Seeing the changes and feeling nostalgic about your own time there. 🙂

    1. Maegan says:

      Totally! It’s crazy how fast it can grow up and change in a matter of 5 years!

  3. sarah says:

    I used to work with someone from University of Alabama. She would go on about how amazing it was, but now I can understand why!

    1. Maegan says:

      haha that;s awesome! Yes, we love our school dearly.

  4. Maggie says:

    Sounds like a great school! Football wasn’t really a huge thing in the college I went to (in NJ) but it seems to be really huge in the South. I’d love to go to a game there!
    Maggie recently posted…Isla Mujeres-Travel With KidsMy Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      College football is where it’s at in the South lol

  5. Jamie says:

    My husband was born in Alabama, but moved when he was young to South Carolina. Yes, he’s a Gamecock fan first, but still roots for the Tide when they aren’t playing Carolina 🙂 I’ve never been to AL or SC and would love to visit one day, especially the stadium as I’m a big college football fan myself!

    1. Maegan says:

      haha we will take his cheering when we need it most lol

  6. Yuen Mi says:

    I’ve never been a fan of football, but the city and its residents sound lovely.

  7. You’ve definitely convinced me to give Tuscaloosa a try. The only place I’ve been to in Alabama was Birmingham, but I enjoyed my stay in that city very much. I think it would be fun to experience an Alabama football game!

    1. Maegan says:

      It is magical during football season!

  8. Great memories you have there. It really feels good to reminisce all the happy times in Uni. 🙂

    1. Maegan says:


  9. Ania says:

    Feel exactly the same way about my former uni – Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada (so much pride and love for my former campus). The University of Alabama looks just as amazing too!

    1. Maegan says:

      That is wonderful to hear! A lot of people don’t care much for college, they just want the job etc.

  10. Bianca says:

    That tornado looked absolutely terrifying! The only similar thing I’ve experienced was an earthquake; and it made me feel so small. I’m glad you were OK in the end. Tuscaloosa seems like a charming place, though.
    Bianca recently posted…Your Guide to the Best Gelato in RomeMy Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      Thank you for reading and for your kind words! Ttown is even more beautiful because of the storms it has endured 🙂

  11. […] Charming college days: Explore Tuscaloosa, AL like a student […]

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  13. […] Charming college days: Explore Tuscaloosa, AL like a student […]

  14. […] Charming college days: Explore Tuscaloosa, AL like a student […]

  15. […] ourselves. He squeezed my hand tightly and his eyes gleamed with pride. As much as I learned in my college studies, I hadn’t learnt anything yet! Travel was about to open my eyes in a way nothing else could […]

  16. […] I yearned for deep conversations about boys, sex, clothes, music, and life. What I was finding at college were new faces, new classes, new interests-a new life. It was a thrilling but lonely experience at […]

  17. […] led me to Tampa and St. Pete for just that reason. I went for a visit with my fellow dietitian and college companion. It was my first trip taken alone since we had started paying down our debt and much needed. Check […]

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