The summer season of open roads and clear blue skies is quickly approaching. The time is now to relax, explore, and treat yourself. This year, try something different: a staycation! Now more than ever is the perfect time to experience Tuscaloosa as if you were a tourist in your hometown. We’ve taken it upon ourselves to plan the perfect Tuscaloosa staycation for you. After all, having an excellent staycation in Tuscaloosa is simple with all of the amazing stops just outside your front door!

9 A.M.: Breathe Easy

The greatest way to truly feel out of your mundane routine is to get some much-needed pampering at a spa. Tuscaloosa has several great spots ranging from the pinnacle of luxury, to more cozy and affordable that can give you that all so needed feeling.

Across the river, Spa Belle La Vie is a luxurious oasis for self-indulging in some elaborate pampering. They have facials, massages, and therapies like seaweed wraps and salt scrubs designed to wash away all your stress and give you a renewed, relaxed state of mind.

Chancee’s Spa is a hidden gem on the south side of downtown that is tucked away in a quaint brick home. The wellness spa specializes in massages and facials that are much more affordable for those who want to treat themselves without having to break the bank.

2 P.M.: Check-in

The next step in planning a staycation is finding the perfect getaway. Tuscaloosa has a couple of standout options that can serve as your home away from home.

Located on The University of Alabama’s campus, Hotel Capstone is a historic, full-service hotel within a short drive from downtown. Great dining is just outside your door with a contemporary restaurant and lounge on-site for your convenience. Legends Bistro offers a diverse menu with affordable options for even the most discerning of palates.

The Embassy Suites Hotel is minutes from Capitol Park and Murphy African American Museum. The suite-style lodging and luxurious bar/lounge give the hotel a sense of comfort and hospitality. The indoor pool and Side by Side restaurant all contribute to why this hotel would be the perfect place for a staycation.

4 P.M.: Explore

Our city’s natural beauty offers a wide range of places and hidden gems to enjoy the great outdoors during your staycation.

Just 20 minutes outside of town is the grand dame of lakes –Lake Lurleen. Take a quick drive out and explore the rustic beauty of the woods with the shimmering waters gracing the shorelines and beaches. The park features more than 23 miles of multi-use trails that are open to both hikers and mountain bikers. The park also features a Nature Center, fishing, facilities, and paddle boats.

While a popular hangout for students, there’s no denying the beauty found up along the cliffs of Lake Nicol. The lake is left open to explore with meandering paths along the cliffs and the open waters to canoe or swim around. It can feel like a totally different world far from any civilization without having to go too far from home.

7 P.M.: Dinner

There’s no better way to end a day in Tuscaloosa than at one of the city’s locally-owned restaurants.

Depalma’s is a Tuscaloosa gem with Italian pasta classics as well as pizza and calzones on the menu. For an appetizer, be sure to try their stuffed mushrooms or breadsticks! For now, you are able to take all of these delicacies straight to your hotel room to feast in peace!

If you’re looking for a more laid-back atmosphere, Avenue Pub is just around the corner! Kick back, grab a drink on tap, and be sure to enjoy some phenomenal pub food like the iconic Thai Nachos or the Bacon Burger.

10 P.M.: Drinks 

After dinner, Tuscaloosa has many local breweries and bars where you can grab drinks.

Loosa Brews is a locally-owned bar and retailer that has been specializing in quality craft beer since 2014. They offer 63 taps and have a full-service arcade, including a large number of classic arcade machines and pinball machines.

Black Warrior Brewing Company is another great downtown option for after-dinner drinks. The brewery and tap-room have been a staple in Tuscaloosa since 2012 and serve their own beer and wine creations.

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