Roll Tide Roll
The Best Thing About Tuscaloosa?
Tuscaloosa is a quiet town that derives a big percentage of its energy from the UA student population, school events and University cottage businesses. If you’re into that kind of spiky local loyalty and spirit you’re going to love it here.
Here's a summary of what happens in Tuscaloosa from a local:
*The university does offer a variety of things to do in Tuscaloosa. Their theatre, dance, and music departments all offer shows for the public. The astronomy department has viewings open to the public where they focus on a specific feature of space for the night. The English department hosts readings where the graduate students present their writings. Improbable Fictions is the English department’s presentation of Shakespeare as a staged reading series.
And of course there are the university sporting events that happen all year. During the summer, it is absolutely worth catching the Rude Mechanicals offering Shakespeare’s plays on a makeshift outdoor theatre. Outside of the university, there isn’t much to do unless you enjoy outdoor activities. There are a few art galleries, the Bama Theatre offers occasional entertainment (Arthouse Movie Series, live plays, the Pink Box Burlesque puts on a live rendition of the Rocky Horror Picture Show every Halloween), there are some arts and crafts events (Kentuck Art Festival is the big one, there is a great farmer’s market (the Tuscaloosa River Market), and occasional events at the government plaza (such as their Live at the Plaza free live music events for the whole family and arts and craft events).*
For more reviews of what living in Tuscaloosa is like from locals check out: The Buzz
The Worst Thing About Tuscaloosa?
Now we aren’t saying we don’t love football. We’re just saying that if you don’t love football Tuscaloosa can be a tough place to live. The spirit of the town really is driven by a deep passion for the “Crimson Tide”. A lot of college towns get caught up in the madness but Tuscaloosa is a particularly acute case.
Note from a local about where to live in the area:
Northport has some great neighborhoods, that are progressive and quiet (e.g., near Bellwood). A friend calls it the Berkeley of Alabama. :P Plenty of people commute from Birmingham, too, depending on the family's income.
Schools vary. Lots of parents send their kids to private schools in Alabama, so the public schools have resource issues. The Capitol School is a popular private for faculty kids. Although areas around the university might seem more progressive, you need to stay away from student housing. There is some nice single-family housing south of Paul Bryant Avenue near Queen City. Woodland Hills and Acadia are pretty progressive neighborhoods
Lifestyle of Tuscaloosa
Southern college towns often have similar lifestyles. A big cafe, bar and live music scene, which is very true for Tuscaloosa, and then a short hop to an awesome rural outdoor experience. Many many locals straddle these two worlds. A fun, partying nightlife in town, and then amazing fishing, hiking, camping and kayaking just outside of town. If this sounds fun then come on down.
If you want to see what happens in Tuscaloosa check out the calendar of events: http://eventsintuscaloosa.com/
Worklife of Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa has a few big employers, the University and Mercedes the largest. It is not however the kind of college town generating tons of startup jobs for graduates, or attracting a big tech scene.. If you’re looking for high-paying jobs then you’ll likely need to commute to Birmingham (nearly 60 miles). We’d recommend remote workers or those already with jobs making the move but if you’re looking for work when you move here then be prepared to commute.
Why You Should Move Here Now?
Affordable College Town
A lot of college towns have become very pricey. And why not, they tend to be beautiful, have cool stuff going on culturally(for their size), and often have really good housing options. Tuscaloosa has those things but the price spike hasn’t hit here yet. It’s moved up a bit but remains far less than other college cities across the southeast, midwest and northeast.