Best hotels in Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa IntroductionTuscaloosa is named for the legendary Native American chieftain who bravely defended his village in vain against the Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto at the Battle of Mabila. Over time, the community grew to become the one-time capital city of Alabama during the mid-19th century. Tuscaloosa today is a vibrant cultural and commercial hub, home to the University of Alabama, as well as many prestigious museums and performing arts venues. From storied Cottondale, center of the local cotton industry, to the tranquil parklands lining the Black Warrior River, Tuscaloosa offers visitors a fascinating snapshot of the Deep South past and present.
Hotels in TuscaloosaThanks to its wealth of educational establishments and corporate headquarters, hotels in Tuscaloosa are plentiful and varied, catering for every need from budget B&Bs to comfortable executive suites. Go for the reliability and convenience of a favorite brand, benefit from spacious free parking at an out-of-town motel, or test out the famous Southern hospitality in a friendly family-run townhouse. Cheap Tuscaloosa hotels offer competitive rates and a warm welcome for students on a limited budget, while upscale inns bring extra advantages for business visitors, including high-speed Internet, lounges for private meetings, and international cuisine.
Where to stayThe popular university quarter around the University of Alabama encompasses the most comprehensive choice of hotels in Tuscaloosa. These range from opulent mansions filled with antiques and original features to simple, homey hostels that are gentle on the pocket. Base yourself in this historic neighborhood and discover many of the city’s most important museums and heritage landmarks right on your doorstep. Downtown Tuscaloosa hotel rates are especially competitive outside of the peak holiday periods, and here you’ll find a wide selection of national chains as well as independent inns and apartments—the hotels.com website has helpful, unbiased reviews from past guests to guide your decision.
Things to seeMany of Tuscaloosa’s must-see attractions are affiliated to the University of Alabama, whose campus extends over almost 2,000 acres in the city center. Wander through the historic Quad, the site of the original campus dating from the 1820s, to admire Neoclassical masterpieces by the influential English-born architect William Nichols, with the iconic Denny Chimes belfry at its heart. Learn about the rich natural history of Alabama in stunning Smith Hall, the state’s grandest and oldest museum, or admire works from the university’s contemporary art collection in the Sarah Moody Gallery. Step back in time at the Gorgas–Manly Historic District, a showcase of the university’s built heritage, and stroll past listed landmarks such as the President’s Mansion and the Old Observatory. For a different view of the university’s lasting influence on the local landscape, head out of town to the arboretum, dedicated to preserving the native flora and fauna of Alabama.
How to get to TuscaloosaThe city of Tuscaloosa benefits from easy access thanks to its proximity to major airports and convenient location at the intersection of several highways. Birmingham and Atlanta International Airports, just over 50 and 200 miles away respectively, operate direct flights across the US and further afield, while Amtrak’s Crescent line provides a rail link with cities from New York to New Orleans. Public travel in Tuscaloosa comes courtesy of the Tuscaloosa Transit Authority’s network of buses, many of which are quirkily painted to resemble the trolleys that served the city during the early part of the 20th century.