bugsy running on lone rock beach with the airstream and f-150 in the background

One night in Tuscaloosa, AL–Tucson for Christmas trip

We were in Tuscaloosa in January 2024, as part of our Tucson for Christmas trip.

Bugsy next to the Black Warrior river
Bugsy checking out the Black Warrior River

Between New Orleans and Atlanta (our next scheduled destination), we had an open night. Where to stop? Mobile left us with too much driving the next morning, Birmingham doesn’t have a convenient RV campground, maybe return to Montgomery? Or Tuscaloosa? College towns usually make fun stops, and my aunt and uncle are die-hard Bama fans, so we chose Tuscaloosa. Memorably, the day we visited, Nick Saban announced his retirement.

From New Orleans, it was a mostly peaceful 4.5-hour drive up I-59 to Tuscaloosa, made especially enjoyable by a snack break for leftover carrot yogurt from Molly’s Rise and Shine!


Bugsy and the Airstream in Tuscaloosa
our campsite at Coaches Corner

We stayed at Coaches Corner RV Park, a super-friendly, basic full-hookups campground, just ten minutes’ drive from the riverfront in the heart of Downtown. Note that Coaches Corner isn’t available to regular campers on Bama home game days. We dropped off the Airstream and headed into town to explore.

Exploring Tuscaloosa

walking along the Black Warrior river in Tuscaloosa
walking the Riverfront trail

Our first stop in downtown Tuscaloosa was The Riverfront, a 4.5-mile riverside trail along the Black Warrior River. It’s a great trail, full of walkers and runners and cyclists, and we enjoyed stretching our legs after the long drive.

We’d planned on hitting The Lookout rooftop bar to get views of the river and downtown, but we skipped it in favor of spending more time on the riverfront trail.

Next (and most important) order of business: get Bugsy a burger for Bugsy Day! Nine years ago on 1/11 we adopted our sweet girl, and every year on 1/11 we get her a cheeseburger. She ate this year’s too fast to get a good photo.

Bugsy at Black Warrior brewing in Tuscaloosa
pit stop at Black Warrior Brewing

Post-burger, we humans had beers at Black Warrior Brewing Co, a dog-friendly spot with good beer, and a friendly locals scene.

leftover Indian from Desi Dhaba
Desi Dhaba leftovers!

Other breweries we considered: Druid City and Loosa Brews (not technically a brewery but has lots of different craft beers on tap). We also had Session Cocktails on our list, but after Black Warrior we headed home for the last of our Indian food from Desi Dhaba.

Bugsy and a riverside statue in Tuscaloosa
morning river walk… look at that sky

In the morning, as a nasty storm was heading in with high-wind warnings (the worst weather to drive a trailer in), we squeezed in another walk along the river–this time on a section of the trail closer to the University, and then did a quick loop through the school grounds.

walking through the University of Alabama
Bugsy at Bama

The University is impressive and we would have liked to explore it more, but the wind was kicking up and it was starting to sprinkle. We headed back to Coaches Corner, packed up as quickly as we could, and hit the road to Atlanta.


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