Situated in west-central Alabama on the banks of the Black Warrior River, Tuscaloosa is the state's fifth largest city with a metro area population of nearly 211,000 residents. Tuscaloosa has been racking up accolades in recent years for business friendliness and livability, so it's no surprise that Tuscaloosa event venues, which include a host of university conference centers, more than 40 hotels and inns and a variety of stunning historic special event venues, are also popular for meetings.
Primarily a drive-to destination, Tuscaloosa is also served by Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM), which is a 53-minute drive from the city.
Located on the University of Alabama campus, the Bryant Conference Center is one of the most spacious Tuscaloosa event venues, accommodating groups as large as 1,000 people thanks to conference rooms, pre-function lobby space, an auditorium and breakout rooms. Sellers Auditorium, the center's flagship space, can seat 1,000 people theater-style or just over 500 for a banquet. The Rast Conference Room is the second-largest space, offering nearly 4,000 square feet of space that can be used as one or divided into sections. In addition to flexible spaces, the Bryant Conference Center boasts state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment and on-site technicians, as well as beverage break areas throughout the facility.
The University of Alabama campus is home to plenty of other Tuscaloosa event venues. Home of the university's Crimson Tide basketball team, the multi-purpose Coleman Coliseum has seating for over 16,000 people, while Foster Auditorium seats 3,200 people. Famed for its superb acoustics, the Frank Moody Music Building is patterned after the Vienna Philharmonic and has a concert hall for 1,000 guests and a smaller recital hall for around 120 guests. The Morgan Auditorium is an early 1900s original theater that's perfect of presentations to up to 600 people.
Though the university has plenty of options for Tuscaloosa meetings large and small, groups will find plenty of unique and intriguing off campus spaces to convene, celebrate and mingle. Take a sunset cruise aboard the Bama Belle, a replica paddlewheel boat. The historic 1938 Bama Theatre hosts not only local bands and art house films but can accommodate 1,046 guests for seminars and conferences. Its more intimate Greensboro Room is also available for up to 40 seated guests. The L&N Station is another historic Tuscaloosa meeting venue with a gorgeous interior. The station is available for rentals of up to 300 people and has on-site catering.
Alabama may be the land of comforting Southern classics, but Tuscaloosa groups will be surprised to find a plethora of restaurant options that are friendly to both waistlines and the environment. Specializing in fresh fish and shellfish from the Gulf Coast that is strictly hook and line caught, Chuck's Fish is the go-to spot for quality seafood in Tuscaloosa. Groups of up to 200 guests can enjoy wood-fired shrimp, crab cakes and other favorites at Chuck's, which has three private dining spaces. Featuring farm-to-table progressive cuisine, Epiphany Cafe offers a private room and entrees such as Kobe beef carpaccio and organic Alabama catfish. Still, in some cases, nothing but good, old-fashioned barbecue will do. Restaurants such as Bottom Feeders and Full Moon BBQ offer a complete spread of catering options, including pulled pork, brisket, smoked turkey, Southern-fried catfish and more.