Headline

Advertise Here

 

No matter where you live in Alabama, you are close to something fun to do this fall. And since the weather is so nice, it’s hard not to get out of the house and join up with the community. Here are a few of our favorite seasonal activities for each of the big areas of the state.

 

By Sheena Gregg

 

In my mind, everybody’s got a little bit of a sweet tooth. Whether its cake, ice cream, pies, or something else, we’ve all got that one sweet treat that we wouldn’t mind having to end a memorable dinner. In Tuscaloosa, desserts are as much of a bragging right as barbecue. So if you’re visiting us to see the Tide roll, take note of these delectable treats!

That Cheesecake by Tammy Smith, Southern Ale House 
Just as the name indicates, That Cheesecake by Tammy Smith has people all over town talking. Currently available on the dessert menu at Southern Ale House and at the Tuscaloosa River Market sold by Ms. Tammy herself, this white chocolate cheesecake will remind you how perfect desserts can really be.

White Chocolate Bread Pudding, DePalma’s Italian Café
The white chocolate bread pudding at DePalma’s is a Tuscaloosa classic. It’s the stuff dreams are made of, seriously. Rich, warm flavors with the savory sweetness of white chocolate and drizzled chocolate convince diners that bread pudding should be its own food group.

Strawberry Cake, Edgar’s Bakery and Café
Defying all boundaries of amazingness, Edgar’s strawberry cake is legendary. With strawberry-infused cake layers and a rich, refreshing strawberry cream cheese icing, it’s no wonder this cake is known across the state.

Chocolate Soufflé, The Side by Side Restaurant
Calling all chocolate lovers to one of the most perfect desserts in town: Warm, rich chocolate flavors beautifully paired with delectable whipped cream remind us that dessert is always worth the calories. This chocolate soufflé is perfect after dinner or as a treat with a nice hot cup of coffee.

Beet Cremeaux, Epiphany Farm to Table New American Cuisine
If you’re wanting something a little different in your dessert repertoire, Epiphany’s Beet Cremeaux is for you. The earthy flavors of the beet pairs magically with sweetened condensed milk and an espresso-based sauce topped with pistachios.

Dessert Sampler, Cypress Inn
If you’re obsessed with desserts yet on the indecisive side, the Cypress Inn Dessert Sampler has you covered. Peanut butter pie, cheese pie, Mississippi mud cake, and whiskey bread pudding made with savory yeast rolls are a winning combination. Great to share with a sweetie, friends, or enjoy all on your own!

Kozy Kreamer, Kozy’s Restaurant
Proving that an adult beverage can serve as dessert, the Kozy Kreamer is a tasty end to dinner. Made with brandy, Kahlua, crème de cocoa, Bailey’s, and vanilla ice cream, this beverage is probably the most delicious way you can cool off during these hot summer nights.

Photos: Sheena Gregg

 

Article sponsored by Tuscaloosa Tourism Veterans.

 

Find them on the web at: http://visittuscaloosa.com

 

By Sheena Gregg

 

Ahhh…tis the season of pumpkin spice in the coffee world! If you’re anything like me, fall brings on cravings for great coffee. In a town that runs on caffeine, Tuscaloosa locals have plenty to choose from in the coffee arena. Here are a few places to put on your radar this season, especially if you’re visiting Tuscaloosa for a weekend Bama game!

Nehemiah’s Coffee House

Since its opening in June 2012, Nehemiah’s has cultivated a sense of community among Forest Lake residents. Patrons will find the atmosphere inviting and cozy while also providing ample space for listening to live music, playing a board game, or sitting down for a cup of joe while reading the morning paper. Serving up Seattle’s Best coffee, I was pleased with the variety of beverages that are available, including the tasty peppermint white mocha that is sure to warm you up and make your taste buds do a happy dance.

Regular monthly events and drink specials can be found at www.facebook.com/nehemiahscoffeehouse and @NehemiahsCoffee on Twitter. Be sure to also check www.flbc.us/Nehemiahs for more information on the history of Nehemiah’s.

 Heritage House Coffee & Tea

Many may know Heritage House as the first coffee house in Tuscaloosa with a history that began over 20 years ago. Now located off of Towncenter Boulevard in Northport, the shop provides ample space for relaxing, studying, or conducting a business meeting in the private conference room. Visitors can agree that the vast variety of flavored coffees offered sets Heritage House apart from others in Tuscaloosa. If coffee isn’t your thing, assorted green, black, and loose leaf teas are offered to relax yourself. My personal Heritage House recommendation is the Toffee Coffee latte that provides a sweet smooth texture with just the right amount of caffeine.

For more information on Heritage House, visit www.facebook.com/HeritageHouseTuscaloosa or www.heritagehousecoffee.com.

Edelweiss German Bakery and Coffee Shop

If you’re in the mood for authentic German breads and pastries, Edelweiss is sure to make you smile. Since 2007, the shop has provided a variety of European specialties to complement the various coffee drinks that are served up each day. If the large display case of pretzels, cakes, and pastries doesn’t catch your eye, classic German sandwiches and dishes will fill you up for breakfast and lunch. My personal favorite is the apple strudel garnished with powdered sugar and a dollop of whipped cream. Edelweiss is located in Temerson Square and open for breakfast and lunch daily.

Photos: Sheena Gregg

 

Article sponsored by Tuscaloosa Tourism Black Warrior.

Find them on the web at: http://visittuscaloosa.com

 

 

By Tori Linville

 

A five star experience doesn’t mean a bad bed in a gross hotel and it doesn’t mean bad food. Even if you’re not on vacation, no one wants to deal with subpar experiences, regardless of the establishment. So wherever you’re going, whatever you’re doing – whether you’re a native or a visitor, we’ve hit up Trip Advisor in the area to help you have a top-rated time.

 

TUSCALOOSA

 

Top Hotel: Embassy Suites by Hilton

 

This Tuscaloosa hotel gets nothing but praise for its staff and amenities. One reviewer labels it a “southern gem,” while another says “Tuscaloosa got exactly what was desperately needed” while describing their stay.  Most visitors really enjoy the location of the Embassy Suites, as it’s next to plenty of restaurants and shopping opportunities. And if you don’t like it, be sure to say so on Trip Advisor – the general manager, Steven, makes sure to reply to most reviews and digs deeper into why a customer didn’t enjoy his or her stay.

 

Top Restaurant: The Ave Pub

 

Great burgers, great fish tacos, great drink selection. Trip Advisor has spoken and The Ave Pub is one of the best places to fill a stomach. One review by added, “I am glad that they offer healthier foods with real substance, such as their greens in their salad; it's not just your average iceburg lettuce.” From the service to the food presentation to the drink selection, people are raving about all the good things happening down at The Ave.

 

#2 Thing to Do: Paul W. Bryant Museum

 

Why the second? Because in a town like Tuscaloosa, the obvious first choice is Bryant-Denny Stadium. No need to explain. Since it’s off-season, the second choice is Paul W. Bryant Museum. Just down the street from the stadium, the museum is the perfect off-season stop to help all your Alabama football yearnings. As one reviewer said, “Bear will love to see you stop in and visit.”

 

BIRMINGHAM

 

Top Hotel: Hampton Inn & Suites Birmingham/280 East-Eagle Point

 

If you’re in the mood for some comfortable beds, clean rooms and some above-average complimentary breakfast (seriously, who isn’t?) then Trip Advisor says the Hampton Inn is for you. The location and hotel basics are a shoe-in at this place and the staff seems to be on top of their game. As one reviewer put it, a stay at this Birmingham hotel is “always a great stay.”

 

Top Restaurant: Highlands Bar and Grill

 

Trip Advisor has 834 restaurants listed for the Birmingham area and Highlands Bar and Grill lands at number one. Highlands offers a fine dining experience that can’t be missed. The menu changes frequently and the wine is not to be missed. It is a more high-end place though, which threw some reviewers off. That’s not to say you won’t be welcomed regardless – it’s still true to its Southern hospitality.

 

#1 Thing to Do: Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

 

The top-ranked thing to do in Birmingham lies with Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. Why? The Trip Advisor consensus is that there’s just so much to see, one trip is only the tip of the motorcycle iceberg. The museum boasts the largest collection of Lotus cars in the U.S. and as one reviewer said, “This is a one of a kind museum for everyone to see. You don't have to be interested in motorcycles or a 'gear head' to appreciate this spectacle.”

 

DESTIN

 

Top Hotel: Henderson Park Inn

 

Not only is it the number one hotel for Destin on Trip Advisor, Henderson Park Inn is also Destin’s 2015 Travelers’ Choice for the website. Number one thing to know? It has a no children policy – this is for the adults who need time away! The staff is more than accommodating and the beach location definitely doesn’t hurt. Dinner reservations are a must, but freebies abound in the form of water, candy bars and other treats. Take it from the guy who flew from New York City on a whim: “We were very impressed. It's got excellent location, a solid restaurant, friendly staff - everything we wanted for a getaway. Highly recommend. We will be back.”

 

#2 Restaurant: Buck’s Smokehouse

 

Since the top rated restaurant was Beach Walk at – you guessed it – Henderson Park Inn, we decided to switch the scenery and check up on the number two. Buck’s Smokehouse is home to some of Destin’s best barbeque. Though some reviewers were disappointed in comparing it to Texas barbeque, the brisket is still a crowd favorite. Add it to a clean atmosphere, friendly staff and an array of sauces that’ll have you coming back for more, it’s no wonder it’s dubbed the “best BBQ on the beach” by one reviewer.

 

#2 Thing to Do: Crystal Sands Beach

 

In a coastal town like Destin, obviously the main thing to do is to veg out on the beach and get some well-deserved sun. The number one beach was back to the Henderson Beach State Park, so we again saw what number two had to offer. Crystal Sands Beach stands on its own (not literally), with “sugary white sand” and “gorgeous blue water” that has reviewers handing out five stars all around. The best parts? It’s great for children, but not too crowded.

 

Article sponsored by Tuscaloosa Tourism Black Warrior and Tuscaloosa Tourism Veterans.

Find them on the web at: http://visittuscaloosa.com

 

 

Azalea City Living is Mobile, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

Most Popular

Instagram Gallery