As kids, my parents took my siblings and I numerous places. We had wonderful experiences in our city, but we also traveled a good bit.

We used to go to Canada, and we would travel to Alabama quite often. Interstate 65 was our favorite as there were quite a few cities along the way and other tourist attractions. So, if we were not traveling overnight with plans to be at our destination first thing in the morning, the trips would take longer because we enjoyed stopping at some of the attractions along the way. Because of this, I still have a knack for traveling, which I’ve also passed along to my daughter.

Those who travel with me know that when I’m out of town, I do my best to make the experience unlike home as much as possible.  I don’t want to eat at a restaurant that is in or near Tuscaloosa, and I deliberately seek tourist attractions or places that give the most authentic cultural experiences.

This made me think: Are there any Tuscaloosa features that are unique? Of course, there are numerous restaurants that are area originals, but food aside, are there any experiences you think visitors and tourists can have which will make them exclaim, “Only in Tuscaloosa?”

Granted, we can always say, “Only in Tuscaloosa does ‘Roll Tide’ take on numerous meanings, but that’s not really an experience.

In most large cities, the downtown areas are filled with horse drawn carriages. These aren’t exclusive to any particular city, but they do enhance the visits to the city. Tuscaloosa doesn’t even have that.

When football fans come to cheer on their teams, what else do they do that they reflect upon and say, “While in Tuscaloosa, we….” And actually name something that would appear to be a big deal? What do you think visitors include when they give an account of an authentic Tuscaloosa experience?

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