Tuscaloosa : Alabama


What It Is Like to Retire in Tuscaloosa

Tuscaloosa, located on the Black Warrior River in west central Alabama, is the seat of Tuscaloosa County and has a population of over 95,000 (2013 census). The city was named after Tuskaloosa, the chieftain of a Muskogean-speaking people who was defeated by Hernando de Soto in 1540, in the Battle of Mabila. The city is traditionally know as the Druid City, due to the many water oaks that line it's downtown streets, but is more well known as home to the University of Alabama and its successful Crimson Tide football team. The school, with an enrollment of over 30,000 students, helps to bring the average age in Tuscaloosa down to just 27. Stillman College, a small liberal arts school, and Shelton State Community College are also located here. In recent years, Tuscaloosa has been recognized as one of the most livable cities in America and as a great college town. Pictures from the public domain of The Alvin P. DuPont Municipal Court building courtesy of Wikipedia and Alabama Tide; The Bama Theatre courtesy of Wikipedia and Paul Kilgo; The Alabama Museum of Natural History courtesy of Wikipedia and AlabamaGuy2007.


Where to Retire in Tuscaloosa and Home Prices

Zillow.com reports the median home value in Tuscaloosa is $211,152 in mid-2022.


What Is Special about Tuscaloosa

Tuscaloosa is a diverse community and full of young people as there are three schools of higher learning located here.  The University of Alabama offers many cultural events including art exhibits, music and exciting sporting events.  The city offers a low cost of living, a transit system, medical center, and libraries, along with a lake and several parks.


What Is Not Special about Tuscaloosa

The University of Alabama has over 30,000 students and a very popular football team, with home games drawing over 150,000 fans to town.  The crime rate in Tuscaloosa is high, and the town has experienced tornadoes.


Who Will Like Retirement in Tuscaloosa

Retirees who want to live in a college town with a low cost of living, transportation, a medical center, and access to many cultural and sporting events, would enjoy living here.  Shelton State Community College offers seniors several Lifelong Learning courses.


Local Economy Is Driven by

The city is a regional center of industry, commerce and health care. The University of Alabama is the largest university in the state and is the dominant economic driver of the economy.  Mercedes-Benz has an assembly plant here, the only one in the U.S.


Climate and Physical Environment

The average January temperature is about 45 degrees, with July's average at 81 degrees.  Tuscaloosa has gotten a trace amount of snow during the winter months, and has had tornadoes come through, the most recent in 2011.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

With so many college students, the town has several restaurants and shops;  Both the University of Alabama and Stillman College feature art exhibits, music and sporting events; the town itself boasts many performing arts organizations including a community theater and the Bama Theater, which is host to dance, film festivals and concerts; The Colelman Coliseum is a multipurpose arena that serves as a civic center, and the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, which sits on the banks of the Black Warrior River, has hosted concerts with Kenny Chesney and Steely Dan, among others;  Tuscaloosa also is host to many festivals throughout the year including the Weindorf Festival which is a cultural German celebration, and Kentuck Festival of Arts held every October.



The crime rate in Tuscaloosa is higher than the national average, with most incidents involving theft.


Medical Facilities

DCH Regional Medical Center is located here, as is a VA Medical Center.



The Tuscaloosa Transit Authority operates a trolley system (actually buses painted to look just like trollies), and there is both a Greyhound Bus station and an Amtrak station here. Tuscaloosa has a small regional airport, and the nearest international airport is in Birmingham, approximately 50 miles away. Tuscaloosa is not considered to be a walkable community.


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Tuscaloosa, AL

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