Like many areas of Alabama, Tuscaloosa was once occupied by Creek Indians. In 1836, President Andrew Jackson had the Indians removed to the Indian Territory- the journey now known as the "Trail of Tears." Ironically, the area was named after the famous Indian chief, Chief Tuskaloosa. Legendary explorer, DeSoto passed by the region during his 1500s exploration. Tuscaloosa was incorporated in 1819, and served as the state capitol from 1826 until 1846, when it was moved to Montgomery.
Today, Tuscaloosa is known to be a wonderful weekend destination, due to the variety of activities it offers. As home the University of Alabama, the area offers diverse nightlife and unending opportunities for those who enjoy sports. Located along the Black Warrior River, and near lakes, Tuscaloosa also presents a number of outlets for water-related activities. Lake Lurleen State Park consists of 1,600-acres, 250 of which are Lake Lurleen. Fishing, boating and swimming are some of the most prized activities here.
Tuscaloosa may be most famed for its proximity to the Moundville Archeological Park (a National Historic Landmark site) found just 12 miles south of Tuscaloosa on Hwy 69. Eight hundred years ago, Moundville was undeniably significant. It was one of the principal and most dominant prehistoric Native American societies in North America. Today, more than 20 preserved prehistoric Indian mounds, a boardwalk nature trail, and a theater are just some of the outlets for discovery found here. The museum contains artifacts discovered at the site, and exhibits help visitors understand what life was like for the people who lived here in prehistoric times. Indian crafts are offered for purchase. During October of every year, the highly anticipated Moundville Native American Festival is held. Featuring performing arts, education, artists and crafts people. The valuable entertainment found here is truly one-of-a-kind.
For those who enjoy historic homes, The Battle-Friedman House and Gardens and Jemison-Van de Graaff Mansion are two fascinating places to discover.
Tuscaloosa is located in the western-central part of the state, at the intersection on Interstate 20 and US Highway 82.