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Watering holes to keep you cool in July

Hannah Muncher

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July is almost always the hottest month of the year for Alabama residents. Here are a few places you can go to stay cool:

Lake Lurleen, 14 miles from campus

Named after Alabama’s only female governor, Lake Lurleen State Park, which is located in Coker, has something for just about everyone. For $3, one has access to swimming areas, boat ramps, boat rentals, fishing areas, picnic tables, hiking trails and more. A state fishing license is required to fish, but licenses are available for purchase inside the park. Park hours are from 7 a.m. to sunset each day. For more information, visit alapark.com/lakelurleen.

Binion Creek at Lake Tuscaloosa, 16 miles from campus

If you love to fish, Binion Creek is the spot for you. Located on the north end of Lake Tuscaloosa on Highway 43, Binion Creek is more fertile, has lower water visibilities and is generally a better place for fishing than other parts of the lake. Binion Creek is home to numerous sport fish including spotted bass, largemouth bass and blue gill, and it even served as the launching site for the B.A.S.S. Federation Qualifying Tournament in 2001. In addition to its three docks, Binion Creek also has a public access boat ramp.

Little Cahaba River, 44 miles from campus

Looking to cool down and spend a lazy day on the river? Then travel east on Highway 82 to Brierfield, where you can float down the Little Cahaba River, a 6.7-mile ride with two three-foot drops that will add challenge and excitement to your lazy river ride. Remember, the ride can be rough at times, so be sure to wear clothes that will protect your skin from scrapes and bruises. Tubes can be rented at the Brierfield access point. For more information, visit outdooralabama.com.

Shark Tooth Creek, 49 miles from campus

Though closed for the first half of July, Shark Tooth Creek Adventures will begin taking calls for appointments on July 13. Shark Tooth Creek is located on Highway 14 in Aliceville, and your adventure can start anywhere: with canoeing, hunting for shark teeth, fishing, swimming or even camping. The campground, which overlooks 75 acres of water, has picnic, cooking and showering areas. Firewood is also available for anyone looking to have a late-night bonfire. All visits are by appointment only, and rates are as follows:

  • Shark Tooth Creek: $20.00 per person
  • Canoeing: $40.00 per canoe, per day; includes shuttle and eight-mile trip that lasts approximately 4 hours
  • Pavilion & Camp Grounds: Primitive camping – $5.00 per person, per night; includes restrooms, showers, outdoor cooking facilities, firewood and fire ring
  • Fishing: Catch and release catfish – $5.00 per person
  • Shark Tooth Creek T-shirts – $15.00

For more information, visit sharktoothcreek.com or call (205) 373-2605.

Dinner on the Black Warrior River, less than five miles from campus

A romantic dinner on the river is a great way to finish off any busy day. Here are a few places in Tuscaloosa that offer riverfront dining:

  • The Cypress Inn Restaurant, located on Rice Mine Rd., serves southern-style cuisine and uses only original recipes and the freshest ingredients. Also, The Cypress Inn also has happy hour on The Cypress Inn sand bar and outdoor deck. Happy hour runs from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with $4 appetizers and drink specials. The Cypress Inn is located on 501 Rice Mine Rd.
  • Wintzell’s Oyster House, located on the banks of the Black Warrior, serves everything from salads and sandwiches to fresh seafood and their famous oysters. Happy hour is also served Monday through Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. Specials consist of $5 pitchers, raw dozens and appetizers.
  • The Bama Belle is Tuscaloosa’s very own dinner cruise. The Bama Belle, a modern-day replica of a 1900s-style paddleboat, offers dinner, sunset, private party charters and special cruises.

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Watering holes to keep you cool in July