Welcome to Florence, South Carolina – a hidden gem in the heart of the Palmetto State. This charming city seamlessly blends history, culture, and hospitality, offering an array of experiences for every traveler. Whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, or a foodie, Florence has something special in store.
Our guide is your ticket to uncovering the city’s top attractions, local secrets, and vibrant culture. From scenic parks to mouth-watering southern cuisine, Florence invites you to explore and immerse yourself in its warm hospitality.
If you’re looking for a complete list of activities and sights, our Things to Do in Florence guide is the perfect place to start. Let’s begin this journey of discovery and experience Florence’s unique charm.
This guide provides a comprehensive list of the best things to do and see in Florence, South Carolina. So, put on your explorer’s hat and join us as we embark on this unforgettable journey.
- Discover Florence, SC: 10 Must-Visit Attractions in Florence South Carolina for Your Southern Adventure
- Immerse Yourself in Florence, SC: Exciting Activities to do in Florence South Carolina with a Cultural Twist
- A Day in Florence, SC: Morning, Afternoon, and Night time Adventures
- Savor Florence’s Culinary Delights: Local Eats, Street Food Hotspots, and Fine Dining
- Stay and Explore: Accommodations and Unique Experiences in Florence, SC
- Getting Around Florence, SC: Transport Options, Costs, and Safety Tips
- Hidden Gems of Florence, SC: Secrets and Unique Spots to Discover
- Fascinating Facts and Statistics About Florence, SC
Discover Florence, SC: 10 Must-Visit Attractions in Florence South Carolina for Your Southern Adventure
|1. Florence Veterans Park
|Pay tribute to veterans at this serene park with monuments and sculptures.
|Open daily, 24 hours
|Reflective ambiance, sculptures, and beautifully landscaped surroundings.
|2. War Between the States Museum
|Explore Civil War history through artifacts and exhibits.
|Tue-Sat: 10 AM – 4 PM
|$8 (Adults), $5 (Children)
|Extensive collection of Civil War memorabilia and knowledgeable staff.
|3. Lynches River County Park
|Enjoy nature with hiking trails, canoeing, and a nature center.
|Mon-Sun: 7 AM – Sunset
|Free entry, and activities vary
|Birdwatching, diverse wildlife, and peaceful river views.
|4. Florence County Museum
|Discover local art, history, and culture through engaging exhibits.
|Tue-Sat: 10 AM – 5 PM
|Impressive art collection, historical artifacts, and interactive displays.
|5. Palmetto Peddlers Antiques Mall
|Hunt for unique treasures in this expansive antique mall.
|Mon-Sat: 10 AM – 6 PM
|Vast selection of antiques, collectibles, and vintage items.
|6. Moore Farms Botanical Garden
|Stroll through stunning gardens with rare plants and sculptures.
|Tue-Sat: 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
|$10 (Adults), Free (Children)
|Botanical diversity, artistic displays, and educational programs.
|7. Florence Rail Trail
|Walk, jog, or bike along this scenic 10-mile rail-to-trail path.
|Open daily, 24 hours
|Scenic route, shaded sections, and access to local history.
|8. Florence Little Theatre
|Enjoy live performances in an intimate, community-driven theater.
|Ticket prices vary
|Quality productions, local talent, and a rich theatrical experience.
|9. Art Trail Gallery
|Admire and purchase works from local artists in this co-op gallery.
|Thu-Sat: 11 AM – 4 PM
|Diverse art styles, friendly artists, and unique gifts for art lovers.
|10. Palmetto Outdoors
|Experience kayaking and paddleboarding on the scenic Lynches River.
|Seasonal, varying hours
|Rental prices vary
|Peaceful river adventures, nature observation, and guided tours.
Immerse Yourself in Florence, SC: Exciting Activities to do in Florence South Carolina with a Cultural Twist
1. Historic Downtown Stroll
Description: Take a leisurely walk through the historic downtown area, where charming streets are lined with beautifully preserved buildings from the 19th century. Immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and enjoy boutique shopping, galleries, and local cuisine.
Insider Note: Visit during the monthly First Friday Art Trail for special art events and live music.
2. Florence County Farmers Market
Description: Experience the vibrant local culture by visiting the farmers market. Explore stalls brimming with fresh produce, homemade goods, and artisan crafts while mingling with friendly locals.
Pro Tip: Arrive early for the best selection, and don’t forget to try the local honey and baked treats.
3. Segway Tour of Florence
Description: Glide through the city streets on a Segway tour. This unique adventure offers an exciting and informative way to explore Florence’s historic sites and landmarks.
Insider Note: Tours often include stops at hidden gems that many visitors miss.
4. Jazz on Dargan
Description: Enjoy a night of smooth jazz at Jazz on Dargan. This intimate jazz club features talented local and guest musicians, making it the perfect place to unwind and immerse yourself in the city’s musical heritage.
Pro Tip: Check their schedule for special-themed nights and events.
5. Florence National Cemetery
Description: Pay your respects at this national cemetery, a place of historical significance and honor. Wander among the rows of white headstones, and take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices made by veterans.
Insider Note: Guided tours are available, providing deeper insights into the cemetery’s history.
6. Local Culinary Tour
Description: Savor the flavors of Florence by embarking on a culinary tour. Visit local restaurants and sample southern specialties, including mouth-watering barbecue, fresh seafood, and decadent desserts.
Pro Tip: Come hungry and be ready for a culinary journey; don’t miss the chance to try some sweet tea!
7. Lyambiko Yoga Studio
Description: Find tranquility and wellness at Lyambiko Yoga Studio. Join a yoga class, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced practitioner, and embrace the mindful culture of Florence.
Insider Note: They often offer outdoor sessions, providing a unique experience.
8. Florence Blues Festival
Description: Plan your visit to coincide with the annual Florence Blues Festival. Experience the soulful sounds of blues music, a genre deeply rooted in the culture of the South.
Pro Tip: Secure your tickets early, as this event draws music enthusiasts from all around.
9. Local Art Workshops
Description: Tap into your creative side by attending local art workshops. Learn new skills and techniques from talented artists, and take home your own piece of Florence’s artistic heritage.
Insider Note: Workshops often cater to all levels, so don’t hesitate to join even if you’re a beginner.
10. Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center
Description: Check the schedule for performances at the Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center. Enjoy a night of culture and entertainment, from live theater to musical concerts.
Pro Tip: Look out for special guest performances and book your tickets early for popular shows.
A Day in Florence, SC: Morning, Afternoon, and Night time Adventures
|1. Morning at Timrod Park
|1. Visit the Florence County Museum
|1. Downtown Dining and Nightlife
|Experience: Enjoy a peaceful morning walk amid nature and historic sculptures at Timrod Park.
|Experience: Explore local art and history at the Florence County Museum.
|Experience: Dive into Florence’s vibrant nightlife with dinner and live music at a downtown restaurant.
|Pro Tip: Bring a picnic breakfast and relax by the serene lake.
|Pro Tip: Check their event calendar for special exhibitions and events.
|Pro Tip: Try Southern specialties and cocktails at a local hotspot.
|2. Southern Breakfast
|Shopping at Palmetto Peddlers Antiques Mall
|Jazz at Jazz on Dargan
|Experience: Start your day with a hearty southern breakfast at a local diner.
|Experience: Discover unique treasures at the Palmetto Peddlers Antiques Mall.
|Experience: Immerse yourself in live jazz music at Jazz on Dargan.
|Pro Tip: Try classics like biscuits and gravy or shrimp and grits.
|Pro Tip: Negotiate prices with the friendly vendors for great finds.
|Pro Tip: Check their schedule for upcoming performances and events.
|3. History at War Between the States Museum
|3. Outdoor Adventure at Lynches River County Park
|3. Late-Night Stroll at Florence Veterans Park
|Experience: Explore Civil War history through artifacts and exhibits.
|Experience: Discover nature’s beauty with hiking trails and river views.
|Experience: Wind down with an evening stroll among monuments and sculptures.
|Pro Tip: Engage with knowledgeable staff to learn more about the exhibits.
|Pro Tip: Rent a canoe for a unique perspective of the river.
|Pro Tip: It’s a serene spot for stargazing on clear nights
Savor Florence’s Culinary Delights: Local Eats, Street Food Hotspots, and Fine Dining
|1. Southern BBQ
|Experience the rich, smoky flavors of pulled pork, ribs, or brisket, often served with traditional sides like coleslaw, mac and cheese, and collard greens.
|2. Shrimp and Grits
|A beloved Lowcountry dish featuring plump, perfectly cooked shrimp served over creamy, buttery grits with a savory gravy.
|3. Fried Chicken
|Enjoy crispy, golden-fried chicken, a southern classic, often served with biscuits and a side of honey for a touch of sweetness.
|4. Pimento Cheese
|Savor this creamy, tangy spread made from cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, and pimentos, perfect as a dip or sandwich filling.
|5. Frogmore Stew
|A hearty seafood boil featuring shrimp, crab, corn on the cob, and sausage seasoned with a blend of spices.
|6. Sweet Tea
|Quench your thirst with sweet tea, a southern staple made by sweetening iced tea with sugar, offering a perfect balance of sweetness and refreshment.
|7. Hoppin’ John
|A delicious dish made with black-eyed peas, rice, and bacon, often served on New Year’s Day for good luck.
|Street Food Hotspots
|1. Florence Farmers Market
|Try local street food vendors offering freshly prepared dishes using farm-fresh ingredients.
|2. Food Truck Fridays
|Enjoy a variety of food trucks serving everything from gourmet tacos to unique dessert creations.
|3. Downtown Florence Food Trucks
|Explore the rotating lineup of food trucks in downtown, offering diverse street eats.
|Fine Dining Recommendations
|An upscale restaurant known for its prime steaks, seafood, and elegant ambiance.
|2. Julia Belle’s Restaurant
|A fine dining establishment offering southern-inspired cuisine with a modern twist.
|3. Town Hall
|A local favorite with a diverse menu, from gourmet burgers to seafood dishes, in a welcoming setting.
Stay and Explore: Accommodations and Unique Experiences in Florence, SC
|1. Hotel Florence
|A boutique hotel in the heart of downtown, offering a charming stay with modern amenities.
|2. Hampton Inn & Suites
|A well-known chain hotel with comfortable rooms and easy access to local attractions.
|3. The Mantissa Executive Suites
|Luxury suites with high-end furnishings and personalized service for a lavish stay.
|4. Florence RV Park
|A unique option for travelers with RVs, providing a relaxed and spacious camping experience.
|5. Inn at the Crossroads
|A historic bed and breakfast offering cozy rooms and a glimpse into Florence’s past.
|6. Tru by Hilton Florence
|A trendy and modern hotel designed for the tech-savvy traveler, with a vibrant atmosphere.
|7. Camping at Lynches River County Park
|Camp in the park’s serene setting for a nature-filled accommodation experience.
|Unique Local Experiences
|1. Florence After Five
|Join the monthly downtown street party featuring live music, food vendors, and local artisans.
|2. Florence Little Theatre Production
|Attend a live theater performance at the Florence Little Theatre for a taste of local arts.
|3. Florence County Museum Art Classes
|Participate in art classes and workshops held at the museum to explore your creative side.
|4. Segway Tour of Florence
|Discover the city’s history and landmarks on a guided Segway tour for an exciting exploration.
|5. Southern Hops Brewing Company
|Enjoy a tour of the local brewery and sample craft beers that represent the region’s flavors.
|6. Florence Rail Trail Biking
|Rent a bike and explore the picturesque Florence Rail Trail, offering scenic views and history.
|7. City Center Market
|Visit the Saturday market for local produce, handmade crafts, and a taste of Florence’s culture.
Getting Around Florence, SC: Transport Options, Costs, and Safety Tips
|1. Car Rental
|$35 – $70 per day
|Varies based on usage
|– Drive safely, obey traffic rules, and watch out for pedestrians.
|– Secure valuables in your vehicle when parked.
|Varies based on
|Varies based on
|– Only use licensed taxis.
|distance and company
|distance and traffic
|– Confirm the fare with the driver before starting the journey.
|Varies based on
|Varies based on
|– Use only the official apps to request rides.
|distance and demand
|distance and demand
|– Ensure the driver’s identity and vehicle match the app details.
|4. Public Transit
|$1.50 per ride
|Varies based on route
|– Keep an eye on belongings, especially in crowded buses.
|– Be mindful of schedules, as they may vary by route.
|Varies based on route
|– Use crosswalks and obey traffic signals when crossing streets.
|– Wear sunscreen and stay hydrated during hot weather.
|6. Rideshare Bicycles
|$1.00 – $1.15 per
|Varies based on usage
|– Always wear a helmet when riding a shared bicycle.
|– Return the bike to a designated docking station when finished.
|7. Cabs and Shuttles
|Varies based on
|Varies based on
|– Choose reputable cab companies and shuttle services.
|company and distance
|distance and traffic
|– Confirm the fare in advance and provide your destination clearly.
- Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your belongings when in public places or using transportation.
- Travel during well-lit hours, especially if you’re walking or biking.
- If you’re driving, ensure that your vehicle is in good working condition and always obey traffic laws.
- Use reputable transportation services and verify their credentials.
- Keep your personal information and travel documents secure.
- Share your itinerary and contact information with someone you trust.
- In case of emergency, have access to local emergency contact numbers and know the location of the nearest healthcare facilities and police stations.
Always prioritize your safety while exploring Florence, South Carolina, and make informed transportation choices
Hidden Gems of Florence, SC: Secrets and Unique Spots to Discover
- Pearl Moore Basketball Center: Tucked away in Timrod Park, this unassuming building holds a secret. Step inside, and you’ll find a museum dedicated to Pearl Moore, a basketball legend. It’s a hidden gem for sports enthusiasts, showcasing her remarkable career and the history of women’s basketball.
- Woods Bay State Park Boardwalk: This nature lover’s paradise offers a surprising twist. Follow the boardwalk deep into the cypress-tupelo swamp to discover a floating island that gently moves with the water. It’s a surreal and serene experience, with opportunities for birdwatching and unique nature photography.
- Rose Garden at Florence National Cemetery: While many visit the cemetery for its historical significance, few know about the hidden rose garden. In spring and early summer, it comes to life with a riot of colorful blooms, creating a peaceful oasis amid the gravestones.
- Florence’s Mysterious Murals: Stroll the streets of downtown Florence and keep an eye out for stunning murals hidden on the sides of buildings. These public artworks showcase the city’s rich culture, from the iconic Florence County Library mural to the vibrant works on South Dargan Street.
- Historic Downtown Alleyways: Venture into the hidden alleyways of downtown Florence, and you’ll find cozy nooks and crannies filled with character. These areas often feature local art, quaint cafes, and boutique shops that offer an intimate glimpse into the city’s soul.
- Lake City’s ArtFields: Just a short drive from Florence, Lake City hosts an annual arts festival called ArtFields. This hidden gem showcases regional art and transforms the town into a giant open-air gallery, with art installations in surprising places, making it an art lover’s delight.
- Sculpture Garden at Florence County Complex: Nestled behind the Florence County Complex, you’ll discover a hidden sculpture garden. Stroll among the impressive artworks, which include local and international sculptures, and enjoy a peaceful escape in the heart of the city.
- Bethea Baptist Park: This serene park is home to a hidden treasure—a charming butterfly garden. Wander through the garden and be surrounded by a colorful flutter of butterflies as you take in the tranquility.
- Palmetto Trail: Embark on a journey along the Palmetto Trail, which features a hidden gem known as Jeffries Creek Park. Explore the hiking trails that lead you to scenic overlooks, a suspension bridge, and the calming sounds of the creek.
- Artisanal Bakeries: Florence is home to a few hidden bakeries and cafes, such as The Clay Pot Coffee Shop. Here, you can savor freshly baked goods and artisanal coffee while surrounded by a cozy atmosphere that feels like a well-kept secret.
Fascinating Facts and Statistics About Florence, SC
|Florence was founded in 1853.
|It is known as “The Magic City.”
|As of the 2020 census, Florence had a population of 38,201.
|The city is approximately 150 feet (45 meters) above sea level.
|Healthcare, manufacturing, and education are key industries in Florence.
|Florence played a significant role in the American Civil War.
|Annual ArtFields Festival
|The city hosts the annual ArtFields festival, showcasing regional art.
|Regional Healthcare Hub
|Florence is known as the healthcare hub of the Pee Dee region, with several major medical facilities.
|The city is situated near the Lynches River, known for its natural beauty and outdoor activities.
|Florence is a major transportation crossroads with its Amtrak station and proximity to I-95.
|Rich Cultural Scene
|The city boasts a thriving arts and culture scene, including theaters, galleries, and music events.
These facts and statistics offer a glimpse into the history, culture, and significance of Florence, South Carolina.
Florence, South Carolina, stands as a captivating hidden gem in the heart of the South. With its rich history, vibrant arts scene, and welcoming community, Florence offers a unique blend of culture, natural beauty, and Southern charm.
From the serene lakes and enchanting boardwalks to the city’s thriving arts and culinary scenes, there’s a little something for everyone here. Florence’s historic downtown, with its mysterious murals and cozy alleyways, reveals a unique character that’s well worth exploring.
What is the population of Florence, SC?
The population of Florence, SC, was approximately 38,201 as of the 2020 census.
What is the best time to visit Florence, South Carolina?
The best time to visit Florence is in the spring and fall when the weather is mild and pleasant.
Are there any annual festivals in Florence, SC?
Yes, Florence hosts the annual ArtFields festival, a celebration of regional art.
Is Florence, SC, a historic city?
Yes, Florence played a significant role in the American Civil War and has a rich history.
How far is Florence, SC, from Myrtle Beach?
Florence is approximately 70 miles (112 kilometers) away from Myrtle Beach.
What outdoor activities are available near Florence, South Carolina?
Near Florence, you can explore Lynches River, offering outdoor activities like hiking and canoeing.
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