Florence, South Carolina, is a small town that has attracted much attention recently. What was once a railroad hub town has been revamped to combine modern-day amenities with true Southern charm. Florence is in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina, which covers the state’s northeast corner. This area was named after the Pee Dee Native American tribe who once inhabited the land.
Also known as “Flo-Town” or “Magic City”, 1965 Florence was named an All-American City by the National Civic League. It was later named after the daughter of the president of the Wilmington & Manchester Railroad, Florence Harllee. Most visitors are surprised by how much this town has to offer. There are many things to do in Florence, including educational museums, historical sites dating back to the Civil War, and outdoor activities such as hiking and playgrounds.
South Carolina is known for its lush vegetation, incredible outdoor recreation and delicious Southern comfort food. And in all of these departments, Florence follows suit. Here are the best things to do in Florence.
- Florence, South Carolina
- Things to Do in Florence
- 1- Watch A Live Show At Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center
- 2- Learn About The Civil War
- 3- Take The Kids To The Playground At Timrod Park
- 4- Pick Your Own At Cottle Strawberry Farm
- 5- Discover History At The Florence County Museum
- 6- Find A Hidden Gem At Palmetto Peddlers Antiques Mall
- 7- Taste Local Brews
- 8- Stroll Through Florence Veterans Park
- 9- Take A Guided Walking Tour Through Florence Stockade
- 10- Get An Up-Close View Of The Stars At Dooley Planetarium
- 11- Spend An Afternoon Browsing Dr Bruce & Lee Foundation Library
- 12- Catch A Civil War Reenactment At Column Plantation
- 13- Eat Like A Local At Tubb’s Shrimp & Fish Co.
- 14- Explore The Thieves Market
- 15- Support A Family-Owned Business At Hyman Vineyards
- 16- Go Shopping At Magnolia Mall
- 17- Watch The Game At Red Bone Alley
- 18- Sip On Handmade Moonshine At Straw Hat Distillery
- 19- Bounce Around At DEFY – Florence
- 20- Hike The Trails At Jeffries Creek Park
- Things to Do in Florence
Florence, South Carolina
Things to Do in Florence
1- Watch A Live Show At Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center
On the campus of Francis Marion University, this centre is the hub for various performing arts events, including professional and student performances of music, theatre and dance.
The Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center is a state-of-the-art concert hall and a great way to culturally connect with the Florence area.
The centre also has community outreach programs that consist of educational programs, workshops, and special events.
Check the calendar of events to see what kind of performances are being held during your visit.
We also recommend purchasing tickets in advance as well.
The Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center is at 201 S Dargan St, Florence, SC 29506.
2- Learn About The Civil War
Florence played a significant role during the American Civil War, so many attractions are dedicated to this historical event, including The War Between The States Museum.
The museum was founded in 1988 by members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
This exciting museum gives its guests a glimpse into the history and impact of the war through rare books, artifacts, archives, photographs, and other memorabilia.
Exhibits within the museum focus on the experience of civilians, battles of the war, and military campaigns.
The museum is only open on Saturdays and Wednesdays from 10 am to 5 pm, so plan accordingly.
The War Between the States Museum is at 107 S Guerry St, Florence, SC 29501.
3- Take The Kids To The Playground At Timrod Park
Timrod Park is a public park named after Florence native and famed poet Henry Timrod.
The park features beautiful mature trees and stunning flowers to create a picturesque and serene setting.
If you are visiting during the springtime, you can’t miss the Azalea Trail, which showcases a vibrant and colourful display of azaleas throughout the pathway.
Visitors of the park also love taking advantage of the abundant outdoor activities such as picnic tables and grills, a kids’ playground, rain gardens, an amphitheatre, tennis courts, and basketball courts.
Timrod Park is open daily from 6:45 am to 7 pm.
Timrod Park is at 400 Timrod Park Dr, Florence, SC 29501.
4- Pick Your Own At Cottle Strawberry Farm
Cottle Strawberry Farm is a locally-owned and operated farm run by Ms.
The farm has been running as a Florence staple for over 50 years.
The farm opens to the public each spring and summer for strawberry picking.
The owner loves sharing her fresh and delicious strawberries with visitors and locals alike.
The farm is open Monday through Saturday (8 am to 7 pm); Sundays (10 am to 6 pm). Pricing for the strawberries is $5 per quart or $17 for a gallon.
It is best to call ahead if it is raining to ensure the picking is open.
Cottle Strawberry Farm is at 3712 W Palmetto St, Florence, SC 29501.
5- Discover History At The Florence County Museum
This small museum showcases the history of Florence County through exhibits, seminars, and special programs focusing on art, history, and science.
The museum exhibits include The Community Gallery, The Pee Dee History Gallery, and special exhibits such as Francis Marion in the Pee Dee, Strange Beast, and Snow Island.
The museum’s collections include information on Cretaceous-period reptiles, Native American and Colonial periods, and Civil War and Cold War artifacts.
This is an excellent place to spend the day admiring the culture of Florence, South Carolina.
Admission to the museum is free, making this a tremendous budget-friendly activity.
The museum is not open on Saturday and Sunday but is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 5 pm.
The Florence County Museum is at 111 W Cheves St, Florence, SC 29501.
6- Find A Hidden Gem At Palmetto Peddlers Antiques Mall
Even if you aren’t an antique person, you will have a great time exploring this converted factory-turned-antiques mall.
Palmetto Peddlers is one of the most famous antique malls in the area.
The shopping centre is known for having rare collections, including furniture, silverware, toys, books, and clothes.
The store was established in 2010 and is dedicated to preserving history through its vintage items.
If you want to go shopping at Palmetto Peddlers, the store hours are Monday through Saturday (10 am to 6 pm); Sundays (1:30 pm to 6 pm).
Palmetto Peddlers Antiques Mall is at 2295 Hoffmeyer Rd, Florence, SC 29501.
7- Taste Local Brews
Seminar Brewing is Florence’s first commercial brewery, started by a group of university professors who needed a place to kick back and have a good time.
Their beers come from various flavours they have tasted over time and enjoyed.
Unlike most bars, this brewery and restaurant is family-friendly, so don’t feel you need to exclude the kids.
They even have pet-friendly outdoor seating in the Beer Garden, so bring Fido too.
Seminar Brewing is a great spot to enjoy beer, delicious food, axe throwing, and live music.
They are closed on Mondays but open from 4 pm to 10 pm Tuesday through Thursday and all day on Friday and Saturday.
Seminar Brewing is at 551 W Lucas St, Florence, SC 29501.
8- Stroll Through Florence Veterans Park
Florence Veteran’s Park is located within Timrod Park and adjacent to the Florence Civic Center.
Throughout the park, visitors can see various monuments dedicated to the veterans who have served during 20th-century wars, including World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the first Persian Gulf War.
The park also features an amphitheatre, a water wall with a pool, and a steel wall with the oath of enlistment.
Veterans Park hosts events throughout the year that are put together by the Veterans Park Committee.
The most notable is the Veterans Park Ceremony which occurs on Veterans Day.
Florence Veteran’s Park is at 842 Woody Jones Blvd, Florence, SC 29501.
9- Take A Guided Walking Tour Through Florence Stockade
As we know, Florence played a big part in the Civil War.
The Florence Stockade, also known as The Stockade or the Confederate States Military Prison, is a Confederate prisoner-of-war camp used during the Civil War that spans 18 acres ( ha).
The camp was designed to hold around 2,500 prisoners but eventually became severely overcrowded, with estimates of up to 15,000 prisoners.
The Stockade is a sign of remembrance and honour to the soldiers who lost their lives while held captive.
Florence Stockade is at Stockade Dr, Florence, SC 29506.
10- Get An Up-Close View Of The Stars At Dooley Planetarium
The Dooley Planetarium, named after the first director Ed Dooley, is located on the Francis Marion University campus.
The Planetarium is used to show how the sky changes during the course of a day or over time.
This fully digital space broadcasts NASA’s newest findings and discoveries.
The Dooley Planetarium currently only hosts private showings, but you can request a booking online for your group.
Dooley Planetarium is at Francis Marion University, 200 Alumni Dr, Florence, SC 29506.
11- Spend An Afternoon Browsing Dr Bruce & Lee Foundation Library
The Dr. Bruce & Lee Foundation Library is part of the Florence County Library System.
The library is named after Dr. Henry W. Bruce Sr. and Nelljean M. Lee.
Both of these families contributed to the growth of the library and community.
The library provides various collections of books, magazines, newspapers, audiovisual materials, and digital resources for all ages.
This prominent public library in Florence is a fantastic spot to spend the afternoon browsing and learning.
The Dr. Bruce & Lee Foundation Library is open Monday to Thursday (9 am to 7 pm), Fridays (9 am to 5.30 pm) and Saturdays (9 am to 1 pm).
Dr Bruce & Lee Foundation Library is at 509 S Dargan St, Florence, SC 29506.
12- Catch A Civil War Reenactment At Column Plantation
Column Plantation is known by a few names, including Rankin-Harwell House, Carolina Hall, and the James Harwell House.
No matter what you call it, this two-story Greek Revival-style home will take your breath away with its stunning presence.
The home was built in 1857 and is privately owned by Rankin descendant James Harwell.
Although privately owned, the plantation is the site of a popular annual Civil War reenactment and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
For more information on reenactments and tours, contact the plantation directly.
Column Plantation is at 5001 Rankin Plantation Rd, Florence, SC 29506.
13- Eat Like A Local At Tubb’s Shrimp & Fish Co.
Tubb’s Shrimp & Fish Co. was founded in 2013 and is known for its “Soulful, Southern Seafood.”
The owners strive to serve the finest and freshest Atlantic seafood to the Pee Dee region.
The restaurant has won many awards, including the “Taste of Florence,” “Top Restaurant in Florence County,” and “Top 10 She Crab Soup in South Carolina.”
The menu features traditional southern flavours such as Fried Green Tomatoes, Pimento Cheese Puppies, Po Boys, and Smoked Pork Belly Sliders.
Get an authentic taste of South Carolina at Tubb’s.
Tubb’s Shrimp & Fish Co. is at 1500 2nd Loop Rd, Florence, SC 29505.
14- Explore The Thieves Market
Didn’t get your fill of antiques from Palmetto Peddlers? Don’t worry; Florence is in no shortage of vintage fun.
Thieves Market has all kinds of hidden gems waiting to be found.
Shoppers from all over the country visit the Thieves Market to browse antiques from over 60 vendors.
You never know what you’ll find.
Thieves Market is at 1820 E Palmetto St, Florence, SC 29506.
15- Support A Family-Owned Business At Hyman Vineyards
Hyman Vineyards is located along the Waccamaw River.
This family-owned vineyard is a fantastic place to sip wines made from hand-grown muscadine grapes.
If you enjoy the wines you taste, buy a few bottles to take home, juices, local honey, jams, and crafts.
Call first for an appointment to visit the vineyard.
Hyman Vineyards is at 2513 W Lucas St, Florence, SC 29501.
16- Go Shopping At Magnolia Mall
Although Florence is rich in history, there are times when you need to pamper yourself with modern-day amenities.
Magnolia Mall is the top spot to shop in Florence at classic big-name stores such as American Eagle, Old Navy, and Foot Locker.
There is also a food court with plenty of tasty options to snack on while you shop.
Magnolia Mall is at 2701 David H McLeod Blvd, Florence, SC 29501.
17- Watch The Game At Red Bone Alley
Red Bone Alley owner Dale Barth took a vacant J.C. Penney department store space and made his dream restaurant come true.
This two-story high restaurant with a scenic atrium, upstairs balcony, and stunning patio filled with glowing lights sets the perfect stage for this unique sports bar.
Watch the game of your choice while enjoying Charleston-inspired dishes such as Low Country Shimp and Grits, Prime Rib, and Fried Pickles crafted with locally sourced ingredients from South Carolinian beekeepers, Darlington County rice, and freshly caught Atlantic Ocean seafood.
Reservations are available online and highly encouraged.
Red Bone Alley is at 1903 W Palmetto St, Florence, SC 29501.
18- Sip On Handmade Moonshine At Straw Hat Distillery
Straw Hat Distillery is a locally owned and operated micro-distillery that produces small batches of handcrafted whiskies and flavoured moonshines.
The distillery opened in 2014 and is dedicated to keeping its operation local, using corn and wheat sourced from farms in the Pee Dee region.
Locals Steve Winter and Marc Kremer run the distillery.
Visitors can participate in tours, tastings, and sales of the various spirit flavours only from 9 am to 5 pm on Saturdays.
Because the distillery is only open one day a week, booking your tour in advance is highly recommended to ensure the available spots do not fill up.
Straw Hat Distillery is at 1301 N Douglas St, Florence, SC 29501.
19- Bounce Around At DEFY – Florence
When you’re ready to bounce off the walls with energy, why not head to where you can bounce off the walls?
DEFY is an indoor park covered with trampolines and other fun activities such as ninja obstacle courses, parkour, trapeze and aerial silks, stunt falls, dodgeball, and many more.
DEFY also hosts birthday parties and group events.
You can purchase a membership if you plan to visit often, or a single-day pass starting at $22.99 for 90 minutes of play.
You can purchase tickets in advance or upon arrival.
DEFY is open daily from 9 am to 9 pm and 10 pm on the weekends.
DEFY – Florence is at 500 2nd Loop Rd, Florence, SC 29505.
20- Hike The Trails At Jeffries Creek Park
This public park along Jeffries Creek is great for a beautiful afternoon.
Jeffries Creek Park is a 55-acre ( ha) area that protects the valuable wetlands of the area.
There are plenty of outdoor activities available within the park.
You can observe nature, jog or bike through the scenic nature trails, or gather for a picnic near the shaded tables and barbecue grills.
Visitors of Jeffries Creek Park also love to fish along the creek, where anglers can find bass, bluegills, and sunfish.
The park is open during daylight hours, and parking is free.
Jeffries Creek Park is at 1404 State Rd S-21-836, Florence, SC 29501.
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