Blake Walsh

22 Best Things to Do in Florence, AL

  • Published 2022/09/18

Florence is a charming, small city near the Tennessee-Alabama border in the state’s northwest corner.

This lovely city, located on the Tennessee River, has an inviting charm.

Florence is home to Alabama’s original state institution and several other historic landmarks and attractions.

The city has various parks, outstanding fishing, walking and cycling routes, picnic spaces, and areas to sit back and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Paddling, boating, and canoeing are popular outdoor water sports in this area.

If you want to stay indoors, there are several art museums, music academies, and excellent restaurants.

The tiny size of the city makes getting around a breeze.

Tourists typically take advantage of this fact by visiting as many locations as their itinerary can fit.

Here are the best things to do in Florence, Alabama:

Tour Frank Lloyd Wright’s Rosenbaum House

Exterior view of Frank Lloyd Wright's Rosenbaum House

Tim Daugherty /

Frank Lloyd Wright, one of America’s most successful and famous architects, created several masterworks.

One of them is located in Florence.

The Rosenbaum House, completed in 1940, is the architect’s only work in Alabama.

Interior view of Frank Lloyd Wright's Rosenbaum House

Blake Wylie, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A tour of the house will lead you through each room of the Usonian-style home and its beautiful garden.

Even though the garden wasn’t part of the Rosenbaum House’s original design, Wright added it so that nothing was left out of this extraordinary work of art.

This attraction is located on Riverview Drive.

Tour the Walnut Street Historic District

Visit the Walnut Street Historic District if you are interested in learning about Florence’s architecture, design, and economic history.

The longest surviving oldest property in the district dates back to the 1870s.

Florence experienced an economic downturn after the Civil War throughout the 1880s and 1890s.

As a result, newcomers started to build new housing in the neighborhoods surrounding the Walnut Street Historic District.

The existing homes are Victorian or Classic Revival, while the older homes are two-story brick Georgian-style houses and California-style mansions.

A walk through the old historic district in the late afternoon is truly amazing, with vintage gaslight-style street lamps emitting the old-time atmospheric vibe.

Explore Florence’s Amazing Outdoors

Exploring one of Florence’s parks or preserve trails will instantly refresh you if you’re tired of your daily routine.

The city provides numerous ways to connect with nature, from mountain biking and rock climbing to sailing and kitesurfing.

Visit the George Carroll Lion Habitat at the University of Alabama for a fun time.

It’s home to the only live lion mascot throughout the United States.

Killen Time Adventure Park is yet another enjoyable stop for kids inside an adventure park.

It also serves as a home for tortoises, ducks, emus, and many other species.

Have a Picnic at River Heritage Park

River Heritage Park, located on Hightower Place, is a lovely place to visit.

This park illustrates and provides visitors with amazing views of the Tennessee River and Wilson Dam.

Apart from the beautiful views, the park has many picnic areas and spots.

In addition, River Heritage Park has a lovely play area, walking trails, a splash pad, a waterfall, and an incredible light show.

Whether alone or with friends and relatives, a trip to this park will be a joyful experience.

Enjoy Fishing at Pickwick Lake

Boating in Pickwick Lake

Brian Stansberry, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you enjoy fishing, you should visit Pickwick Lake.

This lake, situated close to the Wilson Dam on the Tennessee River, is regarded as the greatest trophy largemouth fishery in the state.

Pickwick Lakeshore

Brian Stansberry, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In addition, Pickwick Lake is well-known among anglers for its large population of Largemouth bass.

Every year, the lake hosts several best-known fishing tournaments.

So, bring out your fishing rods and head to Pickwick Lake!

Tour the University of North Alabama

View of University of North Alabama

Unaroarlions, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The University of North Alabama is the city’s only university.

This world-famous state university is located on a sprawling 52.6-hectare campus on Harrison Plaza.

The school offers degree programs in various colleges, including the scientific fields, music, art, business studies, schooling, nursing, and human sciences.

Fountain at the University of North Alabama

Devin_Um_Wilson /

You can also take a tour of the university and its facilities.

A tour of the University of North Alabama is an eye-opening opportunity you shouldn’t miss out on.

Try the Mouth-Watering Pizza at The Pie Factory

Located on North Court Street, The Pie Factory is a restaurant specializing in homemade pizza produced with proper, traditional techniques and cooked in an old-fashioned pizza oven.

Here, you can choose between a variety of delectable dishes.

Bless your tastebuds with traditional pizza with a double layer of pepperoni and grilled chicken.

This restaurant has everything for everyone, including cheese pizza, sausages, peppers pizza, and classic vegetable pizza.

The Pie Factory also offers delectable desserts and the option of creating your own personalized pizza with several available ingredients.

Visit the Heavenly Deibert Park

Deibert Park is a beautiful, green, and pleasant location to relax in Florence.

The Children’s Gallery of Shoals is located at the park’s gate, along with various other attractions.

Spend some time relaxing in the shaded picnic area, walking the paved walkways, or admiring the beautiful pond with swans and fish.

There are restrooms, tables, and an open field area where dogs can be walked.

Deibert Park is located at the intersection of Darby Drive and Cox Creek Parkway.

Savor the Delectable Dishes at Odette

Odette is an incredible restaurant and shop that you should visit.

The restaurant in downtown Florence delivers delectable American cuisine with southern and cosmopolitan flair.

Odette’s menu is extensive, with a variety of selections to pick from.

Its delectable dishes are produced with the freshest, locally sourced, and environmentally friendly ingredients.

You can find this restaurant on North Court Street.

Play a Round of Golf at Blackberry Trail Golf Course

Improve your golfing skills at Florence’s well-kept Blackberry Trail Golf Course.

This conventional golf course is also an 18-hole course that sits on a broad area of the lush countryside just northside of the Tennessee River.

Upon the course of the American connection with undulating fields and greenside bunkers, aim for birdies.

The course features a practice bunker, tee box, driving green, and friendly and knowledgeable staff.

In addition, a fully-stocked golf shop, a grill, and a snack bar are available for your entertainment.

Blackberry Trail Golf Course is located on Clubhouse Drive.

Enjoy Exquisite Asian Cuisine at Yumm Thai Sushi and Beyond

Do you have a strong desire for some delectable Japanese or Thai cuisine?

If so, you must go to this wonderful eatery.

Even if you aren’t in the mood for Asian food, Yumm Thai Sushi and Beyond’s fantastic cuisine and welcoming atmosphere will have you coming back for more.

This restaurant serves some of the best authentic Asian food.

Its menu includes 100% vegan dishes, elegant drinks, and excellent sushi.

Visit Yumm Thai Sushi and Beyond on North Court Street.

Do Some Shopping at Florence Mall

The elegantly designed Florence Mall is the city’s most popular shopping destination.

This fantastic shopping center has a unique combination of shops and high-end outlets.

Explore the wonderful stores inside this mall to fulfill your shopping needs, including clothing, technology, kids’ toys, and groceries.

If you need a break from the shopping, you can watch a hit film at the on-site theater or eat at one of the many excellent restaurants.

Florence Mall is on Cox Creek Parkway.

Head to The Boiler Room for Some Entertainment

If you want to spend a fun and exciting day indoors during your trip to Florence, The Boiler Room is a lovely indoor space with various fun activities and snacks to keep you entertained.

Play shuffleboards, cards, football, skeeball, classic arcade tables, bowling, and more in the many zones of this indoor entertainment area.

This indoor games room is in the center of a fantastic structure and has it all.

You may even play a game of cooking your own meals in the breakfast area.

It’s an excellent spot for having a good time in the city.

Bring your family and friends to The Boiler Room on North Court Street.

Enjoy Good Food and Live Music at the On The Rocks

On The Rocks is a high-end entertainment and eating venue on North Court Street.

You may enjoy exciting attractions, including live music on evenings, extensive dining options, and giant HDTVs to watch your favorite side score on game nights.

Enjoy a relaxing evening while having delectable dishes and enjoying live music performed by some of the city’s top musicians.

On Rocks Restaurant is a must-visit venue in Florence for the best meals, beverages, and live music concerts.

Visit Sky Zone Florence

The wall-to-wall Sky Zone Florence trampoline park will have your adrenaline pumping.

This energizing park is a vibrant gathering spot for people of varying ages.

You can enjoy the main jump court, the Ultimate DodgeBall courts, the Foamy Zone, and the Sky Dunk.

It’s a location where everyone can have a good time, and if you’re feeling fit, you can also try the challenging warrior course.

Sky Zone Florence is located on Mangum Street.

Learn the Art of Pottery at Clay Bisque Studio

The wonderful Clay Bisque Studio allows visitors to create lasting memories.

At this studio, you may unleash your inner artist and create a one-of-a-kind piece of pottery.

All you have to do is to pick your favorite ceramic piece and the colors you wish to use, then get started.

The piece you make will be polished in seven days, and you can bring it home with you.

What could be a better souvenir than a pottery piece crafted just for you and by you?

Head to Clay Bisque Studio on Florence Boulevard.

Purchase Fresh Products from the College Street Farmers Market

If you’re a fan of organic vegetables and want to get the freshest products made in Florence, the College Street Farmers Market is the place to go.

It’s a gathering place for growers to get together and sell fresh, locally grown food of the highest quality.

The College Street Farmers Market follows a stringent “not-grown-not-sold” rule, so you can be confident you’re getting the best fruits and vegetables in the city.

Learn the History of Blues at the W.C. Handy Birthplace, Museum, and Library

Historical marker at W.C. Handy Birthplace, Museum, and Library

Brian Stansberry (photographer), CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The W.C. Handy Birthplace, Museum, and Library is dedicated to W. C. Handy, known as “The Father of the Blues,” and his music.

William Christopher Handy, who was born in Florence in 1873, is a well-known jazz composer whose works include “St. Louis Blues,” “Beale St. Blues,” and “Memphis Blues.”

The museum displays an extensive collection of antiques, manuscripts, and memorabilia related to his life and career.

The keyboard he used to write “St. Louis Blues,” along with handwritten music sheets and one of his trumpets, are on display here.

You may take a self-guided tour or join a group of jazz fans and music enthusiasts for a guided tour of the museum.

The W.C. Handy Birthplace, Museum, and Library is on West College Street.

Explore Pope’s Tavern Museum

Located on Hermitage Drive, Pope’s Tavern Museum lies in one of the oldest buildings in the area.

It brims with local history, having served as a stagecoach stop, an inn, a tavern, and a hospital for Confederate and Union personnel during the Civil War.

The museum aims to preserve and understand the location of this well-known inn and stagecoach stop.

Pope’s Tavern Museum emphasizes Florence’s history and its part in the American Civil War.

A vertically strung piano (one of only four ever constructed), a Confederate Colonel’s outfit, and a Kennedy Long Rifle are on display at the museum’s upper level.

Visitors can explore the antique-filled basement independently or with a booked interpretative guide.

Check Out Local Art at the Kennedy-Douglass Art Center

The Kennedy-Douglass Art Center is a cultural hub and learning institution with the mission of expanding access to and appreciation of the arts in the local community.

Located on East Tuscaloosa Street, it features a gallery, museum, and educational spaces, including classrooms and workshops for displaying works and hosting discussions about art and culture.

The center offers a wide variety of seminars, workshops, talks, and other art-based events for people of all ages.

It’s home to several yearly shows by artists from the Southeast and rotating and touring exhibits by visiting artists.

Catch concerts and other events at the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, such as the juried fine arts and crafts festival Arts Alive.

Learn about the Displaced Yuchi Tribe at the Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall

Tom Hendrix erected the Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall, also known as the Tom Hendrix Wall.

It commemorates his Native American great-great-grandmother, Wichahpi, forcibly sent to Oklahoma during the American Indian relocation due to the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

Tom has been working on this wall for over 30 years.

The wall is the most expansive mortarless wall in the country.

After incorporating a prayer circle into the wall, this area is now a place of calm contemplation.

The Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall is located in Lauderdale County 8.

Visit the Florence Indian Mound and Museum

Florence Indian Mound and Museum, situated on South Court Street, is a preserved site of a prehistoric earthen mound.

Native Americans constructed it more than 2,000 years ago in the Woodland Period.

The 43-foot-tall mound included a tremendous archeological treasure trove of relics and artifacts, some of which date back to the Ice Age.

These had spear points, tools, jewelry, pipes, and clay ceramics.

The Indian Mound Museum, which opened close to the site of the renowned mound in 1968, displays relics and materials unearthed during archeological digs, some dating back to the Paleo and Transitional eras.

Final Thoughts

Florence is a charming small city with a unique blend of historic attractions, galleries, art museums, parks, and waterways.

It’s a terrific spot to spend time resting, discovering the lakes and rivers, and experiencing the authentic Southern mode of life in a place steeped in heritage and culture.

Plan a visit to this city, and bookmark this list of the best things to do in Florence, Alabama!

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