Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Florence, KY

  • Published 2022/11/21

Florence is a home rule-class city and Kentucky’s second-largest city.

Along with Covington, Florence is part of the Greater Cincinnati Metropolitan Area.

Florence is only a short drive from the excitement of Cincinnati and the Northern Kentucky International Airport.

Still, it also offers a tranquil respite from the fast-paced city life seen elsewhere in the state.

The city of Florence has a lot to offer tourists, regardless of their tastes.

Florence is also home to many historical landmarks which have been well-cared for and are teeming with activity.

This is a must-see if you’re interested in the way people lived a century ago or want to see some stunning examples of local architecture.

Learn more about this quaint city with our list of the best things to do in Florence, Kentucky.

Catch a Horserace at Turfway Park

Exterior of Turfway Park

RobDun /

Turfway Park is a horse racing track in Florence, approximately 10 miles south of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Known initially as Latonia Race Course, Turfway Park in Florence opened in 1959.

Since the first Latonia Race Track was built in Covington in 1883 and demolished in 1939, it has hosted thoroughbred racing.

Horse head sculptures at Turfway Park

RobDun /

For many years, the Latonia Derby matched the Kentucky Derby’s reputation, and many of the same horses were used in both events.

When Jerry Carroll and his associates bought the Florence track in 1986, the name was changed to Turfway Park.

The race track provides year-round simulcast around the continent and hosts live Thoroughbred horse racing during holidays and the winter seasons.

Closer exterior view of Turfway Park

RobDun /

Watch the Match of Florence Y’alls

Florence Y’alls is the official baseball team of Florence.

The Y’alls play in the Frontier League’s West Division as an independent baseball team.

You can quickly get to UC. Health Stadium via the nearby Interstates 71 and 75, where they have been playing since 2004.

As the Erie Sailors in 1994, the club moved to Point Stadium in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where it was initially known as the Johnstown Steal and then renamed as the Johnstown Johnnies in 1998.

As the Steal and the Johnnies, the club won two Frontier League titles in their tenure in Johnstown.

A new owner bought the club following the 2002 season, and it was relocated to Florence, where it was renamed the Free Spirits.

In October 2019, the new owners stated that the team’s name would be changed to Freedom for the 2020 season.

In January 2020, the team unveiled its new squad name, Florence Y’alls, taking its name after the historic water tower.

Enroll in a Scuba Diving Class at Florence Family Aquatic Center

Traveling with the family?

Visit this world-class facility where you’ll find a lazy river, a competition pool, zero-depth zones where you can cool off, and two spray fields to enjoy water slides like the spiral and speed slide.

The facility charges a daily entry fee, and the best thing is that both residents and non-residents can become members.

There is an extra fee for swimming classes, aquacise, and scuba diving lessons.

You may find more parking to your north, near the Government Center.

Tour the Florence Nature Park Event Center

With a breathtaking view of the towering trees and fauna of the Florence Nature Park around it, the Nature Park Event Center is a must-see.

The venue hosts weddings, receptions, business meetings, and other social events backdropped by a stunning natural location.

Because of its high ceilings, stone facade, and Kentucky vibe, this Event Center will rapidly become a popular destination in the area.

The Event Center can accommodate up to 100 people for dinner and 135 people for a cocktail or theater-style event, making it a versatile venue for various occasions.

Having an on-site event coordinator, a range of catering options, and a host of other included facilities may make planning your event a “walk in the park.”

Nature Park Event Center is also open for tours by appointment.

Shop Till Your Drop at Florence Mall

Shops in Florence Mall

Y4123Explorations, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of Kentucky’s most prominent shopping centers, Florence Mall, is Florence.

The mall, which opened in 1976, initially included Sears, Pogue’s, J. C. Penney, and Shillito’s as its anchor businesses.

Brookfield Properties Retail Group owns and operates Florence Mall.

Interior of Florence Mall

Y4123Explorations, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Explore Florence Mall’s distinctive mix of retailers, which provide a delightfully different shopping experience for locals and tourists of Northern Kentucky alike.

Make a stop at your favorite stores or the on-site theater, and then go to the neighboring attractions.

The park’s amenities include the Rave movie theater, kiddie section, train rides, and a carousel.

Carousel in Florence mall

Y4123Explorations, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tee Off at World of Golf

The City of Florence owns World of Golf, including a golf course, a miniature golf course, a footgolf course, and a simulator.

Top-notch facilities and well-designed courses are the norms for all of their courses.

Golfers may play the 2,997-yard, par-58 course from the tees closest to the flag.

Dr. Michael Hurdzan designed the course, which opened its doors in 1969.

The course’s difficulty has an 86.0/90 rating.

Beginners and professionals alike may enjoy the course’s features.

The miniature golf course is a great place to play with the whole family.

Parties and other private gatherings may also be arranged at the course.

Play Your Childhood Arcade Games at Dave & Buster’s Florence

It’s like stepping into a carnival when you enter the Dave & Buster’s in Florence, Georgia.

Music, lights, and the familiar beeps of arcade games fill the air, and people chuckle.

This arcade bar stands at 781 Heights Blvd.

In addition to sporting events, the bar and dining spaces offer sports TVs and projectors where you can watch anything from football and baseball to MMA and everything in between.

It also provides event space, event packages, and the finest team to help transform the mundane into a winning moment.

Ride a Go-Kart at Full Throttle Adrenaline Park

A high-speed indoor go-kart track in Northern Kentucky, Full Throttle Adrenaline Park is a must-see.

Modern karts racing at speeds of up to 40mph will please even the most experienced racers.

The professionally-designed racing circuit has 13 exhilarating and demanding twists as you roll out onto it.

Its adult karts are open to drivers 16 and up, our kid’s karts are available to drivers 8 to 15 years old, and our Micro Karts are open to drivers as young as four years old.

You don’t have to be a pro to be involved.

Race sessions go for eight minutes, with plenty of time to warm up your tires and quick laps.

You and the clock are your only allies in the standard format competition for the fastest lap.

Additionally, Full Throttle features extra action-packed entertainment, such as Fully immersive Virtual Reality gameplay, which involves sprinting while pursuing zombies, battling adversaries, and playing with your pals.

The venue also caters to birthday parties and business team-building events.

If you’re looking for something to satisfy your thirst, they provide an extensive beer selection in their bar.

Take Photos with Florence Y’all Water Tower

The Florence Y'all Water Tower beside the highway

Morgan from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In Northern Kentucky, a single, distinctive building identifies a city when it is seen, making it a recognizable landmark.

Florence Mall was painted on the dome of a water tower completed in 1974.

CM “Hop” Ewing received a letter from the Bureau of Highways stating the water tower advertised the mall and the paint would need to be changed because it was taller than highway advertising restrictions.

The mayor and his staff devised an undoubtedly corny but cost-effective solution.

They simply repainted the M to form the letter “Y” and then added an apostrophe to make the “Mall” a “Y’all,” which is the second-person plural pronoun in Southern American English.

Repainting cost less than $500 but resulted in historical significance.

When visiting the city, taking photos with the tower signifies that you have been to Florence.

Defy Gravity at DEFY Florence

DEFY Florence is a trampoline park for trampoline enthusiasts and those who wish to be in shape.

This all-inclusive trampoline park features indoor playgrounds up to 8,000 square feet i

An airbag/foam pit is also often included, as well as a basketball hoop and a big open free-jump area.

DEFY is more than a trampoline park – it’s active entertainment, with something new and exciting to see at every visit.

Be a member of the DEFY Flight Club and celebrate your next special occasion here!

Solve Mysteries in Sherlock’s Escape Rooms

In search of a fun activity to partake in?

Do you have a date in mind?

A friend’s birthday or a get-together at work?

There is something for everyone in Sherlock’s Escape Rooms!

In its Florence location, you will have 30 minutes to solve a sequence of clues, riddles, and codes.

Choose from or try all the Florence escape room themes based on Sherlock’s world: Attic, Cabin in the Woods, Shipwreck, Graveyard Escape, Wild West, and Jungle Jr.

Sherlock’s Escape Rooms is the ideal venue for a birthday party, a night out, or a team-building exercise.

With an experience like this, you’ll be tempted to come back again and over!

Loosen Up at Asana Chameleon

In Florence, there is a yoga studio called Asana Chameleon.

Allison, An Austin, Texas-based MVP-certified yoga instructor, will guide you through every session.

She is passionate about making yoga accessible to everyone.

Every human being, she says, may benefit from yoga’s ability to improve the mind, body, and spirit.

Yoga students of all ages and abilities, including those with disabilities, may benefit from her practice.

Allison continues to learn and grow as a student and teacher via regular, ongoing training and education.

Allow yourself the time and space to discover what your body tells you.

Several programs are available, including the Mindful Movement and Mindful Munchkins workshops.

Its assisted Mindful Movement sessions are ideal for anyone with physical limitations.

Settle down for the evening to unwind and recharge after a full day of sightseeing around town.

Ride Your Wheels at Boone/Florence Skate Park

Locals and tourists alike may enjoy Florence’s excellent skating facilities.

This 22,000-square-foot skate park is built for in-line skates, rollerblades, and skateboards and has beginner, intermediate, and advanced sections with various obstacles.

A shelter, a parking lot, and a viewing area are all included.

At the end of the day, it’s a terrific place to meet new people and build friendships with individuals from various walks of life, all thanks to a shared hobby.

The individuals that come here are nearly always polite and have been tolerant and considerate to children who are just beginning to learn how to ride a bike.

There is no charge for admission.

Make sure to bring your safety gear.

Cap Off Your Day at The 859 Taproom and Grill

Bourbon, beer, and sports go hand in hand at The 859 Taproom and Grill.

With the people in your life, you’ll have fun at our bar and restaurant in Florence.

At the 859 Taproom and Grill, you may choose from 60 craft beers on tap, many of which come from small and regional brewers in the area.

It also holds daily promos, happy hour, and Pint Nights.

In addition to the beverages it offers, it prepares various delectable meals to keep you going.

Visit this pub if you’re looking to relish the most extraordinary moments and get exceptional customer care.

Enjoy a Motorbike Tour with EagleRider

The city’s location surrounded by Columbus, Louisville, and Indianapolis, and its proximity to downtown Cincinnati makes it a great jump-off spot for a motorbike ride.

EagleRider offers you a huge selection of motorcycles that will surely give you the ride of your life.

They’re located on Action Boulevard and also have several locations in different states.

They carry major motorcycle brands like Street Glide, Heritage Softail, Electra Glide, Road Glide, and Road King for rentals to let you tour the wonders of the country.

Take advantage of their popular Guided Tours like Route 66, American West, Baja, Coast to Coast, Northwest, the Rockies, and the Southeast; you can also plan your own itinerary and go for a self-guided tour.

So put on your sunglasses and riding boots and have a fantastic EagleRider adventure.

Strike the Pins at Florence Bowling Center

For some fun bowling games, head off to Florence Bowling Center on Sussex Drive.

Open from Tuesday to Thursday afternoon to evening, the center offers affordable rates so everyone can enjoy.

The venue has 36 bowling alleys upgraded with the modern XIIX Strike Touch Screen Automatic Scoring and excellent leather seating and more bowling ball storage.

Enjoy hours of Open Bowling, join a bowling league or sign up for a scheduled tournament.

You can also get your food and drinks at the front counter while bowling with your friends.

Visit the Bowling Pro Shop for some top-of-the-line bowling gear and supplies.

You can also book and celebrate your birthday at Florence Bowling Center.

Create an Art Piece at DIY Pottery

Located inside Florence Mall, DIY Pottery lets you create your own artistic pottery work.

You can choose from over 300 different pieces, get the colors you want and start painting!

After you finish painting your work with glaze, your piece will be fired into the kiln, which will take about 16 hours.

You can come back and pick it up in 1-3 days.

Painting a pottery piece is a fun activity to do even if you’re a group larger than six; they also offer packages for parties, birthdays, and other important events.

Get your creativity going at DIY Pottery.

Try Out the Classic Bourbon at Boone County Distilling Co.

You’ll enjoy the taste of classic single-pot Bourbon whiskey at Boone County Distilling Co.

The company traces its bourbon heritage back to 1833 when it was first discovered in Petersburg; during that time it was operating as the largest distillery in Kentucky before the production ceased in the 20th century.

In 2015, the reborn distillery once again produced its first barrel of whiskey, along with lines of award-winning spirits like Small Batch Rye, Single Barrel Rye, and Small Batch Bourbon among others.

Book a tour of the distillery, and see their 500-gallon pot still, the fermenters, and their bottling facility.

You can also purchase bottles of signature Boone County Distilling Co. whiskey to take home.

Take a Break at Lincoln Woods Park

For a place to unwind in the city, you can go to Lincoln Woods Park on City Park Drive.

Acquired by the city in 1959, it was developed into a 15-acre park in 1972.

You’ll enjoy amenities at the park like the enclosed asphalt tennis courts.

Shoot some hoops at the basketball court or play at the infield ball fields built with clay and concrete dugouts and backstops.

You’ll also enjoy trekking the park’s natural wooded dirt trails.

Little ones can have a fun time on the playground equipped with timber edging, rubber surfaces, tot lot, and swings.

Take the family for an enjoyable picnic and set up the grill for some delicious barbecue.

Lincoln Woods Park also has amenities like restrooms and drinking fountains.

Final Thoughts

As one of Kentucky’s fastest-growing towns, Florence offers many tourist attractions and activities to enjoy for the whole family.

In addition to a bustling downtown area filled with boutiques, restaurants, and other family-friendly attractions, the city has several parks and green spaces.

Experience Kentucky’s quaint city with our list of the best things to do in Florence!

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