Blake Walsh

30 Best Things to Do in Florence, SC

  • Published 2022/11/15

Florence is a modern-day belle of a city that hums history, character, and southern charm.

It belongs to the state of Carolina, United States.

This small town is also known as “Flo-Town” and “Magic City.”

A visit to this city, which brims with nature’s abundance, will help you experience the old South’s agrarian, hassle-free lifestyle.

With a revitalized downtown, Florence is fast becoming a focal point for entertainment, recreation, and local cuisine for visitors in the Pee Dee region.

In addition to all these, a diverse culinary scene and a delightful array of leisure pursuits make this city one of a kind.

On that note, here are the best things to do in Florence, South Carolina:

Immerse Yourself in History at the War Between the States Museum

If you want to know more about the Civil War Era, waste no time and visit this museum.

This storehouse of historical archives was founded by the Sons of the Confederate Veterans in 1988.

The museum contains many memorabilia and artifacts from 1850 to 1900.

The photographs of military personalities and many items from the Florence Stockade are exhibited here.

A number of rare books and documents are also part of the collection.

You’ll find a reference library open for public use inside the museum.

There’s also a gift shop within the museum for tourists.

Take on a Challenge at Locked Inn, an Award-Winning Escape Room

Having opened its doors when the escape rooms trend was fast catching ground, the Locked Inn is South Carolina’s very first escape room.

It is an extremely enjoyable choice if you want to indulge in something fun and exciting.

Locked Inn offers exciting adventure games wherein players are locked in a room for 60 minutes.

The players are supposed to use their intellect to solve puzzles and other interactive multiplayer games to make their exit from the room within the time limit.

They offer four unique themes, making the challenge all the more exciting.

Check Out the Florence County Museum

The County Museum is considered to be Pee Dee’s premier museum.

Through a vibrant collection of exhibitions, studios, lectures, and family programming, it mirrors the region’s plentiful artistic, cultural, and historical heritage.

Some of the fascinating collection highlights include artifacts from the Colonial, Civil War, and Native American periods.

In addition to the historical highlights, there are oil paintings and other artworks that represent some of the best of Southern Art.

The museum is also committed to providing a platform for the contemporary artist.

The Pee Dee Regional Art Competition can be considered a product of these impassioned efforts.

This contest remains to be South Carolina’s eldest juried art competition today.

Visit Florence Veteran’s Park

On Veteran’s Day in 2008, the town dedicated the Florence Veteran’s Park to those who served the country.

The 6-acre park is home to wondrous attractions like a three-column obelisk that features a bronze bald eagle apex, heart-rending sculptures like Home Safe, the Wall of Honour, and many others.

The park also has an amphitheater.

Tour the Florence Stockade Visitor Center

The Confederate States Military Prison was a prisoner-of-war camp that existed from September 1864 to February 1865 during the American Civil War.

It’s also known as Florence Stockade or simply The Stockade.

More than 18,000 soldiers were imprisoned here, out of which 2,800 died.

In 2008, the site was opened to the public.

Presently, it is enlisted in the US National Register of Historic Places.

It offers a guided walking trail that presents visitors with information about stockade.

Parking facilities are also available here.

Pay Your Respects at the Florence National Cemetery

Alligned white tombs at Florence National Cemetery

Pollinator at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Florence National Cemetery is one of the 144 National Cemeteries of the United States.

It also became a part of the US Register of Historic Places in 1998.

It is currently managed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

As of 2014, the cemetery had 9,000 interments.

View Footage Straight from NASA at Dooley Planetarium

This fully digital planetarium is a part of Francis Marion University in Florence.

With the help of a special projector, the planetarium can access images, animation, and even direct live feeds from NASA, to project and show the heavenly views to the public.

The planetarium holds a variety of programs for different groups like special groups, students, and the public.

Public shows can be accessed on the second and fourth Sundays of every month.

Private groups like school visit groups have access throughout the week.

Witness the Mars Bluff Atomic Bomb Impact Crater

Signboard of Mars Bluff Atomic Bomb Impact Crater

DTMedia2, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This almost-atomic hole is found in an abandoned trailer park.

The crater, which is the attraction’s focal point, has an interesting origin story.

To cut a long story short, an atomic bomb was accidentally dropped in the garden of Mr. Gregg’s house during the Cold War.

Because the bomb was missing a rod that could have triggered the explosion, it didn’t explode and just hit the ground.

Mars Bluff Atomic Bomb Impact Crater in South Carolina

DTMedia2, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Thankfully, there were zero casualties, and everyone walked away with minor injuries.

Today, a small observation deck stands in its periphery that attracts shutterbugs from all over the country.

Explore Columns Plantation Home

This place adorns many names: The Columns, the Rankin-Harwell House, the James Harwell House, and the Carolina Hall.

Built in 1857, the two-story plantation house primarily grows cotton, corn, and tobacco.

The house is designed in Greek revival-style lodging and covers a total area of 2 acres of land.

It is framed with a low-pitched hipped roof and a raised basement.

The house is surrounded by 22 giant stuccoed brick columns, laid in Doric order.

Today, this tastefully-restored home and surrounding plantation properties are owned by the Harwell family.

Although privately owned, it’s open for tours and events.

Shop Till You Drop at Palmetto Peddlers Antiques Mall

The mall is a 38,000-square foot shopping stop for all your antique hankering.

For that reason, the mall has controlled temperature conditions for preserving these.

It provides a wide range of home décor items, collectibles, vintages, jewelry, and antiques, giving customers a real choice to grab their perfect match.

On top of that, anyone can quickly put their collections and products on display or for selling.

Join a Beer Tasting at Seminar Brewing

For many people, having a glass of finely crafted wine is one of the best ways to end their day.

Seminar Brewing is a great option if you are hunting for the perfect place to grab some.

Be assured that this place has the best-tasting beers the state has to offer.

In addition to beer, the place also offers wine tasting and several mouth-watering dishes to make your experience more memorable.

The place also comes with fun games like cornhole, Jenga, and other board games, which make the place a whole lot of fun.

Enjoy Thrift Shopping at Thieves Market

Thieves Market is a huge flea market situated in Florence’s Palmetto Street.

This outdoor marketplace is nothing short of a haven for vintage and antique collectors.

It’s a great place to spend your weekends scavenging for things you may need.

The market has a variety of unique and antique products to offer.

In fact, Thieves Market has one of Arizona’s best miscellanies of collectibles, clothing, furniture, homeware, and handmade gift items.

Discount seekers will need to dig deeper to find hidden treasures among the heaps.

In all probability, you will end up finding a lot of things you didn’t even realize you wanted.

Browse Dr. Bruce & Lee Foundation Library

The enduring existence and classical detailing of the Florence Library provide a fitting background for the primary public building in this small southern city.

Intended to catalyze downtown redevelopment, its park setting and enclosed porticos bolster public gatherings.

In addition, its hi-tech facilities serve the needs of the city and surrounding communities.

The library provides access to books and audiocassettes, CDs, the local history and genealogical collection, the internet, and other reference services.

Pick Berries at Cottle Strawberry Farm

If you have a few hours to spare, head to Cottle Strawberry Farm to pick the most delicious strawberries in town—all by yourself.

Each spring, the farm opens for individuals, families, and groups to experience fresh from the vine strawberries.

If you don’t want to pick your own strawberries, that is okay, too—they allow for purchasing pre-picked strawberries.

The visitors can choose from quarts, gallons, and their wide assortment of strawberry products like syrups, loaves of bread, and preserves.

A picnic area and a restroom are furnished inside the farm for public convenience.

Although it is not necessary to make an appointment for your picking session, it is advisable to call ahead to make sure there are plenty of berries and no weather-related delays.

Gather Blessings at the First Presbyterian Church

The First Presbyterian Church of Florence came into existence in 1861.

Its first pastor, Dr. Thomas R. English, served the church with 34 other members.

Classes are held for both children and adults on Sundays.

Two services are held in the church: the Contemporary Worship service featuring the praise team and the Traditional Worship service with Chancel Choir.

If you are nearby this region and want some peace, visit the church to gather some blessings.

Have a Picnic at Timrod Park

The 18-acre big Timrod Park is a favorite destination for locals and tourists.

It comprises 14 tennis courts, a playground, and numerous picnic spots.

If you are a cardio lover, you might want to take a short walk or jog on the natural trails of the park to reach the fitness area.

Feeling tired?

Drink water and take a breath at the gazebo nearby.

As a cherry on the top, an amphitheater is also present in the park.

Restrooms are accessible in the recreation center, and leashed pets are allowed to enter the park.

Since the area is covered with trees and shrubs, watch out for snakes, squirrels, turtles, and birds who might be out for a walk like you.

Do not forget to apply insect repellent during warm and rainy days.

Catch a Show at Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center

Exterior view of Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center during night

Fmpatriot, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to promoting special cultural programs appropriate for students of all ages.

The Centre organizes various fun events and educational programs and seminars for adults and children of all ages.

An orchestra performance at Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center

Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

These activities span contemporary theater to classical music recitals and concerts featuring diverse musical genres, including pop, country, rock, and others.

Visitors to the center may witness local, regional, national, and worldwide artists.

Meanwhile, the multipurpose arena features excellent performances suitable for both day and night.

Get Fit While Having Fun at Florence Family YMCA

Exercise is one of the best ways to stay fit and happy.

At the Florence Family YMCA, you will have the fantastic chance to be guided through workout classes by experienced instructors.

You can enhance your fitness levels by using free weights, cardio machines, and other gym facilities.

Additionally, YMCA provides group fitness courses in aquatic training and aerobics.

A visit to the YMCA is one of the most enjoyable activities for the family in Florence and adds to the best things to do in Florence for a great holiday.

Go Antique-Hunting at Thieves Market

Thieves Market is not a gathering area for criminals to purchase and sell.

Instead, it is a vast market in Florence that might be considered a sanctuary for vintage and antique collectors.

Thieves Market is a 22,000-square-foot warehouse that houses more than 60 vendors.

The market features a diverse selection of one-of-a-kind and antique items.

Thieves market features some of the most fantastic collectibles, handcrafted gifts, apparel, furniture, and homeware in South Carolina.

This market offers an excitement unlike any other, resembling a treasure hunt.

You have no idea what you’re looking for yet wind up discovering far more than you could have anticipated.

Discover treasures hidden among the mountains of many riches!

The marketplace is an excellent spot to spend your weekends looking for anything to add to your home.

Grab a Bottle of Wine and More at Hyman Vineyards

Hyman Vineyards is the Grand Strand’s only family-owned estate winery.

While the vineyard began in 2005, it produced its first wine in 2007.

It creates a variety of red and white wines and a blush and rose.

Additionally, it sells its brand of jams, jellies, salsa, barbecue sauce, honey, and juices.

Hyman Vineyards provides dietary supplements and cosmetics produced from or containing grape and raspberry seeds.

In season, it sells fresh vegetables from its vineyard’s farm.

Additionally, it includes a gift store that is open on weekdays.

The vineyard is available for special events and by reservation.

Dine and Watch Your Favorite Sporting Game at Red Bone Alley

Red Bone Alley’s two-story structure sets it apart from other Florence cafes.

This spectacular venue, modeled after Charleston institutions, overlooks the cityscape and includes an atrium, rear porch, children’s section, and patio seating.

It also features an ice cream truck and eye-catching low country landscape paintings by Charleston artist David Boatwright.

Additionally, it features an on-site grill and sports bar, ensuring that you never miss a game.

The menu contains delectable foods ranging from appetizers to hefty entrees.

Prepare for Hours of Entertainment at Florence Center

Aerial view of Florence Center

Felix Mizioznikov /

With approximately 79,000 square feet of multifunctional space, Florence Center is the biggest conference, entertainment, and exposition site in northeast South Carolina.

It features a 10,000-seat Arena, a 14,500-square-foot Ballroom and a Junior ballroom, conference rooms, and a large pre-function space.

It serves as the focal point for live performances, entertainment, exhibits, social occasions, and events in Florence and the nearby areas.

The location offers a one-of-a-kind blend of excellent amenities, competent management, and world-class cuisine, ensuring each event is memorable.

The Florence Center can handle functions of all sizes and specifications, whether a conference for just a few attendees, a dinner for hundreds, or a convention for thousands.

Walk around and Shop at Magnolia Mall

Entrance to Magnolia Mall

MikeKalasnik, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Magnolia Mall is a popular shopping location in Florence, South Carolina.

The retail mall is located in the Pee Dee Region’s commercial, academic, and healthcare hub.

Browse for your daily requirements, including inexpensive fashion items, jewelry, cosmetics, gadgets, children’s wear, toys, home décor, and much more.

Interior view of Magnolia Mall

MikeKalasnik, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Discover popular brands such as American Eagle, Bath & Body Works, H&M, HomeGoods, and numerous others.

Take a break and dine at any of Magnolia’s many great family restaurants.

Don’t forget to let the youngsters run about in the nice indoor playing space.

Magnolia Mall also presents a variety of free activities and programs all year long for the public and families to experience!

Food court at Magnolia Mall

Alan Casio /

Take a Tour and Have a Taste at Straw Hat Distillery

Straw Hat Distillery, founded in 2014, has produced small-batch handmade whiskies and flavorful moonshines.

It is a contemporary small-scale distillery with further plans to produce high-quality bourbon.

Most of the distilled spirits’ corn and wheat is derived from local farmers within the Pee Dee.

Nothing compares to the flavor of 100% pure fruits, coffees, and teas in infused moonshines.

They have a selection of moonshines with a decent alcohol concentration that most people would appreciate, as well as greater alcohol content types for individuals who fancy themselves as cocktail mixer.

Straw Hat Distillery is operational from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

Their onsite distilled spirits are available for tours, tastings, and purchases.

Stock on Items at Pee Dee State Farmers Market

On fifty-five acres of what was originally a rural farm, the Pee Dee State Farmers Market is located.

The Market, open all year long, features some of the best and freshest products in the region.

It has become a premier destination for decorative horticulture and agricultural industries.

More than 700,000 people each year explore the Pee Dee Market as a stopover on their route to Myrtle Beach and for tourists heading north and south along the eastern shore.

Visit Pee Dee State Farmers Market to browse their selection of healthy products and fill your cabinets with what’s available!

Delight in an Evening Meal at Tubb’s Shrimp & Fish Co

Having been established in 2013, Tubb’s Shrimp & Fish Co. currently manages a complete-service eatery that opened its doors in 2014.

To provide what was Florence’s unique pop-up seafood store, they spent a significant portion of 2013 acquiring fresh fish.

By investing time in the pop-up marketplace, they were able to network and establish a strong supply chain.

Currently, their restaurant’s tables include some of the best and purest Atlantic seafood.

They provide the freshest local cuisine to foster community among their customers.

There are several international concepts and components on the menu.

Tubb’s Shrimp & Fish Co serves regionally inspired seafood platters.

Final Thoughts

If you love history and surrounding yourself with nature, this city is definitely the next destination for you.

You’ll surely enjoy its many parks, farms, museums, and historical sites.

To ensure you have the best time on your visit, save this list of things to do in Florence, South Carolina!

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