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Day Trip to Florence, Alabama

Updated on May 6, 2017

The City of Florence

Florence, Alabama has many beautiful sights such as Wilson Dam.
Florence, Alabama has many beautiful sights such as Wilson Dam. | Source
The O'Neil Bridge connects Florence with the Muscle Shoals area.
The O'Neil Bridge connects Florence with the Muscle Shoals area. | Source
Florence, Alabama is an older city with a large historical backdrop.
Florence, Alabama is an older city with a large historical backdrop. | Source
Florence has beautiful lakes for fishing and boating.
Florence has beautiful lakes for fishing and boating. | Source
Florence, Alabama has a rich history and there are historical landmark signs all over the city.
Florence, Alabama has a rich history and there are historical landmark signs all over the city. | Source

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Things To Do In Florence

Regency Square Mall: This is the mall for Florence. It is a one story mall that has all of the major department stores inside.

A movie theater is located behind the mall. This makes it easy to be dropped off at the movies or go to the mall before the movie.

Across the street from the mall there's a Chili's, Wendy's and Ryan's. In the parking lot behind them is the Target shopping center. This also houses Kirkland's. This particular area has completely built up in the last 10 years or so. There's now a Texas Roadhouse, Panera Bread, Publix and Crackel Barrel. It is noted that this Florence Cracker Barrel location is not on the interstate. I think it's the only one that I know of that is not on the interstate. There are new eating and shopping places opening up from time to time. Just when you can't imagine that there would be space for another building whether a restaurant or department store, they manage to find the space and build there.

Skating Rink: The skating ring has been there for at least 35 years. It is a staple in Florence. Of course birthday parties are held there and it's a great place for family fun. There are lots of memories to be made there.

Renaissance Tower and Restaurant and Aquarium: The Renaissance Tower Restaurant is a a restaurant on the move. By moving, I mean the tower rotates, so that you can have views of the city nearby, you can also see Wilson Dam and The Tennessee River. You can also get a glimpse of the waterfall that is nearby. There is also a small nature trail near the bottom of the tower. The trail is clearly marked and if I remember, it just goes in a circle but, this lets you enjoy the outside of the grounds as much as the inside of the building. There's also a flower garden on the north side of the garden. The Aquarium houses about 120 different types of fish.

Florence Conference Center: It is just what the description says, it can house meetings for large or small groups. Our Mary Kay meetings were held there. I have also been to larger meetings there as well. The rooms can be petitioned off so that, the next room doesn't know what's going on. This is a great way to impress a client or to pamper the return customers. There's something for everyone.

College Town

Florence is home to UNA. There's a lot of UNA pride to be found in this town. Through the downtown area there are gigantic lion paws that look like they are leading you to UNA. On the campus of UNA there are two live mascots Leo III and Una. I have had the privilege of watching Leo eat and I have been to the habitat when Leo and Una have been playing. It is amazing to be so close and be able to experience the lions as they live day to day.

The college has very limited parking and a lot of the roads have been taken up by renovations around the college. There's a large water fountain now in front on the lion's habitat.

Downtown Area

The downtown area is a great place to go eat and shop.

Rogers Department Store-What I remember about the Rogers Department Store is the fancy marble steps that lead to the basement of the store but, also the upstairs had it's share of marble as well. If I got to go to Rogers Department store then, I knew I was in store for a treat.

Trowbridge's Ice Cream and Sandwich Bar: This is an old fashioned ice cream and sandwich shoppe. This 1918 ice cream parlor has been in business since that time. They still serve ice cream the way that it was served back in the day. It has the silver bar stools and a long bar area. They serve hot dogs, sandwiches, corn dogs and food that you would picture in the 1950's.

Forks of Cypress: There is a replica of the Forks of Cypress downtown in the form of a Regions Bank. The bank is an exact replica except for the teller window in the back. The orginal Forks of Cypress was struck by lightning and burned to the ground.

Pope's Tavern & Museum: This as I read is one of the oldest structures and it is part the historical landmarks that makes Florence interesting to me. Soldiers from both sides of the Civil War were treated here at this hospital. A tour is offered so that you can view the grounds.

Florence, Alabama

Restaurants

I know if I try to list all of the restaurants that are in Florence that I will forget some of the restaurants and someone will end up getting mad. I don't know if there is proof but, I have heard that there is an amazing amount of restaurants versus the number of residents in Florence. Here are some my favorites: Logan's, Red Lobster, Rick's BBQ, Ryan's, Olive Garden, Arby's, Chilii's, Wendy's, McDonald's, Newbern's, Country Boy's, Applebee's, Waffle House, Casa Mexicana, Zaxby's and there are so many more that I love. This is a great problem to have.....Where do you want to go eat?

Festivals

W.C. Handy Festival: The Festival is to honor W.C. Handy who is a Native of Florence, Al. This festival is held every year. He has been nicknamed "Father Of The Blues," Almost, if not all of the restaurants in Florence participate in the Festival by having different bands play each night or you might switch up the entertainment and just want jazz music without any singing. For a solid week you can go to almost any restaurant any night during the festival

The Renaissance Faire: Held in the fall this festival also brings in people from several different states. Men and women dress in costume of the time period and attend The Renaissance Feast, the day before the Faire. You must dress the part and you must bring you own gauntlet to drink out of.

Kiwanis Club Pancake Breakfast: This annual event is held at The Florence Coliseum and is used to raise money for The Kiwanis Club, who in turn, does things for the community. All you can eat pancakes for one low price and the money is going to a great cause! Everybody wins.

Quick Tour of Florence

Forks of Cypress Foundation Tour

Parks in the Area

McFarland Park: Situated on The Tennessee River, McFarland is the place for the action on The 4th of July. Fireworks are shot off of a barge and local stations will play the music while setting off fireworks. This is also a stopping point for The Trail of Tears. This reenactment of this tragic time in our history.

Deibert Park: This is a walking trail that is located beside Cox Creek Parkway. There are pine trees placed beside the trail and there are rolling hills and a small bridge to walk over.

Wilson Park: This park is beside The Tennessee River. There are picnic tables and water fountains throughout the park. There's softball and baseball fields, for the f tennis courts and a frisbee golf course. This is a great family park. This park has pavilions for work or family gatherings.

© 2013 Buster Johnson

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