Florence is the largest city in Lauderdale County, Alabama with a fantastic small town flavor. Packed with attractions and activities for all tastes, Florence offers traditional Southern living at its best. Explore charming historic districts, world-renowned architectural wonders, beautiful natural scenery, world-class fishing, golf, and award-winning cuisine. Here are the best things to do in Florence, AL.
We recommend that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.
1.University of North Alabama, Florence, Alabama
© University of North Alabama
Located on the banks of the Tennessee River, the University of North Alabama (UNA) is the state's oldest four-year public university. The 130-acre campus is situated in the four-city area known as The Shoals, and it offers high-quality education in a variety of fields to students from all over the country.
Informative walking tours of the campus led by Admissions Representatives are available to prospective students and history buffs, and can be arranged through the admissions office.
1 Harrison Plaza, Florence, AL 35632, 256-765-4608
2.Things to Do Near Me: Frank Lloyd Wright's Rosenbaum House, Florence, AL
© Frank Lloyd Wright's Rosenbaum House
Designed by world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the Rosenbaum House is a single-family abode that was built for Stanley and Mildred Rosenbaum. Described as an “unexcelled beauty,” the house is one of only 26 pre-World War II Usonian houses ever to be built, and it stands as one of the best examples of this architectural genre.
Characteristic features of Usonian design include the use of natural materials such as brick, glass, and wood, horizontal lines used to connect the structure with the land, flat roofs with overhangs, and access to the outside from every room in the home, all of which can be seen in this house. The Rosenbaum House is open to the public from Tuesday through Sunday and visitors can explore this beautiful piece of architecture on guided tours led by experienced interpreters.
601 Riverview Drive, Florence, AL 35630, 256-718-5050
3.Things to Do in Florence, Alabama: Deibert Park
© Deibert Park
Deibert Park is a family-orientated park for the people of Florence and its visitors to enjoy. Donated to the town of Florence by Kirk and Lillian Cook-Diebert, the picturesque 70-acre park features a network of interpretive walking trails and paths that wind through the park, interspersed with tranquil ponds and water features.
The park also has an exclusive playground for children and is home to the Children's Museum of the Shoals, where various educational programs, workshops, and lesson plans are offered for group tours.
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4.Places to Visit: W. C. Handy Birthplace, Museum & Library, Florence, Alabama
© W. C. Handy Birthplace
W. C. Handy Birthplace, Museum & Library is a museum dedicated to the “The Father of the Blues” W.C. Handy. Born in Florence in 1873, William Christopher Handy gained fame for his jazz compositions such as "St. Louis Blues,” "Memphis Blues," and "Beale St. Blues," and the museum features a wealth of his personal memorabilia, papers, and artifacts for visitors to enjoy.
Exhibits include the piano on which he composed "St. Louis Blues," original sheets of handwritten music, and one of his trumpets. Explore the museum at your own pace or take a guided tour led by jazz aficionados and music lovers.
620 West College St, Florence, Alabama, 256-760-6434
5.Kids Activities Near Me: McFarland Park, Florence, Alabama
© Courtesy of visitflorenceal.com
Nestled between the Tennessee River and Downtown Florence, McFarland Park is one of the crown jewels of Florence. Resting on the banks of the Tennessee River, the 200-acre park is comprised of a variety of natural habitats ranging from tall grass prairies and thick woodlands to wet stream habitats.
The serene park features a wealth of facilities and activities for people to enjoy, including paved walking and jogging paths, picnic shelters with fireplaces, playgrounds, soccer and baseball fields, and a floating restaurant and bar. The park also boasts 60 campsites with modern amenities, a marina and boat slip for launching, fishing piers, and a driving range, and it hosts a variety of festivals throughout the year, such as the Bass Masters Fishing Tournament and the annual Trail of Tears motorcycle ride.
200 James M Spain Dr, Florence, AL 35630, 256-760-6416
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6.Things to Do Near Me: Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall, Florence, AL
© Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall
The Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall (also known as the Tom Hendrix Wall) is a stone wall built by Tom Hendrix to memorialize his Native American great-great-grandmother who was part of the American Indian removal to Oklahoma. The wall, which Tom began to build over 30 years ago, represents his great-great grandmother’s journey back to her Yuchi tribe’s native land after she and many others were relocated to Oklahoma following the Indian Removal Act of 1830.
While most of the sandstone and limestone come from a local quarry, visitors have donated stones from all around the world, including New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, and France, and the wall is currently the largest mortarless wall in the country. Part of the wall incorporates a tranquil prayer circle, offering a space for quiet meditation and reflection.
7.Things to Do Near Me: River Heritage Park, Florence, Alabama
© River Heritage Park
Boasting beautiful views of the Tennessee River and Wilson Dam from the base of the Renaissance Tower, River Heritage Park is an urban green space that features a variety of family-friendly activities and other exciting things to do. A unique water splash pad and interactive fountains offer cool respite during the summer months while picnic shelters and a children’s playground provide fun for the whole family.
The park hosts an array of events and festivals throughout the year, including fountain and light shows. Skateboards, bicycles, and scooters are prohibited.
10 Hightower Place, Florence, AL, 256-768-2728
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8.What to Do Near Me: Pope's Tavern Museum, Florence, Alabama
© Pope's Tavern Museum
Once a stagecoach stop, tavern, and inn used as a hospital by Confederate and Union forces during the Civil War, Pope's Tavern Museum is one of the area’s oldest buildings and is steeped in history. Located in downtown Florence, the museum preserves and interprets the site of this famous historic inn and stagecoach stop, focusing on the history of Florence and the role it played in the Civil War.
The upper floor of the museum features an extensive collection of Civil War artifacts, including an extremely rare Kennedy Long Rifle, a Confederate Colonel’s uniform, and a vertically strung piano – one of only four ever made. The lower floor of the building is decorated with vintage furniture and antiques, and visitors can explore on their own or book a guided tour with an interpretive guide.
203 Hermitage Drive, Florence, AL, 256-760-6439
9.Kids Activities Near Me: Pickwick Lake, Florence, Alabama
© Courtesy of Jorg Hackemann - Fotolia.com
Stretching for 50 miles from the Pickwick Landing Dam in Tennessee to the Wilson Dam in Florence, Pickwick Lake is a reservoir created by the Pickwick Landing Dam, and it is renowned for its excellent sport fishing areas. The 490-mile winding shoreline plays host to two state parks, namely Tennessee's Pickwick Landing State Park, and Mississippi's J P Coleman State Park, while the 47,500 acres of water surface provide outstanding fishing, particularly for smallmouth bass, and other water-based recreational activities.
One of the lake’s most popular areas for smallmouth bass fishing areas is known as the “Shoals” section, which is located directly downstream of Wilson Dam at the end of Seven-Mile Island. The lake is also home to Yellow Creek Cove and the beautiful Yellow Creek waterfall, which has a rope swing off the top of the waterfall that beckons the brave to try.
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10.Places to Visit: Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, Florence, Alabama
© Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts
The Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts is an educational facility and arts center dedicated to promoting interest in the arts and encouraging participation in a variety of cultural activities in the area. The center is home to a museum, gallery, and educational facilities such as classrooms and studios for showcasing works, as well as a meeting place for cultural groups to gather and discuss art and culture.
The center features a wealth of annual exhibits by artists from the Southeast, as well as rotating and traveling exhibits by visiting artists, and it offers an array of classes, workshops, lectures, and art-based programs for all ages. The Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts hosts a variety of concerts and events throughout the year, including the annual juried fine arts and crafts festival, Arts Alive!
217 East Tuscaloosa Street, Florence, Alabama 35630, 256-760-6379
11.Things to Do in Florence, Alabama: Odette
Odette is a casual neighborhood eatery and shop that serves authentic American fare with a Southern touch. Located in the heart of historic downtown Florence, the relaxed restaurant boasts contemporary décor and a comfortable ambiance, creating a family-friendly, home-away-from-home appeal. Chef Josh Quick and Owner Celeste Pillow present a farm-influenced, innovative menu of seasonal fare made from locally and sustainably sourced ingredients and served with regional flare.
Signature dishes on the dinner menu include catfish and Gulf shrimp cioppino, charred sourdough, black rice-crusted grouper, and wild rice & sorghum berry risotto, while five-spiced crispy short rib and fried gulf oysters are other incredibly popular dishes. Odette is open Monday through Saturday for brunch, lunch, and dinner and offers exceptional children’s and take-out menus.
120 North Court Street, Florence, Alabama 35630, 256-349-5219
12.Things to Do Near Me: The Indian Mound and Museum, Florence, AL
© Courtesy of visitflorenceal.com
Located on the banks of the Tennessee River, the Indian Mound and Museum preserves the site of an ancient earthen mound that was built by Native Americans of the Woodland Period more than 2,000 years ago. Rising 43 feet high, the mound was a vast archeological treasure trove of artifacts and items that date back as far as the Ice Age, including ancient spear points and tools, pipes, jewelry, and clay pottery.
In 1968, the Indian Mound Museum was built next to the site of the famous mound to exhibit the items and artifacts recovered during archeological excavations, some of which date back to the Paleo and Transitional periods. Other items discovered come from the Archaic and Woodland ages through to the Mississippian and Historic Native American ages. The Indian Mound and Museum is currently closed for renovation.
1028 South Court Street, Florence, AL 35630, 256-760-6427
13.Things to Do Near Me: The Pie Factory, Florence, Alabama
© The Pie Factory
The Pie Factory brings gourmet New York-style pizza to the heart of Florence. Boasting a laid-back, welcoming atmosphere that is ideal for both business lunches and family gatherings, The Pie Factory is an inviting restaurant that serves an array of handmade, wood-fired pizzas, fresh salads and sides, and a robust selection of craft and small-batch beers both in bottles and on tap. Diners can choose from a variety of pies from the menu or make their own gourmet creation with various toppings.
Accompany your meal with garden fresh salads or tasty appetizers. Signature pies include local music history themed pizzas like the Muscle Shoals Sound (two layers of pepperoni, Frank’s Hot Sauce, mozzarella and parmesan sprinkles) and the Aretha Franklin (spicy buffalo grilled chicken, jalapeños, and gorgonzola and mozzarella cheeses).
The Pie Factory, 106 North Court Street, Florence, AL 35630, 256-275-3248
14.Things to Do in North Alabama: Blackberry Trail Golf Course
© Courtesy of Alex Staroseltsev - Fotolia.com
The Blackberry Trail Golf Course is an 18-hole municipal golf course in Florence that features five sets of tees in a links style setting. Located in the heart of a new residential neighborhood, the Steven Plumer-designed course offers all-level rolling fairways and greenside bunkers, a practice bunker, chipping green, putting green, and driving green.
Pristine, untouched wetlands run throughout the course, offering golfers the chance to admire spectacular views of the natural surrounding landscapes while they play.
Blackberry Trail Golf Course, Clubhouse Dr, Florence, AL 35630, 256-740-8825
15.Things to Do Near Me: Yumm Thai Sushi and Beyond, Florence, AL
© Yumm Thai Sushi and Beyond
Yumm Thai Sushi and Beyond is an authentic Thai restaurant that serves a range of Southeast Asian cuisine from sushi to Thai and everything in between. Featuring stylish and sophisticated décor, the restaurant presents itself as an upscale eatery, but it also has a casual sidewalk dining area for diners wanting a more relaxed vibe.
The menu features a wealth of delicious Asian cuisine, ranging from freshly made sushi, sashimi, and rolls to rich curries, tempura seafood. and marinated Thai-style steak. A variety of non-alcoholic beverages is on offer from soft drinks to Japanese hot green tea while desserts are decidedly Western with New York style cheesecake and tiramisu being firm favorites. Yumm is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Saturday.
117 N Court Street, Florence, AL, 256-349-2074
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16.Singin' River Brewing
Singin' River Brewing is the first craft brewery of The Shoals and aims to bring the local community together "one pint at a time." The Taproom is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday to enjoy a pint or two of craft beer. Singin' Brewing also hosts events throughout the week, such as Pedals and Pints, Thursday Tappening, and Running Crew, often partnering with local restaurants to offer delicious food during events. Visitors will find a full lineup of beers to satisfy most tastes at this local craft brewery, ranging from the smooth Handy’s Gold to the full, rich Porter.
526 E College St, Florence, AL 35630, 256-349-2294
17.Children's Museum of the Shoals
© Children's Museum of the Shoals
The only museum in Northwest Alabama of its kind, the Children’s Museum of the Shoals offers a hands-on experience of discovery for the whole family. Exhibits here are designed to be both entertaining and educational and include technological, interactive, musical, and historical attractions. These exhibits include the Tribal Trails, searching for gems in the Gem Mine, unearthing fossils at the Dino Dig, examining pets at the Pet Vet area, navigating the Tennessee River, and more. Younger guests can enjoy the “Wee Explore” and “The Piggy Market” exhibits, along with special times for Toddler Time and Pre-K Art during the week.
2810 Darby Dr, Florence, AL 35630, 256-284-7107
Wilson Park in the city of Florence, Alabama is a beautiful park situated in the downtown area. Featuring a spacious picnic area, the park hosts the Alabama Renaissance Fair every October, as well as numerous other events, such as the Handy Festival, Arts Alive, Easter egg hunts, the Music in the Park concert series, Christmas in the Park, and much more. Wilson Park has beautiful landscaping, benches to sit for a while and relax, a statue of W.C. Handy, and a large fountain. The park can also be rented for special events like weddings and other parties.
Fountain, benches and beautiful landscaping.
223 East Tuscaloosa St, Florence, AL 34634, 256-760-6416
19.Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge
Established in 1997 and measuring approximately 1,060 acres in size, the Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge is located around five miles southwest from Florence and was created to preserve the biological integrity of Collier Cave and Key Cave. In particular, Key Cave is a designated critical habitat for the Alabama cave fish, an endangered species. Both Collier Cave and Key Cave are located within a limestone karst area featuring underground cave systems and many sinkholes. Visitors should note that there aren’t any visitor services, such as water fountains or restrooms, in the Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge.
2700 Refuge Headquarters Road, Florence, AL 35603, 256-353-7243
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20.European Corner Massage & Spa
© Drobot Dean/stock.adobe.com
European Corner Massage and Spa promotes wellness, self-healing, and natural beauty and prides itself on the kindness, integrity, and thoughtfulness with which they welcome and treat their guests. The massage studio and spa aims to treat each individual according to their own specific needs, customizing every session to meet those particular needs. Services at the European Corner include trigger point therapy, sport massage, bamboo massage, hot golf ball massage, percussion massage, cupping massage, hot stone massage, deep tissue massage, and swedish massage, offered by licensed massage therapists. European Corner Massage and Spa is open by appointment only.
602 E Tuscaloosa St, Florence, AL 35630
21.Sky Zone Trampoline Park
The Sky Zone Trampoline Park in Florence, Alabama offers a fun, high-energy, high-flying experience for people of all ages with its wall-to-wall trampoline zone. Guests can enjoy a variety of exciting things to do at Sky Zone, such as flipping into the Foam Zone, trying to slam dunk in the Sky Slam area, playing a game of Ultimate Dodgeball, or simply having fun at the main jump court. There’s also the Ninja Warrior Course where visitors can test their athletic skills. For the youngest guests, Sky Zone Trampoline Park offers Toddler Time. Parties and events can be held here as well.
250 Mangum St, Florence, AL 35630, 256-980-1700
22.Serenity Day Spa
© Drobot Dean/stock.adobe.com
The Serenity Day Spa aims to provide a sense of relaxation for guests as soon as they enter the spa. A variety of services are offered, including more unique spa services, provided by courteous and experienced staff using certified organic products. Serenity Day Spa staff strive to go “above and beyond” to make sure guests have a memorable spa experience. Services and spa treatments include massage, air-brush spray tanning, nail services, basic body waxing, body treatments, chemical peels, and facial services.
2575 Hough Rd, Florence, AL 35630, 256-394-1937
23.Sacred Way Sanctuary Interpretive Center and Museum
© Sacred Way Sanctuary Interpretive Center and Museum
The Sacred Way Sanctuary Interpretive Center and Museum provides visitors with a look into the history of horses throughout the Americas, as well as their relationship with Native Peoples of the land. The center was designed in partnership with the Governing Council of Traditional Knowledge Bearers and Scholars to ensure an accurate, complete, and up-to-date history, as well as to make sure all of the items are respectfully displayed and taken care of in a sacred manner. The grounds include the Interpretive Center and Museum, the Visitor’s Center, the 100-acre Wildlife Preserve that’s home to horses, and the Trading Post.
4409 Co Rd 200, Florence, AL 35633, 256-648-0582
24.Escape Room Florence
© Escape Room Florence
Escape Room Florence offers a new, immersive, and fun concept for entertainment in the city of Florence, Alabama. Their “real-life escape games” are designed for small groups consisting of two to eight people who must work together to escape from the locked room in less than an hour. The escape rooms are made to test the skills and wits of guests through teamwork, finding clues, and solving challenging puzzles. The sixty minutes begin as soon as guests enter their selected game room. Escape Room Florence describes itself as “a mixture of Sherlock Holmes and Indiana Jones,” full of suspense.
108 S Pine St, Florence, AL 35630, 256-648-5625
25 Best Things to Do in Florence, Alabama
- University of North Alabama, Florence, Alabama, Photo: University of North Alabama
- Things to Do Near Me: Frank Lloyd Wright's Rosenbaum House, Florence, AL, Photo: Frank Lloyd Wright's Rosenbaum House
- Things to Do in Florence, Alabama: Deibert Park, Photo: Deibert Park
- Places to Visit: W. C. Handy Birthplace, Museum & Library, Florence, Alabama, Photo: W. C. Handy Birthplace
- Kids Activities Near Me: McFarland Park, Florence, Alabama, Photo: Courtesy of visitflorenceal.com
- Things to Do Near Me: Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall, Florence, AL, Photo: Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall
- Things to Do Near Me: River Heritage Park, Florence, Alabama, Photo: River Heritage Park
- What to Do Near Me: Pope's Tavern Museum, Florence, Alabama, Photo: Pope's Tavern Museum
- Kids Activities Near Me: Pickwick Lake, Florence, Alabama, Photo: Courtesy of Jorg Hackemann - Fotolia.com
- Places to Visit: Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, Florence, Alabama, Photo: Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts
- Things to Do in Florence, Alabama: Odette, Photo: Odette
- Things to Do Near Me: The Indian Mound and Museum, Florence, AL, Photo: Courtesy of visitflorenceal.com
- Things to Do Near Me: The Pie Factory, Florence, Alabama, Photo: The Pie Factory
- Things to Do in North Alabama: Blackberry Trail Golf Course, Photo: Courtesy of Alex Staroseltsev - Fotolia.com
- Things to Do Near Me: Yumm Thai Sushi and Beyond, Florence, AL, Photo: Yumm Thai Sushi and Beyond
- Singin' River Brewing, Photo: chones/stock.adobe.com
- Children's Museum of the Shoals, Photo: Children's Museum of the Shoals
- Wilson Park, Photo: James/stock.adobe.com
- Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge, Photo: Wirestock/stock.adobe.com
- European Corner Massage & Spa, Photo: Drobot Dean/stock.adobe.com
- Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Photo: pthub125896/stock.adobe.com
- Serenity Day Spa, Photo: Drobot Dean/stock.adobe.com
- Sacred Way Sanctuary Interpretive Center and Museum, Photo: Sacred Way Sanctuary Interpretive Center and Museum
- Escape Room Florence, Photo: Escape Room Florence
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of University of North Alabama
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