Florence, South Carolina

A- Overview:
Welcome to Florence, “A City of Character”. Conveniently located at the intersection of two major Interstate highways, this South Carolina city is easily accessible and a world of fun. In 1997, Florence became a finalist as an All-American City, and it’s no wonder why. The city is brimming with history, character, and Southern charm. Chartered in 1871 and incorporated December 24, 1890, the original township formed as a railroad terminal. The town was named after Florence Henning Harllee, the daughter of William Wallace Harllee, the first president of the Wilmington & Manchester Railroad. Today, Florence continues it’s growth with an ever expanding population.

The City of Florence is a fine example of a genteel, Southern city: mid-sized, yet large enough to boast of a variety of things to see and do. Whether it’s the performing arts, fun attractions, museums or sports, all are present in Florence. Still, the City is small enough to preserve a small-town feeling with tree-lined streets and parks and a pleasant lifestyle that citizens enjoy. Residents exude a strong sense of community pride and Southern hospitality to visitors.

With a moderate climate year round, any time is a good time for a visit. Summer tends to be a busy time of year as tourists make their annual north/south vacation journey. With temperatures during this time averaging near 80, it’s a perfect time to take advantage of the many activities, historic sites, and attractions that are available. Fall and spring do bring a change of season, complete with a new and inspiring color scheme. The weather remains comfortable

The city has a variety of experiences, both indoors and out, for everyone. Taking a stroll through any of the parks is always a pleasure, particularly McLeod Park. Not only is a walk enjoyable, the park also offers a swimming pool, fishing pond, lighted tennis courts, ball fields, picnicking and more. For history buffs, a worthwhile trip is a visit to the National Military Cemetery. This site serves as a burial ground for Union soldiers who died in prison in Florence during the War Between the States. For more history of the War, the War Between the States Museum offers a walk into the past. The museum invites visitors to learn and read about the role played by Florence in the Civil War.

For a unique experience and just a short drive away, plan a day at Darlington Raceway. This nationally recognized raceway is sure to get the adrenalin pumping.

Of course, a relaxing meal at one of the many fine local restaurants is always a fine and enjoyable option.

Whether visiting for business or pleasure, just passing through or staying for a weekend or longer, this true Southern historic and beautiful city awaits its visitors with a style all its own.

B- City Information:
Population: 30,248

Elevation: 149 feet above sea level

Land Area: 17.7 square miles

Location: Located at the intersection of Interstate 20 from the west and Interstate 95 from the north and south, approximately 80 miles east of Columbia

Time Zone: Eastern Time Zone (when it’s noon in Florence, it’s 11am in Chicago and 9am in Los Angeles). Florence observes Daylight Savings Time from April – October

Weather:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Average temp. (°F)
44.9
48.3
55.8
63.2
71.1
77.7
81.3
79.8
74.7
64.0
55.4
47.5

High temperature (°F)
55.1
59.3
67.4
75.5
82.4
88.0
91.1
89.4
84.6
75.5
67.0
57.9

Low temperature (°F)
34.8
37.1
44.1
50.9
59.7
67.4
71.4
70.1
64.7
52.4
43.8
37.0

Precipitation (in)
4.3
3.1
4.1
2.8
3.4
4.3
5.3
5.4
3.8
3.0
2.6
3.5

Climate:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Days with precipitation
10
9
10
8
8
10
13
12
9
6
7
9

Wind speed (mph)
7.9
8.4
8.8
8.8
7.7
7.2
6.9
6.4
6.6
6.8
6.9
7.3

Morning humidity (%)
83
82
83
83
85
86
88
91
91
90
88
84

Afternoon humidity (%)
55
50
49
46
50
54
56
59
58
53
52
54

Sunshine (%)
55
59
64
70
68
67
66
65
64
66
62
58

Days clear of clouds
9
9
9
11
9
7
6
7
9
12
12
10

Partly cloudy days
6
6
8
8
10
11
13
12
9
7
6
6

Cloudy days
16
13
14
11
11
12
12
12
12
11
12
15

Snowfall (in)
0.4
0.6
0.2
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.4

Local Season:

With a moderate climate year round, any time is a good time for a visit. Summer tends to be a busy time of year as tourists make their annual north/south vacation journey. With temperatures during this time averaging near 80, it’s a perfect time to take advantage of the many activities, historic sites, and attractions available. Fall and spring do bring a change of season, complete with a new and inspiring color scheme. The weather remains comfortable during these times. Regardless of the season, this inspiring city has something for everyone.

How to Get There:

By Car:

Traveling from the north or south, Interstate 95 runs through the city, from the west, Interstate 20 is easily accessible and from the east (Myrtle Beach), U.S. Highway 601 is convenient.

By Plane:

Florence Regional Airport

2100 Terminal Drive

Florence, SC 29501

843-669-5001

This regional airport is located just 3 miles from city center and is served by some of the nationally known airlines as well as select local carriers.

Ground Transportation:

The major car rental companies, as well as taxis, are located at the airport.

By Train:

Amtrak

805 East Day Street
Florence, SC 29506

800-USA-RAIL

By Bus:

Greyhound

611 S Irby St.

Florence, SC 29501

843-662-8407

How to Get Around:

Most visitors tend to visit the nearby areas and attractions and therefore the best way to get around is by car, either personal or rental.

National Holidays:

New Year’s Day Jan. 1

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day 3rd Mon. in Jan.

President’s Day 3rd Mon. in Feb.

Memorial Day last Mon. in May

Independence Day July 4

Labor Day 1st Mon. in Sept.

Thanksgiving Day 4th Thurs. in Nov.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Dec. 24 and 25

New Year’s Eve Dec. 31

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
McLeod Park

700 Santiago Dr
Florence, SC 29501

843-665-0515

Call for additional information

Admission Charged for some

Swimming pool (fee), fishing pond. Lighted tennis; basketball courts, ball fields. Picnicking, playground.

National Military Cemetery

803 East National Cemetery Road

Florence, SC 29506

843-669-8783

Hours: Call for additional information

Admission Free

Burial ground for Union soldiers who died here in prison.

Florence Museum

558 Spruce St
Florence, SC 29501
843-662-3351

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10am – 5pm, Sunday 2 – 5pm; closed holidays

Admission Charged

Art, history, and science exhibits. Southwestern Native American pottery; Asian and African collections; Catawba pottery; furniture gallery of mixed periods; South Carolina Hall of History.

Lynches River State Park

902 Spine Rd
Florence, SC 29530
843-389-2785

Hours: Call for additional information

Admission Charged

Approximately 650 acres. Located on old stagecoach route. Swimming pool (fee), fishing. Nature trail, bird-watching. Picnicking, playground, community building. Primitive camping.

Beauty Trail

12-mile trail within city featuring beautiful gardens (usually best in April).

Jeffries Creek Nature Park

1400 Deberry Blvd.

Florence, SC 29501

Fishing. Nature trails. Picnicking, playground.

Lucas Park

800 Santee Dr

Florence, SC 29501

Picnicking, playground; tennis courts. Rose gardens, camellias, azaleas, rhododendrons; lighted fountain.

Pee Dee State Farmers Market

2513 W Lucas St
Florence, SC 29501
843-665-5154

Hours: Call for additional information

Francis Marion University Planetarium

Hwy 301 N
Florence, SC 29501
843-661-1250

Hours: Call for additional information

Admission Charged

Florence Museum of Art, Science and History

558 Spruce Street
Florence, SC 29501

843-662-3351

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged
See a 1917 Vulcan Steam Locomotive at the museum plus many other artifacts and items from the local history. Next door is Timrod Park which commemorates Henry Timrod, the Poet Laureate of the Confederacy.

The War Between the States Museum
107 South Guerry Street
Florence, SC 29501
843-669-1266

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

Take a walk into the past. Visit the War Between the States Museum and experience the many artifacts, pictures and stories of a nation divided. The Civil War was a war between two governments: The United States of America, and The Confederate States of America. The museum invites visitors to learn and read about how the local area played a role in the Civil War.

Florence Air and Missile Museum

2204 East Palmetto Street

Florence, SC 29506
2.5 miles east on US 301 at the airport entrance.
843-665-5118

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

The museum houses a representative sample of aviation relics, including planes, missiles and military artifacts. The inside of the museum presents a wonderment of space, aviation and military artifacts, memorabilia and pictures.

Darlington Raceway
1301 Harry Byrd Hwy
Darlington, SC 29532

Located approximately 12 miles north of Florence

843-395-8499

Hours: Call for race schedule and additional information

Admission Charged

Harold Brasington knew what he was doing in 1949 when he started pushing dirt around an old peanut field. With every lap those graders and bulldozers completed, the Darlington Raceway slowly came to life. Today, the track’s specifications remain true to Mr. Brasington’s vision, save a few minor adjustments.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
National Military Cemetery

803 East National Cemetery Road

Florence, SC 29506

843-669-8783

Hours: Call for additional information

Admission Free

Burial ground for Union soldiers who died here in prison.

Lynches River State Park

902 Spine Rd
Florence, SC 29530
843-389-2785

Hours: Call for additional information

Admission Charged

Approximately 650 acres. Located on old stagecoach route. Swimming pool (fee), fishing. Nature trail, bird-watching. Picnicking, playground, community building. Primitive camping.

Beauty Trail

12-mile trail within city featuring beautiful gardens (usually best in April).

Francis Marion University Planetarium

Hwy 301 N
Florence, SC 29501
843-661-1250

Hours: Call for additional information

Admission Charged

The War Between the States Museum
107 South Guerry Street
Florence, SC 29501
843-669-1266

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

Take a walk into the past. Visit the War Between the States Museum and experience the many artifacts, pictures and stories of a nation divided. The Civil War was a war between two governments: The United States of America, and The Confederate States of America. The museum invites visitors to learn and read about how the local area played a role in the Civil War.

Florence Air and Missile Museum

2204 East Palmetto Street

Florence, SC 29506 …
2.5 miles east on US 301 at the airport entrance.
843-665-5118

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

Darlington Raceway
1301 Harry Byrd Hwy
Darlington, SC 29532

Located approximately 12 miles north of Florence

843-395-8499

Hours: Call for race schedule and additional information

Admission Charged

Harold Brasington knew what he was doing in 1949 when he started pushing dirt around an old peanut field. With every lap those graders and bulldozers completed, the Darlington Raceway slowly came to life. Today, the track’s specifications remain true to Mr. Brasington’s vision, save a few minor adjustments.

E- Events & Entertainment:
Events & Entertainment

March/April

Southern Plant & Flower Festival
Held in late March – early April

Location: Pee Dee State Farmers Market

843-665-5154

Call for additional information

May

Sports Council Spectacular

Held in late May

Location: McLeod Park

843-665-0515

Annual Horseshoe tournament

July

The Florence Family Fling

Held on the 4th of July

Location: Florence

843-665-0515

Call for additional information

Admission Free

The Florence Family Fling, held each year on the 4th of July, is one of the largest one-day festivals in the southeast. The day long event includes free admission to all activities, music, and entertainment. The festival draws individuals from the entire southeast traveling along the Interstate 95 corridor. Festival goers experience the largest fireworks show in the Carolinas as the culmination of the day s events.

September

Fall Plant and Flower Show

Held in late September

Location: Greenville State Farmers Market

864-244-4023

Call for additional information

Annual Tobacco Festival

Held in early September

Location: Lake City (located 30 minutes south of Florence)

843-374-8611

Call for additional information

The Tobacco Festival is held each year in Lake City. This two day event in September celebrates the number one cash crop of the area: Tobacco. Festival events include street dance, arts and crafts, motorcycle rally and poker run, radio controlled airplane/helicopter/ultra lite demonstrations, gospel/bluegrass singing, tobacco tying and stringing contests, beauty pageant, all day stage entertainment and a town parade.

October

Pee Dee Fall Festival

Held in early October

Location: Pee Dee State Farmers Market, Florence

843-665-5154

Call for additional information

Entertainment:

Florence Symphony Orchestra

320 W Cheves St.
Florence, SC 29501

843-661-2541

Call for performance schedule and additional information

Season runs October – May

Florence Little Theatre

1000 South Cashua Drive

Florence, SC 29501

843-662-3731

Call for performance schedule and additional information

Sports:

Darlington Raceway
1301 Harry Byrd Hwy
Darlington, SC 29532

Located approximately 12 miles north of Florence

843-395-8499

Hours: Call for race schedule and additional information

Admission Charged

Harold Brasington knew what he was doing in 1949 when he started pushing dirt around an old peanut field. With every lap those graders and bulldozers completed, the Darlington Raceway slowly came to life. Today, the track’s specifications remain true to Mr. Brasington’s vision, save a few minor adjustments.