Top Things To Do In Florence SC
The town of Florence, South Carolina is a diamond in the rough, a city bursting with life and creativity. Regardless of your interests, you’ll certainly be able to find something fun to do with your family. From venturing into the wilderness to discover South Carolina’s bountiful wildlife, trekking through a river swamp in a kayak, or exploring the amazing history of the state in museums and historical sites, there’s something everyone will find fun in Florence!
For those of us who love the great outdoors, the Lynches River County Park is sure to please. Located on the Lynches River in the Pee Dee region, this vast park spans 676 acres and offers a wide selection of nature-centered activities. You can’t go wrong with a trip to the Discovery Center, which features a plethora of educational content on the local flora and fauna, a large variety of rescued animals to see, and even a suspension bridge strung high above the treetops to trek across! Additionally, the Discovery Center also hosts many educational programs for schools in Florence County, and it also hosts summer camps. For younger children, there is a Splash Pad in the park to play on during hot summer days! If the Discovery Center or Splash Pad isn’t your speed, never fear – there are plenty of high-paced and exciting things to do in the park. Fun activities like geocaching and archery are available. You can rent canoes and kayaks, and even take a Guided canoe or kayak trip through the Lynches river! There are four hiking trails in the park, down which one can learn about the history of the Stagecoach Road, trek through tall pines and oaks, and stop at educational stations to learn about the forestry, wildlife and water of the park. Overall, there’s a fun thing for everyone at the Lynches River County Park. Find more information here.
Experience the beauty of horticulture at the Moore Farms Botanical Garden. Founded in 2002 by local businesswoman, philanthropist and South Carolina native Darla Moore, this jewel of Pee Dee rests on 65 acres of former farmland. The land, which has been in Ms. Moore’s family for six generations, was once a sprawling farm which produced tobacco and other crops. For nearly 17 years, the farm has been home to several ever-changing changing gardens. The Formal Garden, the heart of the land, hosts a symmetrical array of flora, including some vegetable plants that change every season (this summer’s crops were peppers, eggplants and more). The Formal Garden also hosts a beautifully ornate fountain that was crafted specially for Moore Farms. Outside of the Formal Garden, there are many diverse plant life gardens, such as the Spring Garden, which hosts a beautiful spring house and pond, or the Cut Flower Garden, in which zinnias, pineapple lilies, and more are grown to be cut and arranged in displays and floral arrangements. Aside from these spectacular gardens, the Moore Farms Botanical Garden also presents the spectacular Green Roof – a gorgeous, 6000-square foot garden that rests atop the maintenance building. This garden, which houses poppies, shrubbery, agaves, bulbs and more, was constructed to provide biodiversity and create beauty in an unlikely place. The Moore Farms Botanical Gardens are not open to the public on a regular basis, but walking tours are available by appointment, which can be made here. The Gardens are also open to the public for several different events, such as summer camps, educational and instructional classes, Open Garden days, and more! Click here for additional information.
Up next, take a trip to the Heritage Stables in Timmonsville, where you can meet Marsh Tacky horses! Marsh Tackies are the State Heritage Horse of South Carolina. They are extremely rare and nearly extinct, which is why the owners founded the stables in 2009 — to educate people on the species, which are most notably known in South Carolina for leading General Francis Marion and his troops through the Pee Dee swamps during the Revolutionary War, which was crucial to the General’s success against British troops. At Heritage Stables, the owners have made it their mission to care for and breed Marsh Tackies. They also care for several other horses of all different breeds, and you might find some other animals there too! Learn more here.
Perhaps the most riveting adventure in Florence is coming up on the river! Take a guided trip in a kayak or canoe down the Lynches River with RiverRats Kayak and Canoe Rentals! Founded in 2008, RiverRats is family owned and operated and has been for over ten years. Led by South Carolina native Barry Frick and his family, kayakers can be led on a 5 or 10-mile trek through the swamps and rivers of Pee Dee. RiverRats owns over 100 boats and will take customers onto the river on every day of the week. If you’re looking for a scenic trip down the river, coasting under the foliage of towering Bald Cypress trees and enjoying the beautiful scenic views of a river untouched by man, RiverRats are the people to take you there! Find out more about their pricing, staff and more here.
For a taste of the local history, try any of the museums or historical sites in Florence. Take a self-guided tour of the Florence County Museum, which teaches the cultural history of Florence County. Works of art by Florence natives, historical galleries of Pee Dee, and artifacts of the Civil War are waiting to teach the story of Florence. Additionally, there are plenty of historic sites in Florence, which are beaming with artifacts, antiques and stories from the past and simpler times.
We visited The Columns, also known as the Rankin-Hartwell house, which is the only working plantation left in Florence. The owner of the house, Kay Hartwell, gave us a fantastic blast-from-the-past tour of the beautiful house, which was built in the Antebellum South era in the late 1800s. The original fixtures and woodwork of the home still stand today, and it still serves its original functions as a plantation where cattle roam and tobacco crops still grow.