When I visited lovely Florence, Alabama last week, I had a wonderful time driving around town with my Mother and two of her sisters. A few days ago, I showed you photos of the Lion habitat at the University of North Alabama. If you missed that roaring good time, click HERE to see it.
As we took our leisurely drive through the hills of Florence, I was reminded of one of my favorite lines from the Brit -Com, “Keeping Up Appearances” when Hyacinth said the day was, “Completely conducive to contemplating cozy charismatic country cottages.
First we drove through the charming old downtown, which wasn’t so old looking anymore. Spiffed up with a hip college crowd hanging around, it’s the home to Internationally celebrated designer, Billy Reid.
The houses in the downtown area were charming and friendly looking. Simple bungalows . . .
large front porches for rocking and swinging . . .
and plenty of beautiful shade trees to beat the late summer heat!
This yellow house looked so pretty with all the white chairs, rockers and swing. I can imagine it’s a popular place to be in the afternoons and evenings when the lightening bugs come out.
W.C. Handy, the Father of the Blues stood proudly in the park where the festival named after him takes place every July.
The beautiful public library sits across from the park, making it easy for families to picnic, then take in story time.
Florence High School, which is part of the City School System, has just been ranked in the top 10% of high schools in the nation and in the top 5% in the state. FHS has an Academy of Fine Arts where among other things, students can learn recording art skills in partnership with world renownedÂ FAME Studios. The school has undergone several major recent additions, one being this Freshmen Center, which houses all the joyful, sweet ninth graders. (The others get to go there too.)
Back through the pretty downtown area once again, past churches, shopping, theaters and top-rated restaurants.
Back to my Aunt’s house for her delicious homemade peach cobbler. Mmmmm. That’s the perfect end to my lovely day in Florence.
[…] just the best EVER! The price is great too, compared to others who charge almost double. Made in Florence, AL they are the perfect Southern snack food. I’m going back to load up for Christmas tea […]
Never been to Florence, it looks like it is filled with charm! Love the bungalows too!
I have never been to Florence, but it seems perfectly charming! I bet it would be gorgeous as the colors change.
Yes, it’s far enough north to get great fall colors. You should scoot up there the next time you’re hanging out in Birmingham. I think from there, it’s only two-three hours away.
What a lovely town and what a wonderful focus on the education of their children as seen in the state of the art school buidings there. Always a good investment.
Not only the schools, but also the public library. I think having a University in town is always a boost for education at all levels. Good for Florence High School. I just found out that Page and Palette is bringing in the founder of FAME studios to speak here in a few weeks. I’ll keep you posted.
Douglas reminded me that the only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in Alabama…is in Florence…and is now a house museum!
I’ve read about that house, and would love to visit there . . . next time. Florence is about a seven hour drive from Fairhope, so I don’t get up there often. I really need to go back when my Aunts feel like getting out a little more.
I’ve just added Florence, Alabama to my must-visit list! Love the historic houses and pretty downtown. Will your aunt have peach cobbler waiting?! It looks delicious!
Alabama is defintiely a place I want to visit…everytime to write about something I want to go there…I feel like I am reading the latest Southern Living.
The North part of the state is really beautiful, and I always think it’s too bad they don’t have the beach, but I didn’t realize the Tennessee river is so beautiful. Lots of boating and water sports!
My father attended Florence, back when it was a little teacher’s college. He always spoke fondly of his time there. I love the older homes — looks like Mayberry! An old friend’s husband was the manager of a yacht club there — don’t know where she is now, but she also taught Shakespeare at the UNA. Next time we are in that direction, I think we need to see it again. Did you shop Billy Reid?
No shopping this trip. It was Sunday and most places were closed, but I was also in the wonderful company of a few ladies who just liked to take a little Sunday afternoon drive . . . if you know what I mean.
Florence is a beautiful town. When my son played college baseball we were able to go there 2 different years when they played North Al. LOVE Ricatoni’s Italian Grill. Their homemade bread and ravioli is awesome! We visited the Coon Dog Cemetery which is not too far away. And before you think I am crazy that same year it was one of the top 100 places to visit in Southern Living. My husband could not believe it. Love your blog.
Malinda in Mississippi
Thanks Malinda, and no, I don’t think you’re crazy at all. I’ve always wanted to visit the Coon Hound Cemetery. My husband went and said it was wonderful. I also think Ricatoni’s is the place listed in 100 dishes to eat in Alabama for their bread, so you are the official, “Miss Tourism!”
I have never heard of Florence, Alabama but it looks like my kind of town. If I go, can I have your aunt’s address? Peach cobbler is one of my faves. Enjoy your week, Leslie Anne.
She would love to have you! My two aunts also made hot biscuits with a warm peach compote to go over the top for breakfast one morning. I was totally spoiled eating the last of the delicious summer peach crop.
Ok, Now I see that we are kindred spirits in our love for Hyacinth Bucket…Its BOUQUET!! The other day my husband told me we should plan a riparian dinner! Florence is a lovely place!!
‘Tis indeed! And you are correct in noting that with the Tennessee River flowing through the gentle hills of Florence, it is the perfect spot for a candlelight picnic with riparian entertainment!
Hahahaha! That woman cracks me up!