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If you've never been to Florence, there are several interesting destinations that you MUST see while you are there. These are several interesting destinations you may enjoy while visiting the area:· W.C. Handy Home & Museum – This birthplace of William Christopher Handy, “Father of the Blues” will walk you through the life of this talented musician who was born in Florence, Alabama. W.C. Handy has made a considerable contribution to the musical community, including such compositions as Memphis Blues, St. Louis Blues, and Beale Street Blues .
· Alabama Music Hall of Fame - This museum features exhibits of talented Alabamians who have influenced the course of music history. A tour is a walk through the “who’s who” in the music world. See exhibits of W.C. Handy, Nat “King” Cole, Hank Williams, Sam Phillips, and the group Alabama. Experience the distinctive Muscle Shoals Sound or record a hit in the recording studio.
· FAME Recording Studios – Established in 1959, FAME was the first successful professional recording studio in the state of Alabama. It still serves as an active recording studio and has been the studio of choice for Aretha Franklin, The Osmonds, Little Richard, Etta James and more.
· Muscle Shoals Sound Studios — Visit this original recording studio, which now serves as a museum and has been approved for a listing on the National Register of Historic Places. MSSS served as a recording studio for Wilson Pickett, Bob Seger, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and more. Located at 3614 Jackson Highway in Sheffield.
· Spring Park Market – This outdoors farmers market takes place at Spring Park in Tuscumbia each Thursday throughout the summer. Every week a featured cooking demonstration takes place and a live band serves as entertainment. The Spring Park train, roller coaster and merry-go-round will be operating throughout the night. The evening concludes with a water and light show choreographed to music.· Pope’s Tavern - This one time stagecoach stop, tavern and inn, now owned by the city, is one of the oldest structures in Florence. Both Confederate and Union Forces used it as a hospital during the War Between the States. It is located on what was known as Jackson’s Military Road and Andrew Jackson himself is said to have stopped here. The museum now houses a wealth of local history and pioneer artifacts.
· Edith Newman Culver Museum - This historic home is now the site of a town museum that features Native American artifacts, Civil War relics and the unique heritage of Waterloo, one of Alabama’s oldest incorporated towns. The town was a stop along the Trail of Tears. During the Civil War the town was burned, had a visit by U. S. General William Sherman, and was the site of the largest cavalry force ever amassed in the Western Hemisphere.· Ivy Green – Home of Helen Keller - Helen Keller, “America’s First Lady of Courage,” was born in Tuscumbia where her memory is kept alive at her birthplace. It is also the site of the “ Miracle Worker Play,” held each June and July.
· Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum Home - The Stanley and Mildred Rosenbaum house was completed in 1939 and is the only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed structure in the state of Alabama. It is also one of only 26 Usonian houses in the United States. The original owners lived in the house until 1999. It is constructed of cypress, glass and brick and has been meticulously restored.· Kennedy-Douglas Center for the Arts – The Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts is an educational and culturally diverse museum and center. The art center hosts a wide variety of rotating art exhibits, programs and activities.
· Downtown Florence Art Galleries – Historic Downtown Florence is home to several art galleries. While strolling along Court Street, one can admire not only the architecture of these historical buildings, but the Southern charm incorporated into every front porch step. With over five private art galleries and over a dozen specialty shops, there is sure to be something for everyone!
· Tennessee Valley Art Association – The Tennessee Valley Art Center is located in Tuscumbia directly across the street from the Helen Keller Home. The Art Center offers visual arts programs including rotating exhibitions, juried art competitions, and workshops for adults and children.
For more information on each of these destinations, please visit www.flo-tour.org.