Welcome to Florence

Welcome to Florence, South Carolina, the heart of the Pee Dee region. Founded at the intersection of three railways and incorporated in 1871, what was once a small rail town is now a bustling center of industry, healthcare, education, retail, culture and recreation. The City gets its great name from Florence Henning Harllee, the daughter of General William W. Harllee who was the the first president of the Wilmington & Manchester Railroad line.

Over the past several years, Florence has undergone and continues to undergo, a major revitalization and rebirth. There’s something for everyone in our city from shopping at malls, to fine dining downtown, to live theater, live music events, outdoor recreation and fantastic schools.

Florence is at the forefront of the healthcare industry, with top-notch facilities including McLeod Health, MUSC Health Florence Medical Center and HopeHealth and has an eye for the future of the industry as well, with the current construction of the downtown medical campus that is a joint venture between Francis Marion University, the University of South Carolina and both local hospitals.

The City of Florence has also become a center for culture, with the construction of the Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center, the Florence County Museum and the Florence Little Theatre over the past several years and the current work to provide upgraded facilities for the Art Trail Gallery.

Transportation is a major advantage for business and industry, not only in Florence, but also around the world. Florence has a major switching yard for CSX Railroad, and direct rail service to two major seaports in Charleston, S.C., and Wilmington, N.C. The city is strategically located at the intersection of two main thoroughfares, I-95 and I-20, and is also located near several other main highways. The Florence Regional Airport provides daily commercial connections to the major southeastern and international hub airport of Charlotte. Florence is also served by two Amtrak trains daily going north and south. The daytime Palmetto run between Savannah and New York and the night-time Silver Meteor between Miami and New York.

The opportunities for academic excellence thrive in Florence. There are numerous elementary and secondary schools, both private and public, which provide quality education opportunities. Francis Marion University, Coker College, a branch of Limestone College, Florence- Darlington Technical College and the Southeastern Institute for Manufacturing Technology provide exceptional academic facilities for post secondary education. The Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, which selects gifted students from throughout the state for a challenging, residential high school program and The International Baccalaureate program at Wilson High School, call this area home.

The appreciation of the arts abounds in Florence with the South Carolina Dance Theatre, the Florence Symphony Orchestra and Masterworks Choir. Additionally, area schools and colleges provide numerous cultural opportunities for local audiences. The 10,000-seat Florence Civic Center is host for all kinds of excitement and variety in Florence.

The weather of Florence allows for a higher quality of life for residents by giving them the opportunity for outdoor recreation year round. Lovers of the outdoors truly appreciate the many scenic parks, lakes, rivers and creeks in the Pee Dee region. Golf enthusiasts welcome the traditional Southern climate, which gives them the opportunity for year round play on some of the outstanding courses that call the Florence area home. And, if you are a fan of NASCAR, you will certainly want to visit the excitement at the nearby Darlington Raceway at the annual spring race and at the NASCAR museum.

While Florence County residents enjoy some of the lowest property taxes in South Carolina, they appreciate the gracious lifestyle and affordable housing options located throughout town. With all the advantages of a growing metropolis but with the charm of Southern hospitality, the Greater Florence area blends rural, suburban, commercial and industrial advantages for the 125,000+ lucky people who have chosen to call our community home.

Visit Florence and we think you’ll agree that our area is a great place to live. For more information, contact the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce at 843-665-0515 or email us at info@flochamber.com.