Nestled in the heart of Pinal County, Florence is a charming town with a rich history dating back to the late 19th century. Known for its well-preserved historic district, correctional facilities with architectural significance, and vibrant arts scene, it offers visitors a unique blend of cultural exploration and small-town charm. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the top things to do, accommodation options, and restaurants that make it a compelling destination in the Sonoran Desert.
Top Things to Do:
- Tom Mix Memorial: Begin your exploration of Florence with a visit to the Tom Mix Memorial. This tribute honors the legendary cowboy actor, Tom Mix, and his contributions to the film industry during the early 20th century. The memorial is located in the Pinal Pioneer Parkway.
- Historic Florence Main Street: Take a stroll through Historic Florence Main Street, where you’ll encounter a well-preserved collection of 19th-century buildings. Explore boutique shops, art galleries, and local restaurants, soaking in the ambiance of this historic district.
- Pinal County Historical Museum: Immerse yourself in the history of it and Pinal County at the Pinal County Historical Museum. Housed in the historic 1920 courthouse, the museum features exhibits and artifacts that showcase the region’s cultural and economic development.
- McFarland State Historic Park: Explore the McFarland State Historic Park, which includes the former residence of Ernest McFarland, Arizona’s first governor. The park provides insights into the political history of the state and offers guided tours of the historic home.
- Florence Arts and Culture Commission: Discover the local arts scene by checking out events and exhibits organized by the Florence Arts and Culture Commission. This active group contributes to the town’s cultural vibrancy through public art installations and community events.
- St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery: Experience the tranquility of St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery, located a short drive from it. Visitors are welcome to explore the grounds, which include stunning gardens, religious artifacts, and a peaceful environment.
- Florence Community Library: If you’re a book enthusiast, visit the Florence Community Library. This modern facility offers a wide range of books, resources, and community programs for residents and visitors.
- Windmill Winery: Unwind at the Windmill Winery, a picturesque venue that hosts weddings, events, and wine tastings. Enjoy the serene surroundings, complete with a vintage barn, lush gardens, and scenic views.
- Box Canyon Trailhead: For outdoor enthusiasts, the Box Canyon Trailhead provides an opportunity to explore the natural beauty surrounding it. Hike through the scenic Box Canyon and enjoy the desert landscapes.
- Explore Correctional History: Florence is known for its historic and still-operational correctional facilities, including the Arizona State Prison Complex – Florence. Consider taking guided tours to learn about the history of the prison system in Arizona.
Accommodation Options in Florence, Arizona:
Florence offers a selection of accommodation options, ranging from charming bed and breakfasts to modern hotels:
- Blue Mist Motel Florence: For a budget-friendly option, consider the Blue Mist Motel Florence. This motel offers basic amenities, including comfortable rooms and convenient access to downtown Florence.
- Rancho Sonora Inn: Experience the rustic charm of Rancho Sonora Inn, located just outside Florence. This bed and breakfast features casitas with Southwestern decor, providing a tranquil and comfortable stay.
- Windmill Winery Guesthouse: Immerse yourself in the enchanting surroundings of the Windmill Winery by staying at the on-site guesthouse. Enjoy the vineyard views and the convenience of being close to the venue’s events.
- Casa Grande RV Resort & Cottages: RV enthusiasts can opt for the Casa Grande RV Resort & Cottages, a short drive from Florence. This resort offers spacious RV sites and cozy cottages for a comfortable stay.
- Economy Inn Florence: Another budget-friendly option is the Economy Inn Florence, providing simple accommodations with essential amenities for travelers on a budget.
Florence’s culinary scene showcases a mix of Southwestern flavors and classic American dishes. Here are some top restaurants to explore during your visit:
- Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant: Indulge in authentic Mexican cuisine at Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant. From flavorful tacos to hearty enchiladas, this restaurant offers a taste of the Southwest in a welcoming atmosphere.
- Mount Athos Restaurant: Experience Greek cuisine at Mount Athos Restaurant, located near Florence. Enjoy traditional dishes such as moussaka and souvlaki in a charming setting.
- The Windmill Winery Café: Pair your visit to the Windmill Winery with a meal at the on-site café. The menu features a selection of sandwiches, salads, and light bites, complemented by scenic views of the vineyard.
- Anita’s Cocina: Delight in homestyle cooking at Anita’s Cocina, a local favorite for American and Mexican comfort food. The cozy atmosphere and diverse menu make it a popular spot for residents and visitors alike.
- Big House Café: Enjoy breakfast or lunch at the Big House Café, known for its generous portions and friendly service. This charming café offers a variety of dishes, from classic breakfast items to sandwiches and salads.
- Valley Diner: For classic American diner fare, visit Valley Diner. This local spot serves up burgers, sandwiches, and traditional comfort food in a relaxed setting.
- Nana’s Sandwich Saloon: Grab a quick and delicious meal at Nana’s Sandwich Saloon. This local eatery offers a variety of sandwiches, wraps, and salads, making it a convenient choice for a casual lunch.
- The Sausage Shop Meat Market: Explore the flavors of locally sourced meats at The Sausage Shop Meat Market. This establishment offers a selection of sausages, meats, and deli items for those looking to savor high-quality cuts.
- Copper Steer Steakhouse: Indulge in a steakhouse experience at Copper Steer Steakhouse. This restaurant, located in the heart of Florence, offers a menu featuring premium steaks, seafood, and other classic dishes.
- Black Bear Diner: Enjoy a family-friendly dining experience at Black Bear Diner, known for its hearty portions and diverse menu. Whether you’re in the mood for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, this diner-style restaurant has you covered.
Florence, Arizona, invites visitors to step back in time and explore the rich tapestry of its history, culture, and culinary offerings. From the well-preserved historic district to correctional facilities with architectural significance, Florence provides a unique blend of experiences. Whether you’re strolling through downtown, immersing yourself in local arts, or savoring diverse flavors, Florence offers a quaint and welcoming destination in the Sonoran Desert. Plan your visit to this hidden gem and discover the captivating charm that defines Florence, Arizona.
Also, check Douglas, Arizona