If you are looking for southern hospitality, a mild climate, and a great little town, you might want to retire in Florence, South Carolina. Florence is a scenic community with a charming downtown center with shopping and great restaurants. Nearby Magnolia Mall is the largest shopping venue in the area and is home to several major retailers. In 1965, Florence was named All-American City by the National Civic League. Jeffries Creek flows right through town and there are several historical home districts. Much of the historical downtown area has been rehabilitated. There are several colleges and universities in the area and a quite large Technical College.
The town is located inland about 70 miles north west of the coastal town of Myrtle Beach, SC and not far from the border with North Carolina. Florence enjoys one of the lowest crime rates in SC (although it hasn’t always been that way) and 29.3% of the adult population has a college degree. The median home price is in the $140,000 range which is high for SC, but significantly lower than the rest of the country. Rentals average $500 a month. There are 38,000 people in Florence and 14% are over 65 years of age. The average high temperature in July is 91 degrees and the average low in January is 35 degrees. Florence gets about 41 inches of rain a year, the heaviest rainfall is in the warm summer months. They rarely get snow. The nearest major airport is in Myrtle Beach – about an hour away.
Founded as a junction of the Wilmington and Manchester railroad, the Northeastern, and the Cheraw and Darlington Railroads, Florence is still a major hub on the eastern seaboard. Florence served as an important supply and railroad repair facility for the Confederacy and was home to the Florence Stockade which held between 12,000 and 18,000 prisoners of war, hence the location of the Florence National Cemetery after the war. Since then, Florence has grown to rely heavily on healthcare with two major hospitals and a number of pharmaceutical plants.
We love Florence!
Photo courtesy of the Florence Downtown Farmers Market
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