Once part of the Chickasaw Nation, Florence was originally thought to be the perfect location for a city because of its location on the Tennessee River. The city incorporated in 1826 and started to flourish, but it changed hands several times between the Confederate and Union armies. This situation hindered its growth and destroyed nearly the entire city. After the railroad came through Florence in the 1880s, it began to grow substantially, aided by the shipping and manufacturing industries.
Today, Florence is a bustling city that has an eclectic mix of old, new, chic, and cosmopolitan, a blend you rarely see anywhere else in the South or in the country. It's home to many famous country music recording studios, trendy restaurants and shops, and the home of fashion designer Billy Reid, who — along with Michael Kors, Tom Ford, and Marc Jacobs — is just one of four fashion designers to win the coveted Council of Fashion Designers of America Award more than three times.
Whether you're in Florence for business or leisure, you'll find hotels ranging from budget to luxury options and everything in between. Regardless of which you pick, you'll find that each hotel has amenities to help you have a relaxing, enjoyable, and memorable getaway.
When to Visit Florence, AL
With its northern location, Florence experiences colder temperatures than many other areas of the South, but it's by no means as chilly as the North or Midwest. However, these mild temperatures make Florence a wonderful place to visit throughout most of the year.
Unlike other cities, the best time to visit Florence is more characterized by what's going on than the weather. During the fall, Florence plays host to the famed Alabama Renaissance Faire, which brings 35,000 people to the city annually. The weather makes this celebration even more enjoyable, with temperatures staying roughly between 60 degrees and 80 degrees. Hotel demand goes up during this time, so if you want a reasonable deal on a hotel, make sure to book well in advance.
Even with the Renaissance Faire, Florence's most popular season is probably in the summer. The Tennessee River attracts tourists from across the South looking for a way to beat the triple-digit temperatures and oppressive humidity. Summer also plays host to the world-famous W.C. Handy Music Festival, which honors the eponymous "Father of the Blues." This is by far the most popular time for visitors, so bookings are essential from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
If you want to get away from the crowds, head to Florence during winter. The temperatures cool down to between the freezing point and the 50s, but snow is a rarity. Guests are few and far between, and the city is surprisingly calm and serene, especially in McFarland Park, which overlooks the river in the heart of the city. Hotel prices are at their lowest, so if you want to snag a deal, this is the best season.
With spring, the city comes alive with blooming flowers, trees, and shrubs. This is the ideal time to saunter through the city's many parks, which dot the landscape and are only a short walk away from anywhere in town. Temperatures can range from chilly to warm during this time, so packing a pair of shorts and a jacket should work to your advantage. You can usually find some solid rates on the accommodation of your choice.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Florence, AL:
Florence, AL: Prices by Star Rating Class
Below we've posted 3 graphs illustrating avg. nightly cost patterns by star rating class in Florence, AL. Browse these charts to calculate the cheapest seasons to book in Florence during the year.
Luxury Hotel Options in Florence, AL
4 Star Average Prices: $185.25
For a luxurious extended stay, book a room at the Residence Inn. Each room has plenty of nice options that make you feel like you're in your own apartment. This includes a full kitchen with a refrigerator, microwave, and stove. It also has a pillow top mattress, complimentary wired and wireless internet, a 32-inch smart television with cable programming, a work desk, and daily housekeeping.
Guests can also take advantage of recreational opportunities such as a 24-hour fitness center, an outdoor pool, business center, and a snack bar/deli. Meet other guests at reception dates throughout the week and enjoy free food and an adult beverage on the house.
With a stay at the Residence Inn, you're also close to many of the area's top attractions, including Regency Square Mall, Deibert Park, and the Shoals Conference Center.
Low-Cost Hotel Options in Florence, AL
3 Star Average Prices: $98.74
If you're searching for budget accommodation in Florence, take a look at the Budget Inn. Located at the intersection of U.S. Highways 72 and 43, this motel is within close proximity to downtown Florence, the University of North Alabama, and the Children's Museum of the Shoal. Each room features cable television with HBO programming, free wireless internet access, and your choice of either a king room, double room, or a suite with a Jacuzzi. If you're planning on coming to Florence with your boat, the hotel also has boat parking with electric hookups.