I love to see new places and do new things all the time and could travel non-stop.  However, since Ironman and I have to be home sometimes, I end up whining that "there's nothing to do in Florence".  So, instead of going out of town this past weekend (which is what we normally do), we decided to have a mini-staycation and play tourist in our own town.  I found that there is actually a lot to do around here...so much, in fact, that we barely scratched the surface.  So, in case you live around here and suffer from the same "there's nothing to do here" problem as me, I want to share some fun things we did the last few days!

LULA'S COFFEE CO.  Lula's has such a relaxing atmosphere, great music, baked goods and snacks and, of course, great coffee and other drinks if coffee isn't your thing.  I love that they are a non-profit and do a lot to support the community and important causes around the world.  Every Thursday night is Open Mic Night, so I went there with a few friends to start off my weekend staycation.  My favorite time to come is when Jeff is working...I always ask him to simply "surprise me" with a drink and I am always happy with what he whips up!  In light of fall and all things pumpkin...you need to go there and ask for an Ichabod Crane.  You can thank me next time you see me.

TOP HAT SPECIAL-TEAS  I have wanted to get Afternoon Tea at Top Hat since I was in college, but I never made it happen.  Wow, have I been missing out!  As soon as Ironman got off work on Friday afternoon, we headed over.  Prepare for photo overload right here...

You start out by choosing whether you want hot or cold tea and what flavor.  They bring out an entire pot for each person and cover it in the cutest little knit warmer.

There are 6 courses...yes 6!  The 1st was a little sandwich plate with chicken salad sandwiches, pimento cheese sandwiches and cucumber sandwiches.  It was delicious!

The 2nd course was a fresh out-of-the-oven scone with lemon curd and some type of whipped cream to use as the topping.  Normally I don't like scones because I think that they are too dry, but this one was the perfect combination of crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside!

The 3rd course was a fruit, nut and cheese plate.  The fruit was so fresh and crispy...not like what I end up buying at the store each week!

The 4th course was pumpkin bread.  They left the lemon curd and whipped cream on the table for us to finish off on top of this bread.  Wow!

The 5th course was a quiche plate.  Again, these were fresh out-of-the-oven and full of flavor.

By the 6th course, Ironman and I were so stuffed, we didn't know if we would be able to finish!  But, the hot s'more brownies told us we'd be ok and go ahead and dig in. 

We finished every single last bite and sip of the entire 6 course afternoon tea and will most definitely be back again soon!

PALMETTO PEDDLERS  With full bellies, we headed over to Palmetto Peddlers to look around.  Our porch swing is so nice, but we would love to find some older black iron chairs and table to also go on the front porch so that we can eat out there as the weather is cooling off.  A lot of times, these type places will have something like it since the little booths are full of old items.  I especially love all the old, colorful pyrex and the pink and green dish sets. This is a great place to go if you want to just walk around and slowly browse, but not have to spend any money.

LONG GRAIN CAFE  By the time we had filled up on afternoon tea and walked around Palmetto Peddlers, it was time to go home.  We aren't night owls and love to go to bed early, even on the weekends!  So, Saturday morning, we woke up and headed over to Long Grain Cafe for breakfast.  You know Ironman must come here a lot when he has to let the waitress know that he does not want his usual AND when the waitress asks him "where's the other one?", she is referring to my dad.  In case you didn't know, Ironman and my dad work together and have breakfast and lunch together nearly everyday.  Lucky ducks :)

MCLEOD FARMS  After breakfast, we decided to head over to McLeod Farms.  I heard that they were doing a corn maze and wanted to go since I've never done one!  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that not only did they have the corn maize, but they have wagon rides with horses, you could pick your own pumpkin to take home, games and face-painting, fall foods, a grocery store with fresh meats and produce, a BBQ joint and even an antique museum that's free!  If you are in the area, you should definitely go while they have all the fall festivities still going on.

FARMERS MARKET  I always thought that the farmers market was only opened on Saturdays and since we are usually out of town, I've maybe been 2 times in my life.  But, as I was planning this weekend staycation, I noticed that it is open every day except for Sunday!  So, we stopped by to check it out.  I don't know if it's the time that we arrived or the day or the time of year, but it was pretty dead...not gonna lie.  We didn't even buy anything.  But, it is a nice place to come if you want some fresh produce!

WHOLLY SMOKIN'  Ironman and I aren't big meat eaters and I usually don't like BBQ, but I love this place.  They have lots of choices and the food is great. Plus, it's in downtown Florence which is convenient if you want to walk around and window shop after your meal!

FLORENCE COUNTY MUSEUM  Right across the street from Wholly Smokin' is the Museum.  I never visited when it was in the old building, but decided that I wanted to visit the new one that they just built and moved into downtown.  I was happy to find that it was free!  I love free stuff.  They have one side dedicated to art and one side dedicated to history.  There was a lot more on the history side and it was fun to go through and learn more about where I was born!  Also, every 3 months, they have some sort of focus and right now is Cale Yarborough.  So, if you are interested in NASCAR you should go check out this section of the museum!

FIREPIT.  So this was at home, but it was something new!  Ironman used his birthday money to buy a fire pit and we had some friends over.  I love how simple it was.  We just got a fire started, sipped on some hot drinks, talked for hours and had a great time.  Again, this was free (well, if you already own a fire pit) and it was a great thing to do to get outdoors and spend time with friends and family!

Because the weekend is short and there is actually a lot more to do in town than I thought, we ran out of time and didn't get to do everything that I thought would be fun to do while playing tourist in our own town.  Lesson learned, there is a lot to do in Florence, SC.  I won't ever whine about that again.  So, in the past, here are some things that I have already enjoyed in town...

FLORENCE COUNTY LIBRARY  When Ironman and I were first married and living on love, we didn't have money for cable and books and really any form of entertainment.  So, we would go to the library and check out DVD's and books and use the free wifi!  Our library has things going on all the time, it is clean, enormous and all you need is a library card.

RAIL TRAIL  I love to go walking on the rail trail.  It is great because it is just a straight shot, no turns and no cars to worry about.  It's the perfect place to go with friends and catch up while you exercise!  Plus, being outdoors is so good for us.

THIEVES MARKET  This place is similar to Palmetto Peddlers.  Lots of old treasures in every corner.  You could spend hours.  We have found several quality items for our house and it helped us save so much money!

LYNCHES RIVER COUNTY PARK  Last month Ironman and I went there and were pleasantly surprised.  We took a picnic, wandered around the park, walked across the canopy bridge and the river walk.  It was just about a 20 minute drive out of town and was free!

THE CLAY POT  Just like Lulas Coffee Co., The Clay Pot is another great coffee shop in town.  The nice thing about this place is that it is downtown (right next to Wholly Smokin') and you can go there each day for a homemade, healthy lunch special.  They also make their own beautiful clay pottery, use it in their shop, sell it and even offer classes to learn how to make your own!

See what I mean?  Lots to do in town and I haven't even scratched the surface.  Most times I find out about things going on through word of mouth, sometimes the events pop up in my FaceBook newsfeed, but recently I discovered that you can even look up events and plan events in your area through Eventbrite's event planning software!  I have purchased tickets for events through Eventbrite in the past, but didn't know that you could browse events around town...check it out and see if there is something that catches your eye!

Ironman and I are always looking for new things to do and want to do more to enjoy where we live.  If you live in Florence and have suggestions, please share them in the comments below!  Or if you live out of town, give us some good ideas and maybe we will put your town on our Bucket List!

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