Venues in Florence offer students hang-outs
The Shoals area has a rich musical history. From FAME Studios to Muscle Shoals Sound, the Shoals has always had a lot to offer music lovers. The Black Keys even recorded their album “Brothers” here.
There are plenty of bars that play host on the weekends to cover bands that aren’t bad and feature good local musicians and the unique music venues.
Pegasus Record Store on East Tennessee Street is a great, garage-y venue that host shows that range from bluesy local bands like Red Mouth to punk legends from New York - sometimes even on the same night.
Besides offering live music in the evening, Pegasus also sells CDs, DVDs and LPs by day in the record store.
Black Owl Trading Company, located in Seven Points, is another business-by-day, venue-by-night location. The Black Owl is a printing shop owned by musicians Jamie and Katie Barrier, who also play in the local band the Pine Hill Haints. They open the door of the dark venue some nights to host a variety of musicians and their plaid-clad fans.
Rivertown Coffee on Seminary Street often offers a chill environment to listen to acoustic artists like John Cartwright, owner of Rivertown, and folk musician Elias Patriot. Fans can order a cup of coffee and enjoy some of the local musicians the Shoals has to offer.
Local poets gather to bring power to spoken word, art
The arts thrive in the Shoals with many theaters and festivals to satisfy the art lover’s needs.
The Shoals Theatre, the Ritz, Zodiac and The End all host events monthly in the Shoals area.
The End Theatre, located on Pine Street, offers more than just plays. The monthly spoken word event Boxcar Voices - created by UNA student Andy Thigpen and UNA alumna Juliann Losey - is often hosted at The End. The theater also hosts events such as burlesque shows and an art event called Lovelution.
More traditional art fare can be found in the Shoals at the Kennedy-Douglass Center, located on Tuscaloosa Street across from Wilson Park.
This gallery holds many art shows and features different artists throughout the year. The Kennedy-Douglass Center also sponsors the Arts Alive festival annually.
Florence parks give students chance to connect with nature
With the Tennessee River running straight through the Shoals, this area offers a plethora of outdoor entertainment.
Wildwood Park, located off Waterloo Road, is right on Cypress Creek. This woodsy park offers nature trails, picnic tables, mountain bike trails and a canoe and kayak ramp.
McFarland Park is one of the Shoals’ bigger parks right on the Tennessee River. It offers camping facilities along with pavilions and playgrounds.
For those looking for more adventure, Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve is about 30 minutes out of downtown Florence. This 431-acre, privately owned preserve offers miles of hiking, camping and a large waterfall.
Local hotspots provide night out on town
Did you ask a cutie out at SOAR and need a good place to go to break the ice? The Shoals has a couple great options that are conversation pieces on their own.
Lauderdale Lanes on Florence Blvd is a great date option. Friday and Saturday nights at 7 p.m., Lauderdale Lanes hosts Kaleidoscope Bowling with black lights, strobes and a disco ball. For those on a budget, the alley features $2 bowling for students Sunday to Thursday after 9 p.m.
Rattlesnake Saloon is located off the beaten path in Tuscumbia. This all-ages bar in a cave - yes, a cave - features karaoke on Thursday nights and festively named food all week long. Guests can either ride the truck or trek down the hill to the cave bar. The scenery alone will keep conversation with a date lively.
Don’t want to worry about awkward conversation? The Carmike Regency 12 theater shows movies nightly for $8.25 a ticket.