Seniors Hone In On Florence

1FlorenceFlorence, Arizona was highlighted in Sunset Magazine as one of the West’s Best Places to Live. Senior travelers will find that Florence, sixty-one miles southeast of Phoenix, remains an “Old West Town”, having preserved its past, with a “relaxed” way of life today.

Florence is  the county seat of Pinal County, Arizona and is one of the oldest towns in the county with a population of 26,500+.  My wife and I missed Florence when we visited the nearby Casa Grande several months ago.  But yesterday, we drove to Florence for lunch and a visit. Just to the north of the ruins, we also discovered another gem, a Greek Monastery…in the middle of the desert. Another blog:)

Seniors Enjoy Another Mainstreet City


Florence is an Arizona Mainstreet City. Walking through downtown Florence, with its sprawling historic district, is like strolling in an open-air museum. These seniors strolled the historic walk and enjoyed looking at all the buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The town boomed in the 1870s  with the discovery of  silver in the nearby Silver King Mine. Business prospered as the town became the commercial hub for area mines while ranching developed and farming continued.

In 1878, Florence, Arizona was known as “the garden city.” Located in the middle of the desert, its lush grass would spread outward from tall stands of cottonwood trees that lined the hard-packed streets. Farmers, ranchers and miners would join townspeople at the Pinal County Courthouse, the center of activity, to socialize and transact business.


The Crown Jewel of Florence is the Pinal County Courthouse, the second court house.  It dates to 1891 and today after a $6 million make-over, the two-story red brick structure looks nearly new.  The first picture, above, is the impressive courthouse.  The time on the clock is the same as it was in 1891:)

 3 State Prisons And National Historic District

Three state prisons are located in Florence. The state’s first prison is thick with legend and history and today officials with the Arizona Department of Corrections celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the historic Pinal County building. Actually we were told there are 9 correctional facilities in Florence.

Senior citizens might wonder about safety with three prisons in town, but Florence was chosen as one of the safest cities to live in Arizona. Its historic downtown is designated a National Historic District. Florence’s Main Street Program is another way the city embraces its past while developing a vibrant economic future.

The Gila River Runs Through It


One of the major rivers of Arizona, the Gila, runs through historic Florence. There are plenty of things to see and do in Florence. The Pinal County Historical Museum highlights the history of Florence. A major draw to the community is the annual Country Thunder Music Festival that brings in folks from all over the southwest.

We enjoyed our drive to Florence, senior friend. We thoroughly enjoy historical destination and would call Florence one of those.  jeb

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