Florence/Muscle Shoals/ Tuscumbia
Pope’s Tavern & Museum
203 Hermitage Drive | Florence, AL 35630
256.760.6439 | visitflorenceal.com
Though Florence was hard-hit by the Civil War, many historic places still stand, preserved for tour, like Pope’s Tavern & Museum. One of the area’s oldest buildings – once a stagecoach stop, tavern and inn, hospital and command center for both armies – the museum houses a wealth of local and Civil War history. The tavern is on Jackson’s Military Road carved out by Andrew Jackson himself as a shortcut to move supplies and artillery from Nashville to New Orleans.
W.C. Handy Birthplace, Museum & Library
620 West College Street | Florence, Alabama 35630
256.760.6434 | visitflorenceal.com
W.C. Handy, the Father of the Blues, was born in Florence in 1873 in a simple cabin that today houses a large collection of his personal papers, memorabilia and artifacts. The museum invites visitors to, “Feel the blues down to your toes standing next to the very piano that shook with St. Louis Blues for the first time; see his hand-written sheets of music-originals of many of his tunes.”
Fame Recording Studio
603 East Avalon Avenue | Muscle Shoals, AL 35661
Tour the first successful music studio in Alabama, established in 1959 by Rick Hall. His FAME Rhythm Section cut hits with Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Arthur Conley and Clarence Carter. Among the “FAMED” artist who have recorded there are Duane Allman, The Osmonds, Bobbie Gentry, Wet Willie and Otis Redding. FAME is still cranking out the hits. Nashville Star winner Angela Hacker and runner-up Zac Hacker are regulars at the studio along with James LeBlanc, Gary Nichols and Jason Isbell.
Alabama Music Hall of Fame
617 Hwy 72 W | Tuscumbia, AL 35674
256.381.4417 | alamhof.org
The Alabama Music Hall of Fame was created with a mandate to honor Alabama’s great music achievers and to build a facility in which to showcase these talented individuals and their accomplishments. Inductees include Nat King Cole, Hank Williams, Tammy Wynette and Lionel Richie. Since its inception and construction, thousands of tourists, school children, historians and music fans have toured the facility to see, hear and learn of the many contributions Alabamians made to music.
Rattlesnake Saloon/Seven Springs Lodge
1292 Mount Mills Road | Tuscumbia, AL 35674
256.370.7218 | rattlesnakesaloon.net
The land (bought for 25 cents an acre in 1916) where the Lodge and Saloon sit began as a hog pen. Later, the family created Seven Springs Lodge that includes a main lodge, cabins and campgrounds. During construction, workers found a rattlesnake den a distance from the shelter, giving the saloon its name. The restaurant features southern hospitality, food and cold brews (after 5 p.m.) for those old enough to enjoy. Call for reservations.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Rosenbaum House
601 Riverview Drive | Florence, AL 35630
256.718.5050 | wrightinalabama.com
Built in 1939, the same year Wright delivered his treatise on organic architecture, this significant structure is cypress, glass, and brick and still has original hardware and furnishings designed by Wright. Frank Lloyd Wright revolutionized art and architecture and is considered to be America’s greatest architect. Originally built for $12,000 as an affordable, middle-class home, the Rosenbaum House is the only Wright design open to the public in the southeastern United States.
Helen Keller Birthplace – Ivy Green
300 North Commons St W | Tuscumbia, AL 35674
256.383.4066 | helenkellerbirthplace.org
Ivy Green is white clapboard home built in 1820 by Helen Keller’s grandparents. The estate contains the cottage where Keller was born. The home and museum room are decorated with much of the original furniture of the Keller family. Each is highlighted by hundreds of Miss Keller’s personal mementos, books and gifts from her lifetime of travel and lectures for the betterment of the world’s blind and deaf-blind. Of particular note is her complete library of Braille books and her original Braille typewriter. Thousands gather for the week-long Helen Keller Festival each June, and for the epic drama The Miracle Worker, that’s performed each June and July