Find It in Florence: Art, Antiques & Architecture


Discover “The Antique Capital of Colorado”

A Love Your Parks Tour Shopping Story by Lisa D. Smith and Nancy J. Reid, assigned by Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’

Florence may make headline news for being home to the Supermax prison, but the sheer beauty of the region coupled with its small town charm should be the main focus of media attention. We discovered Florence through our friend Eva Eldridge, a fellow traveler and writer. Along with the area’s scenery, history and easy-going atmosphere, we soon found out that Florence was a popular little weekend shopping destination for those who appreciate art, antiques and collectibles, love to browse eclectic shops, and enjoy a stroll through a downtown lined with historic architecture.

Florence is located in Fremont County, just west of Pueblo in southern Colorado. Originally built as a railroad hub for trains hauling coal from nearby Rockvale and Coal Creek, Florence was an agricultural community that made history in 1862 as the first oil center west of the Mississippi. Today the downtown is a National Historic District that’s made a name for itself as the “Antique Capital of Colorado.”

The downtown area and tree-shaded neighborhoods offer a showcase of architecture styles that range from craftsman bungalow to Victorian, along with beautiful flower-filled gardens and a myriad of wood sculptures crafted out of dead trees. Boasting a wonderful collection of art galleries and antique, consignment and boutique shops, as well as a nice selection of restaurants and a brewery, downtown Florence makes for a true shopping adventure. If you are looking for that perfect gift, ideal décor item, matching accessory or a piece of jewelry, this is the place. It’s a shopping destination where every treasure is going to have an interesting backstory.

While you’re there, you may also want to visit the Bell Tower Cultural Center for a local art experience, the Pioneer Museum for regional history, the historic Rialto Theatre for an evening show, or some recreational fun at the bowling alley.

Home to the Arkansas River and near the San Isabel National Forest, Florence also has some great parks and trails to explore including Pathfinder Park, Florence River Park, and Florence Mountain Park. The unique topography of the region makes it a fantastic bird watching destination, as well as a recreational playground. Scenic drives are another way to enjoy the region’s diverse landscape.

We stayed at Eva’s which is becoming a writer’s retreat, however, Florence does have a Bed & Breakfast, some vacation rentals, and hotels in neighboring Cañon City.

The town’s motto is “Find it in Florence,” and we think that once you get there, you’ll find a bevy of experiences to enjoy, along with those unique finds! For more about the area, see



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