Living Here

Our location isn’t just appealing to business and industry; it’s also very appealing to the people who call the Shoals home. The Shoals offers a vibrant quality of life and a more laid-back pace than a larger city.

Sustainability

The Shoals is reducing its carbon footprint by investing in renewable energy!

With two hydroelectric dams, Wilson & Wheeler, as well as two utility-scale solar farms, the Shoals is primed to become the biggest renewable energy producing community in the State of Alabama! We pride ourselves on reducing our impact on the environment—so much so that the City of Florence has achieved the Tennessee Valley Authority's Gold Sustainable Community designation and is currently progressing to Platinum status!

Convenient Location

The area known as “The Shoals” is located along the Tennessee River in Northwest Alabama. “The Shoals” area includes Lauderdale and Colbert Counties, both of which make up the U.S. Census designated Florence-Muscle Shoals MSA. The major urban center of the Florence-Muscle Shoals MSA, commonly referred to as the quad cities, includes the cities of Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, Tuscumbia, and Florence.

The major metropolitan areas of Huntsville, Birmingham, Nashville, Memphis, and Atlanta are all within easy driving distance of the Shoals. The Northwest Alabama Regional Airport offers flights to and from Nashville and Atlanta connecting to everywhere.

200-Mile Radius of the Shoals
Miles by Road
Typical Drive-Time
Huntsville, AL
63 miles
1 hour
Birmingham, AL
117 miles
2.5 hour
Nashville, TN
120 miles
2.5 hour
Memphis, TN
150 miles
2.5 hour
Atlanta, GA
250 miles
4 hour

Shoals Living

The Shoals area boasts affordable housing, low property taxes, and an overall low cost of living that makes it the perfect location for a startup or an expanding business.

  • Home Value - Alabama and The Shoals boast some of the best value for homes in the U.S. The Shoals median sale price for homes for 2017 was $130,121 while the statewide median sales price was $148,920 and the U.S. median sales price was $245,975 (acre.culverhouse.ua.edu/). Home sales in the Shoals increased by nearly 15% from Q1 2017 to Q1 2018.
  • Cost of Living – The Shoals area continues to have one of the lowest costs of living among all of MSAs in the U.S. The Shoals currently has a C2ER cost of living index of 88.1 and is one of the lowest among its size in the State of Alabama.
  • Local property taxes are low, as well as the state personal income tax.
Alabama MSA
C2ER 2017 Average Cost of Living Index
Birmingham-Hoover
96.0
Auburn-Opelika
93.9
Huntsville
90.3
Dothan
89.8
Montgomery
88.9
Mobile
88.6
Decatur
84.7
Florence-Muscle Shoals
84.7
Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville
83.3

Outdoors

The natural beauty of The Shoals and the Tennessee Valley offer an abundance of outdoor activities. Hiking Shoal Creek Preserve, fishing and water sports on Wheeler, Wilson, and Pickwick lakes, golfing the 36 hole Robert Trent Jones Shoals, or kayaking Cypress or Shoals creeks are just a few of the adventures awaiting the outdoor enthusiast.

Downtown Life

The Shoals offers revitalized downtown areas with great shopping, fabulous restaurants, music and nightlife. Florence First Fridays attracts thousands to peruse local arts and crafts and experience live music shows and entertainment.

The Alabama Renaissance Faire

Held annually during the fourth weekend in October at Wilson Park in downtown Florence.   Are you in Florence, Alabama in the 21st century, or Florence, Italy in the Middle Ages?  This educational event re-creates the atmosphere of an authentic medieval renaissance faire.  Participants dress in authentic, period costumes. Arts & crafts, wandering minstrels, magicians, and chamber singers are also part of the festivities, as you step back in time.

Alabama Renaissance Faire Website

Cultural Attractions

The Shoals has a rich heritage in music and culture. W.C. Handy, the Father of the Blues, was born in Florence. His birth home is now a museum, and a music festival is held every summer in his honor. FAME Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio were the recording spaces for many hit songs from artists like the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge, and Carrie Underwood. Ivy Green, the birthplace of Helen Keller, the early life and history of the historic figure. 

The W.C. Handy Home

Held the last full week of July throughout the Shoals.  It is the largest of all of the area festivals.  The annual event, named in honor of W.C. Handy, Alabama's "Father of the Blues", features blues, jazz, and gospel music, educational events, coordinated art shows, athletic events, street parties, great food, and much more.

Some of the favorite events of the Festival include Handy Nights at local restaurants and outdoor concerts at parks throughout the Shoals.   Some events require admission, but most are free.  The event attracts an estimated 150,000 annually.

Handy Music Festival Website

Food & Dining

Culinary connoisseurs can explore the many unique and multicultural restaurants. From the famous Trowbridge's sandwiches, the folksy Rivertown Coffee, the fine dining at Odette, to many ethnic  dining spots, a businessperson in The Shoals can enjoy quality food perfect for chatting about business or refueling after a hard day's work.