There’s always room at the inn in Florence . The plethora of chain hotels off I-95 is largely due to the city’s status as the rough halfway point between New York City and Miami. However, the quality is often below par.
Probably the best box hotel is Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites (3440 W. Radio Dr., 843/432-1500, www.ichotelsgroup.com , $99), conveniently near the junction of I-95 and I-20. There are a couple of good Marriott properties here, though with the usual price premium of that chain.
Near the intersection of I-95 and I-20 is the well-regarded Courtyard Florence (2680 Hospitality Blvd., 843/662-7066, www.marriott.com , $100). There’s also the Fairfield Inn Florence (140 Dunbarton Dr., 843/669-1666, www.marriott.com , $100).
There’s one B&B of note in town, Ambrias Garden Manor (111 Kuker St., 843/661-6060, http://ambriasgardenmanor.com , $135), set in a 1920s mansion downtown and boasting a lovely camellia garden.
If you like fast food, you’ll love Florence. If you don’t, then the best of Florence’s handful of good restaurants is Old Europe Mediterranean Grill (944 S. Irby St., 843/413-0558, www.oldeuropegrill.com , Mon.–Wed. 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Thurs.–Fri. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sat. 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun. noon–3 p.m., $9–25). Sonny and Julie Shila present a large and diverse menu of Greek, Italian, and Middle Eastern foods ranging from falafel to Scallopa Romano to Egyptian Lamb. If you’re in town on a Saturday night, a belly-dancing show starts up around 7 p.m.
Another favorite for locals is Percy & Willie’s Food and Spirit (2401 David H. McLeod Blvd., 843/669-1620), which is always good for a juicy steak and a good time.
Roger’s Bar-B-Q House (2004 2nd Loop Rd., 843/667-9291) is highly regarded for its Carolina take on this Southern specialty. For pizza, check out Michael’s on the Loop (1937 2nd Loop Rd., 843/669-3771).
For Mexican/Southwestern food, try the regional chain Moe’s Southwest Grill (1940-A Hoffmeyer Rd., 843/661-7807, www.moes.com , Mon.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–9 p.m., $5–9).