Living Here

The Shoals offers an excellent quality of life for its 150,000+ residents. With the natural beauty of the Tennessee River and an abundance of flora and fauna, outdoor enthusiasts enjoy a wide range of activities. Whether it’s golfing on one of our championship courses; boating or fishing on Wheeler, Wilson, or Pickwick Lakes; or, just enjoying a stroll in one of our numerous parks, there is something for everyone’s taste.


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 ShoalsMiles by RoadTypical Drive-Time
Huntsville, AL 63 miles 1 hour
Birmingham, AL 117 miles 2.5 hour
Nashville, TN 120 miles 2 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 (www.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.
      Alabama MSAC2ER 2017 Average Cost of Living Index
      Decatur 85.3
      Dothan 87.1
      Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville  87.6
      Florence-Muscle Shoals 88.1
      Birmingham-Hoover 91.4
      Montgomery 92.2
      Auburn-Opelika 92.5
      Mobile 93.0
      Huntsville 95.3
    • Local property taxes are low, as well as the state personal income tax.
    • Movoto.com – a real estate trends site, ranked Muscle Shoals as one of the smartest cities in Alabama based on graduation rates and education institutions per capita.
    • Listed as one of the 2017 Best Places to Live in Alabama by NICHE.


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 Creek are just a few of the adventures awaiting the outdoor enthusiast.

    • USA Today named Florence one of the most picturesque small towns in Alabama.  USA Today writes “Florence sits on the Tennessee River in North Alabama and is a gateway to Helen Keller’s home in nearby Tuscumbia and Muscle Shoals’ tremendous music scene”.
    • The American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2017 report listed Florence and The Shoals as “One of the cleanest cities in the U.S.”

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.

Only In Your State said “Florence has one of the best downtown areas in Alabama.”

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 birth place of Helen Keller, the early life and history of the historic figure.

    • Southern Living has listed Florence in the “South’s Best College Towns (2016)” and the “South’s Best Small Towns (2016)”.
    • Jet Setter Magazine listed Florence as one of the “Coolest Southern Towns”.
    • The Shoals is one of the stops on the Americana Music Triangle.

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 ethic dining spots, an entrepreneur in the Shoals can enjoy quality food perfect for chatting business or refueling after a hard day's work. The Shoals was featured in Food Traveler Magazine as one of the top destinations for food in the Southeast