Although it's not considered a big city, it is a growing city and one of the bigger cities in South Carolina. With many chained restaurants popping up and as one of the pit stops to Myrtle Beach, many visit here for lunch or dinner before continuing their way to the beach. Southern hospitality is at its best here. Everyone is very nice. Stay near the Magnolia Mall if you plan to visit. It has a lot newer hotels with shopping and restaurants close by.
I lived in Florence for 10 years now, and I can tell you that Florence is a great place to shop, but not a great place to live for a long time. Florence a great starting place to go visit charleston or savanna, but not a great place to live a long time.
I stayed in Florence South Carolina at a nice Hampton Inn just off of route 95 on my way to Florida. It was a pleasant place and would not hesitate to return.