Muscle Shoals, Alabama, U.S.

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 “The Shoals" - the Nation’s Fifth-Safest Place to Live


The cities of Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia, Sheffield, and Florence are collectively called “The Shoals," and are ranked as the nation’s fifth-safest place to live. The Shoals area boasts affordable housing, low property taxes, and a low cost of living. According to analysis by the website, Florence-Muscle Shoals is the most affordable small metro area in the United States, with the overall cost of living 17.6% less than the national average.  

Like Constellium, the Shoals area is reducing its carbon footprint by investing in renewable energy. With two hydroelectric dams, 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. The city of Florence achieved the Tennessee Valley Authority's Gold Sustainable Community designation and is currently progressing to Platinum status.  

Florence is located in Lauderdale County, and Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia are in Colbert County. The counties share a Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Authority, but have separate visitor centers and municipalities. Florence is the largest city in Lauderdale County, with four distinct seasons and a moderate climate. The yearly median temperature is 62° F, with a 43° average for January and 85° in July. Rainfall averages 50 inches annually.  

A great feature of this corner of Alabama is the variety it offers. Music lovers can experience the famous “Muscle Shoals Sound” and countless public music festivals. Historians can visit the birthplace of Helen Keller, celebrate her life at an annual festival, and tour other historical sites. A vibrant cultural scene offers art exhibits, architecture, theaters, galleries, and festivals. The area is rich with outdoor activities: multiple golf courses and disc golf; hiking scenic vistas, canyons, and waterfalls; and boating or fishing Pickwick and Wilson Lakes.