Florence is a small city that has always drawn big crowds because of its proximity to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. As appreciation for the dunes grows outside of their value for sandy sport, Florence has accordingly dusted off and tidied up. In addition to beautiful beaches out of town, Florence has a little harbor and small downtown area easily explored on an afternoon meander.
For more serious walking, head south along the coast where a number of trails, varying in length from a short one mile hike to longer day-hikes cut through the dunes. The Stagecoach trail, seven miles south of Florence, offers wildlife viewing. Rinse off the sand in Cleawox or Woahink Lake in Jessie M Honeyman State Park and throw down your tent at any number of State or US Forest Service sites in the area where campers can enjoy views of the beach from the comfort of a sleeping bag.
If you're in Florence for some off-road action, there are several places where off-highway vehicles -- dune buggies, ATV's, motorcycles - are up for rent, and plenty more places where they can be ridden.
Drive north for Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint and a tour around the functioning light house and the expected coastal views. On the way, stop off at the famous Sea Lion Caves for chance to see nearly 200 sea lions in a cave raise a ruckus that has to be seen (heard and smelled) to be believed.
Florence is 50 miles south of Newport on Highway 101 and 63 miles west of Eugene on Highway 126. To learn more about the area, please select a topic of interest from the navigation bar on the left.