Ultimate Guide To Fun Activities In Florence Oregon

Things To Do In Florence Oregon

Florence, Oregon brims with exciting attractions and activities. From natural wonders to historical sites, this coastal gem offers something for everyone.

Things To Do In Florence Oregon

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

We love exploring the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, a stunning 40-mile stretch of coastal dunes along the Pacific. It’s North America’s largest coastal dune system, offering a unique playground for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

From Florence to the south, these massive sand mountains create an otherworldly landscape that’s both beautiful and thrilling.

At the Oregon Dunes, we enjoy a variety of activities. Hiking trails like South Jetty Dunes and Oregon Dunes Loop Trail let us soak in the views. For a rush, we hop on guided dune buggy tours or ride horses across the sand.

Paddling through Cleawox Lake or Siltcoos River Trail gives us a different perspective. And for a bird’s-eye view, we take to the skies with Apex Helicopter or Tommy Aero Biplanes.

The dunes truly offer something for everyone.

Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint

Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint stands as a beacon of history on the Oregon coast. Perched 206 feet above the Pacific Ocean, this iconic lighthouse has guided ships since 1894.

Its powerful beam reaches an impressive 21 miles out to sea, making it a vital aid for maritime navigation. We find the 56-foot tower not only functional but also a picturesque landmark that draws visitors from far and wide.

For those seeking a deeper connection with this coastal gem, the park offers guided tours led by knowledgeable staff. These programs shed light on the lighthouse’s rich past and its ongoing importance.

Nearby, the assistant lightkeeper’s house now serves as a cozy bed and breakfast, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the lighthouse experience. A modest $5 parking fee grants access to this stunning viewpoint, where we can soak in breathtaking vistas of the rugged coastline and maybe even spot some marine life.

Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park

We love Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park, a gem just three miles south of Florence. This park offers more than 400 mostly level asphalt RV sites, perfect for a comfortable stay.

We’re always excited about the range of activities here – from kayaking on the lake to sandboarding on the dunes. For those who prefer solid ground, the hiking trails offer a great way to explore nature.

Our favorite part? The variety of camping options. Whether you’re in an RV, pitching a tent, or looking for a cozy yurt, Honeyman’s got you covered. It’s only two miles from the ocean, so you can easily mix forest and beach experiences.

Plus, with a $5 parking fee, it’s an affordable day out for everyone.

Oregon Coast Military Museum

At the Oregon Coast Military Museum, we step into a world of valor and sacrifice. This hidden gem in Florence covers military history from the Civil War to the Iraq War, offering a deep dive into our nation’s past.

Open Thursday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm, the museum brings history to life with veterans sharing their stories firsthand.

We’re struck by the ever-changing displays that cover various conflicts, ensuring each visit brings new insights. With an impressive 4.5 out of 5 rating from 50 reviews, it’s clear this museum resonates with visitors.

Florence Golf Links

We love Florence Golf Links, a gem nestled in this quiet coastal town. This par 72 course stretches 6,931 yards, offering golfers of all levels a challenging yet enjoyable experience.

In 2019, GolfAdvisor ranked it the 9th best course in Oregon, and it’s easy to see why. The layout, designed by renowned architect Rees Jones, earned a stellar 4½ star rating from Golf Digest.

Florence Golf Links isn’t just about its impressive stats. It’s got history too. Back in 1993, it was honored as the “Best New Public Course in America.” Today, it continues to impress with its well-maintained greens and stunning coastal views.

We’re fans of their flexible membership options, including the 2024 Annual Golf Pass and Links Card. Plus, booking tee times online is a breeze – perfect for spontaneous golf outings during your Florence visit.

Sea Lion Caves

At Sea Lion Caves, we’re treated to a natural wonder that’s truly one-of-a-kind. This privately owned wildlife preserve, located 11 miles north of Florence on the Oregon Coast, boasts America’s largest sea cave.

It’s home to the Steller sea lion and part of the Oregon/Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve. On a typical day, visitors might spot about 50 sea lions lounging in the cave, as noted in a recent review.

But there’s more to see than just sea lions. The cave offers a chance to observe sea birds, whales, and even interesting bones. A statue and informative video add to the educational experience.

For those of us seeking a quieter coastal adventure, Sea Lion Caves provides a unique glimpse into the marine life of the Oregon coastline. It’s a perfect stop for nature lovers exploring the smaller towns along Highway 101.

Coastal Treasures

Florence, Oregon’s coastal treasures offer a quiet escape for those seeking natural beauty. We love exploring the area’s hidden gems, like the Darlingtonia State Natural Site. This unique botanical wonder showcases carnivorous pitcher plants in their native habitat.

It’s a must-see for nature enthusiasts visiting the Oregon coast.

Our favorite coastal treasure is the Hobbit Trail near Heceta Head Lighthouse. This enchanting path winds through lush forest before opening up to stunning ocean vistas. Kim C. from La Crosse, WI, gave it a perfect 5-star rating, calling it a “picturesque hiking experience.” We couldn’t agree more – it’s a magical journey that captures the essence of Florence’s coastal charm.

Outdoor Adventures in and near Florence, Oregon

Florence, Oregon offers a wealth of outdoor adventures for nature lovers and thrill-seekers alike. From hiking scenic trails to riding the dunes, there’s no shortage of exciting activities to explore…

Keep reading to discover more about the outdoor experiences waiting for you in this coastal gem.

Hiking tours

We love exploring Florence’s hiking trails. They offer a perfect blend of natural beauty and tranquility. The South Jetty Dunes and Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park boast scenic paths for all skill levels.

Nature enthusiasts will find the Oregon Dunes Loop Trail a true gem.

For a magical experience, we recommend the Hobbit Trail. It winds through lush forests on the China Creek path, leading to breathtaking coastal views. A recent visitor from La Crosse gave it a perfect 5-star rating, praising its picturesque scenery.

These trails let us escape the bustle and connect with Oregon’s stunning landscapes.

Storm watching

We’ve discovered a thrilling winter activity in Florence, Oregon: storm watching. From November to March, the coast comes alive with nature’s raw power. Massive waves crash against rocky cliffs, creating a spectacular show.

We bundle up in warm layers, grab our binoculars, and head to safe viewpoints between Yachats and Florence.

Safety is key during this awe-inspiring experience. We always stay far from sea cliffs when winds are strong. A cozy lap blanket, camera, and binoculars are must-haves for our storm-watching adventures.

For the best views, we check into oceanfront lodgings like Driftwood Shores Beach Resort or the charming Heceta Lighthouse B&B. These spots offer front-row seats to nature’s grand performance.

Whale watching

We love whale watching along the Oregon coast near Florence. It’s a breathtaking experience to spot these gentle giants during their annual migration. Thousands of gray whales swim by each year, with peak times in winter and spring.

The best spots to catch a glimpse include Sea Lion Caves, Heceta Head Lighthouse, and Cape Perpetua.

Patience is key when searching for whales. We often spend hours scanning the horizon, dressed for the weather and armed with binoculars. Besides gray whales, we might spot humpbacks, orcas, or even rare blue whales if we’re lucky.

The sight of a whale breaching or spouting never fails to fill us with awe, making the wait worthwhile.

Horseback riding

We offer thrilling horseback adventures along the Oregon Coast near Florence. C&M Stables, just 8 miles north of town, provides various riding experiences for all skill levels. Our options include dune trail rides, morning adventures, and sunset beach outings.

For families with little ones, we have corral rides perfect for children. Sunset beach rides are a favorite, accommodating groups of 6 to 12 riders with advance booking.

Our coastal rides showcase breathtaking scenery, but beach conditions can vary. We can’t guarantee specific conditions ahead of time, so each ride brings its own unique charm. These equestrian experiences let us explore the quieter side of the Oregon coast, away from the bustle of bigger tourist spots.

It’s a chance to connect with nature and enjoy the area’s beauty from a different perspective.

Dune buggy tours and sandboarding

We love the thrill of dune buggy tours and sandboarding in Florence, Oregon. Sandland Adventures offers exhilarating rides on Sandrails or relaxing tours on Giant Dune Buggies. These adventures take us through the stunning Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, just a mile south of town.

The one-hour beach tour along the Pacific Ocean is a must-do experience.

For those seeking a unique outdoor activity, sandboarding down the massive dunes is a blast. It’s like snowboarding, but on sand. We can rent boards and wax from local shops, then spend hours sliding down the slopes.

Both dune buggies and sandboarding give us a fun way to explore Florence’s natural wonders.

ATV rentals

We offer thrilling ATV rentals in Florence, Oregon for those seeking an adrenaline rush on the sand dunes. Our off-road vehicles are available daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM at 1487 Highway 101.

Guests rave about the expert guides who ensure a safe yet exhilarating experience. These short trips, lasting under an hour, provide a perfect taste of dune exploration without overwhelming newcomers.

For visitors to our quiet coastal town, ATV rides offer a unique way to see the stunning landscape. The powerful machines let you zoom across the expansive Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, feeling the rush of wind and sand.

It’s an unforgettable adventure that showcases Florence’s natural beauty from a whole new perspective.

Discovering the Charm of Small Towns in Oregon

Oregon’s small towns offer a treasure trove of unique experiences for those seeking a quieter getaway. We’ve explored charming locales like Forest Grove, Hood River, and Astoria, each brimming with its own distinct character.

These communities blend natural beauty with modern conveniences, showcasing rolling hills, lush forests, and serene waterways. In places like Jacksonville or Cannon Beach, we’ve found strong community spirit and picturesque landscapes that capture the essence of small-town Oregon life.

Our travels have taken us to gems like Joseph and Baker City, where the pace slows and the scenery dazzles. These towns provide a glimpse into Oregon’s rich history and culture, with well-preserved architecture and local traditions.

From cozy bed and breakfasts to quaint main streets lined with boutique shops, these smaller communities invite visitors to step back in time while enjoying contemporary comforts. The blend of outdoor activities, local art scenes, and friendly faces makes Oregon’s small towns ideal for those looking to escape the hustle of city life.

Exploring the Mysteries of Oregon’s Ghost Towns

We love exploring Oregon’s ghost towns – they’re like time capsules of the past. Our state boasts the highest number of ghost towns in the country, with 200 counted so far. These once-thriving communities sprang up during economic booms, then faded away as fortunes changed.

Now, they stand as silent witnesses to history, waiting for curious visitors like us to uncover their secrets.

Some well-known ghost towns we’ve visited include Golden, Buncom, and Shaniko. Each has its own unique story and charm. But exploring these abandoned places requires preparation. We always bring reliable transportation, extra gas, and a satellite phone or emergency beacon.

It’s crucial to listen to locals and get permission before entering private property. These precautions ensure we can safely enjoy the eerie beauty and rich history of Oregon’s forgotten towns.

Treasured Towns on the Oregon Coast

Along Oregon’s stunning coastline, we find charming towns that offer a slower pace and unique experiences. Florence, known as “Oregon’s Coastal Playground,” sits an hour west of Eugene-Springfield and boasts attractions like Heceta Head Lighthouse and Sea Lion Caves.

This coastal gem invites us to explore its historic old town, filled with local eateries and shops. We can’t miss the Florence Farmers Market or the annual Rods ‘N’ Rhodies Car Show, both showcasing the town’s community spirit.

Nearby, we discover other treasured coastal spots. Yachats, with its rocky shoreline and tide pools, provides a perfect setting for storm watching. Depoe Bay, famous for its whale watching, offers a chance to spot gray whales year-round.

These small towns along the Oregon coast give us a taste of local culture, fresh seafood, and breathtaking ocean views – all while avoiding the crowds of larger tourist destinations.

Places to Stay and Eat in Florence, Oregon

Florence offers a range of dining spots and places to rest your head. From cozy bed and breakfasts to beachfront hotels, you’ll find the perfect spot to unwind after a day of coastal fun.

Local restaurants and breweries

We’ve explored the local culinary scene in Florence, Oregon, to bring you the best dining experiences. Here’s our guide to the top restaurants and breweries in this charming coastal town:

  1. Waterfront Depot Restaurant: This highly-rated eatery boasts 4.5 out of 5 bubbles from 1,346 reviews. Known for its delectable seafood offerings, it falls in the $$-$$$ price range. We recommend trying their fresh catch of the day.
  2. Homegrown Public House: A local favorite, this pub serves up hearty comfort food and craft beers. Their menu features locally-sourced ingredients and a rotating tap list of Oregon brews.
  3. Bridgewater Fish House & Zebra Bar: Offering a unique dining experience, this restaurant combines fresh seafood with a vibrant zebra-themed bar. Don’t miss their signature crab cakes.
  4. Mo’s Restaurant: A staple of the Oregon coast, Mo’s is famous for its clam chowder. The casual atmosphere and ocean views make it perfect for a relaxed meal.
  5. Beachcomber Pub: This laid-back spot offers a great selection of local beers and pub grub. Their fish and chips are a must-try.
  6. Nosh Eatery: For those seeking healthier options, Nosh offers fresh salads, sandwiches, and smoothies. Their outdoor seating area is ideal for sunny days.
  7. River Roasters: This cozy coffee shop serves up excellent brews and light bites. It’s a great spot to start your day or take an afternoon break.
  8. Lovejoy’s Restaurant & Tea Room: Step back in time at this charming tea room. They offer a full English tea service along with light lunches.
  9. 1285 Restobar: This upscale dining option features a fusion of American and Mediterranean cuisines. Their wine list showcases local Oregon vintages.
  10. Siuslaw River Coffee Roasters: Another great coffee spot, they roast their beans in-house. Try their specialty lattes for a unique flavor experience.

Lodging options (hotels, campgrounds, B&Bs)

Florence, Oregon offers a variety of cozy lodging options for travelers seeking a quiet getaway. Our area boasts accommodations to suit every preference and budget, from charming bed and breakfasts to scenic campgrounds.

  1. Hotels: Florence has several comfortable hotels, with prices starting at $70 per night in 2024. Many offer ocean views, on-site restaurants, and easy access to local attractions like the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.
  2. Campgrounds: For outdoor enthusiasts, Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park provides beautiful campsites. Visitors can enjoy hiking, fishing, and sandboarding just steps from their tents or RVs.
  3. Bed and Breakfasts: Old Town Florence features quaint B&Bs in restored Victorian homes. These intimate settings often include homemade breakfasts and personalized recommendations from local hosts.
  4. Vacation Rentals: Families or groups might prefer renting a full house or condo. These options usually come with kitchens and more space, perfect for longer stays.
  5. Motels: Budget-conscious travelers can find clean, no-frills motels along Highway 101. They’re often family-owned and provide a simple base for exploring the area.
  6. Seaside Inns: Some properties sit right on the coast, offering stunning views of the Pacific. Fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves and wake up to beachcombing opportunities.
  7. Resort-Style Accommodations: Three Rivers Casino Resort provides lodging with on-site entertainment, dining, and gaming options for those seeking more amenities.
  8. Pet-Friendly Options: Many Florence area lodgings welcome four-legged family members, making it easy to bring pets along on your coastal adventure.

Things To Do In Florence Oregon – Events and Signature Experiences

Florence buzzes with excitement year-round. Our town hosts unique events and experiences that capture the essence of coastal Oregon life.

Upcoming events

We’re excited to share some upcoming events in Florence, Oregon that capture the town’s charm and community spirit. These gatherings offer a perfect blend of local culture and small-town hospitality for visitors seeking a quieter coastal experience.

  • Florence Farmers Market: Every Tuesday from May through October, locals and tourists alike flock to this vibrant market. Here, you’ll find fresh produce, artisanal crafts, and live music that showcase the best of Oregon’s coastal bounty.
  • Rods ‘N’ Rhodies Car Show: This September event transforms Florence’s historic Old Town into a classic car lover’s paradise. Vintage vehicles line the streets, accompanied by live music and local food vendors.
  • Winter Music Festival: Held in January, this cozy event features bluegrass, folk, and Americana performances. It’s a great way to experience Florence’s arts scene while escaping the winter chill.
  • Rhododendron Festival: This May celebration is Florence’s longest-running event. Parades, carnival rides, and flower displays mark the arrival of spring in this coastal town.
  • Circles in the Sand: Throughout summer, artists create intricate sand labyrinths on the beach. These temporary masterpieces offer a unique meditative experience for visitors.
  • Chowder, Blues & Brews: This October festival combines Oregon’s famous seafood with live blues music and craft beer tastings. It’s a feast for all senses in Florence’s Old Town.

Signature experiences (Florence Farmers Market, Rods ‘N’ Rhodies Car Show, Circles in the Sand)

Florence offers unique experiences that capture the essence of coastal Oregon life. At the Florence Farmers Market, we shop for fresh local produce and handcrafted goods while chatting with friendly vendors.

The Rods ‘N’ Rhodies Car Show brings classic automobiles to town, raising funds for local charities. It’s a great chance to admire vintage vehicles and support the community.

For a truly magical experience, we head to the beach to see Circles in the Sand. These intricate labyrinths are created right on the shoreline, inviting us to walk their paths and ponder life’s journey.

As the tide washes them away, we’re reminded of nature’s constant change and beauty.

Things To Do In Florence Oregon Conclusion

We’ve explored the best of Florence, Oregon – from sandy dunes to lighthouses. Our guide covers outdoor adventures, charming small towns, and local flavors. We hope you’re inspired to visit this coastal gem.

Pack your bags and set off for an unforgettable journey filled with natural wonders and warm hospitality. Your perfect Florence getaway awaits!

Things To Do In Florence Oregon FAQs

1. What’s the deal with the Exploding Whale Memorial in Florence, Oregon?

The Exploding Whale Memorial Park is a unique attraction in Florence. It commemorates a 1970 event where officials tried to remove a dead whale with dynamite. The park offers a quirky slice of local history.

2. Are there any museums worth visiting in Florence?

Yes! The Siuslaw Pioneer Museum is a must-see. It showcases the area’s rich history. You’ll find interesting items and exhibits about early settlers and the region’s development.

3. Where can I get info about local activities?

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is your go-to source. They provide details on events, attractions, and things to do in Florence, Oregon. Stop by for brochures and local tips.

4. Can I explore any nature trails near Florence?

Absolutely! The Oregon Coast Trails offer stunning views. You can hike along beaches, through forests, and up to scenic viewpoints. It’s a great way to experience the natural beauty of the area.

5. What’s a lesser-known spot I shouldn’t miss?

Check out the Yaquina area. It’s often overlooked but offers beautiful scenery and outdoor activities. You might spot wildlife or enjoy a peaceful walk away from the crowds.

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