Florence snuggles between the Siuslaw River to the west and south and the North Fork of the Siuslaw River to the east. The northwest corner of Florence meets the Pacific Ocean. Florence has a little of everything.
Slightly to the north of Florence you will find Sea Lion Caves. Several varieties of birds and the sea lions make their home in these sea caves. The huge cave is filled with sounds from the sea lions, the birds, and rhythm of the waves. You may well want to cover your ears to block some of the noise.
A little farther south is beautiful Heceta Head Lighthouse. It is one of the most photographed lighthouses in Oregon. It towers 56 feet above the top of Heceta Head, which is 205 feet above the ocean. The automated light installed in 1894, is still the strongest light on the Oregon Coast. It can be seen 21 miles from the coast. The lighthouse is currently closed for renovations, but it still a great place to stop and enjoy the view or hike in the area. You can also see how many of the over 450 different birds identified in the area you can spot.
Old Town Florence has the charm and friendliness of by gone days. The streets are lined with beautiful flower boxes, benches and the Old Town Gazebo for resting and enjoying the sites, and charming shops with unique merchandise to peruse. Browse the art galleries, gift shops, and be sure to check out Nan’s White Rabbit Cottage. Nana’s has a constantly changing inventory of antiques, glassware, ironwork, linens, china, jewelry, candles, and other unique gift items.
Since Florence borders both on the ocean and the Siuslaw River, so you can enjoy water sports such as fishing in either place. Florence’s beaches are great for crabbing, diving, kayaking, paddle boating, scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, surfing, water-skiing, or windsurfing. Florence is perfect for kite flyers’ and horseback riders as well. Horseback riding on the beach is available with C & M Stables. The equipment you need for most of these is available for rent at reasonable rates in Florence at Central Coast Water Sports.
A newcomer to Florence is the Oregon Coast Military Heritage Museum. It was the brainstorm of Air Force veteran Sam Spayd that got the museum started. The museum, housed in an airplane hangar while the museum is under construction, already has displays that contain old rifles, posters, radio equipment, and authentic Nazi propaganda postcards with pictures of Hitler on them.
South of Florence is Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Here you will find giant sand dunes, extending to nearly 500 feet high and almost 3 miles wide. The dunes go all the way from Florence to Coos Bay. You can take a dune buggy ride through the shifting sands or go horseback riding. Either way you will have an unforgettable experience.
Florence offers some incomparable activities. Come, explore, and enjoy!
Article written by Mary Boyer
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