A Weekend in Florence on the Oregon Coast
Located at the confluence of the Siuslaw River and the Pacific Ocean, Florence welcomes visitors to experience the diverse wonders of the central Oregon Coast. Explore charming and historic Old Town on the river before viewing wildlife along dramatic coastal headlands. Immerse yourself in the dynamic ecosystem of the Oregon Dunes with a quiet kayak tour or an exciting dune buggy ride.
During early spring months, travel to the coast to see the gray whales migrating north past Oregon’s 363 miles of beaches, dunes and headlands. Hike three miles through forest, past meadows and across sand from Washburne State Park to Heceta Head Lighthouse for a great vantage to watch these incredible mammals. Along the way, keep an eye out for Roosevelt elk and other wildlife.
On your way back to Florence, don’t miss Sea Lion Caves. This popular roadside attraction is acknowledged to be the world’s largest sea cave by Guinness World Records. Take the elevator down 12 stories to the cavernous basalt opening to hear the chorus of barking Steller sea lions up close and personal. Back in Old Town Florence, explore local shops, a riverfront boardwalk and the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum before settling into an incredible meal of grilled snapper or fresh Dungeness crab at Feast Restaurant.
On your second day, give your legs a rest and let your arms propel you through the unique environment of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Book a trip with Oregon by Kayak and spend the day paddling the Siltcoos River Canoe Trail, a small river outlet from Siltcoos Lake that travels through forests, dunes and a wide estuary that opens into the ocean. Look out for belted kingfishers, great blue herons, and river otters, or even sea lions when you reach the beach.
If time constraints only allow for a quick trip, stop in at a local dune buggy guide company to take an exciting ride up and over this immense dunescape, with some towering as high as 300 feet. After another amazing meal in Old Town or a visit with Lady Luck at Three Rivers Casino, hit the beach for a sunset stroll. Check out some of the other great places to stay , eat and play in Florence.
For more information on this area, contact Eugene, Cascades & Coast – Travel Lane County at www.TravelLaneCounty.org/Oregon-coast or 800.547.5445
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In this Itinerary
These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.