florence chowder

Experience Oregon’s charm in one of our lovely small towns, where you’ll meet friendly locals, discover new attractions and explore scenic areas that are blissfully uncrowded.

Day One

Spend the first morning of your central coast adventure exploring huge sand dunes! Florence bookends 42 miles of towering, Sahara-like sand dunes known as the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Take your pick of sandy adventures, from horseback riding to dune buggy tours to ATV rentals. Or, strap on a board and try your hand at sandboarding (think snowboarding on sand) at SandMaster Park, the world’s first sandboarding park. Rentals and lessons are available.

Take a break from sandy adventures to enjoy Historic Old Town Florence, located near the Siuslaw River Bridge, just off Hwy. 101. This charming area hugs the Siuslaw River and features an array of boutiques, art galleries, antiques stores, gift shops, and restaurants serving fresh-from-the-ocean cuisine. Basically, enough to keep you happily busy from the afternoon until well after dinner.

Day Two

Drive north on Hwy 101 to visit the world-famous Sea Lion Caves, the only known home of wild Steller sea lions on the North American mainland. Thought to be the largest sea cave in the world (according to the Guinness Book of World Records), Sea Lion Caves is as long as a football field and as tall as a 12-story building. And you get to see it up close and personal – just take the elevator down 208 feet to view the cave and the sea lions in their natural habitat.

Next, continue north on Hwy 101 to visit the beautiful Heceta Head Lighthouse, one of nine sentinels on the Oregon coast. The keeper’s house, high on a hill overlooking the beach, is a bed and breakfast where overnight guests occupy the top floor and daytime visitors can tour the rest of the fully furnished late-19th century home. A path from the house leads up the hill to where the 56-foot lighthouse stands atop a 205-foot cliff. You can climb to the top of the tower to truly appreciate the spectacular views from this high above the Pacific Ocean.

End your journey at Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, the highest point on the Oregon coast. Here you can hike a network of trails, visit the interpretive center to learn about marine life, including migrating whales, as well as enjoy a spectacular sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

Flag as Incorrect

Is any of the information on this page incorrect?

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.

Share your thoughts Comments

Have something to say? Your Comment

  1. Your comment will be the first one for this story. Some might think of this as a lot of pressure, but as a trail blazer you recognize that someone has to be first. Your fellow travelers appreciate your opinion, so thanks in advance!

Win a Pendleton Blanket


Subscribe to the Travel Oregon email newsletter and be entered to win a commemorative Crater Lake Pendleton Blanket.

Click here for terms and conditions.

You're almost there!
Click the link in the email we just sent you to confirm your subscription.

Hmm, something went wrong, please try later.