Florence is the center of the most diverse coastal recreation wonderland in the Pacific Northwest. To the north, lush pine forests cover mountain slopes that rise precipitously from the sea. The lovely little Siuslaw River estuary adjoins the heart of town. Mammoth sand dunes along the far side of the river extend to the ocean a mile to the west. Southward along the coast for more than forty miles are some of the world’s most spectacular sand formations. Numerous small freshwater lakes with sandy or pine-forested shorelines are tucked into the surrounding countryside. Temperatures are moderate year-round. Wild rhododendron bushes bloom throughout the area in late spring following long, very wet winters.
The village grew slowly after settlement began during the 1870s. A bridge was completed in 1936 as one of the final links in the Oregon coast highway. Businesses gradually relocated along the busy thoroughfare and nearly abandoned the original heart of town. The beguiling old business district was happily rediscovered and brought back to life during the 1970s, and the estuary was reopened to navigation.
Today, Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, Siuslaw National Forest, and state parks protect an extraordinary range of natural attractions with unlimited recreation opportunities. Highway-fronting uptown, while lacking in charm, provides for basic needs and ample lodgings, while Old Town burgeons as the rediscovered soul of Florence with many of the region’s best specialty shops. restaurants and lodging choices.
For more information, go to Florence Area Chamber of Commerce.
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