Beachcombers NW

Exploring Florence, Oregon: The Best Things to See and Do

June 3, 2022

Categories: Florence | Central Oregon Coast

Sunset at Heceta Head Lighthouse, ocean view, and folks watching the sun going down.

Tourists come from all over the world to explore Florence, Oregon. The city is full of beautiful landscapes and exciting adventures! There are so many things to do in Florence that it can be hard to decide first. Florence is located in Lane County, Oregon, about halfway between Eugene and the coast. Below are some of the best attractions that people love when exploring Florence:

 

Best Things To See In Florence, Oregon

 

Heceta Head Lighthouse:

The Heceta Head Lighthouse is another must-see in Florence. This picturesque lighthouse offers breathtaking views of the Oregon Coast, and visitors can even stay overnight in the historic keeper's house! The Heceta Head Lighthouse is located just north of town, and you can reach it by driving north of Florence on Highway 101 for a 15-20 minute drive. You can also get there by foot, if you are up for a scenic but challenging hike along a section of the Oregon Coast Trail.

 

Florence Events Center:

The Florence Events Center is a great place to catch a concert or show while you're in town. This state-of-the-art facility hosts everything from small local performances to big-name touring acts, so there's something for everyone. The Florence Events Center is located just south of the town center, and you can reach it by taking a short drive on Spruce St or 6th street and Highway 101.

 

Sea Lion Caves:

The Sea Lion Caves are one of Florence's most popular tourist destinations. These caves are home to a large colony of sea lions, and visitors can watch them play and lounge on the rocks from an observation deck. The caves are also open to exploration on foot, and guests can climb down a flight of stairs to get up close and personal with these amazing creatures! You can reach the Sea Lion Caves by taking a short drive north of Florence on Highway 101.

 

Huge sand dune with two people a the top having fun in the sun.

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area:

The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is a vast expanse of sand dunes perfect for hiking, camping, and ATV riding. This area offers something for everyone, and it's one of the most popular tourist destinations in Oregon. The Oregon Dunes National Recreation is located just south of Florence, and you can reach it by taking a short drive on Highway 101.

 

Jessie M. Honeyman State Park:

If you're looking for a great place to spend a day outdoors, look no further than Jessie M. Honeyman State Park! This park is home to over 5000 acres of forest land and miles of hiking trails, making it the perfect spot for nature lovers. The park also features a large lake that's perfect for swimming, fishing, and kayaking. You can reach Jessie M. Honeyman State Park by taking a short drive south of Florence on Highway 101.

 

Hobbit Trail Trailhead:

The Hobbit Trail is a great place for hikers and mountain bikers of all skill levels. This easy trail winds its way through the forest, providing beautiful views of the Oregon Coast. The trail leads through stands of Sitka spruce and rhododendrons that line the coast before ending at an overlook with views over normal-sized waves rolling in toward shore as well as small ones playing out too far below you for any observer (or perhaps even rafter) on this side. The Hobbit Trailhead is located northeast of Florence on Highway 101, making it a convenient spot to start your adventure, with a 20-minute drive.

 

Heceta Beach view from Traxlers Cottage

View of beautiful Heceta Beach from Traxlers Cottage

Heceta Beach:

Heceta Beach is a beautiful stretch of sand that's perfect for a day of relaxing. This beach is great for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. You can also go fishing, crabbing, and clamming in the nearby Heceta Head State Park. Heceta Beach is located just north of Florence on Highway 101.

 

Siuslaw River:

The Siuslaw River is one of the best places in Florence for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. This river winds its way through the city, and there are plenty of spots to stop and enjoy the scenery. You can reach the Siuslaw River by taking Spruce St south from downtown Florence. The Siuslaw River Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in Florence. This historic bridge spans the Siuslaw River and offers stunning cityscape views. The bridge is also a popular spot for fishing and birdwatching. You can reach the Siuslaw River Bridge by taking a short walk or driving across town on Bay St.

 

Historic Old Town:

You'll find this riverfront Historic Old Town area of Florence, is a great place to spend an afternoon exploring. This area is home to various shops, restaurants, and cafes. Old Town is located in the heart of Florence, and you can reach it by taking a short walk from anywhere in the city center.

 

Darlingtonia State Natural Site:

The Darlingtonia State Natural Site is a botanical garden that's home to some of the unique plants in Oregon. This garden features a variety of rare and endangered plants, including the carnivorous pitcher plant. The Darlingtonia State Natural Site is located just north of Florence on Highway 101.

 

Neptune State Park:

Neptune State Park is a beautiful park that's home to the widest beach in Oregon. This park is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. You can also go fishing, crabbing, and clamming in the nearby Heceta Head State Park. Neptune State Park is located north of Florence on Highway 101, near Yachats.

 

What's Special, And Different 

Adventure lovers will find lots to do in Florence, from hiking and biking to fishing, bird watching, and kayaking. For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, plenty of museums and art galleries are to explore. And no visit to Florence would be complete without sampling some of the region's delicious food.

Today, Florence is a popular tourist destination thanks to its charming historic downtown district and its location on the scenic Oregon Coast. Here are some of the adventurous highlights you won't want to miss when exploring Florence:

The Oregon Coast is world-famous for its stunning scenery, and Florence is located right in the heart of it. Drive or bike along the scenic highway to experience dramatic cliffs, lovely beaches, and charming coastal towns.

If you're looking for some fresh air and exercise, head to one of Florence's many parks and trails. Take hike on the Hobbit Trail and China Creek Trail Loop or explore the acres of forest and wetlands at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.

Florence is also a great place to enjoy some good food. There are plenty of restaurants serving up fresh seafood, local produce, and delicious Oregon wines. So why not sit back and relax with a glass of wine while enjoying the views from one of Florence's waterfront restaurants.

 

Places To Look For Great Dining Experiences In Florence

River Roasters 

One of the most popular places to eat in Florence is River Roasters, a café, and roastery that serves up fresh coffee and pastries along with delicious sandwiches, salads, and soups.

1285 Restobar

You'll find a taste of Italy right in this resto-bar that offers Campania region-inspired dishes and hand-made pizza. They also offer vegetarian options with gluten-free choices for those who need it; plus, they have import on tap too! Pair that perfect mealtime experience off-menu by enjoying a beer or wine featuring local microbrews paired perfectly alongside bottles from around the world.

Bridgewater Fish House and Zebra Bar

If you're looking for fresh seafood, head to the Bridgewater Fish House. They serve up everything from crab legs and lobster rolls to fish and chips. This bar and grill offer a wide variety of dishes, including salmon, shrimp, and steak. They also have a large selection of microbrews and Oregon wines. This is the perfect place to go for seafood, steak, and cocktails. The menu has a wide variety of items to choose from, and there's something for everyone. The Zebra Bar is a great place to relax with a drink after dinner.

La Pomodori Ristorante

This charming Italian restaurant offers a menu of classic dishes with a Northwestern twist. Start your meal with one of their delicious appetizers, such as the roasted beet salad or the baked clams. For your main course, try the chicken parmigiana or the spaghetti carbonara. And be sure to save room for dessert! The tiramisu is a must-try. They have an extensive wine list, as well as cocktails and desserts.

 

Oceanfront Adirondack chairs overlooking Heceta Beach from Whales Watch vacation home

Whales Watch beachfront vacation home 

Places to Stay

Find a great selection of beach rentals in Florence at Beachcombers NW to accommodate your stay. Choose from oceanfront homes with amazing ocean views to lakefront cabins complete with with your own dock!

 

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