Florence Travel Guide

  • Sea Lion Lookout
    Sea Lion Lookout
    by dustmon
  • nesting pigeon guillemot
    nesting pigeon guillemot
    by dustmon
  • entrance
    entrance
    by dustmon

Florence Highlights

  • Pro
    caffeine_induced78 profile photo

    caffeine_induced78 says…

     close to Eugene. Quiet. 

  • Con
    Ken_Weaver profile photo

    Ken_Weaver says…

     Rain, Rain, Rain 

  • In a nutshell
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    KimberlyAnn says…

     Pick your time, pack your raincoat, and enjoy this beautiful area of the U.S. 

Florence Things to Do

  • We booked our activity through Sand...

    We booked our activity through Sand Dunes Frontier. They have experienced tour guides and drivers. We love our driver because he knows which part to stop in the sand dunes and he was very sensitive to the customers.When we were on the sand dune truck, a kid started crying and he tried to tell the parents what to do and he also tried to avoid the...

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  • Sea Lion Caves

    We were a little leery of coming here, as it is a pretty garish tourist site, but we wanted to see some sea lions close up and decided to brave the scene...Glad we did!!! The lookout has views of over 200 sea lions (with a telephoto lens they show up very well!) and we also saw some rare birds nesting up in the upper reaches of the caves---there is...

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  • Just 60 miles West of Eugene

    Just 60 miles West of Eugene, Florence offers one of a kind attractions, outdoor activities, unique festivals, exciting events and spectacular sceneryExperience the serenity of the Oregon Coast with a scenic tour by air and view the historic Heceta Head Lighthouse and the miles of coastal dunes and trails, ideal for hiking, dune buggy riding and...

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Florence Hotels

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Florence Restaurants

  • Located on beautiful Oregon coast

    In 1999 Mo's Clam Chowder would be a featured entree at the first luncheon ever held in the Smithsonian Institute, which celebrated "Best American Regional Foods."

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  • Boats unloading daily

    International C-Food Market Restaurant, built by Owner Ed Millerstrom, with the help of many talented local people, is the newest and most exciting seafood restaurant on the Oregon Coast - in Old Town Florence, overlooking the Siuslaw River.

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  • Lovely at Wood Wizzard

    Spot is a lovely, romantic looking, cosy cafe. Not sure about its name, if I got it right, it neighbors or belongs to Wood Wizzard Gallery? However, at the cafe one can choose from a huge varity of coffee and hot chocolate to drink there or to go. Cafe provids internet access. Much parking space.

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Florence Nightlife

  • Etoile2B's Profile Photo
    Still open in the am!

    by Etoile2B Written Feb 5, 2007

    After our wonderful dinner we headed into a local bar for a drink before retiring to our hotel. The Old Town was dead, spare the Beachcomber Tavern. The drinks were cheap, college football played on the televisions and locals were quite a site. It's the kind of place where the bartender knows everyone and the kitchen serves up fried bar food. Definitely off the beaten path and an amusing experience. The people watching alone makes it worth while!

    Dress Code: Super casual, anything goes.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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Florence Transportation

  • The sandrail

    The sandrail is definitely great for spouses, partners, or pairs. It is usually driven by a professional driver for safety reasons.

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  • The motor bike

    I had seen some people riding on their bikes. They were driving up and down the oasis and around the oasis.

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  • The ATV

    This is the best way to ride if you wanted more freedom in going to the park. It is advisable, however, to have a companion because you might get lost in the dunes. Remember, it's about 68 miles of dunes!

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Florence Shopping

  • Maria250's Profile Photo
    Florence 2 more images

    by Maria250 Updated Aug 8, 2011

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    The Historic Old Town Florence is the perfect place to spend time exploring art galleries, antique stores, gift and specialty shops, wine tasting and restaurants serving regional foods and wines. The Old Town features activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Stroll along while enjoying ice cream or espresso and watch artists at work. After a busy day of shopping, golfing or exploring the area's many attractions, you may enjoy a dinner and a movie or dance to live music in Historic Old Town Florence. Florence has many live music places, many friendly smiling bikers showing up with their Harleys and Choppers. Amazing the way all of the ppl there, are relaxing and enjoying themselves, the sun and the many of outdoor coffee places.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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Florence Local Customs

  • Racing in the sand dunes

    Only the locals do the racing because they are familiar with the pits, dips and heights of the sand dunes.

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  • Florence Events Center

    Whether it is an evening at the theater, or a conference for 400, an elegant wedding, a weekend of Chowder, Blues and Brews, or Storybook Theater's presentation of Oliver or Wizard of Oz, there is something for everyone at the Florence Events Center. Some of the events that are hosted include the Oregon Police Chiefs Association Convention, Coast...

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  • Florence Hotels

    11 Hotels in Florence

    443 Reviews and Opinions

Florence Warnings and Dangers

  • Accidents with ATV's

    According to our dune buggy driver, there were some accidents in the dunes involving ATV's. Both drivers were brought to the hospital. The dunes have mounds and drivers can't see on the other side of the mound. When both drivers are not looking out for other ATV's, accidents happen.

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  • Getting lost in the sand dunes

    When there is a strong wind, the shapes and heights of the sand dunes change that even the professional drivers have difficulty in finding their ways back to the exit of the sand dunes. It is better to have a driver rather than driving the ATV's or sand rails by yourself.

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  • Dont Run to the Beach to Watch the...

    Because Florence is so close to the ocean and located at the mouth of the Suislaw River, it is vulnerable to tsunamis and has a three siren warning system in place. The siren is tested on the last Saturday of the month at 11am. If you hear it at that time it is a test and you do not call 9-1-1! If at any other time you hear a wailing sound that...

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Florence Tourist Traps

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo
    Gift shop/ticket office at Sea Lion Caves

    by mtncorg Written Oct 27, 2004

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    On a busy weekend in the summer, things get quite hectic on this part of US 101, people scurrying across the highway from the overflow parking lot to the Gift Shop/Ticket Office building perched high above the Pacific Ocean on Sea Lion Cape. Far below is the World's largest sea cave and the only mainland sea lion rookery in the United States. There is a paved short walk from the Ticket Office down to an elevator which takes you down a couple hundred feet to a windowed viewing area of the cave and the 200 Stellar sea lions that call this home. In the spring and summer, the sea lions, for the most part stay outside the cave, but in the fall and winter, they fill the rocks inside. No flash photography is allowed - use fast film. The cost is $7.50 for the elevator ride down.

    Unique Suggestions: The view is quite worth the cost ... out of the summer season; when the crowds of sea lions are there and the people are not, giving you time to enjoy the view of the marine mammals in their environment at length.

    Fun Alternatives: If you don't take the elevator down, then at least wander over to the cliffside viewpoints where you can watch the sea lions cavorting in the crashing waves, two hundred feet below.

    www.sealioncaves.com
    91560 Hwy. 101 N., Florence, OR 97439
    541.547.3111

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Photography
    • Whale Watching

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Florence What to Pack

  • Wear a jacket with a hood and sun...

    Jackets, long sleeves, slippers, flip-flops are the best attire here. This will protect you from the sand when the wind blows or if you are riding the buggy or ATV. When the sand brushes your skin, it hurts! And, make sure to wear sun glasses so the sand will not get into your eyes!

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  • Packing List

    Raincoats---you may need them, we did! Not exactly equipment, but If you are going here with a plan to do some photography, I would suggest you investigate what the best time of the year would be. We were here the first week in April and had flat, dull, gray skies the complete time.

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  • Packing List

    It can get windy in the afternoon, so take a sweater or sweatshirt with you. Also wear long pants. Fall is the best season because it isn't windy and it is sunny. Always wear sunscreen even though it is windy, you can get burned very bad. Your camera is a must. Bring lots of film. Bring any extra batteries if not a popular size. No camera shops...

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Florence Off The Beaten Path

  • Hot rods and custom cruisers

    The Annual Invitational Rods ‘n Rhodies Car Show, 1972 and older. It’s going to be a weekend of fun. Florence’s historic Old Town comes alive with the sights and sounds of some of America’s best rods and custom cruisers. What better place to celebrate the end of the rodding season in the Northwest.

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  • Where else in the world does Florence...

    Like those signs throughout the town. Thought the link below provids interesting informations on Florence and OR generally.

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  • Camping at Harbor Vista Park

    Harbor Vista Park offers tent and recreational vehicle camping on a year round basis. It is one of the few campgrounds on the Oregon coast with an ocean view, perched above the North Jetty of the Siuslaw River. Harbor Vista is located 3 miles north of Florence on North Jetty Road.

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Florence Sports & Outdoors

  • nwmountaingirl's Profile Photo
    Exploring the Dunes

    by nwmountaingirl Updated Nov 14, 2005

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    If you thrive on adrenaline then you'll really enjoy playing in the dunes. You can always pay to ride in a guided dune buggy, which I imagine would be exhilerating, because they reach speeds of up to 60 mph, but it can be just as fun if you have your own vehicle to drive. I mean a vehicle that is equipped for this type of fun.

    Caution should be taken. Not everyone looks where they are going so you have to constantly be aware of your surroundings. When you are at the top of a hill, stay far enough way from the edge so riders coming up will not run into you, or nearest the edge so you can be seen.

    Equipment: DECIBEL LIMIT for Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is 93decibels.

    A $10 OHV permit is required in Oregon. Then another fee is charged to access the sand dunes. I believe those with trailers are also charged a small parking fee.

    RED or ORANGE FLAGS (8”x 12”) must be displayed 9 feet above the ground on all vehicles when riding at the Oregon Dunes.

    LIGHTS must be used in limited visibility (before sunrise, after sunset, or when you cannot see clearly ahead for 100 feet).

    WORKING BRAKES are required on all vehicles.

    WINDSHIELD WIPERS are required to operate on any vehicle equipped with a windshield.

    FIRE EXTINGUISHERS, SEATS, AND SEAT BELTS FOR ALL PASSENGERS must be available in dune buggies and full-size vehicles.

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Florence Favorites

  • The ride on the ATV is about 30-45...

    Make sure to go to the bathroom before you head to the sand dunes! You will be miserable there because your option will be to turn back your ATV to the rental place because there are no bathrooms on the Sand Dunes!If you are a traveling parent with children, make sure to bring them to the bathroom first!

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  • Travelling with children

    Make sure that you prepare your children psychologically when riding the sandrail. The driver takes you to about 400 feet of sand dunes and go down and it feels like your ride will tumble down.It is a little bit scary for children. When we were there the second time around, there was this child who was about 3-4 years old and he cried the whole...

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  • Wonderful Things to Explore

    Look at the ocean, look at the dunes, and visit Sea Lion Cave!!!! Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area lies along the Pacific Ocean, and stretches 47 miles from Florence to Coos Bay. This recreation area offers both a wonderful beach and sand dunes. Here you can hike, stroll along a beach, or drive dune buggies or off road vehicles on the dunes....

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Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Florence
The Dune Buggy
Transportation
Idyllic beyond words
Restaurants
Very tasty even in summer time
Restaurants
Siuslaw Pioneer Museum
Things to Do
Florence Dunes
Things to Do
Where the forest meets sand & sea III
Things to Do
Where the forest meets sand & sea I
Things to Do
Walking along Florence' waterfront
Things to Do
Sea Lion Info
Things to Do
Views from the Sea Lion Caves
Things to Do
Sea Lion Cave
Things to Do
LAKE CREEK/NELSON MOUNTAIN BRIDGE
Things to Do
DEADWOOD CREEK BRIDGE
Things to Do
WILDCAT BRIDGE (AUSTA)
Things to Do
Camping in the dunes
Things to Do
Umpqua Beach Lighthouse
Things to Do
Sand Dunes
Things to Do
Heceta Head Lighthouse
Things to Do
Grumpy waiters, unfriendly atmosphere
Restaurants
Darlingtonia Californi Botanical Garden
Things to Do
Lane Memorial Gardens - a time to think
Off The Beaten Path
If you enjoy light houses
Things to Do
Sea Lion Cave is a MUST!!!
Things to Do
Heceta Head Lighthouse Tour
Things to Do
Heceta Head Lighthouse
Things to Do
Historic Cape Creek Bridge
Things to Do
riding in the dunes
Things to Do
riding in the dunes
Things to Do
Lichen Covered Trees
Favorites
Cave Creek Bridge
Off The Beaten Path
Old Town Park
Things to Do
Heceta Light House
Off The Beaten Path
Sea Lion Caves
Off The Beaten Path
Interesting Bridge
Things to Do
America's Love of the Automobile!
Restaurants
Cozy Restaurant for a Rainy Day
Restaurants
Yummy Clam Chowder
Restaurants
Beware of Exploding Whales
Warnings and Dangers
Walk the Beach
Things to Do
Sneaker Waves
Warnings and Dangers
Map of Florence

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