Florence Oregon a beautiful coastal town
While it’s easy to just hang around the Driftwood Shores, walking the beach or reading a good book as you enjoy the view out your window, there is plenty to explore just a short distance away. There are parks all along this section of the coastline – places you can drive to, park, and then get out and explore the local beach and terrain.
If you head a little bit south, you encounter the Oregon Dunes Recreation Area, which runs 42 miles between Florence and North Bend. Some of these dunes are more than 300 feet high and visitors enjoy taking dune buggy tours or renting ATVs. It’s also possible to see the dunes on horseback.
Come back into Florence and just on the northern side of the Siuslaw River you’ll enjoy spending a few hours at Historic Old Town Florence, a charming part of the city where you can explore art galleries or visit antique stores or savor a tasty lunch or dinner at one of the local restaurants specializing in regional foods and wines. It’s fun to walk along the Siuslaw River with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate in hand, marveling at all the old buildings and the fascinating shops many of them house today.
North of Florence, a must-see is the famous Sea Lion Caves attraction, a place that allows you to descend from the high bluffs down a set of stairs to caves where you will see sea lions in just about the most natural habitat you can imagine. Supposedly, this is the only remaining home of the wild stellar sea lions on the North American mainland.
Another attraction in this area is the Heceta Head Light and Keeper’s House, high above the churning and turbulent waters of Devil’s Elbow tide pools and Cape Creek. You can walk up to the lighthouse and keeper’s house and take a tour (offered only on weekends in winter).