7 Best Things to Do in Florence Oregon

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Drenched in coastal charm and steeped in rich history, Florence, Oregon is a hidden gem that never ceases to amaze. Every visit unveils a new discovery, be it watching the awe-inspiring migration of whales, indulging in the freshness of locally sourced crabs, or riding the ever-changing, wind-sculpted sand dunes.

Best Things to Do in Florence Oregon
Best Things to Do in Florence Oregon

It’s a place where nature’s magnificence merges with a warm, welcoming community, creating experiences that linger long after you’ve left.

In this guide, I’m going to share the best things to do in Florence, Oregon, through the lens of my own enriching adventures.

Be ready for a whirlwind of coastal charm, mouth-watering seafood, wild outdoor escapades, and quaint historic insights.

List of Best Things to Do in Florence Oregon

Here are the recommended Best Things to Do in Florence Oregon:

Whale WatchingSpot migrating whales from local viewpoints or join a boat tour. Visit the unique Exploding Whale Memorial Park.
Crab DiningEnjoy fresh local crabs at Florence’s restaurants or seafood markets, or try crab fishing from the local docks.
Tide Pooling at Cape PerpetuaHike, visit the historic shelter, and explore tide pools teeming with marine life at Cape Perpetua.
Dune Buggy RidingExperience the thrill of dune buggy, ATV, or dirt bike riding on the Oregon Dunes with rentals or guided tours.
Sea Lion CavesVisit this sea lion sanctuary in one of the world’s largest sea caves. Also spot seals, birds, and whales.
Siuslaw Pioneer MuseumLearn about Florence’s history through exhibits featuring artifacts and stories from the region’s past.
Honeyman State ParkEnjoy camping, boating, hiking, and other outdoor activities at this popular park with two freshwater lakes.
List of Best Things to Do in Florence Oregon

Whale Watching in Florence

Whale watching in Florence is an ethereal experience that connects you with nature in an exhilarating way.

As someone who has frequented these shores, the excitement of catching a glimpse of these majestic creatures never dwindles.

From viewpoints like Cape Perpetua and Heceta Head Lighthouse, you can spot the whales breaching and blowing, marking their migration along the coast. It’s a sight that remains indelible in my memory.

Tip: The local boat tours offer a closer look at these marine giants, certainly a worthwhile investment if you’re an avid wildlife enthusiast.

Best time to visit: The best whale-watching season is from December to May.

What I liked: The Exploding Whale Memorial Park adds a quirky twist to the whale-watching experience, commemorating a rather peculiar incident from 1970.

Sampling the Crabs in Florence

Florence’s reputation for serving delectable crabs is well-earned.

From the Waterfront Depot to Novelli’s Crab and Seafood, each locale offers a unique take on this local delight.

Whether it’s the crab-encrusted Alaskan halibut or the award-winning chowder, the palate of flavors leaves you savoring every bite.

Tip: For a hands-on experience, I’d suggest trying crab fishing from the Siuslaw River Bridge.

Best time to visit: Florence’s seafood markets are vibrant year-round, but the crab season peaks between December and August.

What I liked: The freshness of the crabs here is unparalleled. Each dish feels like a culinary journey through the coastal town’s heart.

Unleashing Adventure at Oregon Dunes

Nothing satiates my wanderlust quite like the Oregon Dunes. Miles of wind-carved landscapes provide an ideal playground for adrenaline junkies.

Florence Oregon Dunes
Florence Oregon Dunes

Whether it’s the roars of a dune buggy beneath you, the growl of an ATV, or the purr of a dirt bike, the sheer thrill of maneuvering through these shifting sandscapes is unmatched.

Renting an ATV is one of the best things to do in Florence Oregon.

Consider reading: Best ATV Rentals in Florence Oregon

Tip: Torex ATV Rentals or Full Throttle Rentals are recommended for their reliable services and range of vehicles.

Best time to visit: The Dunes are inviting year-round but avoid the summers when the sand can get too hot.

What I liked: The shifting nature of the Dunes, each visit provides a novel experience, a terrain reborn and reshaped by the elements.

A Visit to Sea Lion Caves

One of my favorite spots in Florence, the Sea Lion Caves, is a feast for the senses.

Sea Lion Caves Oregon
Sea Lion Caves Oregon

The sheer magnitude of one of the world’s largest sea caves, paired with the chorus of sea lions, delivers a unique, awe-inspiring experience.

The elevator descent into this natural sanctuary is an adventure in itself.

Tip: Don’t miss the observation deck! You might catch a glimpse of seals, birds, or even whales.

Best time to visit: The Sea Lion Caves are enchanting all year round.

What I liked: The educational exhibits and a gift shop add a thoughtful touch to this wildlife encounter.

Diving into History at Siuslaw Pioneer Museum

The Siuslaw Pioneer Museum embodies Florence’s rich tapestry of history and culture.

Siuslaw Pioneer Museum
Siuslaw Pioneer Museum

Each artifact and exhibit narrates the story of Florence, from its early Native Americans to the loggers, fishermen, and pioneers who shaped the town’s character.

The Siuslaw Pioneer Museum is a humble tribute to the hands that built Florence.

Tip: Allocate ample time for your visit to fully absorb the narratives on display.

Best time to visit: The museum is a delightful retreat on a rainy day.

What I liked: The intimate perspective into

the local culture that the museum provides is quite enlightening.

Honeyman State Park: A Respite in Nature

Last but not least, a visit to Florence isn’t complete without unwinding at Honeyman State Park.

Honeyman State Park Oregon
Honeyman State Park Oregon

Nestled between two freshwater lakes, this park encapsulates the serene charm of Florence.

With amenities such as campsites, hiking trails, and boating facilities, it’s a perfect spot for families, solo travelers, or anyone looking to reconnect with nature.

Tip: The sandboarding facilities here are an unmissable experience!

Best time to visit: The park is idyllic from late spring to early autumn when the weather is perfect for outdoor activities.

What I liked: The versatility of activities, from sandboarding to picnicking, make every visit a unique adventure.

Final Thoughts on Best Things to Do in Florence Oregon

And there you have it, an insider’s guide to the best things to do in Florence Oregon.

From the majesty of migrating whales to the thrill of conquering sand dunes, and from the tantalizing flavor of fresh crabs to the quaint charm of local history, Florence never fails to offer a myriad of delights.

Whether you are seeking adventure, serenity, culinary surprises, or historical insights, this coastal gem is a canvas where everyone can paint their perfect vacation.

As a wanderer who has fallen in love with Florence multiple times, I assure you that every corner of this town whispers a unique tale.

So pack your bags and embark on a journey to Florence, Oregon. Let your own experiences weave unforgettable stories.

FAQs on Best Things to Do in Florence Oregon

What is Florence Oregon known for?

Florence Oregon is known for being Oregon’s Coastal Playground, offering beautiful rolling sand dunes, miles of beaches, a charming Historic Old Town, and delectable seafood. As a beloved getaway destination just one hour west of Eugene-Springfield, Florence is treasured by locals for rest, relaxation, and outdoor recreation along the coast.

What are the top attractions in Florence, Oregon?

Florence, Oregon, boasts several attractions that visitors should consider. These include the Heceta Head Lighthouse, the Sea Lion Caves, and the stunning sand dunes of Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park. The charming Old Town Florence also offers a range of dining and shopping experiences.

What activities can one do outdoors in Florence, Oregon?

Outdoors enthusiasts will find plenty to do in Florence, Oregon. Activities include hiking, wildlife viewing, and beachcombing. Sandboarding at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is a popular activity. Fishing and boating opportunities are abundant along the Siuslaw River and the Pacific Ocean.

Are there any historical sites to visit in Florence, Oregon?

Yes, the Heceta Head Lighthouse, a working lighthouse dating back to 1894, is one of the most historical sites in the area. Additionally, Old Town Florence offers a glimpse into the region’s history with its well-preserved 19th-century architecture.

What are the dining options in Florence, Oregon?

Florence offers a range of dining options, with a particular focus on fresh, local seafood. Other choices include international cuisine, traditional American fare, and delightful bakeries. Local restaurants also offer vegetarian and vegan options.

Is Florence, Oregon, family-friendly?

Absolutely, Florence, Oregon, offers many activities suitable for families. Kids will love exploring the Sea Lion Caves, sandboarding at the dunes, and visiting the local parks. There are also family-friendly dining options and accommodation facilities in the town.

How is the weather in Florence, Oregon?

Florence has a temperate oceanic climate. Summers are cool to warm with less rainfall, making it a great time to visit. Winters can be wet but are usually mild. Always pack layers as the weather can change quite rapidly, particularly in transitional seasons.

Are there any local festivals or events in Florence, Oregon?

Yes, Florence hosts several events throughout the year, including the annual Rhododendron Festival in May and the Florence Festival of Books in September. Other local events include wine tastings, art walks, and live music performances.

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