When people talk about the dramatic cliffs, breaking waves and evergreen coastline of the northern Pacific Coast, this is what they mean.
Surrounded by state parks, scenic vistas and gorgeous drives through windy coastal roads, Florence offers a fantastic piece of Pacific Northwestern shoreline. Located along 10 miles (16 kilometers) of continuous beaches, it’s also a center for recreational activities. Set out on a kayak at the Siuslaw Water Trail. Cut through vigorous waves on your own surfboard, just a few miles from the Sea Lion Caves.
Try surf fishing with a weighty line to resist the breaking waves. Roll up your pant legs, grab a bucket and wade for clams during low tide. For a quieter afternoon, set a crab trap on the docks and wait for an easy catch. Relax on a beach towel and nap to the sound of waves gently lapping the sand. No matter your energy level, you will find the pace of activity that’s right for you.
Drive south of Florence and visit the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area to observe a dramatic contrast of landscapes. On a windy day, watch dune sands swirl under alpine tree growth sprouting on the beach. Or, head north to the Siuslaw National Forest and its vast array of wilderness trails. Bring water and a backpack to take advantage of one of the many daylong hikes in the area.
For striking scenery, drive along Highway 101 along one of the most beautiful road trips in America. Start anywhere along the highway. The drive north or south is a breathtaking journey past forest, beach and rocky cliffs. It’s something you will remember for a lifetime.
To get here, fly into Eugene, Oregon and drive around 70 miles (113 kilometers) east to Florence. Stay in an inland motel or in a hotel poised high atop a craggy face with waves breaking below. Rent a vacation home or set up your tent or RV at a campground. Many fall in love with the special atmosphere of Florence, returning year after year for a refreshing vacation.