Coast Explorer Magazine - The Explorer's Guide to the Oregon Coast and Washington Coast
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Surrounded by monumental sand dunes and featuring 15 lakes, the Siuslaw River and a dramatic coastline, Florence provides outstanding recreational opportunities. The historic Old Town offers a variety of shopping and dining options. Florence lies on the Central Oregon Coast at the northern edge of the 42-mile-long Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Dunes hundreds of feet high provide numerous recreation opportunities, including sand boarding and dune buggy rides. With ocean, river and lakes at hand, fishing, clamming, crabbing and camping are popular pursuits. To the north, there are 25 miles of clean sand, crashing surf and high promontories. Play golf surrounded by 60-foot sand dunes at the Oregon Dunes Golf Links, or visit the sea lion caves 10 miles north. If you like Vegas-style gaming, visit Three Rivers Casino and try your luck.

Top Sights & Recreation:

  • Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

    Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

    For over 40 miles from Florence to Coos Bay, sand dunes stretch along the coast, providing recreation of all kinds. Six large lakes and over 20 smaller ones offer water sports, boating and fishing. Wetlands and forests with hiking trails throughout.

  • Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park

    Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park

    A large campground with extensive day-use areas including dune access, freshwater lakes and pretty picnic areas. Hiking trails pass through woodlands, past wetlands and lakes and through dunes. In late spring, lanky native Rhododendrons display pin blooms in the forest understory. more info

  • Oregon Dunes Day Use Area

    Oregon Dunes Day Use Area

    Access a viewing platform and hikes to the dunes and beach. A paved, wheelchair accessible trail goes through the dunes to the beach starting from the trailhead. Area is ten and a half miles north of Reedsport. Fee is required. Golden Age and Golden Access passes honored. Hiking trails, restrooms and picnic tables also available.

  • Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint

    Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint

    The Heceta Head Lighthouse sits in an idyllic setting on a beautiful headland. The park features a pretty cove beach, a large picnic area and a half mile trail to the recently restored lighthouse. The viewpoint at the lighthouse is one of the best locations on the coast for watching whales, sea lions and and sea birds. more info

Other Attractions:

  • Sea Lion Caves

    Sea Lion Caves

    An elevator whisks visitors down 208 feet to the largest sea cave in the U.S. About 200 Steller Sea Lions crowd the cave during fall and winter and in spring and summer, are often seen basking on the rocky ledges below the cave's viewpoint. The grounds at Sea Lion Caves offer expansive scenic views hundreds of feet above the surf.

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