This year, National Travel and Tourism Week is May 5–11, 2019. For many in the Pacific Northwest, the historic coastal town of Florence, Oregon, is the place to go, as it provides activities and entertainment for people of all ages.
Florence is an award-winning travel destination and has earned prestigious titles such as one of TripAdvisor’s 25 Best Family Weekend Getaways with Kids, USA Today’s number-two Best Small Town in the Northwest and number-two Small Town in America for Adventure, Expedia.com’s Most Beautiful Town, the Oregonian readers’ Favorite Coastal Getaway, and one of Flight.com’s 8 Coolest Cities You Must Experience for Yourself. Come see why Florence is known as “Oregon’s Coastal Playground!”
Where to Stay
River House Inn
Located in Old Town Florence, the River House Inn is where you’ll want to stay, as it is sure to amaze you. Many rooms offer views of the Siuslaw River. The inn also sits only steps away from quaint local shops, captivating art galleries, and excellent restaurants—and just minutes from beaches, two 18-hole golf courses, and the famous Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.
What to Do
Are you a fan of horseback riding? C&M Stables offers rides in five different settings ranging from beginner to advanced skill levels. They also allow people as young as five years old to partake in the activity. If you’re looking for a private horseback ride along the beach, C&M offers that too. You must have a minimum of two people in your group to receive a private guided tour.
If you are feeling crafty, Florence boasts a variety of small art galleries for you to enjoy. Dragon Art Studios is a gallery and a studio workspace. The gallery offers weekly meetups and classes, as well as a monthly subscription box. The box comes with all the supplies needed for the project, including full-color written instructions and video instructions. Another fun tidbit is, every time someone purchases their first subscription box, the studio gives a voucher for a free art experience to a local child in Florence. Dragon Art Studios is only open during the evenings, so keep that in mind while you make plans.
Sandboarding is a popular activity to participate in while in Florence. Sand Master Park is proud to be the world’s first sandboarding park, and it’s just a few minutes from our front door. The park plays host to several acres of naturally sculpted dunes, ranging from first-time beginners to advanced skill levels. Board rental and instruction by world-class sandboarders will make your adventure memorable.
America’s largest sea cave is located just a few minutes north of Florence. The ever-popular Sea Lion Caves offers viewings of Steller sea lions, seals, and sea birds like cormorants, seagulls, pelicans, and even eagles. Pigeon guillemots are among the most commonly spotted sea birds in the cave. Visitors may also spot killer whales and grey whales swimming nearby. The visitor’s center for the caves is where you want to get your tickets to ride the elevator more than 200 feet through solid rock and into the massive cathedral-like home of the frolicking pinnipeds. Sea Lion Caves offers free parking too.
This adventure park has it all: mini golf, sandrail tours, go-carts, bumper-boats, a train, and giant dune buggy tours. Whether you want to play it safe or go hit the dunes for some adventure and speed, Sandland Adventures is a world-famous family favorite.
Florence is home to an amazing golf experience with Florence Golf Links and Ocean Dunes Golf. Check out our golf packages for discounts. Each golf package includes an overnight stay with 18 holes of world-class golf. And if it rains, the courses are both playable within minutes because they’re build on sand and drain quickly, giving you instant golf gratification even after an occasional shower.
Where to Eat and Drink
In the mood for seafood? The Bridgewater Ocean Fresh Fish House and Zebra Bar has you covered. The Bridgewater offers “the freshest fish and shellfish,” as well as beef and chicken entrees, salads, pizzas, pasta, and vegetarian dishes. The Zebra Bar offers massive wine and draft beer lists, as well as several specialty house drinks.
Great gastropub offerings for everyone, including vegan and gluten-free foodies, Homegrown has you covered. This community-focused public house offers Oregon brews on tap, Pacific Northwest wines, and homemade food in a cozy and welcoming environment. Be sure to check out their “happenings” page so you don’t miss the next “paint and sip” or holiday celebration.
Nosh, an American eatery, offers a delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu with specialty drinks and cocktails. Nosh chooses to use ingredients sourced from local farms, like Wakoca Farm, whenever possible. The affordable prices, attentive staff, and high-quality food make Nosh one of our favorites.
This popular spot offers a variety of local, organic foods and wines in a family-friendly atmosphere. Diners can choose to eat outdoors in cafe-style seating while taking in views of the Siuslaw River and Florence Bridge. You can opt for some shade by a cherry tree on the back patio or eat indoors near the festive full-service bar.
This is another favorite spot among locals, and not just because of their nine large televisions for viewing sports. Established in 1936, the pub offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner on top of their impressive selection of 20 on-tap beers, 100-plus bottled beers, and an extensive wine and cocktail selection. The atmosphere at Beachcomber is much different than the usual restaurant in Florence, so keep that in mind when making plans—it’s part of what makes the food so great!
The historic coastal town of Florence, Oregon, is sure to have something to interest you during your visit. With activities ranging from sandboarding to sea lions, and food options ranging from seafood to pizza, you can’t go wrong. Plus, if you’re into craft beers and live music, Florence has a large selection of pubs in the area for your enjoyment. Florence is a must-stop for anyone in the Pacific Northwest during National Travel and Tourism Week.