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Best things to do in Florence

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Where in the world: USA  /  Oregon  /  Oregon Coast  /  Florence

Top 15 things to do in Florence

1. Sea Lion Caves

The largest system of sea caves in the United States, Sea Lion Caves offers the chance to view sea lions up close in their natural habitat. Formed nearly 25 million years ago, the cave measures about 0.8 hectares (2 acres) and is 38 m (125 ft) high. Several caverns connected together by corridors make up the cave system. The Stellar Sea Lions and the California Sea Lions who make this cave their home are truly wild, so they move around freely. Staff can’t guarantee a sighting, but they recommend checking these four areas where the sea lions tend to hang out: in the cave, in the water, at the lookout or rookery, and on nearby rock ledges. Call ahead to confirm whether the sea lions are in the cave on the day of your visit. Even if they’re not, the impressive cave alone is worth a trip.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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2. Heceta Head Lighthouse

Projecting the strongest light on the Oregon coast, Heceta Head Lighthouse is part of a state park. Perched on a small peninsula with boulders that act as natural wave breakers, the lighthouse is a beacon for many seafarers. From the building's deck, you can see land that is thick with fir trees, making a striking contrast with the deep blue water. Tours begin on the first floor of the keeper's quarters and end on the deck of the lighthouse. Tours are free, donations are welcome, and parking requires a per-vehicle fee. Consider taking an extra day to tour the area so you can stay a night at the inn inside the keeper's quarters.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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Tours including Heceta Head Lighthouse:

3. Sandland Adventures

For some fun in the sand, tour the Oregon Dunes with Sandland Adventures. Tours include specially outfitted dune buggies that give you the opportunity to experience this dramatic desert up close. The buggies are operated by professional riders. The site also offers go-karts, bumper boats, and kiddie trains. Check out the 18-hole miniature golf course, which features natural landscapes and waterfalls. Be sure to dress appropriately, as the weather there is changeable; and consider bringing something to protect your camera lens from the sand. Pre-registration for tours is recommended.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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4. Three Rivers Casino

Sitting on a 100-acre site and nestled in rolling sand dunes on the pristine Oregon coast, Three Rivers Casino Resort offers a great escape in spectacular surroundings. With the Pacific Ocean as the backdrop and the wonderful town of Florence at its doorstep, a trip to Three Rivers Casino Resort ensures their guests will return. Three Rivers Casino offers the most progressive and widest variety of slots, the most diverse choices in food, the highest level of entertainment and the most relaxing accommodations on the Oregon coast.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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5. Hobbit Trail

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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6. Siuslaw River Bridge

The Siuslaw River Bridge is a bascule bridge that spans the Siuslaw River on U.S. Route 101 in Florence, Oregon. It was designed by Conde McCullough, built by the Mercer-Fraser Company of Eureka, California, and funded by the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works (later renamed the Public Works Administration). It opened in 1936.
The bridge's total length is 1568ft. When open, the 140ft double-leaf bascule provides 110ft of horizontal clearance for boat traffic. The bascule section is flanked by two 154ft reinforced concrete tied arches, identical to those used in the original Alsea Bay Bridge. Four Art Deco-style obelisks house mechanical equipment as well as living quarters for the bridge operator. The total cost of the bridge was $527,000.
The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 5, 2005.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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7. Yachats coastline, Yachats

From waves crashing against the rocks to sandy beaches and tide pools, Yachats coastline offers views of pristine nature. You can walk for miles along the beaches or just sit and watch the waves and horizon. The coast is frequently visited by sea lions, and it's also a good location for whale-watching. You'll find several shops and restaurants along the coast. The area's climate year-round.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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Tours including Yachats coastline:

8. Siuslaw Pioneer Museum

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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9. Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint, Bandon

Stand at Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint to admire the sights of the coast and the facial features on the massive rock protruding from the sea. From the viewpoint, look for the rock's profile as it seemingly gazes skyward. Take the stairs down to the clean beach for more views and rock pools to explore at low tide, but wear shoes with good tread in case of slippery areas. During your visit, keep in mind the Native American legend about the site, which tells of a woman's voice in the wind. Picnic tables and restrooms are available on site.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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10. Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Newport

Built in 1871, Yaquina Head Lighthouse is Oregon's only wooden lighthouse that's still standing and fully operational. Although it initially was in service for only three years, it was re-lit in 1996. Today its lights are visible from a distance of nearly 10 km (6 mi). Take a self-guided or organized tour of the lighthouse to see it from the inside, including the watch room and basement, where you can view an informative video. A store offers educational items about lighthouses and coastal habitats. Guided tours must be reserved at the interpretive center, and space is limited.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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Tours including Yaquina Head Lighthouse:

11. Oregon Coast Military Museum

The Oregon Coast Military Museum, a 501c3 non-profit, opened its doors in Florence, on the Oregon coast, on July 4th, 2015, after a seven-year effort by locals to build a museum to honor the more-than 20% of Florence-area residents who are Veterans. Intended to honor all eras of military heritage and all disciplines of military service, it is a small museum in comparison to other military museums around the country. The 3,000-square foot display space is filled with life-sized dioramas depicting scenes from WWI to Vietnam, plus a scaled diorama of a typical Iraqi village depicting a US military convoy traveling through.

While small by museum standards, this facility is jam-packed with artifacts, mementos and experiences all in an effort to serve the Museum’s mission “To Honor our Veterans by Educating Our Public.” In addition to a small gift shop, the Museum also features a small theater showing military documentaries, a USO Canteen, and a lending library.

Our initial membership drive to generate seed money, support and public awareness in the early days of our effort was the ‘Kilroy Corps’. Like the urban legend, ‘Kilroy Was Here’ borne of WWII, these Kilroy Corps members have the distinction of being there before all others and are named on a display in our gift shop.

Situated on Kingwood Street adjacent to the Florence Municipal Airport, the Museum is open Thursday through Saturday 10-4. Be sure to visit this site when you’re traveling the Oregon coast.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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12. Cape Perpetua Visitor Center - Siuslaw National Forest, Yachats

Carpeted with nearly 1,093 hectare (2,700 acres) of old-growth forests, Cape Perpetua Visitor Center - Siuslaw National Forest offers a wealth of opportunities to explore a wild expanse of the famous Oregon Coast. Hike along more than 41 km (26 mi) of marked trails through the lush landscape, which features tide pools, water spouts, jagged cliffs, and a nearly 600-year-old Sitka spruce tree. Stop by the visitor center, open daily, where you can learn more about the nature and history of the region, and get a sweeping view of the Pacific and the surrounding mountains. You may even spot a whale if you're lucky. The coast has the potential for rain and cold weather year-round, so dress accordingly.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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Tours including Cape Perpetua Visitor Center - Siuslaw National Forest:

13. Heceta Beach

Sitting under a massive old bridge, Heceta Beach is a popular holiday destination for families. This long sandy beach with several access points stretches for 11 km (7 mi) along Oregon shoreline. Keep an eye open for sand dollars and whales. A moderate, uphill trek to the lighthouse is worth the views. Amenities include restrooms and picnic tables. Bring a windbreaker.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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14. John Dellenback Dunes Trailhead

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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15. Strawberry Hill Wayside

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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