Florence Landmarks: Sightseeing Along Oregon’s Coast
Central Oregon’s coast offers unforgettable views. Visitors come to the area for the beach, but they stay for the picturesque towns, history and local culture. One of the most popular destinations is Florence, a small city located at the mouth of Siuslaw River. This town is best known for its walkable downtown, but there are other Florence landmarks visitors can’t miss. Check them out.
Florence Landmarks Worth an Oregon Road Trip
Siuslaw River Bridge
Siuslaw River Bridge ranks among the most known Florence landmarks. Its design – which combines steel draw-span with reinforced concrete – was built in 1936. The bridge has rainbow arches and Gothic and art deco features. Most can see the bridge from Old Town or visit Siuslaw River Bridge Interpretive Center.
In addition to scenic views, Siuslaw River Bridge provides the perfect backdrop for family photos, romantic shots and selfies.
Strawberry Hill Wayside
Located in Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint, Strawberry Hill Wayside offers picture-perfect ocean views. At this site, visitors will find a set of stairs that lead to the ocean. From there, look for wildlife and take photos.
Strawberry Hill Wayside once served as a Native American archaeological site on the Oregon coast. The area also has tide pools, caves, large boulders and crashing waves during hide tide. During low tide, visitors are welcome to explore and walk the beach.
Heceta Head Lighthouse
Perhaps the most famous among the top Florence landmarks, Heceta Head Lighthouse dates from 1894, but still watches over the Oregon coast. In fact, it is the brightest light on the coast, as it beams 21 miles out to sea.
Heceta Head trail is part of a 7-mile network of trails ranging in difficulty. Guided and self-guided tours give visitors a peek into the history of the lighthouse and maritime history. In addition to the lighthouse, see wildlife and dramatic coastlines.
Cape Creek Bridge
Cape Creek Bridge dates to 1932 and ranks among popular Florence landmarks for its ancient bridge design. The bridge’s arches and columns represent Roman aqueduct architecture. To make it more special, Cape Creek Bridge is double-tiered and features a deck arch to a tunnel.
To find Cape Creek Bridge, travel along U.S. 101 north of Florence. For an up-close look, venture via foot or bike, and drive on the highway that runs underneath the bridge.
To learn about the area, go to Old Town Florence. This vibrant downtown serves as the epicenter for arts, culture, history and shopping – all along Siuslaw River.
Florence once served as a 1900s fishing village. Today, Old Town’s walkable riverfront bustles with cafes, galleries, locally owned shops, and historic buildings. To get started on a self-guided tour, stop by Siuslaw Pioneer Museum. The museum has displays and exhibits with photos, documents and artifacts from those who settled the area. Then grab a map and head into Old Town, which has 21 historic buildings.
Big Creek Bridge
Located in nearby Yachats, Big Creek Bridge was built in 1931, and was one of the first reinforced concrete tied arch spans in the U.S. Visitors will find it near Big Creek and U.S. 101. In addition, motorists find Big Creek Bridge easily accessible.