Florence Outdoor Scene Showcases Oregon’s Diverse Landscape

Located on Siuslaw River in central Oregon, Florence offers a outdoor lover’s playground suited for all types of adventures. From action-packed ATV excursions to relaxing beaches and hidden gems, the Florence outdoor scene welcomes everyone to try new activities. Here’s a look at the Florence outdoor scene and some things to do.

Florence Outdoor Scene: Things to Do for Active Travelers

florence outdoor scene beaches vacation

Relax on Beaches

Florence’s location provides easy access to sandy beaches, jetties and remote spots along Siuslaw River. The area’s beaches allow travelers to relax, sunbathe, surf and enjoy views of dramatic coastlines. Visitors may also go fishing, crabbing and clamming.

A few top places with beaches include Harbor Vista County Park, Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park and Muriel O. Ponsler Memorial State Scenic Viewpoint. At these locations, visitors find wildlife, spacious beaches, picnic spots, windsurfing, whale-watching and trails. Washburne Park also offers access to Heceta Head Lighthouse.

Heceta Head State Park and Devils Elbow State Park offer two diverse landscapes. Heceta Head has 7 miles of coastline, access to Heceta Head Lighthouse and welcomes dogs. Devils Elbow has a more treacherous landscape, so prepare accordingly.

central oregon coast outdoor activities

Plan Epic Sand Adventures

Florence houses many area sand dunes, providing an adrenaline-pumping good time. Therefore, visitors can rent ATVs or book guided adventures with local experts.

Sand Dunes Frontier offers sand rail tours and big buggy tours. Sand Master Park is the world’s first sand-board park. The attraction has beginner and advanced slopes and welcomes all skill levels. At the park, take lessons, rent equipment and learn how to sand sculpt.

Play Golf

Golfers also feel right at home here. Two golf courses in Florence challenge players with long drives and hazards. Ocean Dunes Golf Links has 18 holes designed by William Robinson, with the longest a par 5. The course features bright emerald greens that wind among natural sand dunes and native plants.

Florence Golf Links, designed by Rees Jones, is a par 72 and has 18 holes. This award-winning course has been featured in Golf Digest among the best places to play in the U.S. At Florence Golf Links, enjoy coastal views, rolling dunes and blue lakes scattered throughout the greens. In addition, both courses house area wildlife and showcase central Oregon’s scenic beauty.

florence outdoor scene sea lions

Photo: Brigitte Werner from Pixabay

Observe Wildlife

One of the top staples of the Florence outdoor scene is Sea Lion Caves. Located 11 miles north of Florence, visitors ride an elevator to one of the largest sea caves in the U.S. Some 200 seal lions reside in the caves, and it also ranks among the best whale-watching spots in Florence.

Those who want to get up-close to wildlife can rent kayaks and explore Siltcoos River. This attraction sits only 6 miles from Florence and offers a glimpse into sand dunes, rain forest and beaches. Single and double options are available.

Additionally, Florence provides access to state parks and natural sites. Find trails and wildlife at Joaquin Miller State Park, South Siuslaw Jetty, Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park and Darlingtonia State Natural Site. For something special, Darlingtonia is the only Oregon state park dedicated to protecting a single plant species – the carnivorous cobra lily, a.k.a. Darlingtonia californica.

Try Horseback Riding

Visitors can’t resist horseback riding along Oregon’s coast. One top-rated option is CandM Stables, which offers six different adventures for beginners, intermediate and advanced riders.

Beach rides explore forests, wetlands, dunes and beaches. Or try Dune Trails Rides or Beach and Dune Trail Ride, two longer options. For a custom experience, book a group sunset beach ride or morning adventure for advanced riders. Those 5 years and younger enjoy corral rides, which introduces them to horseback riding.

Want to experience the Florence outdoor scene? Learn more about the central Oregon coast and find vacation homes. Then check out more things to do in Oregon.