Florence, OR is a coastal city located at the mouth of the Siuslaw River about midway between Newport and Coos Bay. With a population of approximately 8,466 people, Florence is a historic riverfront town that provides a diverse array of activities for locals and visitors.

Heceta Head Lighthouse. Image Source.

While the logging, commercial fishing, and agricultural industries have served as the historical pillars of Florence’s economy, tourism is becoming increasingly significant. There are a variety of businesses, points of interests, and parks in and around Florence that offer unique experiences and outdoor recreation. One can enjoy headliner entertainment at the Florence Events Center or Three Rivers Casino Resort after exploring the Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint and the Heceta Head Assistant Keeper’s House. The park features a seven mile network of hiking paths that join the short hike to the lighthouse. The Keeper’s House functions as both an interpretive center and a bed and breakfast. Guided tours are offered by knowledgeable docents during the summer to educate visitor’s about the iconic lighthouse and its rich history.

The Sea Lion Caves. Image Source.

A must see attraction located fifteen minutes from the Florence city center is North America’s largest sea cave, which is a privately owned wildlife preserve and bird sanctuary, and is inhabited throughout the year by as many as 200 Stellar sea lions. Visitors can take an elevator ride descending 200 feet down into the Sea Lion Caves, which is as tall as a 12-story building and as wide as a football field. As the Sea Lion Caves are part of the Oregon/Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve, the Caves are not a zoo; the wild animals are protected and come and go as they please and follow their natural . During the summer, the sea lions can be found lounging in the rookery areas (along the rock ledges outside) with their young. In the fall and winter, they can be found inside the cave’s natural amphitheater. This sea cave is the only known mainland home of wild sea lions in the world and is a must see for visitors of Florence.

 

Travel Oregon Requests Your Input For Expanding Outdoor Recreation In Oregon

In March 2017, Travel Oregon launched the Oregon Outdoor Recreation Initiative, a new statewide effort to bring together businesses, agencies, land managers, conservation groups and recreational user groups around the goal of expanding access to outdoor recreation and increasing the economic impact and sustainability of Oregon’s outdoor recreation economy.

To prepare for this launch, Travel Oregon convened the Oregon Outdoor Recreation Leadership Team from June 2016 to February 2017. The Leadership Team developed initial drafts of the 15-Year Vision, 5-Year Outcomes and 2-Year Strategies for the Oregon Outdoor Recreation Initiative.

We are now interested in hearing from Oregonians on what they would like to see improved to enhance outdoor recreation in Oregon. Additionally, we are seeking feedback on the priority strategies that have been proposed by the Leadership Team. To gather this information, we are  conducting five statewide public outreach meetings. In addition, we have also created a survey for this purpose.

We welcome you to provide your perspective by completing this online survey by Monday, May 22nd Date

Through this survey we hope to better understand what opportunities you see for expanding outdoor recreation in Oregon, along with any barriers you feel impede our ability as a collective to achieve a world-class and sustainable outdoor recreation industry for our state.

The findings from both the survey and the public outreach meetings will be shared with the Leadership Team and utilized to fine tune the direction of this initiative.

In the future, we plan to invite stakeholders to remain engaged with this initiative through regular gatherings and opportunities to work collaboratively on priority strategies.

Contact Information
Destination Development, Travel Oregon
Development@TravelOregon.com
971.717.6212

Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis)

The Sitka spruce is a remarkable tree found on Oregon’s coastline. Named for the Sitka Sound in Alaska, this tree typically grows in a narrow strip of the coast from southern Alaska to northern California. It is able to grow in this environment because its needles and bark are resistant to salt spray.

Sitka spruce wood has many unique qualities that allow it to be used in a variety of different ways. Because the wood is very strong for its weight it is frequently used in aircraft frames, racing shells and ladders. The wood is also an excellent conductor of sound and is used in pianos, organs, guitars and violins.

Next time you listen to music or take a flight think about the Spruce tree and take the opportunity to walk among these wonderful trees next time you visit Coastal Oregon.

The Giant Spruce of Cape Perpetua was recently designated an Oregon Heritage Tree. According to Oregon Coast Magazine, this tree is easily accessed by hiking 1 mile along the Spruce Trail from the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center, which is just off Highway 101, 3 miles south of Yachats.