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Destination:
Florence, Oregon

Location and Seasons

photo of Pacific coastline near Florence, Oregon
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Introduction

Arriving by Car

The town of Florence is located along U.S. Highway 101, the Pacific Coast Highway. This road alone is a worthy attraction, and may merit the focus of an entire vacation in itself. As one of the most spectacular scenic drives in the world, Highway 101 steadily twists and turns all the way up the West Coast; from Los Angeles in the south, across San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, all the way through Oregon, where it hugs the rugged coastline for the length of the trip, and finally into Washington State, where the road circumnavigates the Olympic Mountains and winds its way down along Puget Sound into Olympia. The Florence area makes up a beautiful and worthy leg of this amazing stretch of road, and is certainly one of its most rewarding features.

For motorists wishing to reach Florence via a faster route, the most practical option is to take is Interstate 5 from points north or south. In Eugene, head west on Oregon Highway 126 and continue for 60 miles until you reach Florence. Highway 126 is actually quite scenic, as it zigzags along the Siuslaw River west of Eugene and crosses the fertile Williamette Valley.

Arriving by Air

Florence is easily accessible by air. The Florence Municipal Airport features a 3,000-foot hard-surfaced runway, an excellent lighting system, and a new fixed base operations structure. Car rental service is available here.

Further inland lies Eugene's Mahlon-Sweet Field, a larger airport with direct flights to major Western cities such as Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, and Chicago. The state's largest airport is in Portland, 170 miles northeast of Florence.

Locale

The town of Florence hugs the Pacific Ocean, which creates the town's western edge, with the Siuslaw River snaking its way across and around the downtown and Old Town sections of the city before merging with the sea.

Florence is known as the City of Rhododendrons and has a population of 6,500, the hub of a population center with 19,000 people. The area is the largest community in western Lane County and specializes in the medical care, education, and services sector. Florence's larger neighbor to the east is Eugene, Oregon's second-most populous city and the home of the University of Oregon.

Seasons and Climate

Florence has four distinct, uniquely beautiful seasons that welcome visitors with comfortable weather and breathtaking sights.

The fall months in Oregon are exhilarating. The chilly breath of autumn here turns the forests into an explosion of fiery hues of red, orange, and gold. Visitors and residents alike venture onto the region's back roads to see the vivid foliage and breathe the brisk, clean autumn air. Autumn here can be chilly, but quite refreshing.

Winter is one of the best times to come to Florence. There are fewer tourists and an abundance of crystal clear days that allows for endless vistas across the ocean or across town. At the same time, the winter months also bring dramatic ocean storms, which can be both violent and eerily beautiful at once. Fierce waves ravage the shoreline, catapulting salt water sprays up to 100 feet in the air. And while snow is not generally a common sight in coastal areas, Florence is known to receive one or two light dustings a year.

As elsewhere, Spring is a time of renewal in Florence, bringing with it a colorful array of floral vibrance: wild rhododendrons, azaleas, giant ferns, and daffodils come into bloom and breathe fresh life into town. Wild daffodils and spring ferns thrive alongside the roads, and everything smells fresh and new from the occasional spring showers.

Residents of Florence enjoy long, mild Indian Summers which usually last through the end of October and bring magnificent sunsets, warm breezes, and clear, starry nights.

Despite the common stories that Oregon is a state that spends most of its time getting rained on, Florence actually gets an average yearly rainfall equal to many Gulf Coast and eastern cities -- about 65 inches per year. And rainy days during winter and spring in Florence are usually accompanied by regular appearances of the sun, which darts in and out of the clouds. Luckily, bleak, dreary days are the exception to the rule in Florence.

Chamber
of
Commerce
Visitor's Center

270 Hwy 101,
Florence, Oregon 97439
(541) 997-3128
Email

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