| Florence is often billed as a river town, and why not with 17 lakes and rivers in and around the area. But the hidden gem is the Pacific Ocean which is located just over the dune. When it comes to enjoying the Ocean, the possibilities for soft adventure are truly endless. Walk along the surf in search of glass floats, shells, agates and driftwood. Hit the Oregon Coast Trail for hiking, biking or horseback riding. Whatever you do, don’t miss any of the star attractions along the way; Sea Lion Caves, Heceta Head Lighthouse and Cape Perpetua. (Florence Chamber of Commerce)|
At the south end of Florence something magical happens; 42 miles of wind-sculpted sand dunes, some towering 500 feet above sea level begin. Formed by the ancient forces of wind, water and time, these dunes are like no others in the world. These are the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America. Opportunity abounds for adventure on the dunes; guided sand rail tours, self guided ATV tours and sand boarding. The dunes are also a great background for hiking, camping, photography, fishing, horseback riding and canoeing. (Florence Chamber of Commerce)
The young and the old find Florence to be a perfect town to live in. About 1/3 of its 8,600+ residents have chosen it as a home for their senior years. Most of these residents are active seniors, participating in community singing, travel clubs, nature study groups and volunteer work in government and social services. The young also find Florence to be an excellent place to grow up in. Florence and the nearby community of Mapleton provide schooling for 2,000+ students. Kids have strong groups of friends and have a myriad of activities that surround them daily.
Florence is also neighbors with some other quickly growing towns. Dunes City is a few miles south of Florence; its 1,100+ residents have established homes between two of the largest coastal lakes, Woahink and Siltcoos. For them, it's only a walk to recreational opportunities, whether the choice is water skiing, hunting or access to dunes and ocean beaches.
East of Florence, farther up into the Coastal Range is Mapleton. This unincorporated community at the junction of Hwy 126 and Hwy 36, is the gateway to water sports on the upper Siuslaw and Lake Creek. Mapleton has a small, but enthusiastic business community, offering a surprising number of services to locals and tourists. Many of the storefronts reflect a quaint reminder of earlier days along the river. Thoroughly modern, on the other hand, is an indoor Olympic-size swimming and diving facility. (Florence Chamber of Commerce)