One of our favorite things about living near the coast is the endless variety of beach towns. This year we explored Florence, which was somewhat mystifyingly ranked #1 most beautiful town in America by Expedia.
This is part of our 100 Things in 2016 challenge. Here’s the full list.
Don’t get us wrong, it’s a great little town. I used to live nearby, in Coos Bay, and only thought of Florence as a drive-through, but when we made a brief stopover during the big hike a few years ago, we discovered there was a lot to see, so we made special plans to come back this year.
It should be mentioned that the weekend we were here included both Valentine’s day and Becky’s 40th birthday. Some of the photos might make more sense with these facts in mind.
There’s lots to walk through and see in the area. The little downtown is a nice stroll, and the Heceta Head Lighthouse is just up the road, and there’s a lovely little nature preserve with lots of pitcher plants. The Siuslaw Pioneer Museum stands out, with its many rooms of artifacts; fascinating if you’re into this kind of history, and still kind of interesting even if you aren’t. Also, there are more knickknack and junk shoppes than you can shake a stick at, and some pretty serious art galleries.
Florence is also a great place to eat. We can’t recommend the Waterfront Depot highly enough for dinner, and Siuslaw River Coffee Roasters is serious business. The Zebra Bar, Maple Street Grille, and Lovejoy’s Tea Room all warrant special mention, and there’s a great little ice cream parlor. There are at least three other eateries on our list that we didn’t even have time to visit!
We should mention our lodgings, which exceeded all our expectations. We found it through Vacasa, and it was right on the river, and a half a block from the cool little historic downtown area. Nothing in it screamed “rental,” it was like staying at a friend’s place.
We had a great little retreat weekend, and highly enjoyed this town. It’s a bit remote for most of you, but well worth a stop if you’re in the area.