Experience Florence

Experience Florence

The fine art of living

Close your eyes and picture your dream town -- the place where you would love to live, work, play or raise your family. It's more than likely that the town in your mind resembles Florence, Oregon. Why? It’s really simple: Florence is one of the best places to live in the United States.

Florence is a small town with a strong community. It is small enough that residential neighbors know one another, where one encounters plenty of familiar faces at the post office or in a grocery market. It is a town where citizens voluntarily staff our fire department, work together to clear land or another city park and raise funds for a new acute-care hospital. In Florence, we rally together to keep the town functioning at its highest potential.

And as for potential, in Florence, it is endless. The town is a commercial center, serving an area wide population of nearly 22,000. It is accessible by highway, sea and air. There are department stores, a community college, a winter concert series and a taxi service. But, one of Florence’s most attractive features is its wide array of natural attributes. We are located on the beautiful Oregon coast and have miles of beaches. To the north, there is a 25-mile stretch of clean sand, driftwood, crashing surf and high promontories. Southward, the {Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area} sits, 42 miles of shifting dunes, lakes and forests make it one of the country's most popular seaside attractions.

Forests and rivers and lakes, oh my

TAGFlorence is surrounded with beautiful, towering pine trees that extend to the doorsteps of the residential areas. Its backdrop is the Siuslaw National Forest, one of the nation's most productive tree growing areas.

Siuslaw BridgeTAGFlorence is also a river town. From more than one hundred miles deep within the Coastal Range, the Siuslaw River begins a meandering trip to the sea. About half a mile west of Florence, new jetties have extended the river’s mouth. Two walls of massive stones extend a quarter mile into the Pacific Ocean. This $30 million project was done to enhance river navigation. More and more often the traffic whistle blows, the center of the Siuslaw Bridge raises and another fishing boat or lumber barge passes the historic riverfront district.

There are over a dozen fresh water lakes, which serve anglers, boaters and swimmers. All of these features add up to a whole lot of tourism. Whether one's recreational needs call for sand, surf, golfing, lakeshores or a deep forest, Florence has all of it close at hand. Recently half a million dollars was spent improving a lighted 3,000 foot runway at the airport. And right down the street an Industrial and Business Park is booming.

The young, the old, and the restless

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.