# 47 Take a Ride in an Open Cockpit Biplane

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Apr 082018

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There are few places in the world that can match the natural beauty of the Oregon Coast. You can drive the coast from Brookings to Astoria and never cease to be amazed at the beauty around each corner. But if you would like to see that scenery from the next level, you can’t imagine the beauty when seeing it from an open cockpit biplane in the air. Cruise low along the beach, wave to the hikers and smell the surf. View the sea lions in the ocean and see them entering the famous Sea Lions Caves from over the ocean. Cruise past the historic Heceta Head Lighthouse as only the sailors of old have seen it. Smell the fragrant, fresh Oregon pines as you descend into a pristine valley and soar over one of Oregon’s serene lakes. View the historic Siuslaw River and see the relics of past fishing and logging industries and the historic Siuslaw River Bridge. Soar over the vast Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and wave to the dune buggies below. And do all of this in a meticulously restored 1944 Stearman open cockpit biplane. The classic Stearman was first designed in the 1930’s and was such a reliable and sturdy design that it was chosen to train their pilots for duties overseas in World War II. Nearly 10,000 total aircraft were built – with thousands having been restored and still flying today. Your highly experienced pilots come from impressive US Air Force careers followed by airline and flight test experience – and they will entertain you with interesting historical facts and land you safely and softly in the grass at the airport – the way Wilbur and Orville would have wanted it! There are several ride profiles available that will fit any budget – or just tell them where you want to fly. Come Fly With Us!

Aerolegends is located at the Florence Municipal Airport.

Google Map

For more details, contact Winette and Terry Tomeny at 541-991-3579


 Posted by at 12:35 pm

# 48 Hike the Trail to Sweet Creek Falls

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Apr 072018

IMG_1388(photo by Bobbi Nelson)

Only a few miles inland from Florence, you can find the Sweet Creek Trail, which follows the scenic cascading waters of Sweet Creek. You will encounter 11 waterfalls in all as you hike along the trail under a canopy of Douglas-
Fir, Alder and Big Leaf Maple. Homestead Trailhead, about 10 miles east of Highway 126 on Sweet Creek Road, is where you will begin your approximately 3 mile hike. You can make this hike year round, but making the trip in April or May might allow you to see woodland wildflowers, including big white trilliums and a rare breed of pink fawn lilies. You’ll also see columbines and wild woodland iris among the rocks in the sides of the trail. Ferns and mosses of various shades of green cover rocks, trees and downed logs. Metal catwalks have been built into the trail, making it an easy hike. For more information about Sweet Creek Falls, call (541) 750-7000.


 Posted by at 12:40 pm

# 49 Take the Elevator to Visit the Sea Lions

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Apr 062018

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Anyone interested in seeing an amazing one-of-a-kind natural phenomenon should take a trip to Sea Lion Caves, featuring the world’s largest sea cave. The cave was formed almost 25 million years ago and is now home to about 200 Steller sea lions. There is elevator access 208 feet down into the enormous cave. The cave is about 12 stories high and as wide as a football field. During the fall and winter months this amazing cave may be filled with fun-loving sea lions. The rock ledge below the lookout located just outside the cave is the sea lions’ home during the spring and summer, and is where they breed and bear their young. Great care is taken to maintain the cave as a natural habitat for the sea lions. Flash photography is not allowed in the cave. Sea Lion Caves is located 11 miles north of Florence.

WHERE:  91560 Hwy 101 North

Google Map

CALL:  (541) 547-3111


 Posted by at 12:32 pm

# 50 Walk to the Beach From Your Campsite

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Apr 052018

Camp at Heceta Beach RV Park and you can walk to the beach from your campsite. Find a treasure on the beach in Florence. Search for shells, glass floats, driftwood and agates. Investigate tidepools during a minus tide.  Enjoy the numerous sea birds that inhabit the beach.  Watch for pelicans gliding in formation over the surf.  Bring a kite and let the fresh, coastal air take it high in the sky. After your walk, take a stroll over to Jerry’s Place and relax. The ocean is beautiful, but always be aware of the changing tide and watch for sneaker waves.  Other locations to access the beach include the South Jetty, North Jetty, Sutton Creek, or Siltcoos Dunes.  For more information, contact Heceta Beach RV Park at (541) 997-7664


 Posted by at 1:31 pm

# 51 Have a Sandland Adventure

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Apr 042018

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Visit Sandland Adventures for a day of fun at the Oregon Dunes. View an impressive natural wonder of endless shifting sand, unique tree islands, various wildlife and the spectacular Siuslaw River. Choose an exhilarating dune ride on their Sandrails or a more relaxing tour on one of their Giant Dune Buggies. Professional drivers will show you a great time while you travel across miles of dunes. The one hour dune tour also includes traveling down the Pacific Ocean beach. Large or small groups can be accommodated on either tour. After your dune ride, you can have fun bumping and splashing on the Bumper Boats, race on the Grand Prix style Go-Kart track, play the Miniature Golf Course or take a ride on the Cloverline Railroad. Sandland Aventures is located less than 1 mile south of Florence on the central Oregon Coast. Look for the sign on thewest side of Hwy 101. See ad on the inside front cover of this issue. For more information, call (541) 997-8087.

WHERE:  85366 Hwy 101 – 1 mile south of Florence on Hwy 101

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 Posted by at 1:54 pm

# 52 Spend Some Time at Cleawox Lake

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Apr 032018

photo by Rick Obst

Cleawox Lake is located next to Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park, about 3 miles south of Florence.  This lovely lake is dammed by sand dunes providing a great place for swimming and canoeing. Drop a line in the water from the fishing dock or use the boat ramp and fish for largemouth bass, yellow perch, brown bullhead catfish, hatchery rainbow trout or coastal cutthroat trout. Have a picnic or go for a hike on one of the trails. Restrooms are available. No overnight camping by the lake, but nearby Jessie M. Honeyman State Park has camping facilities. 

Google Map

 Posted by at 4:02 pm

# 53 See Carnivorous Plants at a Botanical Park

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Apr 022018

The Darlingtonia State Natural Site provides visitors with a very rare opportunity to see the Cobra Lily, a carnivorous plant. Though the Cobra Lily appears beautiful to humans, it is a treacherous predator for insects. The Cobra Lily’s magnificent reddish purple top leaves and sweet smelling nectar attract the bugs, but once inside the plant, life ends. The plant traps the insects, which slide down and get digested and absorbed by the plant. The 18-acre Botanical Park has a very nice boardwalk trail leading to the plants. It is also home to other lush vegetation and wildlife, and has a picnic area. It is free to use and located just five miles north of Florence off Hwy 101. For more information about the Darlingtonia State Natural Site and the carnivorous Cobra Lily, call (800) 551-6949.

Google Map


 Posted by at 1:29 pm

# 54 Enjoy the Siuslaw Bridge Interpretive Center & Veteran’s Memorial Park

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Apr 012018


Siuslaw River Bridge Interpretive Center: Located in the heart of Old Town on Bay Street in Florence is the Siuslaw River Bridge Interpretive Center. Owned and operated by the City of Florence the interpretive center provides unobstructed views of the Siuslaw River Bridge, picnic tables, and a chance to sit and soak in the beauty of the Siuslaw River. More than a decade in the making, the interpretive center opened on June 28, 2013 as a collaborative effort combining federal, state, and local funds. Contributions were made by the Federal Highway Administration Scenic Byways Program, Florence Urban Renewal Agency, and the City of Florence.

Veterans Park: Overlooking the southern dunes of the Siuslaw River lies the City of Florence Veterans Memorial Park. Located at the intersection of Bay and Kingwood Streets, this 0.38 acre park includes a memorial wall, presentation area, parking, and beautiful views of the Siuslaw River. Be sure to check it out on Flag Day, Memorial Day, D-Day, and Veterans Day for annual veterans observances.

 Posted by at 3:47 pm

# 55 Go Treasure Hunting in the Antique District

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Mar 312018



Antiques and antique stores abound on the Oregon Coast, and shopping for antiques in Florence is like taking a trip into the past, while you add to your collection. Whether you’re a casual collector, or a passionate lifetime antique enthusiast, there’s something for everyone, just waiting to be discovered in any of the fine dealers located in and around the Florence area. Start your hunt for that certain time piece, period furniture, jewelry or apparel that you’ve always wanted, but could never find. Talk to the friendly staff at any of the dealers about your quest, and if they don’t have it or can’t get it, they will lead you to another source.
For dealer locations, see the Florence Antique District Map above.

#1 Cindy Wobbe Estate Sales – 498 Hwy 101 – 541-999-0126 – www.cindywobbeestates.com
#2 Purple Pelican Antique Mall – 478 Hwy 101 – 541-997-2220 – antiques@peak.org
#3 Thrifty Threads – 168 Maple Street – 541-991-6196

 Posted by at 4:51 pm

# 56 Go Sandboarding on Oregon’s Coastal Dunes

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Mar 302018

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No snow? No problem. You won’t need winter weather to break out your board at Oregon’s famous coastal sand dunes. Sand Master Park in Florence — the world’s first sandboard park — boasts beginner to advanced slopes, bowls, a 40-foot ramp, jumps and rail slides centered on 40 acres of private sand dunes and surrounded by 200 acres of public dunes and forest land. The annual Sand Master Jam event is held the third full weekend of June, along with the popular Battle of the Bands series of free concerts throughout the summer months. Groups and parties are welcome to take a lesson from a world sandboard champion, and the pro shop offers board rentals and all of the necessary gear, including sandboards, sand sleds, boogie boards and skim boards. Sand Master Park is located on Hwy 101 at the north end of Florence. For more information, call (541) 997-6006.

Google Map


 Posted by at 12:53 pm

# 57 Rent an ATV or Buggy and Play on the Dunes

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Mar 292018

Visitors are sure to find exciting things to do at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Over the years, winds have carved out the sand to form dunes of up to 500 feet above sea level. Located just south of Florence off Hwy 101, the dunes cover a 40-mile stretch of coast making it the largest coastal dune area in North America. Off-roading is allowed in three designated areas for ATVs and dune buggies. Visitors can take a self-guided tour by renting an ATV from Torex ATV Rentals (541) 997-5363, or by bringing their own. There are several companies in the area that offer tours, lead by experienced and knowledgeable guides, such as Sand Dunes Frontier at (541) 997-3544.  Hiking trails and camping areas abound in the area as well. Those looking for a change should check out sand camping in dispersed sand camping sites. Vehicles accessing campsites should be capable of off-highway travel over soft sand in a dune environment. For more information, call Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area (541) 271-3611.

Google Map


 Posted by at 12:57 pm

# 58 Visit Old Town Florence

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Mar 282018


Welcome to historic Old Town Florence, where a relaxing stroll gives the feeling of stepping back into a more simple time. It’s a perfect place for a leisurely day, a respite from the busy pace we all know. There is a bit of something for everyone – an eclectic variety of shops of all sorts, art galleries, dining options offering both local as well as international cuisine, and the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum to complete your journey back in time.

Surrounded by Victorian buildings, Historic Old Town Florence is one of the most beautiful and charming of the Oregon Coast communities. It has been a logging community and fishing village and active Port for over 150 years and retains much of its old-time charm today. Stroll down the Boardwalk, enjoy watching the river flow by from Gazebo Park, or enjoy the view of our 1936 art deco Conde McCullough bridge from the newly completed Siuslaw Interpretive Center. You’ll enjoy a relaxing experience while feeling like your’re stepping back into a more simple time to an all-American, small town.

You’re likely to find something going on whenever you visit. There are celebrations going on year round such as  4th of July with fireworks reflecting over the river, May’s Rhody Days with Vendor Fair and parades, September’s Rods n’ Rhodies Car Show where we line the streets with high-end hot rods, Festival and Wine Walk, and of course Florence Holiday Festival at Christmas where we light the Christmas tree and welcome Santa’s arrival.

Enjoy an uncurbed adventure back in time – Come See What We See!  Call 541-997-3128 for more information.


 Posted by at 3:47 pm

# 59 Have Fun at Woahink Lake

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Mar 272018

Woahink Lake is a lovely place offering visitors a perfect place to relax, enjoy nature and have a lot of fun. The lake, just three miles inland from the Pacific Ocean and just south of Florence on Hwy 101, provides excellent opportunities for fishing, boating, swimming and other outdoor activities. The area is part of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, so named because of the fantastic dunes that line the lake. Boats and a variety of watercraft are available for rent. The fishing is spectacular in Woahink Lake, and includes warm-water species such as yellow perch and largemouth bass, as well as cold-water species such as rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and kokanee. There is a large public swimming area. For the hiker, explore any of the trails in the bordering 522- acre Jesse M. Honeyman State Park. The shaded picnic areas adjacent to the lake are especially pleasant. For more information about any of the activities on Woahink Lake, call (541) 997-3338.


 Posted by at 1:43 pm

# 60 Enjoy the Arts – Live Theatre or Visual Arts

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Mar 262018

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If live theater is what you’re looking for, why not take in a show at the Florence Events Center, Florence’s own state of the art 457 seat, professional theater. Interested in art? Visit the year round art galleries located on the premises, featuring many local artists’ work. Something’s always happening at the Florence Events Center. Call (541) 997-1994 or (888) 968-4086 for more information.

715 Quince Street  – Florence

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 Posted by at 1:11 pm

# 61 See the Brightest Light on the Oregon Coast

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Mar 252018

The Heceta Head Lighthouse is as quaint and beautiful as it is powerful. The 56-foot tall lighthouse is rated as the brightest light of any of the lighthouses on the Oregon coast—its “first order” Fresnel lens is visible some 21 miles out to sea. The views from the lighthouse are amazing. Since it sits 205 feet above the sea on a jagged and rugged cliff line, its sightline is unobstructed. The Queen Anne-style Keeper’s House has been restored to its original splendor. By day the first floor serves as an Interpretive Center, and the home is a bed and breakfast at night, welcoming guests year-round. Guests are encouraged to visit the lighthouse after dark, a rare experience. A
seven-course gourmet breakfast is served each morning, and is included in the price of the room. For further information, contact the Heceta Head Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast, (866) 547-3696. During the summer months occasional night tours of the lighthouse start at the Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint at 9 p.m. and include a walk to the lighthouse to learn about the history of the area and how the lens works. Special Christmas tours are given on two weekends before Christmas. The area surrounding the lighthouse is well-known as an outstanding wildlife area. Common murres lay their eggs on the bare rocks, and can be seen by looking down, just over the railing near the lighthouse. Brown pelicans commonly fly by, as do bald eagles. May is an especially good time to look down on migrating gray whales as the mothers and their calves travel close to shore. Other natural attractions are natural caves, tidepools, and a very attractive sandy beach. In addition, there are plenty of hiking and picnicking areas. This is one trip that will definitely be fun for everyone. The park is located off of Hwy 101 just 13 miles north of Florence. For more information, call (541) 547-3416.

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 Posted by at 1:52 pm