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Historic Old Town Florence

Published: December 12, 2022


One of the Oregon Coast's leading destination towns is the historic riverfront in Florence, OR. Originally the Siuslaw estuary was the winter home for the Siuslaw tribe. French, Russian and Spanish explorers and traders moved through the area, and in 1909 a river port was established here. The district thrived economically with industry from fishing, canning, lumber and rock quarries and eventually tourism. Today, discover the scenic boardwalk and harbor lined with historic buildings, landmarks, public art, unique shopping and excellent coastal dining.

There is so much to see and do here, you can easily spend several days browsing the local museums, antique stores and art galleries. Linger at the local coffee shop, tea room and wine bar. And, of course, try the chowder and order a double scoop of ice cream! You'll find that between watching the seals splash near the docks, the kayakers paddling under the beautiful Siuslaw River Bridge and the fishing boats coming up the river; many a pleasant hour will quickly roll by.

Family Enjoying Historic Old Town Florence's boardwalk.

Boardwalk along the Siuslaw River in Historic Old Town Florence

Photo: Eugene, Cascades & Coast

Historic Old Town Florence is centered along Bay Street which runs along the river. At the east end there are docks and the Port of Siuslaw. Several annual events take place along Bay Street including the Wine and Chowder Trail, the Rhododendron Festival, Old Fashioned 4th of July, Rods 'n Rhodies Classic Car Invitational, Veterans' Day Parade and Holiday Tree Lighting.

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Getting Around Old Town

Florence's Old Town district is fairly compact and walkable. There is street parking along the main corridors and a large public parking lot on the east side of Bay Street. The Rhody Express provides public transportation on weekdays around town. 

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Author: Taj Barnhart Morgan

Taj Barnhart Morgan is the Director of Content Strategy for Travel Lane County. A journalism graduate from the University of Oregon, Taj has two decades of special event management and hospitality marketing experience in San Diego, CA and Maui, HI. Passionate about mothering, and back to her Oregon roots, she is discovering the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region all over again through the eyes of her daughter.