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Florence Claims #2 Spot in USA Today Poll

Published: May 04, 2017

All of us in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region believe Florence is a premiere place to spend an afternoon, a day or a week!   However, we're just a little biased and so hearing that a panel of experts placed Florence in the top 50 best small northwest towns, and the voting public ranked Florence number 2 overall, is something to shout about! Here's a quick peak into the fun you can have in Florence year-round - GO Florence!

Plan your Florence getaway by visiting our Florence page and learn about many exciting things to do, places to eat and award-winning accommodations that will pamper the whole family.  

USA Today’s “” editors teamed up with a panel of travel experts chosen based on their knowledge and experience with the region to find the best small towns in the Northwest with populations less than 10,000. Florence took second place out of the 50 originally considered for an online poll that concluded April 24.

“We were super excited to be nominated to this list of great places, and are delighted to be the only Oregon town in the top 10, especially considering the other awesome places from our great state that were part of this national survey,” says Bettina Hannigan, executive director for the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce.

USA Today’s write-up stated, “Situated where the Siuslaw River meets the Pacific Ocean, Florence is home to two of the most popular attractions on the central Oregon Coast, Heceta Head Lighthouse and Sea Lion Caves. Fresh seafood dominates the restaurant menus at establishments clustered on Bay Street.”

“We’ve got all that, and more,” boasted Hannigan. “We had four weeks of voting, and voters were encouraged to vote daily using any and all of their electronic devices. The proof is in the polling, and Florence rocked it!”

Last year, Florence was named Expedia’s Most Beautiful Town and received the Reader’s Choice for Best Coastal Getaway from the state’s largest media source, The Oregonian/ Reader’s Digest, one of the world’s most significant magazines, recommended visiting the Oregon Coast in their article, “The Best Summer Vacation Ever!”

“We couldn’t agree more with each of these prestigious designations,” added Hannigan. “We are grateful to have yet another national recognition as we build our identity as Oregon’s Coastal Playground, and as great place to live and work.”

The top 10 included Sequim, WA., followed by Florence, Buffalo, WY., Port Townsend, WA., Sitka, AK., Friday Harbor, WA., Winthrop, WA., Wallace, ID., Cooke City, MT., and Talkeetna, AK. The remaining towns in the survey included Astoria, OR., Cannon Beach, OR., Cody, WY., Homer, AK., Hood River, OR., Jacksonville, OR., La Conner, WA., Livingston, MT., Seward, AK.,  and Whitefish, MT. 

“The tourism industry is a great fit for Florence, and it provides employment for hundreds of families. It brings happy people to town who make major contributions to the economic vitality of our beautiful community,” added Hannigan. “Awards like this give us some serious bragging rights when encouraging people to vacation or relocate a business here.” 

Contact: Bettina Hannigan, Executive Director Florence Area Chamber of Commerce, 541.997.3128,

Author: Andy Vobora

Vice-President of Stakeholder Relations, Travel Lane County
541.501.9398 | 541.743.8770

Travel Lane County markets and promotes the Eugene, Cascades and Coast region as a destination for travel, conventions, sports, meetings and events. It serves as a private, nonprofit association dedicated to economic development through visitor spending, which pumped more than $783 million into Lane County, Oregon's economy in 2019.