Florence is a quaint and enchanting city settled along the Oregon Coast. Located just over an hour from Eugene and nestled between two coastal towns, Newport and Coos Bay, the area is perfect for anyone looking for a combination of urban life and the breathtaking scenery of the Oregon Coast. The city not only provides residents with access to beautiful beaches, dunes, parks, and the sprawling Sea Lion Caves, but it also holds a rich history that is evident in its architecture and culture.
If you’re considering making Florence your new home, then you’ve come to the right place! Whether you want to know about Florence’s natural features, community opportunities, local events and activities, shops and restaurants, or the pros and cons of living in the area, keep reading to learn more about all Florence has to offer!
Living in Florence, Oregon
With the area’s diverse landscapes, you have the option to find sanctuary along it’s many beaches, forested areas, riversides, or historic town centers. Florence maintains a small town desirability while also providing endless opportunities for fun and adventure. With charming and idyllic residential areas, a bustling yet quaint downtown center, and many attractions and activities, the town has earned the title of Oregon’s Coastal Playground.
The area has been home to the Native Siuslaw people for over 9,000 years. The town of Florence was founded by settlers in 1893 and the area’s ample fishing opportunities and dense forests powered much of the city’s economy in those days. However, tourism is now the backbone of the town’s financial system. The long and rich history of Florence has not been forgotten. In fact, many descendants of the Suislaws continue to call Florence home to this day.
Here are a few facts about living in Florence:
- Size — Florence is a total of 6.07 square miles; there are 5.4 of land and 0.67 of water.
- Population — This small city has a population of 8,921 and a median age of 61.
- Cost of living — Florence boasts a relatively modest cost of living, slightly lower than the national average. The median home is valued at $237,100 with a median household income of $42,356, and the total cost of living stands at 94.1.
- Schools — Florence is home to the Siuslaw School district. With a total of 1,357 students in the K-12 grades, Florence schools offer a supportive, diverse, and friendly educational environment.
- Weather — The climate in Florence is temperate, while being cooler than most Oregon towns. The summer months reach highs of 75-85° while the winter lows can reach about 38°. Florence averages 167 rainy days per year.
- Proximity to other Oregon cities — Florence is located 170 miles southwest of Portland (just under 3 hours by car) and 61 miles west of Eugene (about a 1 hour and 20 minute drive). It’s also right in between two other major coastal towns: Newport and Coos Bay (both about 49 miles away).
Despite its relatively small size, Florence offers a variety of neighborhoods that each have their own unique amenities. For example, downtown Florence is exceptionally walkable and boasts a vibrant social scene with many shops, restaurants, and hiking trails. The city center is also quite affordable compared to other Oregon towns.
If you’re looking for a quieter neighborhood, intertwined with Florence’s natural landscapes, Heceta Beach offers a more rural residential area right on the water. The neighborhood is perfect for those drawn to the coastal elements of Florence. Home to the historic Heceta Head Lighthouse, the area gives you both the serenity of coastal life and the old fashioned charm Florence is known for.
For others who enjoy fishing, boating, and lush greenery, Munsel Lake may be perfect for you. With a collection of unique shops and restaurants and a dense forest surrounding the lake, the area is ideal for nature lovers looking for a mix of peaceful wilderness and fun activities and recreation.
Things To Do in Florence, Oregon
There are a number of attractions in Florence that are part of what make the city so unique. Natural attractions such as the Sea Lion Caves, the Hobbit hiking trail, or the Darlingtonia State Natural Site (which contains a vast collection of protected carnivorous flowers), are just some of the natural attractions Florence has to offer. In addition, there are numerous walking trails, parks, and beaches. If you’re looking for adventure, the Oregon Dune National Recreation Area is a popular destination. The dunes along the coastline offer an expansive area for off-highway vehicle riding with bikes and buggies, and there are guided rides available as well.
There are also a number of attractions within the more urban areas of Florence, such as the historic Heceta Head Lighthouse, which was first illuminated in 1894, as well as the landmark Siuslaw River drawbridge. You can also visit the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum to learn all about the town’s unique history.
Along with these breathtaking attractions, there are also several unique restaurants and cafes throughout the city, including River Roasters, a cozy cafe with delicious fresh coffee and mouth-watering pastries. If you’re in the mood for fresh seafood, look no further than the Bridgewater Ocean Fresh Fish House and Zebra Bar or the Waterfront Depot Restaurant which offers an eclectic menu of local cuisine along with vegan and vegetarian options right by the ocean.
The city also frequently hosts local events, including sand sculpting showcases, fairs and festivals, flea markets along the boardwalk, and more!
Pros and Cons of Living in Florence
Florence is a dynamic and charismatic location, perfect for single adults and families alike. However, like any destination, it has its share of negatives and positives to consider. Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of residing in Florence, Oregon.
- Cost of living is low — It’s no secret that living expenses all over the country are rising, which is significantly limiting people’s options, especially for young adults and families. Florence provides all the natural beauty and amenities of the Pacific Northwest without the associated cost. In fact, the cost of living in Florence is about 8% lower than the Oregon average.
- The landscapes are beautiful and diverse — One of the most obvious draws of the area is the natural environment. Not only does the coastal town boast stunning beaches, but the land surrounding Florence can provide just about any type of nature you’re looking for. Sandy dunes, dense forests, beautiful lakes, ocean views, and ample hiking trails make it the perfect location for nature lovers and adventure seekers.
- The population is quite small — With a population just under 9,000, Florence is undoubtedly classified as a small city. While this may be a positive for some, you definitely won’t get the feel of a larger city. While it’s not too far from major hubs, it’s nearly a three hour drive to Portland. This means that if you love the hustle and bustle of a sprawling metropolis, Florence may not be the ideal place for you.
- Rain and Clouds are part of life in Florence — While Florence is a coastal town, it’s still the Pacific Northwest, which means rainy weather is part of the deal. Florence definitely has its fair share of sunny days during the summer, but it’s colder than most other places in Oregon and you should be prepared for an abundance of rain and fog.
West Coast Moving & Storage Is Here To Help Make Your Move to the Coast a Breeze
Florence is filled with opportunities for sightseeing and adventure! With a charming coastal feel and an abundance of exciting attractions and natural landscapes, you can’t go wrong with this Oregon coastal city. We know that moving can be a stressful and time-consuming process, but we’re here to help! If you’re considering a move to Florence, or any of the other unique cities in the PNW, West Coast Moving is ready to handle the heavy lifting and make your move streamlined and stress-free!
Contact us today to learn about our services and to schedule your free consultation!