The ancient landscape of Florence, Oregon provides a rich history of culture, geography, and archeology. If the Pacific Ocean and the sandy beaches are not quite enough for your vacation, then you will be glad to know that there are many other places and businesses to visit to truly get the beautiful experience of Florence, Oregon.


We recommend that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.

1.Oregon Coast Military Museum

Oregon Coast Military Museum
© Oregon Coast Military Museum

This nonprofit organization honors American Military Veterans, both past and present, by providing education, artifacts, and a commitment to serving the community and Veteran organizations throughout the Oregon coastline. Visitors can find memorabilia, actual war items from local Veterans who donated to the museum, plus another 3,000 sq. ft. of space that tells the stories of America’s wars and conflicts from the past as well as what the American Military currently faces. The museum is growing all the time, so visiting twice isn’t the same experience. The museum holds events throughout the year that support Veteran’s organizations both nationally and locally.

2145 Kingwood St Florence OR United States 97439, Phone: 541-902-5160


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2.Siuslaw River Bridge, Florence, Oregon

Siuslaw River Bridge, Florence, Oregon
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In Florence, Oregon, the Siuslaw River runs straight through the city, allowing for the development of an entire economy as well as the famous bridge that spans the water next to the heart of downtown Florence. Visitors and locals alike can enjoy its unique architecture and beauty as it spans the width of the river. The bridge was built in 1936 and spans over 1,500 feet. It has a double-bascule style construction so as to allow barges and other ships and boats to move freely past the bridge at any time. This bridge is officially a historical landmark that is maintained as such by the State of Oregon.


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3.Darlingtonia State Natural Site

Darlingtonia State Natural Site
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This park is one of Oregon’s many State Parks that offer so much for visitors and locals wishing to enjoy the famous environment of the land. Specifically, this park is made to protect just one species of plant named the Darlingtonia Californica, which is a carnivorous plant you can only find within the area of the park. While the plants are the main act, there are plenty of other sources of entertainment like boardwalks through the amazing flora, special events, the beach, biking trails, and more. The ocean just off the coast also has frequent whale migration, which can be seen most of the year.

5400 Mercer Lake Rd, Florence, OR 97439, Phone: 800-551-6949



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4.Florence, Oregon Boardwalk Market, Florence, Oregon

Florence, Oregon Boardwalk Market, Florence, Oregon
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In a few blocks that are blocked off for the market right on a bay of the Siuslaw River, you can find many different vendors selling anything from jewelry, handmade items, and artifacts to food, fresh fruits and vegetables, crafts, and more. Chances are, when you stroll the boardwalk shopping at all the tents, live music will fill the air, making the experience always a truly enjoyable one for the whole family. A lot of the vendors are regulars with unique items found nowhere else, but the market is ever growing, so finding something new is easy every time you visit.

Port of Siuslaw, Bay and Nopal Streets, Florence, Oregon 97439


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5.Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint

Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint
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This gorgeous lighthouse located just a few steps from the Pacific Ocean is open all year round for visitors to explore, attend programs to learn about the history of the park and the lighthouse, enjoy the landscape and scenery, and explore the Heceta Head Trail. The lighthouse is the strongest beacon along the Oregon coast, and it can be seen from as far as 21 miles away. The Heceta House, which is the keeper’s house, is a bed and breakfast ran by the park service and facilities that are available for group events. The park also has caves, beaches, viewpoints, and tidepools.


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6.The Hobbit Trail, Florence, Oregon

The Hobbit Trail, Florence, Oregon
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This incredible trail is connected to the Heceta Head Lighthouse Trail, which is located right on the beach within a State Park that has caves, a lighthouse with viewpoints of the Pacific Ocean and whale migrations, sandy beaches, and tidepools. The trail continues on as The Hobbit Trail, which resembles the trail leading to the Shire in the famous books and movies. Sitka Spruce trees make the ancient forest that the trail cuts through, and at the end, you’ll find a very secluded, sandy beach that is truly something out of a movie. On the beach, you’ll discover the wonder of the ocean meeting the land with the Heceta Head shooting up over 1,000 feet in the background.


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7.Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park

Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park
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Halfway up the Oregon coast, visitors often find themselves drawn to this state park to fulfill their needs of the forested outdoors, camping, fishing, boating, hiking, swimming, biking, picnicking, and more. You’ll always be able to find a spot among the park’s 47 full hookup sites, 187 regular camping sites, 121 sites with electricity and water, ten yurt sites (five of which are pet-friendly), six group tent areas, biker camps, and an RV dump station. While the park is near the ocean, there are two freshwater lakes within the boundaries that are perfect for boating and swimming. Most campsites and amenities are available for people with disabilities as well.

84505 US-101, Florence, OR 97439, Phone: 541-997-3851



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8.John Dellenback Dunes Trail, Florence, Oregon

John Dellenback Dunes Trail, Florence, Oregon
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Located near Reedsport, Oregon, this trail provides miles of unique landscape for you and your family, including Rover, to enjoy hiking, playing, and picnicking all year round. The ancient forests of Oregon provide an amazing habitat for animals, insects, birds, and other critters that are specific to the region and are in full view for people to educate themselves on. The Siuslaw National Forest Service also has material both online and at their many offices located around the State Parks and towns for people to reference. The entire trail runs from the Eel Creek Campground, going through the landscape and ending at the beach on the Pacific Ocean.

Oregon Coast Hwy Lakeside, OR 97449 near MM 222


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9.Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint

Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint
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The Neptune State Park has several viewpoints and point of interest that have been bundled into what they call the Scenic Viewpoint. In the first of four points along Hwy 101 is one without a name. It is located near Gwynn Creek, which offers views of local wildlife, a small and sandy beach, and plenty of areas for families to picnic and play. The second is Neptune, which is a place on top of a cliff overlooking the beach and the ocean where whales and sea lions are spotted frequently. The third is Strawberry Hill, where a small trail with stairs lead people down to a sandy beach where harbor seals like to hang out. The last spot is Bob Creek, which offers access to the beach and some hunting.


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10.NW Adventures Quest, Florence, Oregon

NW Adventures Quest, Florence, Oregon
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This tour bus outfit specializes in giving tours of the most beautiful areas of Oregon’s coastline, including the famous Heceta Lighthouse, Thor’s Well, the Sea Lion Caves, as well as hiking trails and sandy beaches. You may also attend their brewery and winery tours that travel to and from the best and most famous breweries and wineries Oregon has to offer with exclusive discounts and amenities available within the tour. You are welcome to take the family on an educational adventure where experts will take you to some of the most fascinating geographical locations, tidepools, and other places to explore the land and its wildlife. The company also offers private event rentals for group events, parties, and other wilderness adventures. Phone: 541-590-0571


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11.Beachcomber Pub, Florence, Oregon

Beachcomber Pub, Florence, Oregon
© Beachcomber Pub

Since 1936, the Beachcomber Pub has served all the locals with their favorite food, beer, and entertainment. Be on the lookout for all the major events they hold each year, including motorcycle, carnivals, and parade events. The bartenders are experts in food and beer pairing and will skillfully help you choose from their large selection of over 20 beers on tap and bottled, plus a nice wine and cocktail selection. The Beachcomber Pub is also a great place to go and relax a bit. Watch some sports on one of the nine TVs, shoot some pool, or play some other games.

1355 Bay St., Florence, Oregon 97439, Phone: 541-997-6357


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12.River Roasters, Florence, OR

River Roasters, Florence, OR
© River Roasters

Coffee from the coast is some of the best coffee you can find in America, and this roastery is one that has the best beans along with some of the best views and ambience one could find in Oregon. The coffee is custom made, and visitors are encouraged to sit out on the deck overlooking the river that has a beautiful gothic architecture bridge spanning the width. When visitors have their morning coffee, they also take advantage of the wonderful treats and baked goods to start the day off right. If you aren’t into coffee, there is a wide range of tea, smoothies, and hot chocolate to go with the free Wi-Fi as well.

Old Town Florence 1240 Bay Street Florence, OR — 97439, Phone: 541-997-3443


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13.Sand Master Park, Florence, Oregon

Sand Master Park, Florence, Oregon
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While Florence, Oregon doesn’t have much in the way of snowy mountains, they do have quite a bit of sand, and this park uses it to the fullest. This park is the home of the annual Sand Master Jam, which is a competition of “sandboarders” who display their skills for the judges. They have sand hills to sandboard and sled on, sandboarding lessons with the pros, sand sculpting classes, a super large sandbox for everyone to play in, glass blowing, and dune buggy tours of the area. Every moment at this sand park is a memorable, fun experience for all ages.

4981 Oregon Coast Hwy, Florence, OR 97439, Phone: 541-997-6006


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14.Sandland Adventures, Florence, Oregon

Sandland Adventures, Florence, Oregon
© Sandland Adventures

This super fun adventure park on Oregon's dunes gives people an all day extensive experience for the whole family. The park features sand dune tours on what they call "Giant Dune Buggies," which hold up to 14 people in their larger buggies. Off the sand, visitors can have a bunch of fun on the track in go-kart racing on a large track. The miniature golf course if unique with tons of challenges for adults and easy holes for the kids. The bumper boats help beat the heat of the summer. And the train rides all throughout the park so people can take in the beautiful scenery and check out all the other features the park has to offer. Phone: 541-997-8087


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15.Sea Lion Caves, Florence, Oregon

Sea Lion Caves, Florence, Oregon
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This attraction is the largest sea lion cave system in the United States. The entire area is privately owned, and the main objective of the area is to work as a sea lion preserve. It also acts as a local bird sanctuary, which protects the area's ecosystem from outside dangers. Every animal at the caves are in their natural environment, so they come and go during the spring and summer months, but people can find thousands of Stellar Sea Lions in the caves during the fall and winter months, along with many other species of sea animals in and around the caves.


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16.C&M Stables

C&M Stables
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These stables are located a bit south of Portland, Oregon, and they offer a great horseback riding experience for anyone wishing to see the incredible beach and landscape while learning a new skill at the same time. You can enjoy the natural beauty of the outdoors and have a great experience with the horses. C&M Stables offer several riding experiences on the beach, on trails, adventure rides, riding on the dunes, and rides in the Corral for the little ones. Safety and fun are the top priority at C&M Stables, and their very knowledgeable staff are there to give a wonderful and memorable riding experience. Phone: 541-997-7540


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17.Strawberry Hill Wayside

Strawberry Hill Wayside
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Where the coastline in Oregon meets in the middle lies this gorgeous place where the Pacific Ocean flows onto sandy beaches, a rocky coastline, and forested hills, forming a very large tidepool that creates a very fun experience for the whole family. The location gives explorers a chance to learn about the ancient geography of the area, something that kids enjoy on field trips too. The wayside is actually a part of Neptune State Park, which offers its own features, attractions, and amenities that many enjoy all year round. You can also take the trails that encircle the wayside up to the high spots and catch sight of whales and the view of the incredible environment.


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18.Sweet Magnolia Bakery - Cafe

Sweet Magnolia Bakery - Cafe
© Sweet Magnolia Bakery - Café


Casual dining meets the flavors of Oregon in a lovely place to grab morning coffee, have a delicious lunch and dinner, and enjoy the outdoor patio where the view is as wonderful as the unique pastries and other foods the bakery and café offer. In fact, you can view and sample the award-winning foods they have any time. They encourage everyone to bring their entire families, including the family dog, and everyone can enjoy the tastes of Oregon. The menu has many unique items to give people a first-time experience with some of the more fanciful pastries and baked goods. Everyone will be able to find something they love here.

182 Laurel St. PO Box 2559 Florence OR 97439, Phone: 541-997-2959


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19.Three Rivers Casino Resort

Three Rivers Casino Resort
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If you're feeling lucky, you can visit the casino that has all kinds of slot machines, table games, and other games for people to enjoy. Guests can also explore the many other features on the 100 acres the resort sits on, including restaurants, special events held throughout the year, the scenery of the Oregon Coastline right on the Pacific Ocean, all the full-service amenities and features the resort and hotel have, local arts and history events, a children's theater, and many more attractions that make this resort a one of a kind place to enjoy, relax, and find some entertainment. The Three Rivers Casino Resort has two locations: one in Florence, Oregon and the other in Coos Bay, Oregon.

5647 Highway 126 Florence, Oregon 97439 / 1297 Ocean Boulevard Coos Bay Oregon 97420, Phone: 877-374-8377


20.B&E Wayside RV Park

B&E Wayside RV Park
© Greg Pickens/stock.adobe.com


Conveniently accessed just off US 101, the B&E Wayside RV Park is one of the top rated RV facilities in all of Florence, Oregon. This RV park has received a lot of excellent reviews and positive scores in the past for its super facilities and prime location, and continues to be one of the most popular parks in the city. Family owned and operated, this RV Park offers a cozy, familiar feel for visitors, really making you feel like you've arrived a genuine 'home away from home'. The surroundings are peaceful and charming, and the views from some of the RV sites are simply extraordinary. You can actually sit and watch the sunsets in the evenings without even having to leave the RV.

B&E Wayside RV Park is fitted out with spacious RV sites that can accommodate medium to large sized motor homes. It also comes with very clean bathrooms and showers, with past guests being highly satisfied by the cleanliness of the facilities here. The park is also fitted out with washers and dryers to keep all your clothes and bed linen clean and fresh too. It's a fairly no-frills park without too many facilities or crazy amenities, but it has the basics and has very friendly staff that will do all they can to help you have the best stay. The rates are great too, so if you're looking for a low budget option in Florence, this is a great RV park to choose.

3760 US-101, Florence, OR 97439, Phone: 541-997-6451


21.Heceta Beach RV Park

Heceta Beach RV Park
© savoieleysse/stock.adobe.com


Perfectly situated in a prime location, right by the coast, the Heceta Beach RV Park is the ideal choice for people who are visiting Florence, OR to spend a lot of time soaking up the sun, breathing in that fresh sea air, feeling the soft sand beneath their feet, and making the most of their Oregon beach trip. You can literally step out of your RV and walk to Heceta Beach in five minutes or less from this highly rated RV park, and there are many other great coastal drives and beaches to be found nearby.

Heceta Beach RV Park features very spacious pull-thru RV sites with all the standard utilities you'd expect to find. The sites are big enough to cater to even the largest RVs, so you don't need to worry about not having enough space. On-site amenities at this Florence RV park include private picnic tables to share good food with your friends and family, cable TV channels for all RV guests, fire rings, 30/50-amp power, wireless internet for all, clean and spacious restrooms, a dump station, horseshoe pits, a lending library with book exchange program, gas sales, laundry machines, and more. This is a pet friendly RV park too, so if you want to bring a canine companion along for some fun on the Oregon coast, you can do so at Heceta Beach RV Park.

4636 Heceta Beach Rd, Florence, OR 97439, Phone: 541-997-7664


22.Mercer Lake Resort

Mercer Lake Resort
© Lisa F. Young/stock.adobe.com

One of the main reasons people visit the Florence, OR area is to appreciate all the beautiful natural scenery this part of Oregon has to offer. Along with the soft, sandy beaches and breathtaking sunsets, there are some beautiful local forests and lakes to explore, and you can be right at the heart of one of those forests if you choose to stay at Mercer Lake Resort. As the name suggests, this RV park and cabin rental resort is situated right on the banks of a beautiful lake, perfect for boating and fishing.

The local area around Mercer Lake Resort is a popular hunting spot too, and there are lots of scenic hiking trails and biking routes to check out if you're a real outdoor enthusiast. The RV sites are spacious and feature private fences, picnic tables, and shady spots provided by the tall trees all around the park itself. Mercer Lake Resort features a hot tub, a play area for children to enjoy, and a very fun water trampoline in the summer months, letting you bounce and splash right out in the lake itself. The site also features toilets, showers, a fish house, a laundry area with coin operated washers and dryers, lots of grassy spaces for some picnics, a boat ramp, and a designated swimming zone.

88875 Bayberry Ln, Florence, OR 97439, Phone: 541-997-3633



22 Best Things to Do in Florence, Oregon



Attraction Spotlight: Sea Lion Caves

Located near the city of Florence, OR at approximately the midpoint of the 400-mile Oregon Coast, the Sea Lion Caves are a connected region of sea caverns housing Steller sea lions, operated as a private wildlife refuge and bird sanctuary attraction.

History

The first known human discovery of the Sea Lion Caves region of the Oregon Coast dates back to 1880, when local sea captain William Cox found the caves by accident through a grotto area along their western channel. Cox continued to explore the caves for several years and eventually purchased the surrounding land from the State of Oregon in 1887, which he owned until 1926. Following the acquisition of the land by R.E. Clanton in 1927, the Sea Lion Caves region became a proposed site for the construction of United States Route 101, bringing the prospect of increased tourism and travel to the area. In 1930, Clanton and his business partners J.G. Houghton and J.E. Jacobson began development of the caves as a public attraction, constructing a 1,500-foot trail in the nearby cliffs and a 135-step tower for access to the caves’ north entrance. Despite difficult construction conditions, the project was completed and the Sea Lion Caves were officially opened to the public in 1932. Throughout the mid-20th century, the attraction’s prominence grew throughout the region, and an Otis elevator was installed at the site in 1961 for easier visitor access.

Attractions

Today, the Sea Lion Caves are owned and operated by the families of J.E. Jacobson and business partner R.A. Saubert, who took over part ownership of the facility when Clanton withdrew his partnership in 1934. As a privately-owned wildlife preserve and bird sanctuary, the attraction is located near the city of Florence, Oregon at approximately the midway point of the 400-mile Oregon Coast, accessible via Highway 101. As one of the most prominent sea grotto areas in the world, the caves have drawn comparisons to the famous Blue Grotto region of the Mediterranean and are the largest sea cave region in the United States. The facility is a partner organization of the Oregon and Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve, which strives to protect the Oregon Coast’s marine life and ecosystems.

The cave system, which was formed more than 25 million years ago, is made of basalt rock and spans more than two acres of floor area, with a dome reaching a height of 125 feet. Three entrance openings are located within the cave, including an entrance area with an elevated observation area for observing the entire cave system. Cavern walls are covered with a variety of lichen, algae, and mineral stains, with colorations giving rise to named regions of the caves, including Indian Maiden, Lincoln’s Head, and the Goddess of Liberty. The caves are best known as the only known mainland rookery and wintering home for Steller’s and California sea lions, which are visible throughout the year at the site. As the refuge area is not a zoo facility, sea lions are not present at all times, but frequently inhabit the caves in large population numbers during the winter months and spring breeding and birthing seasons. A number of bird species also inhabit the caves and their surrounding region, including Western, herring, and California gulls, Brandt’s cormorants, pigeon guillemots.

Visitor access to the site is provided via an Otis elevator, which can accommodate 23 passengers at a time and descends 208 feet down the coast’s cliffs to the site of the caves. A whale-watching observation deck is also provided at an elevation of 300 feet above the coast, providing opportunities to observe gray whales and orcas. A small gift shop and museum facility at the entrance to the caves displays several exhibits, including an encased Steller sea lion skeleton on loan from Newport’s Hatfield Marine Science Center and a life-sized bronze sea lion family sculpture commissioned by artist Ken Scott for the 50th anniversary of the caves’ operation as an attraction. The caves are open year round, with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas Days, and ticket rates are available for adults, seniors, and children.

Ongoing Programs and Education

In addition to standard visitor admission, guided tours of the caves are offered for small groups and organizations, including curriculum-incorporated field trip opportunities for elementary and secondary school students. Connecting lesson plans are available for elementary and middle school teachers, incorporating Oregon natural history, biological science, geology, and environmental science curriculum elements, either for use in the classroom or as part of guided field trip experiences. Curriculum documents may also be downloaded from the attraction’s website for homeschool students and extended learning opportunities connected to personal visits.

91560 U.S. 101, Florence, OR 97439, Phone: 541-547-3111

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Attraction Spotlight: Oregon Coast Military Museum

Located in Florence, Oregon, the Oregon Coast Military Museum showcases exhibits honoring regional military veterans and service members in international conflicts throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. The city of Florence, Oregon is heavily populated with American military veterans, with more than 21% of the area’s residents having served in at least one international military conflict in the 20th and 21st centuries.

History

The region is also a popular residence for retirees living along the Oregon Coast and residents with ties to American military service branches. In 2008, the Oregon Coast Military Museum nonprofit organization was organized by a group of area citizens for the purposes of creating a museum facility honoring American military service members, with a particular focus on the service of Florence and Oregon Coast residents. Following seven years of fundraising and museum construction efforts, the Oregon Coast Military Museum officially opened to the public in July of 2015.

Permanent Exhibits and Attractions

Today, the Oregon Coast Military Museum is operated as an Oregon domestic nonprofit corporation, overseen by a volunteer board of directors. More than 3,000 square feet of exhibit space is showcased at the museum’s permanent facility in Florence, which is located adjacent to the Florence Municipal Airport campus. The museum is open to the public Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays during the late morning and early afternoon hours, with admission rates for adults, children, and museum members. As a nonprofit museum facility, the OCMM is dedicated to educating the Oregon Coast community about the service and sacrifices of local military members and honoring veterans from all eras of military heritage, with a focus on 20th and 21st-century international conflicts.

A variety of exhibits and memorabilia are showcased at the 3,000-square-foot museum facility, including personal artifacts such as uniforms and medals belonging to Oregon Coast military veterans. Other military memorabilia on display includes weapons such as guns and bayonets and collections of American and military flags. A variety of military vehicles are displayed at the facility, including vintage Jeeps. Exhibit areas within the museum provide a chronological retrospective of international conflicts, including World Wars I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, and the Global War on Terrorism.

The museum’s centerpiece is its collection of life-sized dioramas and artistic panels created by local artists depicting scenes from 20th and 21st-century international conflicts, including depictions of soldiers in trenches during World War I and the Pacific and European Theaters of World War II. M.A.S.H. activity during the Korean War is also depicted, as is a jungle scene from the Vietnam War and a United States convoy traveling through an Iraqi village during Operation Desert Storm. Mannequins are displayed throughout the dioramas depicting American soldiers, and written information detailing the background and history of each conflict is provided with each diorama area.

A theater at the museum presents periodic showings of military-themed documentaries, and a lending library offers volumes related to 20th and 21st-century international conflicts and the branches of the American military. Children’s exhibit areas include a touch table and a free play area with snap-together model toys. A gift shop at the museum offers military-themed books, souvenirs, and apparel.

Ongoing Programs and Events

In addition to standard visitor admission, the Oregon Coast Military Museum offers guided tour experiences for small groups and organizations, including curriculum-incorporated field trips for elementary, secondary, and collegiate school groups. Tour reservations must be scheduled prior to tour date by contacting the museum’s chief of staff via phone or email. A number of public special event programs are held at the museum throughout the year, including a Military Heritage Day event in April, a Southern Oregon Veterans Benefit event, a Wings and Wheels Fly-In and Car Show, and an annual Walkthrough Winter Wonderland and Festival of Trees event during the winter holiday months. Military ceremonies are held periodically at the museum, including United States Coast Guard ceremonies. The museum is also available for private event rentals, including veterans events and meetings.

Florence, Oregon

The city of Florence, Oregon is located on the central Oregon Coast near Highway 101 and offers a variety of scenic and tourist attractions, including the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, which offers hiking and outdoor recreation activities. The Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, located within the Siuslaw National Forest, is located nearby, along with the restored Heceta Head Lighthouse and the Sea Lion Caves attraction, which showcases local populations of Steller sea lions. The city’s Old Town historic downtown district offers a variety of attractions, including the River Gallery, and a number of traditional riverfront restaurants. A park, marina, and RV campground are located along the city’s waterfront, which also offers fishing, dune buggy riding, crabbing, and clamming experiences.

2145 Kingwood St, Florence, OR 97439, Phone: 541-902-5160

More Places to Visit in Oregon

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