A part of the Eugene, Cascades, and Coast regions of Oregon, Florence sits between the Pacific Ocean and Siuslaw River. This beautiful area is surrounded by water, mountains, and forests. On your visit, you’ll see magnificent sand dunes, have many opportunities to swim in the ocean, and will get to kayak along the river. You can explore nature with your kids by hiking and tide pooling, or you can reconnect with nature by fishing, hiking, or engaging in other outdoor activities. Here are some of the top places to look for Florence, Oregon vacation rentals as you start planning your trip.

1. Old Town

Source: Flickr / Kirt Edblom

Settle in the heart of the city at Old Town, which is cradled along the south bend of the Siuslaw River. Stroll along the docks with your kids, and enjoy some authentic seafood at Bridgewater Fish House and Zebra bar or Waterfront Depot. Give the family a little history lesson by visiting the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum and checking out historic buildings such as the Siuslaw River Bridge. Dock your boat at the marina, and take your kids out to explore Siuslaw River with all its creeks and inlets.

2. Siuslaw River

Source: Flickr / Doug Kerr

For a quieter city experience, opt for a vacation rental along the west side of Florence, which lies along the Siuslaw River. Boat over to the South Jetty County Park, a strip of land that lies between the river and ocean, if you want to enjoy a relaxing day on the water. Walk the beaches with your kids, collect sea glass, and do a little sunbathing. Relax on the greens at Sandpines Golf Links, a short drive from the river.

3. Heceta Beach

If you want to spend your days enjoying the ocean and swimming, grab a vacation rental on Heceta Beach. Walk along the windblown sand with the waves lapping at your feet, or take your kids wading in the waves. Get your little ones interested in nature by exploring tide pools and looking for shells. Grab a quick bite at Jerry’s Place, or roast hot dogs in the fire pit outside your vacation rental.

4. Mercer Lake

Source: Flickr / Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

Enjoy a vacation at Mercer Lake, just north of Florence. Bring your boat from home, or rent one at a nearby facility. Spend your time exploring the coves and inlets of the lake with your family. You can also take a day trip to the ocean, which is just a few minutes away. If you want a taste of city life, drive down to Florence for a stroll along the river and enjoy a range of eateries at your fingertips.

5. Glenada

Source: Flickr / Alfred Essa

Glenada lies just over Siuslaw River from Florence, conveniently connected by the freeway so you can easily hop from one town to another. Kayak from Siuslaw River to Flint Creek River, which runs through Joaquin Miller State Park for some wildlife exploration, or hike through the woods. Experience sand in a new way via dune buggies at Sandland Adventures, a thrilling ride for any kid.

6. Woahink Lake

Woahink Lake is located south of Florence along I-101. Get a rental vacation there to enjoy beach and lake access. Stroll along the dunes and spend a long day swimming in the ocean, and then spend a night tooling along the lake in your boat. The ocean air and plentiful nature provide ample opportunities for you and your children to enjoy the great outdoors. The tidepools give your kids a glimpse into ocean life.

7. Siltcoos Lake

Just a few minutes from Woahink Lake sits Siltcoos Lake, boasting various arms and branches that turn boating into an adventure. Kayak down Siltcoos River all the way to the ocean where you can experience the unique plants and animals of the wetlands. You can also camp overnight in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation area if you prefer to connect with nature.

8. Acme

Source: Flickr / Rick Obst

Up the river from Florence, Acme is close enough to the downtown area for you to enjoy great restaurants and shopping yet far enough away from crowds for you to have a peaceful, quiet vacation experience. In Acme, you can explore Bender Landing County Park, a wetland oasis, and kayak down Siuslaw River.

9. Cushman

Source: Flickr / Forest Service

Cushman lies just close enough to Florence for you to enjoy some urban fun, but it’s far enough away for you to enjoy the peacefulness of nature. Rent a house on the river for some boating fun, or opt for an island home where you can surround yourself with trees. Fire up the grill, and enjoy a quiet meal with the family after taking a scenic country drive.

10. Searose Beach

Source: Flickr / Martin Bravenboer

North of Heceta Beach is Searose Beach, an isolated area perfect for those who want to avoid civilization. Take the family on a scenic drive along the cliffs and coast of Neptune State Park Research Reserve and Cape Perpetua Marine Garden. Take advantage of these areas to teach your children about rocky intertidal habitats that host acorn barnacles, ochre sea stars, and purple sea urchins. Go hiking along the Cummins Creek Trail, or just spend time on the beach at the Stonefield Beach State Recreation Site.