A small paradise: removed from the world, it’s a place to simply be happy
Florence is a small town (8,500) on the Central Oregon coast. My house is on the Suislaw River near its confluence with the Pacific Ocean. I live on the west end of Florence's Historic Old Town, a hub of restaurants, galleries, antique stores and gift shops. There's a great coffeehouse just a block down the street (not a Starbuck's) and you can often buy fresh tuna, halibut, and salmon right off the fishing boats at the docks just a 10 minute walk away through Old Town. The view across the river from my place is of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area - an incredible formation of coastal sand dunes that continues unbroken for 50 miles to the south. It's a stunning landscape of sand, lakes, trees, wind, and ocean and its a 5 minute kayak trip or 10 minute drive to the other side of the river.
My "neighborhood"is the whole Oregon Coast, positioned, as I am, halfway between the Columbia River and the California border. It's 190 miles north to Astoria; 170 miles south to Brookings. The whole coastline is spectacular - but the southern part - from Newport to Brookings is among the most beautiful in North America. Florence is well positioned for day and/or overnight trips to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, to Sea Lion Caves, to Bandon golf courses, to Eugene (University of Oregon, NCAA Championships and Olympic Trials this summer), to the Oregon Caves, to the nine historic lighthouses along the coastline, to dozens of state and county parks, hundreds of trails for hiking and miles of open, accessible, undeveloped beach for walking. Its really a wonderful place for solitude or a full-bore mix-it-up with nature. Recreational opportunities abound here: from horseback riding to dune buggies, whale-watching, river, lake and ocean fishing all within 10 minutes; off-road biking and motorcycling, surfing, kayaking and boating of all kinds, and of course, lots of opportunities for shopping and culture.
My "Neighborhood" is also my "front yard" which is the river. The Suislaw is a tidal river so I watch the tides ebb and flow,, endless, ceaseless, ever-changing, filled with life. The cormorants dry themselves on the pilings a few yards off-shore, the herons and egrets walk the tidal mudflats at low tide often just feet away from my breakfast table, the birdlife is changes with the season migrants mixing with home stock and all making their homes on the river at various times of the year. I've seen seals several times and last summer a pod of Orca's swam upriver right past my place and into the harbor.
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