USA Today’s “10Best.com” 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/OregonLive.com. 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.”