FLORENCE VOTED #2 BEST HARBOR IN US

USHarbors.com has tallied the votes from across the country and from among their 4 million users. Florence was voted #2 Best Harbor of 2019 in the US, overtaking Lubec, Maine, in the final week of voting. Padanaram/South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, was voted #1. The Best Harbor contest kicked off in January with nominations of 1,278 harbors across 23 states. During the nomination phase readers of US Harbors narrowed down the list of eligible harbors leaving 90 across the US. Online voting began in early March. Rounding out the top five were Florence, Lubec, ME, Rockland, ME, and Oyster Bay, NY. The organization announced in its news release that “Over the past few months US Harbors has been on a mission to find out which community our users deem the Best Harbor of 2019. It’s been a long, tight race. For us the best part of the contest was getting to read […]

The Whales Are Coming! The Whales Are Coming!

Whale Watching Week starts March 23 here in Florence. Book a cozy, comfortable room in one of our award-winning lodgings for your base of operations, then grab a coffee or hot chocolate to go from one of our great coffee places before hitting the road for the day. Better yet, order a lunch to go from one of our many excellent restaurants and head north on Highway 101 to the many state parks, turn-outs, or attractions (Sea Lion Caves, Heceta Head Lighthouse, Cape Perpetua) for the best views. Bring your binoculars or telephoto camera lenses for close-ups, and appropriate clothing. As we like to say, “There is no bad weather in Florence…just bad clothing choices!” Look for the “Whale Watching Spoken Here” signs along Highway 101 so you can talk to the volunteer experts and learn more about these majestic migraters. Even though whales live off the Central Oregon Coast […]

Blue Heron Gallery Exhibits in Visitors Center!

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center features a different local art exhibit each month. In February the exhibit spotlights a variety of works by local and Northwest artists from The Blue Heron Gallery in Old Town. “Visitors will find a beautiful display of a wide variety of jewelry, sculpture, and artwork in several mediums by locally-, regionally-, and nationally-acclaimed artists,” says Jack Butler, owner of the Blue Heron Gallery, Sticks and Stones Gallery, and Wind Drift Gallery.  “It’s exciting to be invited to participate in the Chamber’s monthly exhibit,” he adds. “We appreciate that the Chamber supports our vibrant arts community.” “We are delighted to have a sampling of The Blue Heron’s collection on display at the Chamber’s Visitor Center this month,” says Chamber executive director Bettina Hannigan. “The Chamber is listed in the local art tour map because of our monthly displays of photography, paintings, or three-dimensional […]

CLAIM YOUR SHARE OF 705 MILLION IN FLORENCE

Last year, nationally, more than half of American workers left 705 million vacation days unused—up from 662 in 2017. Nearly 10,000 of those days were left on the table by Oregonians. That’s why the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is participating in National Plan Your Vacation Day on January 29. The event, promoted by The U.S. Travel Association, encourages everyone to take 30 minutes early in the year to plan a vacation. “It is proven that those that take vacation time are happier, healthier, and more productive,” says Bettina Hannigan, executive director of the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce. “Vacation is essential to strengthen personal relationships, inspire creative thinking, improve professional performance and promote better health—and Florence should be at the top of your list of vacation destinations for many reasons. “And we think there is no better place than right here in Florence—Oregon’s Coastal Playground.” Research shows that individuals […]

OSCC Releases Pay Equity Guide for Employers

Last month, the Bureau of Oregon Labor & Industries released their final rules for employers and employees on Oregon’s groundbreaking Equal Pay Act, passed by the 2017 Oregon legislature. The new law that goes into effect on January 1, 2019 requires that employees be paid equally for comparable work regardless of gender or any of Oregon’s ten other protected classes. We believe this will be the most challenging human resources issue for most of our Chamber members over the next year. Further complicating matters – and increasing the level of urgency – is that lawsuits are allowed based on violations of the law starting on January 1st. The guide, which you can view here, provides helpful information for your members as they prepare to comply with the new law. The guidance includes an overview of the law, frequently asked questions, a guide for employers on self-evaluations, a sample checklist of policies […]

FLORENCE NAMED A NATIONAL TOP-25 GETAWAY FOR FAMILIES!

The recognitions keep rolling in for Florence, Oregon. TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website, recently named Florence, Oregon, as one of its 25 Best Family Weekend Getaways With Kids. In introducing their recommendations the site said “From kid-friendly adventures in the great outdoors to classic theme parks, we’re featuring our picks for the best family weekend trips in every US region—so no matter where you live, there’s a convenient spot not too far away.” TripAdvisor touted Florence as a place with “plenty of activities to do with kids—whether it’s a visit to Sand Master Park, the world’s first sandboard park, or spending the day on Heceta Beach. The entire family will love the Sea Lion Caves, a favorite roadside attraction and must-see spot. There’s mini golf, horseback riding on the beach, and giant dune buggy tours, too. With an activity to satisfy every mood, it’s a top choice if you’re […]

FLORENCE HOLIDAY FESTIVAL BRINGS SANTA, SALES, LIVE MUSIC

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is kicking off its annual Holiday Festival on Saturday, November 24. Santa’s arrival, hayrides, lighted boats at the marina, live music, and other performances, and the official lighting of its Christmas tree will take place in Historic Old Town; and shops and galleries will be open for holiday shopping all around town. Beginning at 3:30 p.m. the public can enjoy hot cider and cocoa, hayrides down Bay Street between the Port of Siuslaw and the parking lot west of The River House Inn, live music, and witness Santa’s arrival via firetruck courtesy of Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue. C.R.O.W. Theater Kids will perform at 4:30 p.m. Nationally-touring swinging crooner Ken Lavigne performs from 5:30 to 6:00, and at 6:00 p.m. everyone can gather at the Siuslaw Interpretive Park when Mayor Joe Henry flips the switch to light the tree. Lavigne will perform a full […]

Travel Blog Guide to the Oregon Coast in Any Weather

Published: November 02, 2018 The Oregon Coast is beautiful in all weather. Hike seaside cliff trails with far-reaching views on sunny days. Watch the light from the brightest lighthouse on the Oregon Coast penetrate banks of rolling fog. Experience the drama of a coastal storm from the comfort of a cozy restaurant. Historic Old Town Florence offers fresh seafood, local art galleries, Siuslaw River views and some of the finest coffee on the coast. Spend the wetter hours browsing the shops and chatting with locals. There is no bad weather, just poor clothing choices! IS IT SUNNY? Learn to sandboard Tour the dunes by dune buggy Swing a club at Florence Golf Links Fish off the pier or from a boat Fly a kite or build a sand castle on the beach Hunt for agates on the beach Whale watch or view the sunset from scenic overlooks Kayak on a coastal lake Go birding along the bluffs IS IT FOGGY? Tour the […]

2019 Rhododendron Festival Logo Contest

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the 112th Rhododendron Festival Logo Contest. The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce has named the theme “Coastal Canvas” “Art is in our lives everyday whether we see it or not. When the space around you looks good, such as the nature around us, physical types of art, well designed streetscapes, you feel good. People do more for each other, spend money spurring economic development, and provides empowerment to a community. With Coastal Canvas being the Rhododendron Theme for 2019, it opens the door to various types of arts and celebrations! We live in an open canvas and we can use what is around us to build upon to thrive. We have visual arts, culinary arts, theater/performing arts, etc… all here in the Siuslaw Region. Celebrating the Arts and our neighbors (and guests to our area) will showcase our skills, kindness […]

ARTISTIC PHOTOGRAPHY OF RODGER BENNETT ON DISPLAY AT CHAMBER’S VISITOR CENTER IN NOVEMBER

The eye-popping work of local photographer Rodger Bennett is featured in the monthly art exhibit at the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center in November. The Chamber features a different local art exhibit each month. Bennett’s exhibit includes nine of his photos, self-framed, on high-gloss metal with sharp-as-a-tack detail and brilliant color.  The pieces vary in size from medium-sized accent photos to larger murals. There is also one of his photos printed on canvas with a floating frame. All are available to purchase after the exhibit ends in December. “This year’s theme is largely wildlife that I enjoy photographing and displaying,” says Bennett. “Most are North American but there are a couple of African creatures mixed in. It is pretty typical of my studio in Old Town, although there are no portraits on display.  I really enjoy making portraits that people like,” he adds. “The studio is full of more photos…and […]