I love our newly remodeled Visitors’ Center!

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center, 290 Highway 101, has been reconfigured for your benefit as a visitor to Florence. We have a new area from which our volunteers (let’s hear it for volunteers!) can great you and help you quickly find the information you need for your visit or your move to Florence. The efficiency of space usage in our back office operations is improved too. But what I really am most proud of is that we can now feature a different local artist—or two—each month. Each month the Chamber will feature two- and three-dimensional exhibits by local artists and galleries. Our newest display of local artistry features the coastal photography of Jo Beaudreaux, owner of BeauxArts Fine Art Materials in Florence. Included are scenic portraits of boats and bridges, nature’s textures, and some of the floral beauty of our area. And she’s really very good. Come […]


These beautiful, majestic creatures have recently made yet another appearance in the Siuslaw River here in Oregon’s Coastal Playground. On June 17, local resident Dan Haberly caught an amazing one-minute, 20-seconds of video footage of six or seven orcas about a mile upriver from the mouth of the river. This is the second time a local has documented killer whales in our river this spring. During our 110th Annual Rhododendron Festival (during the third weekend of May each year) other photos showed the giant mammals at nearly the same spot. Last year, local resident Debra Heldt Cordone captured an orca breaching repeatedly in the very same area. We’re working on getting links for you, but you might have luck searching for “Orcas Florence Oregon” on YouTube or Google. Spring migrations bring gray whales in March, followed by dolphins, sharks, and orcas. Apparently word has also gotten out to the ocean […]

So, Florence, what do you do for an encore?

Man, that’s gonna be a hard act to follow! With the 110th annual Rhododendron Festival still looming large in the rear view mirror, what comes next? All the fun that Oregon’s Coastal Playground has to offer every summer—and even more events starting in July! Start with fun on our amazing sand dunes, browsing our delightful art galleries and antique shops, riverside shopping and dining, award-winning lodging, beachcombing, wine and craft beer tasting, fine entertainment, and long romantic beach walks at sunset. The next day you can enjoy world-class golf at two fun and challenging 18-hole courses, or visit the iconic Heceta Head Lighthouse, Sea Lion Caves, or Cape Perpetua. There’s always plenty of hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and crabbing too. After all, we are Oregon’s Coastal Playground! And that slogan promises a memorable experience for you, your family, and your friends. Not enough fun to entice you? Maybe you’ll want […]


The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center, 290 Highway 101, features a different local artist each month. Their newest display of local artistry features the coastal photography of Jo Beaudreaux, owner of BeauxArts Fine Art Materials in Florence. Included are scenic portraits of boats and bridges, nature’s textures, and some of the floral beauty of our area.  Click here to see the exhibit details! “If you haven’t seen the changes in the Visitor Center yet, now is a great time to come by and see how we’ve re-purposed the space and feature local artist’s work,” says executive director Bettina Hannigan. “Throughout June you’ll see the works of local photographer and arts aficionado Jo Beaudreaux, and see how we’re greeting our out-of-area visitors and local residents to promote the Florence community.”  “Florence is a happening place and the arts are strong here,” says Beaudreaux. “By promoting the arts in our […]

110th Rhododendron Festival Winds Up

From Thursday’s coronation of Queen Rhododendra and The King of the Coast to Sunday’s grand floral parade, the 110th Rhododendron Festival was a total success. By all indications, we may have had as many as 35,000 people attending this year. That’s four times the population of our town! And, if eyewitness accounts are correct, about a half-dozen orcas were seen in the Siuslaw River. That makes two times in the last three years. We had orcas last year too, but they came during Memorial Day weekend. I guess orcas enjoy Oregon’s Coastal Playground too, but maybe for different reasons than the tourists. This year we had flower, art, motorcycle, and classic car shows; parades, a street vendor fair, and a carnival—something for everyone. And boy, were the folks “ready to rhody” this year! You see, that was our theme: “Always Ready to Rhody.” We kind of borrowed it from the […]


The 110th annual Rhododendron Festival begins Thursday, May 18, with the coronation of Queen Rhododendra and The King of the Coast, and continues through Sunday evening, May 21, with the grand floral parade beginning at noon on Sunday. As a town, and as a Chamber of Commerce, we are “Always Ready to Rhody.” And this weekend’s weather looks to be fantastic for doing so. Come make it a day at the beach, or two, or a whole week! The Siuslaw River Coast Guard Station is our inspiration for this year’s slogan. The Coast Guard’s slogan is Semper Paratus, or Always Ready, and they will be our grand marshal for the annual parade. The selection was easy. These brave men and women are celebrating the station’s 100 years of service in Florence. The list of events for the celebration is long. There’s just too much to do in one day. You […]

Chamber Memberships for $20 a Month!

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce announces that annual membership can be purchased on a monthly program for $20 a month! Yes, it’s true, Florence area businesses can now reap the benefits, rewards, leverage, connections, and resources of being a Chamber member for $20 a month!  DOWNLOAD THE CHAMBER APPLICATION HERE AND THE MONTHLY AGREEMENT HERE! How can the Chamber help you? The question is what does your business need? The Chamber brings resources beyond wildest expectations. By leveraging resources and relationships the Chamber has established it is prepared to partner with Florence Area businesses to strengthen, expand, streamline, update, and develop small to large businesses. The Chamber spends over $200,000 a year marketing Florence regionally and globally. Florence is on the map, is your business? Referral is a key benefit of membership, website, phone, walk-in, 99% of these contacts are looking for a referral. Visitors, relocations, new businesses – […]


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 […]

Businesses – Get Ready to Rhody!

A message from the Rhododendron Court. To create excitement about Rhody weekend (it’s almost here!) and to help us raise scholarship money for our graduating senior court, we would like to paint pink, red and yellow Rhodies on business windows all over town. People will notice your windows, know you’re supporting the community and want to do business with you. We’ll generate anticipation about Rhody weekend, and you’ll be helping us immensely. We can paint 1 rhody for $50, 2 rhodies for $100, 3 rhodies for $150, 4 rhodies for $200, etc. The choice is yours! Contact the Chamber office at 541-997-3128 or Wendy Krause at 541-999-7765 Click HERE for details and to sign up.

Souvenir Florence Charm Bracelets Now Available!

Create a one-of-a-kind souvenir of your visit to Florence, as you follow the Charm Trail through town. Pick up your bracelet and signature charm, available only at a Trail Head (Florence Chamber Visitors Center!) for $5.00. Then visit each Stop around Florence and add other charms for $2.00 each to complete your bracelet. Download locations here! Look for the YELLOW door signs! Follow the trail in any order you choose, and have a Charming time in Florence! The Charm Trail is a Program of the Siuslaw News (541) 997-3441.