As just about everywhere else, there are budget motels on the main drag, but to experience the coast fully, try one of the romantic getaways between Florence and Yachats. There are a number of notable B&Bs north of town, covered in detail below and in the Yachats Accommodations section.
Elson Shields Property Management (1287 Bay St., 541/997-6235, www.florencerentals.com) and Dolphin Property Management (508 Kingwood St., 541/997-7368, www.oregonvacationproperties.com) offer private home rentals in the Florence and Oregon Dunes area.
Unless otherwise noted, prices listed are for high-season doubles.
One of the best bargains in town is the Lighthouse Inn (155 U.S. 101, 541/997-3221 or 866/997-3221, http://lighthouseinn.tripod.com, $65 and up), a Cape Cod–style two-story motel on the highway close to the bridge and convenient to Old Town. With neatly kept rooms decorated with bric-a-brac and other homey touches, it may give you the feeling that you’re spending the night at your grandmother’s house. There are no in-room kitchens, but a common refrigerator and a microwave are available for guest use. Most guest rooms have a queen- or king-size bed and sleep two; some are considered suites, with two rooms and a connecting bath, sleeping up to five guests. Ask about the plushest of all, the honeymoon/anniversary suite.
Just around the corner from Old Town, and across the highway from the Lighthouse Inn, the pet-friendly Old Town Inn (170 U.S. 101 N., 541/997-7131 or 800/570-8738, www.old-town-inn.com, $79 and up) provides guests with spacious rooms a short walk away from the river and Old Town. Although this motel is on U.S. 101, the guest rooms are fairly quiet.
If it’s not important for you to be an easy walk from Old Town, consider staying three miles south of town at the charming and pet-friendly Park Motel (85034 U.S. 101, 541/997-2634 or 800/392-0441, www.parkmotelflorence.com, $69 and up), a classic mom-and-pop place set well back from the highway in a stand of Douglas firs. The guest rooms are paneled in knotty pine and come in a variety of sizes and configurations, including a few cabins, making it a good place for families or groups of friends.
$100 and Up
The Edwin K B&B (1155 Bay St., 541/997-8360 or 800/8-EDWIN-K—800/833-9465, www.edwink.com, from $150) has six guest rooms, all with private bathrooms, and is just two blocks from Old Town, across the street from the Siuslaw River. River views, period antiques, and multicourse breakfasts with locally famous soufflés and home-baked breads on fine china have established this gracious 1914 home as Florence’s preeminent B&B. Add a private courtyard and waterfall in back, tea and sherry in the afternoon, and a restful atmosphere, and you’ll understand the need to reserve well in advance.
For a river experience, try the River House Motel (1202 Bay St., 541/997-3933 or 888/824-2750, www.riverhouseflorence.com, $100 and up). It’s worth paying extra for a riverfront balcony ($125). The new and attractive motel, which also has good views of the Siuslaw River bridge, is just two blocks away from the heart of Old Town.
On the south bank of the river, just across the bridge from Old Town, the Best Western Pier Point Inn (85625 U.S. 101, 541/997-7191, $209 and up) offers spacious rooms, bay views, sand-dune hiking across the street, and a complimentary hot breakfast. Rates at this large and classy motel drop by about half in the off-season.
Twelve miles north of Florence and just a short walk from Heceta Head Lighthouse is Heceta Head Lighthouse B&B (92072 U.S. 101, 541/547-3696 or 866/547-3696, www.hecetalighthouse.com, $209 and up), built in 1893. It used to be the lighthouse keeper’s home; today, it’s a B&B with antique furnishings and vintage photos, which help recreate the lives of the keepers of the flame. Among the six bedrooms, the two Mariners’ rooms command the finest views. The current caretakers maintain a garden on the grounds, as did the actual lighthouse keepers of yesteryear, and they use some of the produce to turn out amazing seven-course breakfasts, glorious 90-minute affairs replete with such dishes as d’Anjou pear with chevre and Oregon honey and vol-au-vent stuffed with eggs, chives, and asparagus. The innkeepers are more likely to tell you about resident ghosts during breakfast than right before bedtime.
At Heceta Beach, on the northern edge of Florence, Driftwood Shores Resort (88416 1st Ave., 541/997-8263 or 800/422-5091, www.driftwoodshores.com, $112 and up) is unique among Florence lodgings in that it is ocean-side. It is also a huge complex, and in a pretty isolated area, far from Old Town and restaurants (except the resort restaurant). All rooms face the ocean and have decks or patios, as well as microwaves and refrigerators (some suites have full kitchens).
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel