Florence is a unique small town on the Oregon Coast. A popular retirement destination, Florence also boasts good schools from kindergarten through college.
Lane Community College is based in Eugene but has an extension in Florence where you can take classes of all kinds heading toward a college degree. LCC in Florence is also the home of a dance studio that offers classes to adults and children in ballet, tap, jazz, Middle Eastern dance, yoga, Tai Chi and International Dance with the Oregon Coast International Dancers.
The Doreen Ditzhazy Dance Studio was established by retired Eugene Ballet Director and Dancer, Doreen Ditzhazy. Mrs. Ditzhazy has passed but her legacy lives on and her hubby, Fred, still teaches ballroom dance at LCC. Dancers perform throughout the year for various venues and there is a dance concert each June. In the fall there is a Middle Eastern Dance event lead by Angela Palmer who also teaches ballet.
The Coast Chamber Ensemble is based in Coast Village and gives 2 seasonal concerts during the year at various places within the Florence Community.
The Florence Events Center is a very active place hosting a variety of events throughout this large facility. An art gallery displaying work of local artists is usually open in one area. The annual Rhody Days weekend and the Folk Arts Festival are hosted in another area. The very beautiful auditorium hosts local dance concerts, plays, the Holly Jolly Follies charity event and Seacoast Entertainment Association’s seven quality concerts throughout the year. These are just a sample of what goes on during the year and you can find the schedule here on their website: http://www.eventcenter.org/
Florence has an active theater group, The Last Resort Players, that offers 3 productions per year at FEC. Musical accompaniment is provided by local musicians. You can catch what they are up to currently here: http://lastresortplayers.org/
Located in “Old Town” Florence, the Florence Playhouse is a smaller, more intimate venue for theater, dance and music productions. This premier little theater is housed in one of Old Town’s historic buildings and is adaptable to audience or dinner theater performances. Youth Theater and Marketing Director, Melanie Heard, has created C.R.O.W. which stands for Children’s Repertory Oregon Workshops that works with youth from the local community in theater and dance. Check them out here: http://www.florenceplayhouse.com/
Florence has a variety of arts organizations, art galleries, photography club, art walks and the Oregon Coast Military Museum. One of our favorites is the Backstreet Gallery located in Old Town on Bay St. The artists man the gallery themselves and sponsor gallery events including a monthly “After Hours” opening where they serve wine and cheese and have quality local musicians performing. Check out their calendar and learn more: http://backstreetgallery.org/
I’ve probably missed some things but you can see that there is a lot going on in Florence, Oregon. And don’t forget our earlier blog about the Dunes and beautiful beaches. There are several motels here including one on the ocean with a very nice restaurant: http://www.driftwoodshores.com/ And there is nearly an endless variety of restaurants in this small town. Very popular is Mo’s on the river in Old Town: http://www.moschowder.com/florence.php You can often see sea lions swimming by while feasting on great seafood.
We can’t leave Florence without mentioning the fishing both recreational and commercial. The Siuslaw River is a popular place for salmon fishing and you will see boats dotting the river during the salmon seasons. Tuna is available during tuna season directly from the commercial fishing boats on the docks. There’s nothing better than fresh-caught tuna steaks—yum!