active adventures in florenceThere’s no better way to have a good time than to spend it outdoors. For most people, being outside is a way to get the heart pumping and blood flowing. Since Florence is home to some of the best dunes in America, it’s only natural to enjoy some fun in the sand.

In fact, right across the Siuslaw River, at the south end of Florence (about a block and a half from our front door), are the colossal sand mounds of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area where ATV and sandboarding are popular. Whether you’re planning a staycation or a vacation, make Old Town Inn your home base to have some fun! Discover the active adventures in Florence and why Florence is known as Oregon’s Coastal Playground!


There really isn’t anything in Oregon quite like the dunes. Hundreds of ATV lovers come to enjoy the thrill of riding across these sprawling tracks of sand—some as high as 500 feet. There are even specific areas that have been designated for first-time and expert ATV riders, so no matter what your skill level, you’ll have a place to comfortably ride.

There are sand roads from South Jetty to the Siltcoos River, a space with the most dramatic and tallest dunes in the Umpqua County riding area. Also, there are vast areas with various riding opportunities between Spinreel and Horsfall. In all, about a 40-mile stretch from Florence to Coos Bay/North Bend! It doesn’t matter if you’re a youngster or young at heart, you’re in for a treat.

Our favorite place to rent ATVs is Torex ATV Rentals. They are just about four miles south of us and have a lot of different rigs to rent and offer direct dune access.

Sand Rails

No, we’re not talking about train rides here. Think instead of a souped-up dune buggy that seats seven, driven by a well-trained professional maniac. These thrill-a-second rides can include zipping up one side of a 500-foot dune and screaming down the other. Depending on which ride you take, you’ll also get some enriching “eco-tour” information about the dune environment. If you don’t have a need for speed, the giant 20+ passenger buggy takes it slow and easy and provides a “higher level” (about six feet off the ground) scenic experience.

We recommend both Sandland Adventures (with on-site go-karts, bumper boats, and mini golf) or Sand Dunes Frontier (with mini golf, ATV rentals, and snack shop) for the ride of your life.


Sand Master Park is an incredible place for sandboarding. In fact, it was the first sandboard park in the world, and it’s located right here in beautiful Florence! Whether you’ve never heard of sandboarding or you ride like a pro, there’s a sand dune here with your name on it. If you don’t have your own board, you can rent one and even take sandboard lessons from a world-champion competitor.

You’re going to have a fun time sandboarding, so make plans to stay awhile. You don’t have to carve up the dunes or catch big air like a pro…just have fun gliding at your own pace! At Old Town Inn, we have rooms for everyone and showers to get rid of all that sand.

Active Adventures in Florence

While sandboarding and riding ATV is undoubtedly exciting, if you want something a little less adrenaline inducing, Florence boasts some of the most fantastic hiking trails and coastal views in the state. If you are looking for active adventures that put you near the ocean without being on the beach, there’s plenty to do. A couple of our favorite places to stop are Hobbit Trail and Joaquin Miller State Park to experience an easy hike with beautiful sights. And don’t miss all the scenic adventure of Cape Perpetua!

There are also plenty of opportunities for fishing, camping, canoeing, and horseback riding on the beach. You can even learn the art of sand sculpting!

We also know that after a long day playing in the sand or spending time outside, you’ll want to relax. Treat yourself to a fabulous dinner in historic Old Town Florence and afterward, stop by one of the many art galleries or antique shops nearby.

If you’re in Florence for a few days, you can take a short drive to experience more of the coast or perhaps visit one of our two excellent public golf courses, streams, waterfalls, beaches, or one of more than a dozen nearby lakes.

Stay with Us

While you plan your trip to Florence, consider Old Town Inn as your home away from home. Or, check out our other location, The River House Inn. Both are multi-award winning lodgings for their cleanliness, comfort, convenience, and customer service. We welcome you to stay with us as you experience the excitement of all the active adventures in Florence only Oregon’s Coastal Playground can offer. Our fabulous innkeepers will even help you plan your itinerary so you can maximize every minute for the most memorable vacation ever.