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<p>I'm contemplating relocating from Portland to the Newport/Florence area and need an insider's perspective on living here.</p>
 

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<p>I am 15 miles from Florence, in Mapleton.  I work in Florence.  It is great here, other than all the rain.  Florence is mostly retired people, although there are young families.  The biggest issue for me has been finding people like us with young families who aren't into drugs, etc. with a similar lifestyle.  But it is a great area to live.  It is absolutely gorgeous, lots of wildlife, and communities with friendly people. </p>
 

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<p>I lived in Coos Bay (prior to DS) for a year and promptly returned home to WA.  I loved the beauty there, just seemed like the community was really closed minded.  We did find a tribe of friends there that were not so closed minded, but the majority, IMO, was really too ******* for my taste.  We found ourselves in Eugene a ton.  Talk about unbalanced!  Also, it rained a TON and I am from WA, should be used to that.  We would travel about 20-30 mins into the foothills and find it was 20-30 degrees warmer and not socked in from clouds. </p>
 

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<p>Florence here.</p>
<p>In the summer and fall, there's a farmer's market here on Saturdays. I agree with ripplingrivers, mostly retired people and it's difficult to find people who are less mainstream, although that's becoming mildly less true as I go to the co-op more. The last person I met who was a parent of a similar philosophy to my own was moving 2 weeks later bc of this issue. :(</p>
<p>It rains. A lot. Sometimes it stops raining for the summer. Sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes the rain goes sideways. Sometimes it comes straight down. It hails occasionally in winter. We had snow last week for the first time that DH (lived here 15 years) can remember. If it doesn't rain much in the summer, there is often a fire ban. The temperature doesn't fluctuate much. We don't generally get below freezing (a week or so in winter, probably) and don't really get what I (from the middle of the continent) would call "hot" weather.</p>
<p>There *is* a homeschooling community, but it's mostly Christian based (not that that's a bad thing, but it might turn some off, so I mention it). Tapping into it can be a little challenging.</p>
<p>Eugene is about an hour drive and has an amazing AP/alternative community, a Costco, Trader Joe's, better supermarket (imo- talking about Market of Choice), and other shopping.</p>
<p>There are parks, but they're not nearly so ubiquitous as many other places I've lived and it's rare for me to see people actually using them when we're there. We do have a Boys and Girls Club, if that interests you. I know that there is also a Boy Scouts troop. There is a nice local toy shop with good quality toys, if you're one to avoid big box stores such as Toys R Us etc. If you want to eat out, there is an organic restaurant which also carries a selection of "specialty" foods (organic, gluten free etc). The Fred Meyers also has a decent selection and Safeway seems to be improving (not that that's saying much).</p>
<p>You can go camping and fishing, head out to the beach or jetty to take a walk, take a hike up to the Heceta Head Lighthouse, go dune boarding or wake boarding too if that's your thing. Not too far away (Mapleton) is the Sweet Creek Falls, which I understand is beautiful. There's a mini golf course which also has bumper cars. There's a bowling alley. The fitness center just put in a pool which now has family swim times. Many people just swim in the lakes around here. The "big" play park (****** Park) has a skateboard park, as well as football and baseball fields and basketball court. From what I understand there are some geocachers and are quite a few geocaches to be found in the area (nearly 200 within 10 miles, apparently).</p>
<p>Most people drive, but there are some who ride bikes.</p>
<p>Not sure what else you'd like to know. :)</p>
 
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