USHarbors.com has tallied the votes from across the country and from among their 4 million users. Florence was voted #2 Best Harbor of 2019 in the US, overtaking Lubec, Maine, in the final week of voting.
Padanaram/South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, was voted #1. The Best Harbor contest kicked off in January with nominations of 1,278 harbors across 23 states. During the nomination phase readers of US Harbors narrowed down the list of eligible harbors leaving 90 across the US. Online voting began in early March.
Rounding out the top five were Florence, Lubec, ME, Rockland, ME, and Oyster Bay, NY.
The organization announced in its news release that “Over the past few months US Harbors has been on a mission to find out which community our users deem the Best Harbor of 2019. It’s been a long, tight race. For us the best part of the contest was getting to read personal stories and feedback about the people, places, businesses, and events that make each of the US harbors special. Our readers shared their local favorite things-to-do and we took note, updating our site with the suggestions provided.”
In a town where tourism is the economic backbone for everything else, providing 1900 jobs and $137 million in economic activity last year, the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce asked the public’s support in gaining another national recognition to boost its visibility and attract additional tourism dollars.
Bettina Hannigan, executive director for the Chamber says “We knew our harbor was worth voting for because of its astounding natural beauty; the excellent boating, fishing, and crabbing; and our vibrant riverside Historic Old Town district’s excellent food, drink, galleries, shops, and award-winning hotels. There is also our historic bridge, public art, farmer’s markets, concerts, parks, the Siuslaw River Interpretive Center, and fun wildlife viewing of birds, sea lions, otters, and occasional orcas.”
Other similar efforts to boost Florence’s profile have resulted in Florence gaining recognition as a Coast Guard City, one of TripAdvisor’s 25 Best Family Weekend Getaways With Kids, USA Today’s number-two Best Small Town in the Northwest and number-two Small Town In America for Adventure, Expedia.com’s Most Beautiful Town, Oregonian readers’ Favorite Coastal Getaway, and one of Flight.com’s 8 Coolest Cities You Must Experience for Yourself.
“We’re really getting known to vacationers around the country, and even the world,” adds Hannigan. “After all, we are Oregon’s Coastal Playground, and all these attributes and accolades prove it.”
For more information on Florence, or to receive a free Florence Visitor’s Guide, contact the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce at FlorenceChamber.com, [email protected], or 541-997-3128.