All in a Day's Drive: Fun in Florence on the Oregon Coast

      Watch All in a Day's Drive Wednesdays on KMTR NewsSource 16 at 6 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

      FLORENCE, Ore. With sunny, warm afternoons, you may be looking for an excuse to spend time outdoors - or just a place to escape the nearly 90 degree heat.

      And if you head for Florence, you can kick up some sand among the dunes.

      A quick trip up and down Highway 101 near Florence can give you a drastic change in scenery. The first scenic spot is Darlingtonia State Botanical Wayside.

      Darlingtonias normally bloom in May or June. And these carnivorous plants are natural born fly-killers.

      "Flies will actually fly around the plant and they'll go down into the pitcher itself. And inside the pitcher has little tiny hairs that're really neat. They prevent the fly from escaping," Honeyman State Park manager Dan Schewlakow said.

      Next up is an escape to the dunes by strapping in for a dune buggy tour.

      "When you have a professional behind the wheel who can show you a great time, they already know what's out there," Sandland Adventures owner Darla Hague said. "You're not renting a vehicle and getting out there and having to check it out for yourself and go slow,"

      And this is no slow ride.

      Sandland Adventures has more than 20 years of experience guiding visitors across 32,000 acres of high speed, rough and tumble sand dunes. But the drivers recommend that you try not to scream.

      "You don't dare open your mouth," Jacki Hatcher said. Hatcher is visiting from Australia.

      "Well, you can get a dietary supplement when that happens," owner Chris Hague joked.

      "We call it a free dental cleaning," Darla chimed in.

      "I had it in my mouth a few times, but it was a great experience," traveler Robert Hatcher said. "I'd recommend it to anybody."

      Or if you'd like to do a little driving of your own, you can do that too. At the family fun center, you can hop in one of a dozen go-karts and take a lap around the track.

      The karts have room for one or two drivers. They get five minutes to burn rubber on a quarter mile Grand Prix style track. If you're not the need for speed type, you can also play 18-holes of mini-golf... That's a hole-in-almost-one. And those are just a few of the fun activities waiting for you in this coastal town and it's all in a day's drive.

      Florence will host its 107th annual Rhododendron Festival on May 16-18th. This year's theme is "Not Our First Rhody-o."