Labor Weekend Holiday Travel Advice for Oregon Coast: Lodging, Gas, Traffic, Weather
Published 09/01/2016 at 7:11 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Oregon Coast) – The big weekend of the Labor Day celebration means big things for the Oregon coast: big traffic, big lodging prices, big crowds – but also big fun. It's a big mixed bag. (Above: Lincoln City will be a huge attraction over Labor Day weekend).
There are plenty of aspects to keep in mind while heading to the beaches over this weekend, even if it's just a day trip. Finding a place to stay, dealing with different kinds of weather, dodging traffic tie-ups and more. You'd be surprised what helps you on these last-minute trips.
2016 will likely bring more people to the Oregon coast over the holiday than ever, say experts.
The Oregon office of AAA said that while gas prices have risen slightly recently, they still remain unusually low.
“The Oregon average adds two cent to $2.46,” said AAA's Marie Dodds. “Despite the increases, pump prices are 25 to 45 cents a gallon less than a year ago and are on track to be the cheapest for Labor Day since 2004.”
She added Labor Day actually sees the lowest travel volume of the three major summer holiday weekends. But one factor will still put places nearby – like the coast – at the top of the list.
“Many schools have already started classes which means families plan shorter trips that are closer to home,” Dodds said. “Regional destinations such as Central Oregon, the Oregon Coast, Ashland and Crater Lake are favorites.”
Finding a Place to Stay. If you haven't already made reservations, you're probably out of luck. Not only do lodging prices hit their absolute peaks this weekend (with some gouging going on), but there are few rooms left anywhere.
You may have some better luck trying this list of Oregon coast lodgings.
Traffic Issues to Watch For. With so many more on the road, you'll need to leave a little earlier and give yourself time to get there – safely. See the Oregon coast traffic conditions for up-to-the minute issues.
Be extra cautious of your speed and passing behaviors on the highways to the Oregon coast. Not only will Highways 22, 26, 18 and 20 be filled with more cars but there will be more cops.
Sting spots to lookout for: the big rest stop halfway through the coast range along Highway 26; various gravel pull-offs along Highway 26 and Highway 18 in the coast range; the double-lane areas along Highway 26 in the Saddle Mountain area; Highway 18, just east and west of McMinnville.
In the coast towns, there are numerous spots where police keep a close eye for speeders or those not paying attention to stop signs. These include:
the stop sign at Sand Lake Road junction a mile north of Pacific City;
the pull-offs just north of Newport, around Moolack Beach
the southern end of Rockaway Beach (as you come in from Garibaldi)
the town of Wheeler is heavily patrolled on Sunday nights and at other random times
the stop sign at the bottom of Laneda Ave. in Manzanita
the southern entrance to Seaside
Lincoln City often has heavy patrols in both directions of traffic.
Weather Issues: This time around looks to be mostly good weather on the coast. But even for day trips, there are some good rules of thumb.
The major advise there is carry a change of clothing or two. Many a coastal trip has been ruined by someone dressing for the summer conditions of the valley and then finding the coast considerably colder. Not to mention, if you get wet (and it's easy to do, if you're doing the coast right) you may want to bring extra clothes in case that happens. See Oregon Coast Weather for updates.
Whatever you do, make sure you bring along more than one pair of shoes and socks. It’s way too easy to get these wet – and they usually stay that way for a whole day. You’ll most certainly want to wear sandals or flip-flops while bouncing around the sand. Where to stay for this - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour
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