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Labor Day Weekend 2023 Travel Advice for Oregon Coast: Gas, Camping, Hotels, Beaches

Published 08/31/23 at 6:47 a.m.
y Andre' GW Hagestedt

Labor Day Weekend 2023 Travel Advice for Oregon Coast: Gas, Camping, Hotels, Beaches

(Oregon Coast) – It's a big irony: everyone is out on the Oregon coast for Labor Day Weekend trying to get away from it all. However, they're bringing “it all” with them.

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Labor Day Weekend is the last blast of watery fun along the coastline, heralding the end of the tourist season – sort of. See Second Summer on Oregon Coast. It also means more crowds, more craziness, and definitely higher hotel prices.

There are ways around some of it, however. For one, you can avoid crowds a bit in some of the hidden spots along the north Oregon coast. Once you get farther past Florence, the south Oregon coast gets particularly deserted in many areas. See Getting Away from the Crowds: A Sampler of Truly Hidden Oregon Coast

In the meantime, here's a bunch of Labor Day travel advice for the coastline.

Basic Travel Advice and Weather

If you're overnighting it but especially if you're doing just a day trip, make sure to take along an extra pair of pants and shoes. It's not uncommon to find yourself wet, and then having to head back all soaked after a day of goofing around the water. It's also not uncommon to accidentally fall into a stream or beach wave and wind up that way.

Washington Coast Weather - Oregon Coast Weather

Indeed, this weekend's weather is guaranteed to get you a little less than dry. While high temps over Friday through Monday get you around 70, it's going to be mostly cloudy to mostly sunny on those days and occasional showers. That translates to varying amounts of sun with rain here and there, sometimes rather heavy.

Traffic Issues, Speed Traps, Gas

Above: Coos Bay, photo courtesy Manuela Durson Fine Arts

Gas prices are still no fun in this state, but the good news is the average price of unleaded regular is ten cents cheaper than it was last year at this time. However, Oregon is still up around $4.76 per gallon, and prices along the Oregon coast are often higher by 5 to 10 cents per gallon due to increased shipping prices.

Make sure you fill up in your home town before heading out.

Speed traps are plentiful: watch your speed, in general. It simply comes down to this is not the time to try it. Patrols are heaviest (and sometimes sneakiest) around the passing lanes along Highway 26 and Highway 18 – especially that rest stop on the western face of Highway 26.

The advice always is to leave early and give yourself plenty of time. Peak driving happens in the morning and afternoon of Friday and Monday. If you can head home closer to dusk on Monday or even just after you're going to have a much less frustrating time.

On the south Oregon coast, Highway 101 will still get rather jammed in places like Bandon or Port Orford, but it's not nearly as packed as the northern half of the coastline.

Traffic choke points include just south of Coos Bay at the Cape Arago Highway where the speed limit lowers abruptly, coming in or out of the northern part of Newport, much of Lincoln City, and the areas just south of Seaside.

Camping and Lodging Advice

Finding a hotel room or a campsite this late in the game is going to prove just about impossible. Your best hope for hotels is last-minute cancellations, which may or may not show up on hotel booking pages. Your best bet will be to check the Oregon Coast Labor Day Weekend Hotels page, and then you'll likely have to call to doublecheck. It will take some work.

If you do find a last-minute place, don't be surprised to pay triple or quadruple the normal price.

Most people have already booked their place to stay long ago.

For camping, that's a foregone conclusion as well. However, some county or municipal campgrounds are first-come, first-serve. See Oregon Coast Camping.


Trails atop Humbug Mountain, Port Orford area


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Coastal Spotlight

Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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