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Labor Day Travel Advice for Oregon Coast, 2019

Published 08/28/2019 at 5:43 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Labor Day Travel Advice for Oregon Coast, 2019

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(Oregon Coast) – Summer’s last blast on the Oregon coast always carries some amount of risk, especially if you’re not prepared for the unique challenges of Labor Day weekend. From finding a room to traffic, to weather issues – there’s a few things to think about.

Here is some holiday weekend travel advice.

The big one to keep in mind: don’t wait until last minute on anything.

No More Campgrounds. Camping spots on the Oregon coast are the first to be snapped up in reservations, and they’re often booked months in advance. Don’t count on camping in state parks or anything that requires or takes reservations ahead of time. There are a handful of county and city campgrounds that are first come, first serve – but these are rare. See the Complete List of Oregon Coast Campgrounds for the upper half of the coastline.

Lodging Prices Soar - No Rooms. This year is particularly busy and packed up. Perhaps 99 percent of every hotel room or vacation rental home is gone. Oregon Coast Beach Connection will publish an availability report late Wednesday, and what has come in so far has been extremely meager.

Don’t expect to head out last minute and find a place to stay. Even if you do, there are good chances you’ll pay triple the usual cost, and there will be minimum stay requirements too. If you’re intent on calling around now for openings, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Keep on eye out for Oregon Coast Beach Connection’s report Wednesday night.

Traffic Warnings. The big rule of thumb: leave early and give yourself plenty of time. If you’re jetting out of town on Friday, go as early as possible. The harsh reality is that everyone else is getting away from it all as well. Traffic over the coast range after 3 p.m. will get nightmarish quickly.

Often the worst traffic is on the return drive, where routes like Highway 26 or Highway 18 and become a standstill. Mid to late afternoon is the worst: it doesn’t really relax until close to dark.

Keep a close eye on your speed. Traffic cops will be out in full force throughout the holiday, concentrating on the routes to and from the coast on Friday and Sunday and Monday, with county, state and local police keeping a close eye on Highway 101 the rest of the time. 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.

It’s too easy to get a ticket. Keep your cool. It’s simply extremely dangerous on high density weekends like this.

Also watch stop signs in local communities. Local cops often have stings of their own in a few areas. Spots to really watch is the stop sign near the bottom of Laneda Avenue in Manzanita and the stop sign about a mile north of Pacific City. Keep an eye on Oregon Coast Traffic Conditions.

Gas Prices: There’s good news there. According to the Portland office of AAA, pump prices have actually lowered recently and continue to do so just before the big holiday. It’s actually cheaper this year than last year’s holiday weekend.

“Pump prices continue to edge lower and drivers taking that last summer road trip for Labor Day will enjoy cheaper gas prices than last year’s Labor Day holiday,” said AAA’s Marie Dodds. “For the week, the national average for regular falls two cents to $2.59 a gallon. The Oregon average loses three cents to $3.05.”

Holiday Weekend Weather: It’s not a bad forecast for the coastline, but it’s not great either. Friday is looking mostly cloudy but with a warm high of around 65, and Saturday looks to be partly sunny. At night, there is a chance of showers. Sunday is also partly sunny and in the mid 60s, but Labor Day looks mostly sunny.

The southern Oregon coast will be the tropical destination all weekend. Highs in the 70s, lots of sun all weekend – and it’s generally less crowded than the northern half. See Oregon Coast Weather.

An Insider’s Travel Tip: head out to the coast on Monday. You’ll likely see hordes of drivers stuck at a standstill in the opposite lane, but you’ll be fine. Lodging prices are cheaper than usual that night, and it looks to be better weather. Oregon Coast Hotels for this event - Where to eat - Map - Virtual Tour






 

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