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2022 Memorial Weekend Travel Advice, Warnings for Oregon Coast

Published 05/22/22 at 11:25 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

2022 Memorial Weekend Travel Advice, Warnings for Oregon Coast

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(Oregon Coast) – The great kickoff to summer is usually this coming weekend, Memorial Day Weekend, jump-starting the big season for the Oregon coast. (Above: Arch Cape, photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

It means some special challenges, though, especially from the standpoint of lodgings and traffic. As everybody jets out of town to the coast to get away from it all, they manage to bring “it” with them. Hence the need for a a lot of advice about the holiday weekend.

Weather

This coming weekend doesn't promise a lot of sun for most areas of the Oregon coast. It will be mostly cloudy up north and on the central coast over the weekend, with some chances of showers throughout Saturday through Monday. But farther south there are more sunny days involved and less rain.

Some general advice: even in late May spring on the coastline can bring wild mood swings.

Nehalem (Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

Forecasts like these, though still early, can bring such mood swing weather: bouts of rain with calm in between, sometimes changing within 20 minutes or. You'll want to be prepared for both kinds of conditions as you venture onto the beaches.

Even just for day trips, bring along a change of pants and socks in case you fall into some pool of water. Nothing screams uncomfortable like sitting in the car soaked on the long drive home. See Oregon Coast Weather - Washington Coast Weather

Traffic and Speed Traps

It goes without saying it will be extra busy on the routes to and from the coast, as well as Highway 101 and the towns themselves. Peak hours will be Friday afternoon and on Sunday and sometimes Monday. As people head home in a mass exodus, it's not uncommon to have traffic backed up for miles on Sunday. Head back in the morning or wait until about dusk or just after to avoid those traffic jams. Always leave yourself extra time for the trip there or back.

See Oregon Coast Traffic Conditions

On the southern Oregon coast, even down there it gets mighty frenetic, according to Coos Bay / Charleston / North Bend Visitors Center's Janice Langlinais and Bandon Visitor Center's Margaret Pounder. Both said it's already been quite busy but they're prepared for the even greater rush of traffic that's coming.

“It will take a bit longer to get through town on Hwy 101, but it won’t be anything like the central or north coast (at least we don’t anticipate it will get that bad),” Langlinais said.

She pointed out some choke points will likely be just south of Coos Bay on the Cape Arago Highway where the speed limit goes from 45 to 25 mph.

Cape Arago near Coos Bay (courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast)

Various police agencies implement heavy patrols and sting spots in some areas, so watch your speed. Highway 26, Highway 6 and Highway 18 will be especially hot. The run through Yamhill County on OR18 will be one giant sting area.

It's not always speed traps, either. Other hotspots along the Oregon coast will be the four-way stop at the bottom of Laneda Ave. in Manzanita; 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 southern end of Seaside and to the north around Gearhart to Warrenton.

Lodging Caveat

Lodging prices begin their summer spike on this weekend, and many will take advantage of the greater need and have unusually high prices. That’s no fun, but it happens.

The best way to ensure not getting gouged is reserving your lodging well ahead of time. The next day or two is probably you're last chance – and most lodgings are filled up already.

In the Bandon area, there's a bit of a lodging shortage, said Pounder. Two major motels in the area are out of commission, so there's likely nothing left there now.

This Year's Big Issue

There's still a severe labor shortage all up and down the Oregon coast, so be warned of extra wait times at restaurants and other facilities. Be nice to the overworked people there as they're running extra ragged.

As Pounder put it for the entire region: “Plan to pack your patience, as our businesses are short staffed.”

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