Memorial Weekend Highlights, Oregon Coast Travel Tricks, Advice
Published 05/16/2015 at 7:17 PM PDT - Last Updated 05/16/2015 at 7:55 PM PDT
(Oregon Coast) – Look for some pretty heavy traffic on the roads this Memorial Weekend, according to AAA. The agency said 88 percent of travelers will go by car, an increase of 5.3 percent over last Memorial Day.
Low gas prices will be a blessing, said AAA's Marie Dodds. But it will also be a curse because it will mean more vehicles on the road.
“Most drivers will likely pay the lowest Memorial Day gas prices in at least five years,” Dodds said. “Today’s national average for regular unleaded is $2.69, compared to $3.66 on Memorial Day 2014. The current Oregon average is $3.02, compared to $3.88 last Memorial Day.”
There are plenty of other things to look out for if you're hitting the Oregon coast this holiday weekend. Beware of certain traffic issues, speed traps, lodging prices, how to dress for vacation success – and even a roundup of event highlights.
Traffic Hotspots to Look Out For:
Police are out in full force looking for all sorts of things, but especially speeders. County sheriffs, local police and state troopers will be in larger numbers than usual.
There are numerous speed trap spots to look out for. On Highway 26, just west of Beaverton, several overpass bridges potentially have cops hiding with radar guns, either looking straight down on both lanes, or hiding at the top of the onramp so they completely catch you off guard as you whiz past them.
Others to look out for: gravel patches by the side of Highway 26, or 18 going to the central coast. The big rest stop in the middle of the coast range on Highway 26 can have police hiding just out of view, until it's too late. The double-laned areas along Highway 26 in the Saddle Mountain area. On Highway 18 between the Sheridan area and where 18 merges with Highway 22, intersecting side roads can have radar guns trained on you.
On the coast itself: beware of the stop signs on Laneda Ave. in Manzanita; and the stop sign a mile south of Pacific City where Brooten Road merges with the overlook at Tierra Del Mar.
Usually, the Sunday or Monday of the weekend means a staggeringly huge exodus from the coast, with everyone leaving the same time. Traffic can be backed up for miles. Folks often leave in the late afternoon, just before sunset. It’s advisable to leave right after sunset, or even wait a bit and drive home in the dark. While it’s harder to see and less relaxing than the daylight trip back, it’s sizably less stressful than sitting in traffic an extra hour. Keep an eye on Oregon Coast Traffic Conditions
The big rule for the coast almost any time of year: take along a change of clothes or two. But more so in spring. The weather can go up and down within minutes, which creates some unusual and memorable spectacles - but it’s a pain in the butt if you’re on a long beach walk during a spell of sunny weather and you find yourself soaked by a sudden rainsquall, largely because you’ve neglected to bring your coat. Nasty.
When on sandy areas, stick to flip-flops or sandals, so getting soaked by the ocean won't cause you to look for a change in socks and shoes (which may not be with you). While on rocky areas, make sure you wear sturdy shoes that grab surfaces and watch out for slimy, wet green or brown chunks of algae, which can send you spinning downward on your head.
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. See the Oregon Coast Lodging page for openings now.
Event Highlights for the Holiday Weekend
May 22. Oregon Coast Chamber Orchestra Spring Concert. All tickets are $10 for adults, (children and students free). 7 pm. Yachats Community Presbyterian Church, 360 W 7th St.
May 23. Memorial Day Pie and Ice Cream Social. Famous for their astounding variety of delicious pies. Each slice is a generous 6th of a pie and costs $3.50. Add a scoop of ice cream for an additional fifty cents. A variety of beverages will also be sold. 11 am - 3 pm. Yachats Commons. 441 Hwy 101 N. Yachats, Oregon. 541-547-3565.
May 24. Yachats Lions Pancake Breakfast. All you can eat pancakes with eggs over easy, choice of sausage or ham, milk, tea or coffee. Donations will be accepted. All proceeds go to support local nonprofit organizations. 7:30 - 11:30 am. Yachats Lions Hall, W 4th & Pontiac. Yachats, Oregon. 541-547-5171.
May 14 – 26. Tall Ships Lady Washington & Hawaiian Chieftain in Newport. The brig Lady Washington, the official tall ship of the state of Washington, and her companion vessel, Hawaiian Chieftain, are stopping in Newport. The ships will arrive at the Port of Newport and offer tours, excursions, and education programs for elementary school students. The ships will be open for visits on Memorial Day, May 25. Newport, Oregon. www.historicalseaport.org. 800-200-5239.
May 23. Photo Hiking at the Villages at Cascade Head. 9am to 11am. Hike with professional photographers Bob Gibson and Jeri Knudsen and learn basic techniques. $20 per person. Cascade Head, just north of Lincoln City, Oregon. 541-994-3405.
May 22-25. Rockaway Beach Kite Festival. Professional and amateur kite fliers for the 20th year at the new Ocean’s Edge Wayside. The event offers contests in a friendly, unofficial environment. Participants can compete to win awards for having the nicest kite, the kite that drags on the ground the longest before becoming airborne, and many other events. Also features live music, kite exhibitions, an array of vendors, and tasty meals all weekend. The Ocean's Edge Wayside. Rockaway Beach, Oregon. (503) 355-8108. www.rockawaybeach.net
May 23. Nehalem Bay Winery’s annual Memorial Day. Party & BBQ, featuring live music from blues greats, The Norman Sylvester Band. Cover. 34965 Oregon 53. Nehalem, Oregon. (503) 368-WINE.
May 23. Stumptown Swing Band. Stumptown Swing takes audiences back to 1920's Paris, when gypsies with guitars, violins and upright basses. 6 pm. Tickets are $10, 12, $15. Pine Grove Community Club, 225 Laneda Avenue, Manzanita, Oregon. Brown Paper Tickets 800-838-3006 or on-line at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1175377.
May 23. Annual Celebrating Freedom, Celebrating Veterans Event. Memorial Day is celebrated at Fort Stevens in honor of those who've given their lives for our freedoms. This is a family friendly event that offers a self-guided trail leading you through the history of Fort Stevens. Visit as many stations as you can and receive a prize. Enter a raffle for the opportunity to fire a Civil War period cannon! Food and drinks will be available for purchase at Annie's Kettle Corn. Fort Stevens State Park. 100 Peter Iredale Road. Hammond, Oregon. (503) 861-3170. www.oregonstateparks.org
More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....
More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....
LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles
Back to Oregon Coast
Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net