Is there a bad time of the year to visit Oregon (i.e. when is the rainy season)? We are thinking of a visit along the coast and across the Columbia River Gorge in July or august in a couple years; however, we are open to any suggestions of a better time of the year.
No, there is not a bad time of year to visit the Oregon Coast, but there is a rainy season. Between November and January, many parts of the coast average over 10 inches of rain each month. Many people come to the coast during this time to experience the awesome storms that can whip the seas into a frenzy and showcase the dramatic forces that shape the landscape. It can be wet and windy, but many are attracted to this quieter season at the coast. Hotels offer great off season rates too.
July and August are the most dependable months for dry weather and sunny skies. It is also the busiest time of year. My favorite time of year is September and early October. There are typically smaller crowds and the weather can still be nice, though slightly cooler than summer. Fall can offer scenes of fog, mist and cloud formations that can be stunning.
Whatever time of year you come, you will want to be prepared for cool temperatures and the possibility of rain. If you are prepared, you will be able to enjoy the magic of the coast in any season you visit.
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Other questions about Coast
- We hope to drive from San Francisco, CA to Portland along the coast but only have four days. Is that enough time to enjoy the most outstanding features? Will a standard medium size car do the trick? – Ethel
- What is the best time of year to visit Oregon, drive along the scenic coast, antique…? –Gus
- We are looking to spend 5 days around the coast in June 2013. We have found lots of cool lodges to stay in, but they mostly want at least 2 nights minimum stay. Would you recommend hotels and moving around the coast? Or, base ourselves in a lodge and travel from there each day? — Pete
About Ask Oregon Expert Gary Hayes
Gary Hayes is publisher of Coast Explorer Magazine and founder of Pelican Productions, Inc, a travel media and marketing company based in Seaside, Oregon. Gary is a native Oregonian whose earliest memories include working on his grandfather’s fishing boat on the Oregon Coast. He now lives in Cannon Beach, Oregon with his dog Jackson, a nearly constant travel companion. An extensively published photographer, Gary loves exploring the Northwest’s dramatic landscapes and capturing its natural wonders. He does clean up nicely though and he may also be found sampling Northwest wines and fine regional cuisine at every opportunity. He is a food and wine writer and is the Executive Director of the SavorNW Wine Awards.