Be sure to tie down reservations all along the coast as soon as possible. Many of us make reservations the 5th of the previous year.
The weekend around July 4 is typically the busiest of the year on the coast, but Reedsport doesn't have much tourist appeal, so I don't think you'll find the area very busy. However, that's not to say you won't have difficulty finding a site in a campground or RV park, so best make reservations ASAP if that's what you have in mind.
If you're not locked into Reedsport, I'd suggest you consider Bandon, an hour or so further south. Are you camping, or....?
On the contrary, Reedsport and neighbouring Winchester Bay are a big center for OHV enthusiasts and the area is pretty darn busy over 4th July weekend. It will not have the frantic, crowded, absolutely 'slammed' busy-ness of towns on the central and northern coast.
We're in Reedsport every couple of months so know it well. It is not high on visitors' lists of ideal Oregon coast towns, since it is slightly inland and is more of a down-to-earth working town rather than a frou-frou touristy type town, LOL ;-)
You don't mention anything about lodging. Are you planning on camping or staying in motels?
If you are RVing, Winchester Bay RV Park is the nicest RV park on the entire Oregon coast :-)
Thanks for the replies. We aren't camping. We'll be traveling with our family of five. I'll checkout Bandon. I appreciate that tip. We want to do an ATV ride on the dunes so I picked Reedsport because it's close to them and I was trying not to backtrack. But I do not want to stay in a dump either.
The only newish mid range motel in Reedsport is the Salbasgeon, which is quite decent but it's not a 'vacation' sort of location... does that make sense?
Bandon is an oceanfront town with an 'old town' (which isn't really that old!) , a marina, a little lighthouse and a long stretch of beautiful beach. It will also be quite busy but is just isolated enough that it shouldn't be jammed with visitors. Do book lodging well in advance though.
Check out Spinreel in North Bend. I think they do dune buggy tours:
The best places for dune buggy rides/tours are just south of Florence: http://www.sandland.com/ and http://www.sanddunesfrontier.com/ . And it's highly recommended that you take a tour rather rent an ATV. The dunes are huge and vast, and potentially dangerous if you don't the terrain. Plus you'll all have a lot more fun with an experienced driver, especially in a "rail"; better than any theme park thrill ride IMO.
But lodging choices around Florence are relatively limited, so you might also consider Yachats. It's one of the more recently popular coastal towns, and will be busy over the 4th, but it's a fun kind of busy with a community wide pancake breakfast in the morning, pie and ice cream social, la de da Parade and other festivities, followed by a fireworks display in the evening. We've celebrated the 4th in Yachats a couple times; it's a real kick in the pants.
Never been to Bandon over the 4th, but I'm sure you'd have a great time there too. Beaches south of town are some of the more spectacular on the Oregon coast, and the downtown itself is one of the more picturesque too. And if there are any golfers in the family.... My wife, who's lived in Oregon her entire life, just recently decided that Bandon is her favorite coastal town. Used to be Cannon Beach.
Whatever you decide, you should be making reservations as soon as possible.
Thanks for the info!
I'd like to try to get some perspective on 'crowded' My experience with crowded beaches is all on the Atlantic coast. Are you able to relate 'Oregon coast crowded' to "Atlantic coast crowded'?
In southern California they close some of the beaches at noon because they are full. Except for when the Portlanders hit the northern Oregon coast (especially Seaside and Cannon Beach) our definition of a "crowded" beach is pretty much what you experienced. Particularly in the often overcast mornings you can sometimes have miles of solitary beachcombing or strolling. The areas where ATVs are active can be a different matter though.
I've lived on the coast for many years, and things have changed in 20 years! July 4th is without question the busiest weekend of the year on the Oregon coast. Late September does not hold a candle to the July 4th visitors! I have nothing to compare to Atlantic coast, and coastal towns here will not have the same 'crowded' level as each other.
Newport, for example, has a full time population of about 10,000, plus influx from neighbouring smaller towns. On any given day in the summer, the population is probably closer to 20,000. On July 4th weekend, it's probably 30,000+. Long waits at the traffic lights on 101, waits for seating at restaurants, hundreds of people on the beach at any one time.
In a teeny town like Yachats (which has no traffic lights!) you'll have a wait for restaurant seating and you'll hunt for a parking place in town on the 4th. If you watch the la-de-dah parade, you'll see something on the order of 100 people in a 50 yard area along the route.
We live here on the central coast :-)