Places to Visit in Oregon in May

Located in the Northwest US, Oregon is a state known for its lush forests, rugged coastlines, and scenic mountains. You’ll find a variety of places to visit in Oregon in May like National Parks, State Parks, coastal beaches, and unique cities.

If you’re looking for places to visit in Oregon in the spring, May is the perfect month when the weather is getting warmer and the summer crowds haven’t started yet!

places to visit in Oregon in May

In May, Oregon’s weather begins to warm up, offering a delightful blend of mild temperatures and a mix of sunny days interspersed with occasional rains. Average daytime temperatures range from the mid-50s to low 70s F, creating an ideal setting for exploring the state’s lush outdoors.

The month of May marks the transition from the cool, wet spring towards a warmer summer, making it a perfect time to enjoy the scenic beauty of Oregon’s landscapes, from its coastline to the mountain trails.

For even more things to see, do, photograph, and eat, we’ve compiled a comprehensive Oregon Bucket List to add to the list below of places to visit in May! Grab the free download by clicking the graphic below!

Oregon Bucket List Packet optin
This site contains affiliate links which means WE may receive commissions for purchases made through these links. We only provide links to products we actually use and/or wholeheartedly recommend! As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Read the full Disclosure Policy.
map of places to visit in Oregon in May

Map of Oregon Vacation Spots in May

Here is a map of places to visit in Oregon in May to help you plan your travel itinerary! Each destination captures the essence of Oregon’s diverse landscapes, promising unforgettable experiences. Enjoy the natural splendor and adventure that await as you explore these gems across the state.

We recommend the Oregon GuideAlong App to hear fun behind-the-scenes stories and local tips that play automatically as you drive, based on your GPS location as you drive through the state!

Places to Visit in Oregon in May

Exploring Oregon in May is a great chance to see nature change from winter to spring. The nice weather and blooming flowers make it perfect for adventurers and peace-seekers.

From calm beaches to beautiful mountains, each spot offers a different experience, showing Oregon’s natural variety. Whether you like outdoor fun or just want to enjoy the view, Oregon in May has something for everyone.

We’ve asked our travel friends to share their favorite places to visit in Oregon for the month of May! Here are their recommendations and tips!

Astoria Oregon
Astoria, Oregon

Astoria, Oregon in May

Visiting Astoria, Oregon, in May offers the perfect blend of mild weather and natural beauty, making it an ideal time for exploring this historic port city. May temperatures are generally mild and comfortable, with average highs around 62°F and lows typically falling to about 48°F.

One must-visit location is The Astoria Column perched majestically on Coxcomb Hill. The staircase of this 125-foot monument might be a bit of a workout, but trust me, it’s totally worth it when you hit the top where great views showcase the natural beauty of the Pacific Ocean and the Columbia River.

Built in 1926 and designed by architect Electus Litchfield, the column’s Greco-Roman style and intricate murals on the outside of the column tell tales of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the city’s first permanent American settlement.

The park around the column is perfect for picnics with the family. It is a nature lover’s dream location, especially during summer. For a perfect blend of history and stunning scenery, the Astoria Column is a must-visit during your day in Astoria. (Photo and Recommendation by Paul, Roam Wisely)

Places to Stay in Astoria, Oregon

Wizard's Hat at Face Rock State Beach
Wizard’s Hat at Face Rock State Beach

Bandon, Oregon in May

Overall, May is an ideal time to visit Bandon, Oregon due to the comfortable weather, stunning natural beauty, and a variety of activities for all interests.

One of the top attractions in Bandon is its stunning beaches with miles of sandy shorelines. In May, the water temperature is still cool but comfortable enough for swimming or water activities like kayaking and paddleboarding. Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint is a must-see destination, offering breathtaking views of the coastline and its iconic rock formations.

For golf enthusiasts, the Bandon Dune Golf Resort offers some of the best courses in the country. There are six distinct links courses have been conceived in harmony with the natural environment. The mild climate in May makes for ideal golfing conditions, with fewer crowds on the courses.

Don’t forget to also check out some of the local events happening in May, such as the annual Bandon Crab Derby or the Beachside Beer Fest. These events offer a taste of the town’s unique culture and are a fun way to immerse yourself in the local community. (Photo and Recommendation by Dave & Jamie, Photo Jeepers)

Places to Stay in Bandon, Oregon

Haystack Rock
Haystack Rock

Cannon Beach, Oregon in May

Cannon Beach is one of the most beloved Oregon Beach towns, with adorable beach shacks, a wide expansive stretch of sand, and one of the most iconic sea stacks in the world, Haystack Rock. 

This coastal area is one of the best places to visit in Oregon with kids. May is a lovely time to visit Cannon Beach. Besides the rapidly warming weather, it’s one of the best times to spot wildlife in the town. For example, you can still catch the last remnants of gray whales migrating northbound from their breeding grounds of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico up to their home for the summer months in the chilly Arctic waters of Alaska.

Additionally, Haystack Rock is one of the best places in Oregon to spot tufted puffins, who nest here through the month of May. In fact, there’s knowledgeable volunteers with the Haystack Rock Awareness Program who come to the beach on a daily basis (oftentimes with spotting scopes!), who can share fascinating tidbits about these colorful birds and other coastal creatures with you. 

Besides wildlife spotting, you can take advantage of the pleasant weather and limited crowds to explore Cannon Beach’s incredible scenery. For example, head to Ecola State Park, which has lush coastal forests and secluded beaches to explore or Oswald West State Park, which arguably offers some of the best surfing the Oregon Coast has to offer. (Photo and Recommendation by Jessica, Uprooted Traveler)

Places to Stay in Cannon Beach, Oregon

Columbia River Gorge
Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in May

The Columbia River Gorge, an awe-inspiring chasm carved by the Columbia River, marks the dividing line between Washington state to the north and Oregon to the south. This majestic gorge extends over 80 miles and reaches depths of up to 4,000 feet as it slices its way westward through the Cascade Range.

May is the busy season along the waterfall corridor, so make sure you know what parking permits are required for your visit! Timed Use Permits for Multnomah Falls usually begin the end of May, but it’s always best to check the most current information!

The Columbia Gorge is one of the best Oregon photography locations to capture breathtaking waterfalls like these:

  • Multnomah Falls – the tallest waterfall in Oregon dropping 635 feet with two tiers!
  • Latourell Falls – cascades over a 224-foot basalt cliff
  • Bridal Veil Falls – drops 118 feet and includes two different tiers
  • Tunnel Falls – flows down over 165 feet

The waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge draw visitors from around the globe. They are all stunning and show how powerful nature is. This is a must-stop destination that should be on any US waterfalls bucket list! (Recommended by Dave & Jamie, Photo Jeepers)

Places to Stay Near Columbia River Gorge

Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park in May

When you are looking for places to visit in Oregon, don’t miss out on visiting Crater Lake National Park in May. Located in southern Oregon, this unique national park is home to the United States’ deepest volcanic lake, known for its striking blue color. 

The park is open year-round, and it’s a popular place to visit in Oregon in summer. Visiting in May you won’t encounter a lot of people compared to the summer months.

If you are lucky, you may find Rim Road partially open at the end of May. Even without Rim Road open, you can drive up to the Crater Lake Lodge and enjoy the view from the patio. Stay for sunset if possible so you can watch the reflection on the surface of the lake.

The lodge typically opens for business in mid-May, so you can enjoy a meal and stay overnight. If you need to warm up or escape the elements, their lobby has seating and free WiFi along with free water and bathrooms.

If you want a more active visit to Crater Lake, snowshoeing is an option and you can hike along Rim Road when it is closed to vehicles. (Photo and Recommendation by Christine, Live Love Run Travel)

Lodging and Tours Near Crater Lake National Park

Willamette River
Willamette River

Eugene, Oregon in May

Located within a two hour drive from Portland, is the lesser-known town of Eugene. It’s full of parks, greenery, and waterways that are popular for hiking, walking, and bicycling options.

Eugene is the perfect town for an overnight or a weekend stopover while on long drives between Seattle and San Francisco. The mild temperatures average 60-65 degrees F in May makes it the right time to do more outdoorsy activities. 

The scenic Willamette River runs through Eugene and there are trails and biking paths along both sides of the river. The pedestrian footbridges connecting the north and south banks provide photo opportunities.

Eugene is also a University-town with the popular University of Oregon located here. The 78-acre Hendricks park, the oldest city park located south of the University of Oregon campus, is popular with tree lovers and botanists as it has a mature forest, a 12-acre rhododendron garden and a native plant garden.

Graduate Eugene and Best Western New Oregon are good choices to stay overnight or for the weekend – just minutes from Alter Baker Park as well as Downtown Eugene. (Photo and Recommendation by Jan, from Leisurely Drives)

Eugene, Oregon Lodging & Tours

Holman Vista in Florence, Oregon
Holman Vista in Florence

Florence, Oregon in May

The best part about visiting Florence, Oregon in May is enjoying the warmer weather and spring events. The temperatures have begun increasing in Florence, and many flowers have bloomed!

On the third weekend in May, Florence annually hosts a Rhododendron Festival. It’s a celebration of the beautiful Rhododendron flowers that bloom in the area in May. During the festival, hundreds of Rhododendron blooms are on display in Florence! On the third Sunday of May, there is even a big floral parade through Florence Old Town and down Highway 101.

More things to do in Florence in May include exploring nearby trails such as the Holman Vista Trail for incredible dunes and views; taking a walk through the Old Town historic district and along the marina docks; or visiting nearby beaches like Heceta Beach (and the lighthouse) and Baker Beach.

Another great reason to visit Florence in May is the quieter season. The weather is mild and fewer people are visiting compared to the summer months. Because of this, it’s a perfect time to visit! (Photo and Recommendation by Meredith, Counting Her Travels)

Florence, Oregon Lodging

Portland Oregon garden
Portland, Oregon garden

Portland, Oregon in May

Portland is one of the best places to visit in Oregon in May. Expect highs in the upper 60s and lows in the upper 40s with approximately 9 days of rain on average. It’s the perfect weather to enjoy the gardens in Portland that come to life in the spring!

At Hoyt Arboretum enjoy magnolias in bloom where there are dedicated pathways (called the Magnolia Trail) that will guide you to the best views of the magnolias. The Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden becomes absolutely enchanting the spring when the flowers cover every surface.

Don’t miss the Japanese Garden or the Lan Su Chinese Garden either, where both are uniquely curated and worth a visit. Where the Japanese Garden is certainly more popular, the Lan Su Chinese Garden has an easy to reach location downtown and a lovely tea house where you can sit, relax, and enjoy a small bite.

Aside from gardens, be sure to add these activities to your Portland itinerary: a food cart pod tour is a great way to taste your way through the city and a visit to Powell’s, the largest independent bookstore, is a must!

If you’re visiting Portland with kids, donuts are a must-do activity! Visit Voodoo Doughnuts or go on a donut tasting tour to try some of Portland’s other tasty donut shops. Most of the donut tours end at Voodoo. (Photo and Recommendation by Alanna, Periodic Adventures)

Portland, Oregon Lodging & Tours

Rockaway Beach Oregon
Rockaway Beach

Rockaway Beach, Oregon in May

Rockaway Beach is a beach town located along the Northern Oregon Coast. This laid-back town is home to a beach of clear white sand that stretches over 7 miles.

The beach is open to all and very family-friendly. There are a few surfing areas, separated from swimming areas. You can surf all year-long at Rockaway Beach, thanks to a good wind usually coming from the east.

Offshore, two superb rocks can be seen, one of which has been pierced by the waves. A perfect place to watch the sunset.

The entire town is organized around the beach. There are cool, colorful wooden shacks, restaurants and bars. I recommend stopping at the Sand Dollar Restaurant & Lounge for good American food with ocean views. (Recommendation by Soline, On the Road Diary)

Rockaway Beach Lodging

Clearwater Falls
Clearwater Falls

Rogue Umpqua Scenic Byway in May

For waterfall enthusiasts, don’t miss out on the beauty of Oregon’s Waterfall Highway, the Rogue Umpqua Scenic Byway. Journey through Southern Oregon to encounter a charming array of cascading waterfalls.

The waterfalls are full in May as the snow in the surrounding peaks begins to melt and the rivers swell. Each waterfall on this beautiful route shows nature’s power and beauty in a unique way.

Some falls can be accessed with an easy walk from a parking lot like Watson Falls, Toketee Falls, and Clearwater Falls. Others require a bit of hiking like Lemolo Falls, Susan Creek Falls, Fall Creek Falls, and Wolf Creek Falls.

You might need rain gear and waterproof hiking boots for your May visit. We also suggest using a rain cover or someone holding an umbrella if you plan to take waterfall photos! (Recommended by Dave & Jamie, Photo Jeepers)

Idyllwild, Oregon Lodging

  • Umpqua’s Last Resort – Cabins, Glamping & RV Park along the North Umpqua River – we LOVED our stay here!

Find Oregon Travel Guides at Amazon:

Oregon guides

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *