Fewer than 700 people call the little Oregon town of Yachats home. The small size is offset by the charming atmosphere. We’ve put together a list of some of the best things to do in Yachats, Oregon, ranging from outdoor activities in the great outdoors to offbeat attractions in the city itself.
WHAT IS YACHATS?
The name Yachats (pronounced: yah-hots) means “dark water at the foot of the mountain,” which is an apt description given the area’s hazy Cascade Mountain views, crashing ocean seas, and tide pools sunk in black basalt along the shore.
The Yachats River provided the inspiration for the name Yachats, which is of indigenous origin. The Alseas referred to the area as Ya’Xaik (YAH-hike).
Yachats (pronounced YAH-hots) is a little town on the Oregon coast that is commonly considered a hidden gem due to its extraordinary location. There aren’t many sandy beaches around Yachats because the coastline is mostly made of craggy black basalt, which gives rise to surging sea features like Devil’s Churn, Spouting Horn, and Thor’s Well.
Cape Perpetua, located just a few miles south of town, is one of the nicest viewpoints along the Oregon Coast and has a poetic name to boot. It has a botanical preserve, a city park created from reclaimed marshland, excellent restaurants, shopping, breweries, and art galleries.
It’s a wonderful spot for solitude, exploration, creativity, and romance.
Check out this hidden treasure on the Oregon coast and live like a local for a while. Just like so many others before you, you’ll fall in love with this rural enclave and its expansive surroundings.
11 BEST THINGS TO DO IN YACHATS WITH YOUR FAMILY
ADVENTURE INTO THE CAPE PERPETUA NATIONAL PARK
Near Yachats, Oregon, Cape Perpetua juts out into the Pacific Ocean and covers an area of around 2,700 acres of woodland. Huge old-growth spruce, Douglas-fir, and western hemlock trees of the Siuslaw National Forest are just beginning to poke out of the coastal fog and crashing surf along the rocky coastlines here. At almost 800 feet in elevation, this headland is the coast’s highest drive-up vantage point. The neighbouring officially recognized Scenic Area is perfect for day trips and overnight stays.
The Cape Perpetua Visitor Center is a great starting point, and it’s open every day of the week. Visitor information is available here, along with displays of cultural and natural history interpretation. With its spectacular coastline and 26 miles of trails, the Scenic Area offers lots of opportunities for exploration.
The next greatest site to visit is the peak of Cape Perpetua. In order to reach the Cape Perpetua Lookout, hikers must ascend 700 feet along a trail that is roughly 1.5 miles long. The dirt Cape Perpetua Lookout Road also leads to the day-use area and overlook. From up there, you may get breathtaking coastal panoramas in both directions.
ENJOY THE YACHATS COASTLINE
In Yachats, the sea crashes against a rocky shore. The thundering waves at this spot, where the terrain is rocky and the sea is constantly churning, are mesmerizing. From these jagged peaks, the sunsets are spectacular. Most people come to Yachats for its picturesque waterfront. That’s why Yachats is up there among the best of Oregon’s coastal villages.
The entire Oregon coastline is available for tourists to explore. The Oregon Coast Trail covers all of the coastline, which is almost 360 miles long. The Oregon Coast Trail and the 804 Trail meet in Yachats, allowing hikers to have access to the coast and enjoy stunning views of the waves crashing below.
Beginning at Yachats State Recreation Area, the 804 Trail continues northward to the start of a lengthy stretch of beach. The path takes a scenic detour past a cluster of beachfront hotels as it winds across public land. Please keep to the trail between designated access spots.
It’s around a halfway point on the 804 Trail to Smelt Sands State Recreation Site. Those interested in tide pools and photography will find this an ideal location. On the seven miles of sandy coastline extending north to Waldport, the 804 Trail continues as the Oregon Coast Trail. The 804 meets up with Amanda’s Trail and continues south, eventually leading to Cape Perpetua.
RESERVE A ROOM IN ELEGANCE NEAR THE OCEAN
The 101 through Yachats is lined with several pleasant hotels and resorts. In Oregon, some of these locations are among the most popular beach getaways. Not only is it possible to have a luxurious overnight stay without breaking the bank, but the prices are among the lowest in the area.
Only one hotel in town, located on the northern outskirts, offers spa packages: the Overleaf Lodge and Spa. There are massage therapists on staff and a hot tub overlooking the water for you to bathe in. The spa’s services are open to both hotel guests and the general public.
Deane’s Oceanfront Lodge and Silver Surf Motel are two locally owned alternatives to the more expensive chain hotels in Yachats. These hotels are not only inexpensive but also provide great amenities and breathtaking scenery from every room. The accommodations at the Fireside Motel are dog-friendly, making it a good alternative for folks taking a trip with their canine companions.
The Adobe Resort is another great option for a place to stay because of the wide range of services it provides and the reasonable prices it offers. Almost all of the resort’s 110 rooms have a view of the breathtaking coastline that borders the property, in addition to modern conveniences like electric fireplaces and plush furnishings.
GO TO THE HECETA HEAD LIGHTHOUSE
The beautiful and operational Heceta Head Lighthouse may be found 14 miles south of Yachats, beyond Cape Perpetua. Heceta Head and the adjoining State Scenic Area have hiking paths, a private beach, and a tour of a historic lighthouse. The lighthouse is a half-mile walk from the parking lot, and visitors are welcome to make the journey on their own.
Also on top of Heceta Head is a wonderful bed and breakfast that was once the lighthouse’s living quarters. The Heceta Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast is perched on a rocky outcrop, providing breathtaking panoramas and a serene setting. The inn has comfortable rooms with a view of the water and a delicious seven-course breakfast.
Hobbit Trail is a delightful way to get to Heceta Head from Yachats, as it descends off the 101. Just a mile or so north of the State Scenic Area parking lot is where you’ll find the trailhead for this kid-friendly path. It descends from a mysterious woodland to Hobbit Beach, often considered to be Oregon’s finest beach. You can reach Heceta Head by a trek from Hobbit Beach.
Located 25 miles north of Yachats on Highway 101, the bustling city of Newport is a popular destination for day visits due to its abundance of attractions. Newport, which has a population of around 10,000, has more extensive cultural offerings than its smaller neighbour Yachats. Both the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Hatfield Marine Science Center are must-sees in this city.
There are also a greater variety of stores in Newport. Nye Beach, located on Coast Street by the water, is an excellent example of a place you should visit. This picturesque coastal area was a popular resort in the nineteenth century. This picturesque area has recently been revitalized, and its streets are now lined with trendy galleries, boutiques, and restaurants housed in restored historic buildings.
Ocean beauty can also be found in Newport. On the northern edge of town, Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area protrudes into the water and creates a picturesque scene fit for a postcard. The stunning natural beauty of this area draws visitors from all over the world to its hiking paths, tide pools, and whale-watching vantage points.
WALK IN AMANDA’S TRAIL
Yachats is surrounded by trails perfect for strolling, like the coastline 804 Trail. The town and the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area are connected by a number of trails, including Amanda’s Trail.
The journey starts around Windy Way Street on the southern end of town. Starting out, the path follows an easement through private property. Please follow the signs and stay on the route.
Around Yachats, the trail winds through a thick coastal forest. About a mile into the trail, hikers will come across the one-of-a-kind Amanda Statue. The statue and its accompanying interpretive text tell the tale of the hardships indigenous peoples faced during a forced relocation in the 1860s.
Less than 300 feet of elevation gain characterizes the Amanda Statue trek. Amanda’s Trail is more challenging over the final 2.2 miles, with an extra 500 feet of elevation gain necessary to reach Cape Perpetua.
OBSERVE THE WAVES AT THOR’S WELL AND THE DEVIL’S CHURN
The classification of Cape Perpetua as a Scenic Area is supported by a variety of sceneries. The area’s rocky shoreline is a sight to behold and an exciting place to visit. South of Yachats on Highway 101 is two of the coast’s most photogenic landmarks: the Devil’s Churn and Thor’s Well.
Less than three kilometres separate you from the paved parking lot for Devil’s Churn. The crashing waves against the volcanic rock form a breathtaking cliffside. The Trail of the Restless Waters is a short loop that allows visitors to have a closer look. The largest waves of Devil’s Churn typically arrive during the winter when there are storms. Tourists should stay away from the precipice for their own safety.
Thor’s Well, located further south, is yet another exciting coastline where you can potentially be sprayed by the water. What was a marine cave has collapsed, leaving what appears to be the mouth of a vast abyss. Water pours into the hole at high tide and sometimes shoots back out at a height of 20 feet.
EAT SOMETHING FRESH
The culinary options in Yachats are plentiful, and many of them feature fish. In northern Yachats, the 101 is lined with dining options. The southern end of town, just north of Yachats Ocean Road State Park, has the greatest concentration of eateries.
The Luna Sea Fish House has become a landmark in downtown Yachats due to its excellent fish. This popular seafood restaurant is known for its extensive menu of fresh seafood and friendly atmosphere. The fresh seafood at Luna Sea’s fish market is sold by the pound.
Yachats is home to several excellent seafood restaurants, including the Drift Inn and Ona Restaurant. These two restaurants are perfect for a romantic dinner because of their high-end atmosphere and relaxed atmosphere. Leroy’s Blue Whale and Beach Street Kitchen, which both have a more relaxed vibe, also satisfy seafood cravings with their fresh and fried selections.
SPEND TIME IN FLORENCE
25 miles to the south of Yachats, Florence is a bustling city with many attractions worthy of a day trip or longer stay. Cape Perpetua and Heceta Head Lighthouse are two scenic highlights along the coast that connect the two cities. And the city of Florence itself is full of intriguing natural landmarks.
Sea Lion Caves and Florence’s abundance of beaches with pounding waves are two examples of the city’s aural awesomeness. In addition to the only private sandboarding park on the coast, there is also a natural area full of carnivorous plants that can be explored.
More than 40 miles to the south of Florence is the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. The park attracts sand travellers and OHV drivers of all stripes due to its status as one of the greatest tracts of temperate dunes in the world.
Florence is home to several restaurants, museums, and a historic Old Town in addition to its many opportunities for outdoor recreation.
GO TO EARTHWORKS GALLERY AND LOOK AT THE WORKS
The Greenhouse Marketplace, an industrial area off Highway 101 in Yachats, is home to a number of interesting art galleries. Whether it’s raining outside or not, you can still have a good time at these establishments thanks to the carefully collected artworks, many of which are based on Northwest landscapes.
You must visit Earthworks Gallery, the premier art gallery in the area. This bright and airy gallery showcases the work of local and national artists. Because of its status as one of the best galleries on the coast, the gallery’s displays change frequently.
Just across the street from Earthworks is the Oregon-focused Touchstone Gallery. More than a hundred Oregon artists are represented by this group. There are paintings, sculptures, jewelry, pottery, and even papercraft on display at Touchstone Gallery.
The Wave Gallery is situated on the other side of Earthworks. All of the work of Bob Keller, a photographer from Oregon, is shown in this gallery. Stunning landscapes from all throughout the state are captured here on paper.
VISIT THE LITTLE LOG CHURCH MUSEUM AND APPRECIATE ITS ART
Visiting Yachats’s Little Log Church is an exciting and unforgettable experience. This charming structure may be found just north of Ocean Road State Natural Site off 3rd Street from the 101.
Around 1930, church builders declared their project finished. In the late 1960s, the church finally had to find a new home since the congregation had outgrown the cozy cottage. After being deeded to the city in 1986, the Little Log Church quickly became a museum. Since then, it has stood as a one-of-a-kind landmark and tourist destination.
Only a handful of weddings and Valentine’s Day vow renewals are performed at the Little Log Church each year, but it is still in use. Private events can also be accommodated here.
These are the activities that Hyannis Holiday recommends you try for the best experience here in Yachats, Oregon. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. Have a nice Holiday!