Yachats (YAH-hots) is where you go to let the rhythms of the ocean guide you. Name-brand shopping is 50 miles north, at Lincoln City’s outlet malls. Activities such as bowling or movies are either 30 miles north in Toledo or 26 miles south in Florence.
“In Yachats, people are focused around the beach and being outdoors,” says Don Harland, manager of the oceanfront Wayside Lodge (waysidelodge.com). “People are out on the walking trails and on the beach all the time. And there’s nothing better than being here for storm watching.”
The shoreline terrain around Yachats varies greatly, from miles of sandy beach to some of the most rugged, rocky and undeveloped stretches along the Oregon Coast.
Pull off Highway 101 onto the Yachats Ocean Road to see a state natural site that forms an easy, 1-mile strip overlooking basalt that’s been abraded into craggy crevices, holes and spouts. Park near Shellmidden Way and scan the shore for a reliable spouting horn that shoots water into the air at high tide. At the north end of the road, rock stairs lead down to a flat spot that offers promising fishing for king salmon, even late in the fall season. At Cape Perpetua, three miles south of town, you’ll find tidepool discovery programs in summer and glimpses of migrating gray whales in spring and fall.
Visitors and locals alike enjoy the 804 Trail year round. Originally a native footpath, this trail meanders near the highway, along the shore, through natural areas and through some backyards at times. “You can go anywhere in town on that trail,” says Harland. Just off the 804 is the Little Log Church Museum. Built in 1930, the church offers free vow renewals on Valentine’s Day,
While Yachats is small—with a population less than 700—events throughout the year cultivate culture, such as the annual Rainspout Music Festival in May and the Mushroom Festival in October. In fall, expect mushrooms to pop up on menus across town. At the popular coffee shop, The Green Salmon (thegreensalmon.com), you can even get mushrooms in your hot cocoa.
Eat where the locals do, at Leroy’s Blue Whale (leroysbluewhale.com), which serves hearty diner breakfasts alongside a whale mural painted at half-size scale. The Yachats Brewing and Farm Store (yachatsbrewing.com) focuses on local ingredients and fermented foods. Order a flight to taste their seasonal sauerkraut, kimchi and pickles alongside your locally brewed beer.
To explore Yachats online and plan your trip, go to yachats.org.