If you’re traveling anywhere near the Central Oregon Coast, you’ll want to stop into the delightful little town of Yachats. Our family makes a point to stop here any time we’re at the coast because there’s such a variety of fun things to do and places to see. The best part is, all of the places listed here have been immensely enjoyed by our whole family.
If you’ve only got a few minutes to spare, this is the place to experience. There are several options for visiting this water-churning chasm. The quickest is to look down from the parking lot. Whee, fun. The next best is to hike down the well-kept, relatively short trail down to the rocky outcropping below. This is the best option if you want to get an up-close view of the water, but have smaller children with you. Finally…the best…navigate the rocks and get up close and personal with the “exploding surf”! You never know when the next wave will smash into the mussel-covered rocks and send up a giant sea spray.
It won’t take any extra time out of you’re day to see this geological wonder, because Highway 101 has a bridge right over it. Can’t miss the huge gap in the ground as you travel south from Yachats.
Cape Perpetua Visitor’s Center and Trails
Located south of Devil’s Churn, this neat little place is a nice rest stop, whale watching center, and hiking hub, all in one. There is a museum inside with displays of coastal Indian life, along with several displays to help visitors understand the area (ahem…visitor’s center? Yeah.) Anyway, my favorite display, being the rockhound that I am, is a large circle of agates, sandwiched by plexiglass and lit from underneath.
The trails are excellent here, and lead up to what is called “the best view on the Pacific Coast”. There are two ways to get up there, one is to hike from the Visitor’s Center, the other is to drive most of the way up, and hike the rest. Since we have a crew of little people, we took the driving route, although it’s a timesaver too if you don’t have all day. Or just don’t feel like hiking. Or you’ve been hiking all day and just want a great photo op.
One last comment before we move on, and that is a rumor I heard that this spot is listed in the Top Places to Kiss list…but you’ll have to ask my parents on that one.
This is a quick spot and a lot of fun, kind of like a free, outdoor Sea Lion Caves. There is a small parking area, sand, and a trail down to where you can see sea lions, harbor seals, and a variety of sea birds. You may even see some whales.
Yachats State Recreation Area
This is the stuff vacations are made of. We always go to the south side of the park, it’s got these amazing little tide pools, great semi-sheltered places to picnic, and best of all, it borders the Yachats River outlet to the ocean. This section of water is relatively calm and fun to putz around in if you have a little raft or something.
My favorite memory from our trips there was when I was really little, probably five or six, and my dad dug out a little one-room playhouse in the sand. I remember scraping little shelves in the wall to put all my little beach treasures on. It was a lot of fun!
More Trails and Wayside Parks
Along the highway there are lots of places to pull of and rest, eat lunch, take a nap, whatever. There’s also old growth forests, hiking trails, and the Spouting Horn…check out a detailed guide to these attractions on the Yachats Area Chamber of Commerce website.
Eat, Shop, Sleep
Enjoy the many galleries, restaurants, hotels, and gift shops that suit your tastes on the Chamber of Commerce site.
Some places we recommend are the Adobe Resort, Topper’s Ice Cream, Candies, and Espresso, the local markets, the Wave Gallery, and Ocean Odyssey rental homes.
We hope you have a great trip whether you’re traveling alone or with an army, for an hour or a day. Explore and have fun, and don’t forget to make a few memories along the way.
Yachats Area Chamber of Commerce website: http://www.yachats.org/map.html