Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Yachats, OR

  • Published 2022/03/16

Yachats is a small oceanside village nestled in Central Oregon’s coastal region.

This quintessential village faces the vast Pacific Ocean, while its opposite side is surrounded by acres of forested lands that are part of the Siuslaw National Forest.

If you speak of postcard scenery, Yachats has jaw-dropping shorelines and mountain ranges that will captivate you instantly upon arriving.

When you say about natural beauty, Yachats is the epitome of it.

This small coastal village is also home to boutique oceanside hotels, local shops, restaurants, art galleries, scenic areas, and hiking trails, making it a great destination to travel to.

At a glance, this village has a sleepy town appeal, but it is filled with exciting activities and attractions you and your loved ones can enjoy.

Although white sands are absent along its winding, rugged, and scenic coastlines, it’s still teeming with flora and fauna.

On the opposite side, you can discover the lush forests of the Siuslaw National Forest through miles of trail systems.

Despite lacking in size, Yachats makes up for in its charm.

So, here are the 15 best things to do in Yachats, Oregon:

Enjoy the Breathtaking View of Cape Perpetua

Aerial view of Cape Perpetua

MattLphotography /

Probably Yachats’ best attraction, Cape Perpetua, is situated 10 minutes south of the village along Highway 101.

Its scenic area makes it very popular among tourists.

Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or an average tourist, you find yourself enjoying a lot of outdoor activities in this attraction, from hiking to nature photography, wildlife viewing, etc.

View of the devil's churn at Cape Perpetua

MattLphotography /

The entire area encompasses around 26 miles of rugged but scenic coastline to explore.

If you want a brief background of the area, you can head to the Cape Perpetua Visitor’s Center.

Check out its interpretative displays about the cultural and natural history of Yachats and Cape Perpetua.

From there, you can start exploring Cape Perpetua the whole day.

A short trail bridge at Cape Perpetua

Bob Pool /

Dine at the Ona Restaurant & Lounge

If you want a romantic dinner overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Yachats River, head to the Ona Restaurant and Lounge along US 101.

The restaurant offers a cozy and casual vibe where you can have an excellent view of Yachats’ beautiful coastline.

Like most restaurants in Yachats, Ona Restaurant & Lounge specializes in fresh seafood with a twist.

The restaurant’s name is derived from the Chinook word ‘Ona,’ which means shellfish.

This restaurant offers a great fine dining experience featuring seafood dishes paired with its excellent selection of northwest wines.

After a tiring day strolling through Yachats coastlines and forests, reward yourself with a delicious meal at Ona Restaurant & Lounge.

Uncover the Mystery of Thor’s Well

Scenic sunset at Thor’s Well

Jesse Hasup /

Thor’s Well is one of the unique natural attractions in Oregon.

This place located within the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area is referred to as a ‘well.’

However, it is an old oceanside cave that has collapsed a long time ago.

People watching the strong waves near Thor’s Well

Bob Pool /

It created some kind of drainage which many locals believe has a bottomless hole.

Nonetheless, it’s always a magical sight to see the towering water sprays that come out from Thor’s Well.

In addition, there are numerous myths and urban legends surrounding Thor’s Well.

Water erupting from Thor’s Well

Bandersnatch /

Some say that Thor, the Norse god of Thunder, created this well.

While some claimed that many people have already died there, which has already been debunked.

It’s a great place to uncover urban legends and mysteries by asking locals, making your experience there more exciting.

Overall, Thor’s Well is equally stunning and mysterious, making it a must-visit place while in Yachats.

Water flowing down Thor’s Well

Jeffrey Schwartz /

Explore the Rare Plant Species of Gerdemann Botanic Preserve

The German Botanic Preserve is situated within the Siuslaw National Forest that is accessed either by road or through the Ya’Xaik Trail.

This 3.5-acre preserve is dedicated to collecting and preserving exotic and rare plants, including various species of rhododendrons.

This botanic preserve opened in 1981 through Jim and Janice Gerdeman.

Today, this preserve houses hundreds of exotic plants collected from the southern hemisphere, plus a collection of tree species.

In addition, it has a collection of flowers from local to rare species.

At Gerdeman Botanic Preserve, you’ll learn dozens of interesting facts about various species of flowers and plants, with some very rare to find.

If you want a unique experience while you’re in Yachats, this place is a great place to check out.

Engage in Outdoor Activities at the Yachats State Recreation Area

People admiring the view at Yachats State Recreation Area

Finetooth, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Yachats State Recreation Area is a small park along Ocean View Road.

This park is specifically situated up against the bay, fronting the Pacific Ocean, at the mouth of the Yachats River.

It has beach access that features numerous outdoor activities such as hiking, stone stacking, tide pooling, etc.

It’s also an excellent place for wildlife viewing where you’ll have a close encounter with seagulls that swarms you, begging for food.

From a distance, you can get a glimpse of whales seen regularly through the park’s viewing platform.

Overall, the Yachats State Recreation Area is a unique park that you and your loved ones should check out.

Stay at a Scenic Oceanside Accommodation

If you’re planning to spend a couple of days exploring Yachats, don’t you can choose from several oceanside hotels that line through Highway 101.

These oceanside hotels front the vast Pacific Ocean, giving you a dramatic view of the horizon.

If you’re looking for the perfect accommodation, there are several hotels to choose from while you’re in Yachats.

The Overleaf Lodge and Spa are situated at the northern tip of Yachats.

It is known for its top-notch spa vacation packages and indoor soak pools fronting the ocean.

In addition, you can check out Dean’s Oceanfront Lodge, Fireside Motel, and Silver Surf Motel.

All have unique amenities with friendly rates.

If you want more upscale accommodation, head to Adobe Resort, which offers a full-service experience and features 110 rooms.

In the end, it’s up to you which of these oceanside hotels suits your wants and needs while you’re in Yachats.

Learn the History of the North Fork Yachats Covered Bridge

Entrance of North Fork Yachats Covered Bridge

Nature’s Charm /

Historically, covered bridges back in the day were the most popular types of bridges that connected towns and cities.

Today, there are only a few surviving and well-preserved covered bridges remain in the United States.

One of them is the North Fork Yachats Covered Bridge.

This 42-foot-long covered bridge is situated nine miles from Yachats, deep in the Siuslaw National Forest.

Constructed in 1938, the covered bridge served as a thoroughfare crossing over the Yachats River.

Side view of the North Fork Yachats Covered Bridge

Nature’s Charm /

It has a distinct design that follows a queen post truss structure.

Remarkably, the bridge is still open to traffic.

However, it’s limited to smaller vehicles not exceeding ten tons.

It means that recreational vehicles or RVs and trucks are prohibited from crossing the bridge.

The North Fork Yachats Covered Bridge is a gorgeous structure to take photos and learn a bit of history while you’re in Yachats.

View from under North Fork Yachats Covered Bridge

Nature’s Charm /

Spend Time at the Smelt Sands State Recreation Site

If you want to explore more of Yachats’ scenic shorelines, then head to the Smelt Sands State Recreation Area nestled next to the Yachats 804 Trail.

Contrary to its name, the Smelt Sands State Recreation Site is not that sandy compared to a typical beach.

Instead, it’s a popular place for tide pools, teeming with marine life visible during low tide.

The entire recreation site comprises tide pools, rock formations, and boulders that make the area beautiful to explore.

In addition, the Smelt Sands State Recreation Site is a beautiful spot for wildlife and nature photography.

Appreciate the Scenic View of the Devils Churn

Scenic view of Devils Churn

MattLphotography /

For more breathtaking sceneries in Yachats, head to Devil’s Churn situated in Cape Perpetua Scenic Area.

Devil’s Churn is a small inlet formed through a volcanic rock fissure millions of years ago.

Dried trees and colorful plants near Devils Churn

C.Echeveste /

It’s a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts who want to witness the waves crashing into a chasm of rock formations that creates a breathtaking view of Cape Perpetua’s shorelines.

Strong waves crashing at Devils Churn

Cynthia Liang /

You can take a closer look at the 80-foot-wide chasm, but visitors are advised not to get very close to its edge to prevent accidents from happening.

Overall, the Devils Churn is a magnificent place to take photos or perhaps listen to the calming sounds of the waves crashing against the rock formations.

View of the Devils Churn during the day

78_scout /

Satisfy Your Seafood Cravings at the Luna Sea Fish House

It’s a no-brainer that Yachats is abundant in fresh seafood given its location.

With that in mind, you shouldn’t miss tasting its delicious seafood prepared and cooked fresh daily at its local restaurants.

One of the most recommended restaurants to visit in Yachats is the Luna Fish House.

Luna Fish House is basically a local fishmonger, also selling fresh fish daily to everyone.

However, they are best known for their menu centered on fresh seafood available from breakfast, lunch, to dinner.

They are widely known for their fish and chips, seafood sandwiches, steamed clams, chowders, lobsters, and more.

In addition, they offer top-notch Albacore Tuna, wild king salmon, Oregon Bay shrimp, Newport Oysters, halibut, Alaskan cod, and scallops.

So, you know where to go when you’re hungry while in Yachats.

Stroll through Yachats’ Coastline

Rocky Yachats’ Coastline

davidrh /

One of the best outdoor activities in Yachats is strolling through its rugged but vibrant coastline during low tide.

Yachats’ coastline during high tide is another attraction.

However, when the water begins receding to the ocean, it reveals pool tides plenty of marine life.

So, take off your shoes and roll up your pants to discover these pool tides and get up close with the rich flora and fauna of Yachats’ coastline.

Bright flowers near Yachats’ Coastline

Bob Pool /

Aside from tide pooling, the coastline also offers a dramatic sunset during the afternoon.

If you don’t want to get wet, you can traverse the 804 Trail situated beside the coastline.

It has roughly two miles of scenic trails that start from the Yachats State Recreation Area to the northern portion of the village.

Flowers near Yachats’ rocky Coastline

Melissa R. Reninger /

Hike through Amanda’s Trail

If you have more energy for more hiking, check out Amanda’s trail connected to the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area.

The trail starts on the southern side of Yachats, near Windy Way Street, and traverses through several privately-owned areas and easements.

However, most of the trail navigates through a lush coastal forest that surrounds the entire village of Yachats.

When you’re already there, don’t forget to take photos of the historic Amanda’s Trail statue draped with necklaces and ornaments.

Overall, Amanda’s Trail offers a relaxing hike that highlights excellent sceneries and lush forested areas, making this attraction a must-visit while in Yachats.

Step Back in Time at the Little Log Church Museum

Exterior of Little Log Church Museum

Denise Lett /

The Little Log Church is a witness to Yachats’ history throughout the years.

Built back in 1930, the Little Log Church was constructed through the efforts of Yachats’ community volunteers.

Due to its historical significance in the village, the Oregon Historical Society purchased the charge in 1969 and transformed it into a museum in 1970.

Opening and closing hours of the Little Log Church Museum

Joe Mabel, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visiting the Little Log Church Museum lets you further understand the rich history, heritage, and culture of the people of Yachats through its permanent exhibits.

Moreover, this museum is located along Yachats’ charming downtown district.

Immerse with Locals at Downtown Yachats

The small but vibrant downtown district of Yachats is filled with charming attractions.

Spend your entire day browsing through Yachats’ specialty shops, gift shops, and art galleries that offer various souvenir items that you can bring home.

If you’re an art enthusiast, make sure to visit the downtown’s numerous art galleries.

Browse through the exhibits featured at Earthworks Gallery, Greenhouse Marketplace, Yachats Common Building, Touchstone Gallery, Wave Gallery, and Oregon Artworks.

In addition, the downtown area has an excellent selection of restaurants such as the Yachats Underground Pub & Grub, Green Salmon, Sea Note Restaurant and Lounge, and Bread & Roses Bakery.

Be One with Nature at the Ya’Xaik Trail

Ya’Xaik Trail is a newly-opened trail created within the lush Siuslaw National Forest off Highway 101.

The entire trail is covered with thick pines that immerse you with nature without driving out of Yachats.

Basically, this trail is pretty much in Yachats’ backyard because of the multiple access from the village.

However, the best access is through the end of Diversity Drive that instantly leads you to the forested area.

The trail takes you to the forest of Siuslaw National Forest and other natural attractions such as the Starr Creek Reservoir and Gerdemann Garden.

If you want to explore Yachats’ forested area deeper, Ya’Xaik Trail is a great place to start your journey.

Final Thoughts

Yachats may be a small village, but it has a vast outdoors, making a perfect setting for an adventure.

Its dramatic coastline offers you a whole new point of view of its beauty.

If you’re looking for an escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, Yachats is the perfect place for a solemn retreat.

Whether you’re traveling in Yachats to destress or want an outdoor adventure, there are dozens of awesome things you will find in this charming coastal town.

So, which of these attractions you’ll visit first in Yachats?

Don’t forget to bookmark this post to give yourself an exciting itinerary!

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