In this article, we’ve compiled 20 of our favorite things to Yachats and the neighboring sections of the Oregon coast. A quaint little coastal town in central Oregon with no shortage of great seafood and easy access to many of the unique sights on the Oregon Coast, what’s not to love about Yachats!? We’ve explored the entire Oregon coast from north to south, and Yachats ranks high on our list of favorite spot. We can’t wait to share why!
About yachats, Oregon
Yachats is a peaceful and picturesque town located on the central to northern section of the Oregon coast.
First things first, let’s address the elephant in the room… Just exactly how do you pronounce Yachats?! Despite how its spelled, this little town’s name is pronounced “Ya – hots”. The name comes from a local Native word that means something along the lines of “dark water at the base of the mountain“.
And we have to say, we can totally see how it came to be named. The area around Yachats is known for its rugged beauty, where foaming and frothing ocean waves batter a coastline of jagged basalt rock, creating unique natural landmarks like Thor’s Well, the Spouting Horn, and Devil’s Churn.
Downtown Yacahts is a cute little stretch of restaurants, shops and art galleries. Surrounding the town, little beach houses perched up on the hillside create a rather picturesque sight.
From dining and strolling through the quaint downtown to hiking and exploring the beauty section of the Oregon coast that surrounds it, there is no shortage of amazing things to do in Yachats
Our experience in Yachats
We’ve debated back and forth which town on the Oregon coast is our favorite and after much research and nuanced analysis, the award goes to the tiny town of Yachats!
Now, despite our best efforts to remain subjective in such decisions, we can’t help but admit that we’re a bit biased about Yachats and it all starts with the perfect Saturday afternoon we spent in this tiny town.
We had just finished up a long trail run through nearby Cape Perpetua and stumbled into Yachats with empty stomachs and a strong hankering for fish and chips. Soon enough, we were sitting at a picnic table at Luna Sea with ice cold beers and the absolute best fish and chips anywhere in Oregon!
Perfectly beer-battered, crispy on the outside, succulent, juicy, and oh-so tender on the inside. In our humble opinions, Luna Sea serves up the best fish and chips you’ll find anywhere in the area!
Since that fateful day that Yachats first stole our hearts, we’ve been back many times and thoroughly explored the area. After 2 months of living on the Oregon coast, it remains one of our favorite spots for its small town charm and access to hiking trails and other unique natural landmarks.
More to do in Oregon
Where is yachats, Oregon?
Yachats, Oregon is located on the central section of the Oregon coast, about 35 minutes north of Florence and 35 minutes south of Newport. It sits at the mouth of the Yachats River and just north of Cape Perpetua Scenic Area.
The closest major city is Eugene, Oregon, located just under 2 hours away. From Portland, its about a 2 hour, 45 minute drive to Yachats.
where to stay in yachats
What’s not to love about the cozy living room with A-frame style wall of windows facing the sea?!
A clean motel with views overlooking the rocky coast and turbulent waters Yachats is famous for.
Part of the Siuslaw National Forest, this campground is located right on the beach and just outside of Yachats
When is the best time to visit?
Temperatures remain fairly mild year round in Yacahts, as is typical on the Oregon coast. The area also sees large amounts of rain and fog, and typically does not get too warm or too cold.
It’s not exactly the kind of place you’re likely to want to spend much time laying in your bikini on the beach. That being said, moderate temperatures mean the best hiking, outdoor adventures, and other things to do in Yachats are accessible year round.
Summer (June through early September) is the best time to visit Yachats, bringing slightly warmer and drier conditions, with average high’s in the upper 60s and only 0.5-1.5 inches of rain per month.
Best Things to do in Yachats, Oregon
- Enjoy the best Fish & Chips on the Oregon Coast at Luna Sea Fish House
- Explore Yachats State Recreation Area
- Get coffee and a pastry from the Village Bean
- Grab a beer at Yachat’s Brewing
- See Thor’s Well and the Spouting Horn
- Hear the loud clap of waves crashing at Devil’s Kitchen
- Hike the Captain Cook Trail & Cape Cove Loop
- Stop at the Cape Perpetua Overlook
- Hike the Saint Perpetua Trail
- Hike Amanda’s Trail
- Visit the Heceta Head Lighthouse
- Hike to Hobbit Beach
- Watch the sunset at Heceta Beach
- Take a stroll at Tillicum Beach
- Explore Seal Rock
- Stroll through Old Town Florence
- Drive the scenic highway from Yachats to Florence
- Take a day trip to Newport
Map of the Best things to do in YAchats
The map below displays the location of all the things to do in and around Yachats, Oregon that we’ll cover in this article. Use it to plan your visit to Yachats or save it to your phone to help you find your way around.
- To view more details about each location, click on the marker on the map.
- To save this map for future use, click the star next to the title. From your phone, open the Google Maps app and click the “saved” tab, followed by the “Maps” icon. From your Gmail account, navigate to Maps –> “Saved” –> “My Maps” –> “Maps” tab.
- To email this map to yourself, click the three dots in the upper right corner.
1. Enjoy the best Fish & Chips on the Oregon Coast at Luna Sea Fish House
We spent two months living on the Oregon Coast and let’s just say, we ate a LOT of fish and chips during our time there. Of all the places we ate fish and chips, Luna Sea Fish House in Yachats was by far our favorite! Enjoying a delicious meal here is definitely one of the best things to do in Yachats!
The fish is light and flakey, coated in a crunchy beer batter with a side of large crispy wedge potato fries and coleslaw. Paired with an ice-cold Bouy beer poured into a chilled glass, and you’ve got the perfect Oregon coast lunch.
Luna Sea is located in downtown Yachats, with several outdoor picnic tables to enjoy your meal. They even host live music at their Yachats restaurant and second location in Seal Rock.
2. Explore Yachats State Recreation Area
Located on the coast in the heart of Yachats, Yachats State Recreation Area is a quick stop and easy way to enjoy the beautiful coastal views that surround Yachats. From downtown Yachats, its just a quick walk down to the recreation area.
The area features a large platform viewpoint and lovely views of little houses perched on the hill overlooking the rocky coastline and churning waters below.
3. Get coffee and a pastry from the Village Bean
A drive-through coffee shop serving up delicious lattes, drip coffee, and cold brews with a selection of tasty pastries, a cup of Joe from the Village Bean is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. On a chilly and cloudy Oregon afternoon, you really can’t beat a warm beverage from the Village Bean.
We stopped by after a busy morning of hiking left Sarah with a serious coffee and sweets craving, and we have to say: a warm Cappuccino with a chunky piece of coffee cake really hit the spot!
4. Grab a beer at Yachats Brewing
Yachats Brewing and Farmstore is located in downtown Yachats, and enjoying a cold beer after a busy day of exploring is definitely one of the best things to do in Yachats!
They serve a unique selection of house-brewed craft beers, like a smoked Hama-Hama Oyster stout, gin fizz-inspired soul ale, and German-style bock lager. Their beers are named after local attractions and towns, like the Thor’s Well IPA, the Heceta Lighthouse barleywine, and the Waldporter.
In addition to craft beer, Yachats Brewing has a solid selection of ciders, meads and kombucha. They also have a rather eclectic menu, featuring items like the Lion’s Main Cakes, mushroom cakes topped with black garlic aioli and kimchi kraut.
5. see Thor’s Well
As frightening as it is beautiful, Thor’s Well is a giant hole in the volcanic rock that lines the coast near Yachats, where water bulges out and then seems to disappear underground. This area of the coast is particularly turbulent, and churning swirls of salty white water bubble in and out of the seemingly bottomless pit.
When a wave hits the rocky coastline, water bursts through Thor’s Well sinkhole and sprays into the air before retreating back the way it came, creating a waterfall-like effect. Sometimes called the “drainpipe of the pacific”, watching crashing waves as they drain back through Thor’s Well is an oddly mesmerizing experience.
Visiting Thor’s Well is easily one of the most popular things to do in Yachats. This unique geological phenomenon may be accessed by taking a short walk along the Captain Cook trail, located just 5 minutes south of Yachats.
Thor’s Well in Oregon is a uniquely beautiful and mysterious natural phenomenon you’ll want to see with your own eyes! Located on the Oregon Coast near Yachats, Thor’s Well is a popular destination for road trippers and certainly worth the quick stop
6. Watch the Spouting Horn “erupt”
Another notable geological feature located in the same area as Thor’s Well is a blowhole known as the Spouting Horn. It resembles that of a geyser in Yellowstone when it “erupts”!
The Spouting Horn is a large crevice carved out of the volcanic rock that lines Cook’s Chasm, a narrow, rocky inlet on the coast. When the waves crash just right, water rushes through the hole creating a spray of salty water that shoots straight up into the air. As water hits the rock, the loud echo followed by a light whoosh as ocean water shoots up is a sight worth seeing.
For the best chance at seeing the Spouting Horn “erupt”, you’ll want to plan your visit during high tide. When the tide is low, the waves typically don’t crash high enough to cause that burst of water through the Spouting Horn’s crevice.
Tip | Check high and low tide times at Cook’s Chasm before you go.
A unique sight on the Oregon Coast, the Spouting Horn in Cook’s Chasm is a geyser-like blowhole. Crashing waves shoot through a crevice in the rocky coastline, sending a mist of salt water shooting high into the air.
7. Hear the loud clap of waves crashing at Devil’s churn
Devil’s Churn is a narrow rocky inlet on the Oregon Coast just south of Yachats, where crashing waves produce an audible echo and create a swirling cauldron of foamy water! The restless waters can be seen from a viewing area that sits atop a cliff overlooking Devil’s Churn.
However, it’s definitely worth taking the short walk down to the oceanside to see this turbulent natural wonder up close. Be sure to walk all the way to the end of the Devil’s Churn inlet to hear the loud, echoing thunder clap that the waves produce as they rush through the narrow channel and crash full speed into the chamber walls.
Devil’s Churn sits along the same stretch of turbulent coastline as Thor’s Well and the Spouting Horn, and can be connected by hiking the Cape Cove & Captain Cook Loop (see more details below).
8. Hike the Cape Cove & Captain Cook Loop
- Distance | 1.6 miles
- Elevation gain | 240 feet
- Difficulty | Easy
- Closest town | Yachats
Find this hike on AllTrails: Devil’s Churn, Trail of the Restless Way, Captain Cook Loop
This 1.6-mile loop connects the three iconic Yachats viewpoints: Thor’s Well, the Spouting Horn and Devil’s Churn. It combines two main trails: The Captain Cook Loop and the trail of the Restless Way.
This loop starts from the trailhead for Devil’s Churn, a narrow rocky inlet on the Oregon Coast, where crashing waves produce an audible echo and create a swirling cauldron of foamy water! From Devil’s Churn, you’ll hike along the Trail of the Restless Way which leads along the coast before meeting up with the Captain Cook Trail to Thor’s Well.
9. Enjoy the the view from Cape Perpetua Overlook
One of the best viewpoints near Yachats, if not the entire Oregon Coast, is the Cape Perpetua Overlook, featuring unimpeded views of the rocky shores of Cape Perpetua. On a clear day, you can even spot the Spouting Horn, Thor’s Well and Devil’s Churn along the shoreline far below.
There aren’t many places that give you a real bird’s eye view along the Oregon coast, but the Cape Perpetua Overlook is certainly one of them.
The overlook is accessible by car via a very windy road that twists its way up the mountain. From Yachats, it’s a 10 minute drive to the Cape Perpetua viewpoint.
10. Hike the Saint Perpetua Trail
- Distance | 2.7 miles
- Elevation gain | 820 feet
- Difficulty | Moderate
Find this hike on AllTrails: Saint Perpetua Trail
The Saint Perpetua Trail is a short but steep quad-burner that ends at the Cape Perpetua Overlook, with sweeping views of the rocky coastline that makes this area of the Oregon Coast so special. Hiking the Saint Perpetua Trail is easily one of the best things to do in Yachats.
Starting at the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center, the trail follows a series of steep switchbacks up the side of the mountain to the north, climbing 820 feet in just over 1 mile! Along the way you’ll be treated to beautiful views looking south down the coastline.
Be warned that you can drive all the way up to the Cape Perpetua Overlook (as mentioned above), so you don’t need to hike to see the best view. If you’re like us, it might annoy you that people are able to just hop out of their cars to see the same view you worked your butt off to see!
That being said, there are several viewpoints along the way that allow you to enjoy a similar view without the crowds, and it’s a great hike if you’re looking to get a little exercise.
11. Hike Amanda’s trail
- Distance | 5.9 miles
- Elevation gain | 1450 feet
- Difficulty | Moderate
Find this hike on AllTrails: Amanda’s Trail
A great hike for history lovers and forest enthusiasts, what the 6-mile Amanda’s Trail lacks in views it makes up for with its moody rainforest vibes and unique historical significance.
In 1964, the government ordered the military to round up “runaway” Coos Indians who had fled abuse and starvation on the Coast Reservation. Amanda De Cuys was a blind Coos woman who had fled the reservation and was living with a white man.
She was torn apart from her daughter, Julia, during the round up. Not much information is known about the life of Amanda, but she remains a symbol of the atrocities surrounding the forced removal of Oregon coast natives to Indian Reservations.
Although the trail itself does not feature many sweeping vistas (aside from a few peeks through the trees), it departs from (or ends at) the Cape Perpetua Lookout parking area which is one of the area’s most stunning viewpoints. It’s a great way to get in a little exercise but be warned that it is possible to drive right up to the best view on the trail.
Tip | For an event longer hike, combine Amanda’s Trail with the Saint Perpetua hike, totaling about 8.5 miles round trip.
12. Visit the Heceta head Lighthouse
The Heceta Head Lighthouse is an iconic landmark on the Oregon Coast, and certainly one of the best things to do in Yachats. From Yachats, it’s about a 20 minute drive south down the coast to reach the Heceta Head Lighthouse.
To get up close to the lighthouse, it’s about a one mile round trip hike with 130 feet of elevation gain. We’d highly recommend continuing a short distance along the Heceta Head Trail past the lighthouse for an amazing view looking down over the lighthouse and out at the foggy coastline below.
13. hike to Hobbit Beach
- Distance | 1 mile
- Elevation gain | 225 feet
- Difficulty | Easy
- Closest Town | Florence
We love the Hobbit Trail because you get a little taste of two of Oregon’s most prominent landscapes: lush green forests and rocky shorelines! This 1-mile round trip hike winds downhill through an enchanted mossy forest before emerging at the secluded Hobbit Beach.
Tucked away on the northern side of Heceta Head, Hobbit Beach is the epitome of what makes the Oregon Coast so special: quiet sandy beaches, towering cliff sides, and vibrant forests. And while the ultimate destination is Hobbit Beach, the journey through the forest on the Hobbit Trail is equally as magical.
Hike the Hobbit Trail after visiting the Heceta Head Lighthouse (just a few minutes south) for an incredible way to spend your day while visiting Yachats!
The Hobbit Trail near Florence, Oregon winds through a dense, mossy forest before emerging at a beautiful and secluded sandy beach.
14. Watch the sunset at Heceta Beach
The best sunset we’ve ever seen on the Oregon Coast was over Cape Cove at Heceta Beach, located just south of the Heceta Head Lighthouse.
Now, we have to say, ideal weather conditions for that picture perfect orange sunset view are hard to come by on the Oregon coast. And the night we visited Heceta Beach, the conditions just happened to be just right, resulting in the lovely sea stack siloutte against a colorful sky that you see in the photo above.
Even if you aren’t able to visit at sunset, this beach is super scenic and worth a quick visit. In fact, the trail to Heceta Head Lighthouse departs from the same parking area, so there’s no reason not to check out Heceta Beach.
15. Take a stroll at Tillicum Beach
Tillicum Beach is a lovely, wide stretch of sandy beach located just north of Yachats. If you’re looking for some beach time, strolling Tillicum Beach is one of the best things to do in Yachats.
The campground at Tillicum Beach is very popular due to its prime location, with most campsites featuring beachfront views. Whether you’re spending the night under the stars or just looking for a spot to plop down in the sand for the afternoon, Tillicum Beach is a great option.
Just a few minutes north of Tillicum Beach is another similar beach, called Wakonda Beach.
16. Explore Seal Rock
Located just 20 minutes north of Yachats is a beautiful area known as Seal Rock. Technically Seal Rock refers to both the tiny little coastal town here, as well as a state park recreation site featuring a huge off-shore rock formation surrounded by smaller sea stacks and tide pools.
Seal Rock itself was supposedly once home to a large population of seals, but today the marine mammals in the area are few and far between. Nonetheless, the bright teal waters and unique assortment of rock formations found at Seal Rock are quite scenic and definitely worth a visit from Yachats.
Despite its natural beauty, Seal Rock remains a fairly quiet area off the beaten path of most Oregon coast road trippers, making it a nice spot to visit if you want to escape the bustling crowds.
17. Drive the scenic highway from yachats to Florence
The stretch of Highway 101 from Yachats to Florence is one of the most beautiful sections of the Oregon coast, clinging to the sheer cliffside with dramatic views of the rocky coastline and swirling waters below. During the spring, the bright yellow wildflowers that speckle the hillside make the landscape particularly stunning! This scenic drive is certainly one of the best things to do in Yachats.
Along the way, there are numerous spots to pull over and get out to enjoy the stunning views. You especially don’t want to miss the pull out on Highway 101 just south of Heceta Head for an epic picture of the stark white and red lighthouse, perched high on the cliffs above the thunderous Pacific Ocean.
End your scenic drive in another coastal town named Florence, located just 35 minutes from Yachats. Keep reading to learn more about why Florence is worth the day trip from Yachats.
18. Stroll through Old Town Florence
Not to be confused with the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence, Oregon is another gem on the Oregon coast, located at just about the midway point between Astoria and Brookings, 35 minutes south of Yachats. If you have a little more time in the area, taking a day trip to Florence is one of the best things to do in Yachats.
Florence is home to a quaint Old Town, with plenty of cute restaurants, shops, and bars. It’s one of the most picturesque downtowns of all the Oregon Coast towns, and is a bit more lively than downtown Yachats with more restaurants, shops, bars and coffee shops.
Situated along the Siuslaw River, Florence also has a cute little marina where you will find a tiny little crab shack called Novelli’s, which, no exaggeration, floats on the water in the Florence harbor marina. The crab chowder at Novelli’s is especially delicious, and just may make the drive from Yachats worth while on its own.
Hiking in Florence, Oregon features a diverse assortment of landscapes, like enchanted forests, massive seaside cliffs and wide sandy beaches.
20. Take a day trip to Newport
Just 35 minutes north of Yachats sits the fishing and shipping hub of Newport, Oregon. You can find stellar seafood up and down the Oregon coast, but if you’re looking for one place where the seafood truly shines, then Newport is the Oregon coast town for you!
As you walk along the historic bayfront of Newport, the smell of freshly caught cod, crab, and shrimp being processed and packaged to be shipped across the country permeates the air. It isn’t the best smell in the world by any measure but it does mean one thing – the seafood here is as fresh as it gets!
Check out the South Beach Fish Market, just outside town, for a casual, no frills but supremely delicious seafood experience. With crabs boiling in huge pots right out front and a wide selection of seafood staples (their fish and chips are some of the best in Oregon!), you really can’t go wrong at South Beach.
Another very popular restaurant located right on the bayfront is Local Ocean Seafoods, which has been sourcing its seafood straight from Newport’s fishermen since 2005. You can also swing by the home of Rogue Spirits and Ales for a local beer or cocktail with a view of the marina!
Taking a quick day trip up to Newport for some delicious seafood is one of the best things to do in Yachats!
Other Oregon Resources
Looking for more incredible hikes and things to do in Oregon? You may also be interested in the following:
- The Hobbit Trail in Oregon: Hike to a Secluded Beach
- How to Visit Secret Beach: An Off-the-Beaten Path Hike in Oregon
- 24 Can’t-Miss Things to do in Bandon, Oregon
- Why You Need to Visit Silver Falls State Park in Oregon
- Why Oceanside is Worth a Visit: Hidden Gem on the Oregon Coast
And there you have it: 20 of our favorite things to do in Yachats! If you have any questions about planning your trip, please don’t hesitate to drop a comment below!