Destination Yachats: Small-town Charm
Nestled where the forest meets the sea, Yachats (pronounced ya-hots) is a wee village with outsized charm. It’s where you’ll find some of the best bites on the Coast, miles of trails, scenic vistas, marine gardens and more to keep you busy during a relaxing weekend stay.
For such a small town, Yachats (pop. 690) boasts a surprising number of eateries.
Follow the locals to Yachats Brewing, a funky, modern-day general store that fuses a brewpub, market and farm store. Sample a flight of craft brews while enjoying a simple but flavorful menu of beer brats, salads, soups and all manner of fermented foodhttp://yachatsfarmersmarket.webs.com/s. Pick up some local veggies, cheeses or house-smoked salmon to take home. Check the calendar for live music and other events.
Local wines are the focus at The Wine Place, which promotes Oregon vineyards with tastings every Saturday as well as opportunities to meet and mingle with local winemakers. Stop by to sample regional wines paired with savory small plates.
Ready for something sweet? Head to Bread & Roses. This beloved local bakery serves house-made pastries, sandwiches, salads and soup. Enjoy your meal with a steamy cappuccino while lounging at the delightful outdoor seating area.
Yachats is also a great town for fresh seafood. Taste some of the Coast’s best fish and chips at Luna Sea Fish House, a restaurant owned and operated by local fisherman Robert Anthony. Anthony has fished for salmon, albacore tuna and crab for more than 30 years, and he catches, depending on the season, a number of the fish the restaurant serves — all cooked to order, battered or grilled. A fish counter features fresh seafood you can take home. If you’re looking for something more upscale, head to Ona Restaurant & Lounge to enjoy classic coastal cuisine on the patio, which boasts beautiful ocean views.
Al fresco nibbles abound at the Sunday Famers’ Market (held 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May through mid-October), where booths highlight local produce and artisan foods. Stargazer’s Gourmet’s dark chocolate Bark Bites, laced with Oregon hazelnuts and orange zest, are to die for. Lunch at the Souper food truck means melt-in-your-mouth grilled cheese and homemade soups. Local artists also display their wares.
For a taste of local history, the Little Log Church Museum, built in 1930 from timber hauled down the Yachats River, houses artifacts and curiosities of all kinds, including an impressive collection of seashells gathered from around the world.
Outdoor enthusiasts won’t be disappointed in Yachats: Recreation opportunities abound at the 2,700-acre Cape Perpetua Scenic Area with its 26 miles of scenic trails, and a year-round visitors’ center with exhibits and films. Take the 6.5-mile Cooks Ridge/Gwynn Creek Loop to the top of the ridge for stellar views.
Another gem is the Gerdemann Botanic Preserve. Tucked between the Pacific and the Siuslaw National Forest, this private preserve is a magical laboratory fusing a native canopy of Sitka Spruce and Western Hemlock with a collection of rare and unique plants from around the globe. (Consult Hike, Bike, Paddle for regional trail maps, directions and safety information.)
South of town, you’ll find some of Oregon’s best tide pooling. Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint and Strawberry Hill both feature a stunning, otherworldly landscape with plentiful tide pools filled with jewel-toned anemones, sea stars, crab, spiny urchin, snails, tube worms and jelly fish. Check daily tide tables to make sure conditions are safe for exploring.
Photo by Larry Andreasen