Our epic Oregon coast roadtrip continued as we waved goodbye to Tillamook, and made our way south on the 101 (read more about our Oregon trip here). We were thrilled when we arrived at our next base: the seaside town of Yachats (pronounced Yah-hats).
Yachats is located right in the centre of the Oregon coast, making it an excellent stop-off point, but the chances are you’ll want to extend your stay.
A charming seaside resort, Yachats was just the right kind of busy when we were there in July – lively, but never too full. The atmosphere was similar to that of other Oregon beach towns – beautifully-maintained, streets lined with colourful houses, all oozing summer feelings.
The town has a good handful of restaurants (we tried three, only liked one – more about that at the end of the article), a nice farmer’s market and a great local atmosphere.The west coast seems to be bursting with attractive towns , and quaint little Yachats is no exception.
I don’t know if you’ve ever watched Gilmore Girls, but some of these little towns definitely have a lot of Stars Hollow in them. Between the ice-cream shoppe, the tiny but charismatic bookshop and of course the café with the moody barrista, it’s all there. They even have this lovely system for crossing the road where you pick up a flag on one side of the road, and dutifully take it to the other, alerting drivers to your presence – how great is that?
Whilst wandering through town, we spotted a flyer for a free Ranger-led crabbing and clamming workshop in nearby Waldport, and swiftly moved some of our plans around to fit this in.
About 15 minutes’ drive north from Yachats, Waldport isn’t quite as picturesque as the former, but a nice place nonetheless. We didn’t spend much time in the city itself, other than our ranger-led experience, which was fantastic.
The workshop took place nearby the Alsea Bay Interpretive Centre, where the very friendly ranger met our group and began explaining Oregon’s legislation regarding crabbing and clamming (for example – do not keep a female crab should you catch one, and if you do, get ready to pay a hefty fine!), sharing his tips for a good catch and showing us how the equipment works.
After getting kitted out with gloves, prawn-tube(!) and a basket for our catch, we made our way to the muddy area near the city’s bridge. Unfortunately the tide wasn’t in our favour and we wouldn’t be able to go crabbing, so the ranger just showed us how to look for prawns (could be used for bait, not to be eaten), and of course my beloved clams!
Charlie of course LOVED this experience, it was one of his favourite things from the whole trip as nothing can match up to getting mucky by the sea whilst looking for things to eat! Very proudly we managed to catch about 8 big clams (I can’t remember what they’re called!) and about 50 of the small clams, all of which we gave away as they would take to long to soak in preparation for cooking, and we were leaving the next day. To get them you twist a tube into the sand as far as you can go, then putting your thumb over a tiny hole to keep it airtight, pull it out. Up comes a load of sand and hopefully a clam or two. Regardless, it was an experience we will never forget, and Charlie got himself a Junior Ranger badge to show for it!
After returning to Yachats we spent a good amount of time exploring the local ice-cream shop and hanging out in the playground, which was surprisingly big for such a small place. From here, we got to discover some of the Oregon coast’s most famed attractions, including the Sea Lion Caves and Thor’s Well.
Another perfect place to spend a week or so with family, or as a couple.
WHERE TO EAT
We had a few pretty bad meals here, and a very good one.
+ Luna Sea Fish House had super fresh fish and seafood, a great atmosphere and was very reasonably priced. We sat in the patio area outside, where they had a father & son band playing, and a fun summer ambience. We really enjoyed the food, nothing to call home about, but it was tasty and well-cooked, and the staff were very friendly.
+ Adler Bistro & Dispensary This was our biggest mistake. The menu looked exciting and fresh, and had matching high prices. The food was sloppy, service was slow and atmosphere was dire. Add to that a hefty price tag and we weren’t happy we decided to come here.
WHERE TO STAY
Yachats has a brilliant variety of B&Bs, Guest Houses and camping facilities. We stayed in an airbnb about 10 minutes’ drive from the city, a gorgeous house in a secluded location in the woods with lovely hosts, a kitten, and about 100 chickens (fresh eggs every morning!).