Deceptively Sleepy Yachats on Oregon Coast Actually Abuzz
Published 08/16/2015 at 5:05 PM PDT
(Yachats, Oregon) - About halfway between Florence and Newport, the tiny town of Yachats is at first glimpse a sleepy, subdued sampling of Oregon coast. Indeed, that is true in many way, but there's more than meets the eye here, however. Yachats is more dreamy than sleepy, featuring dramatic views in endless abundance, but a also a beachy quirkiness in its more commercial aspects.(Above: hidden southern side of Yachats).
It works on different layers that keep the activity level higher than you'd imagine. Yachats' beaches are primarily rocky slabs and shelves, jagged and pointy in many spots, with crevices and blowholes, all interspersed with tiny spots of sandy beaches comprised of rather large, coarse grains. But with that wild side comes an engaging facet of civilization, starting with could be called its “downtown.”
If you decide to walk about this vivacious village, shop the funky boutiques on 101, which include truly curious curio shops and a wine seller or two. Some awesome coffee can be had here, if you need a break, while Luna Sea has some of the truly best fish 'n chips on the entire coastline.
You could take a peek at two fun and fascinating attractions in this downtown area as well. There's the Little Log Church, found on Third Street – a lovely little attraction that can play host to events like the wedding vow renewal services every February. Across the street from Luna Sea, you'll find Bazalgette The Whale, a unique sculpture of a whale's tail that sprays water where the whale spout would be.
In back of "downtown" sits the large, main beach access, with an enormous parking lot and some concrete spots close to the surf - perfect for a picnic by the raging seas of this extraordinary area. It's called Yachats State Recreation Area. The street follows the shoreline for several blocks, with the occasional bench on a perch and beach access.
Like the town's attractions, the 804 Trail is a testament to the positive vibes inherent in this placid place. In the 70's, a long stretch of oceanfront came under big controversy because of one property owner who intended to cut off access to the Smelt Sands Beach access by keeping their chunk of the land private. Locals discovered a long-hidden county road right-of-way there. Then, after ten or so years in the Supreme Court, this three-quarter-mile stretch of land was handed over to the county, and in the early 90's became this gorgeous, wheelchair-accessible trail.
It now allows easy access to a myriad of tide pools and crazed wave action, including a few blowholes in the basalt rock, which shoot water upwards in intense gushes with consistent surprise.
The vast majority of Yachats is one jaw-dropping moment after another, really. But the 804 Trail and Smelt Sands never ceases to amaze, plus they give you a front row seat to savage sights – quite literally.
A little over half the time the tides are manic and wild here, creating some awe-inspiring spouting horn action. Sometimes, it's not too wild and you can get surprisingly close to these otherwise very dangerous watery pryotechnics. But mostly, you want to keep your distance.
You will be rewarded, however, with not just with spouting horns that fire water into the air but rocky shelves that make for constant battering ram target practice from the tides, which then can turn upwards into mesmerizing combinations and shapes.
A stunning secret: the very southern edge of Yachats, on the other side of the bay, hosts a mini-cove of incredibly powerful tidal displays as well. See more about Yachats at the Yachats, Oregon Virtual Tour, Map, and even more hidden beaches nearby at the Upper Lane County Virtual Tour, Map.
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