On the way into Yachats (pop. 690; pronounced “YA-hots”), beach loops on either side of the Yachats River give a sense of why the area is called “the gem of the Oregon coast.” It’s a great place to wander and get lost and found again, especially at the beautiful Ocean Road State Natural Site, where incredible views along a one-mile loop road look out over crashing waves, tide pools, blowholes, and, in winter, gray whales migrating offshore.

Back in town, for the past 30-plus years, Leroy’s Blue Whale (580 Hwy-101 N., 541/547-3399), on US-101, has been serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, featuring fluffy pancakes, fresh chowders, and fine fish ’n’ chips. On US-101 there are a half dozen different lodging options fronting the beach, including the Fireside Motel (1881 US-101 N., 541/547-3636, $95-189) and The Beachcomber Cottages (95500 US-101 S., 503/345-9399 or 503/683-7953, $80 and up).

Map of Pacific Coast through Oregon.
Pacific Coast through Oregon