The amazing thing about the West Coast is that it is still mostly wild, open, and astoundingly beautiful country, where you can drive for miles and miles and have the scenery all to yourself.
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-and-chips. Perhaps because of its connections to Portland, Yachats also has some excellent coffee places, including a nameless espresso stand along US-101 on the south side of town, next to the “Devil’s Churn” rock formation where the rising tide crashes through a coastal chasm.
The word “cottage” is a popular lodging label around Yachats, usually referring to a moderately priced, self-contained cabin or duplex with a kitchen. On US-101 there are a half dozen different cottage complexes, each fronting the beach. Among the many attractive, comfortable, and affordable options is Beachcomber Cottages (95500 S. US-101, 541/547-3432, $80).