Road Trip to Yachats/Waldport – Best Places to Stay, See, Eat and DiscoverStunning coastline views, breathtaking sites like Cape Perpetua, Thor’s Well and sunsets over the Alsea Bay Bridge. Award-winning craft beer, popular local restaurants and coffee shops, and a bustling farmer’s market – the beloved beach towns of Yachats and Waldport have something for everyone. Tucked into the southern-most part of Lincoln County these towns are slightly less frequented than larger cities to the North, and that makes all the difference. The drive to these two cities is a beautiful one, and opportunities for scenic vistas and memorable stops abound. We have assembled a few of our favorite stops to make along the way and focused them toward the area South of Lincoln City and north of Waldport/Yachats – and an area rich with natural beauty and an impressive marine science center.
Stops to Make Along the Way to Yachats/Waldport:
Yaquina Head Lighthouse and Cobble Beach
A stop by the Yaquina Head Lighthouse and Cobble Beach is the perfect place to learn a little about the Lighthouse’s historical past and do a little exploring. The lighthouse began operations in August of 1873, when Head Keeper Fayette Crosby climbed the 114 steps to light the wick of the oil burning fixed white light. At that time, the light was on display from sunrise to sunset. Today the lighthouse runs a fully automated Fresnel lens light on commercial power, and it flashes a unique pattern of 2 seconds on, 2 seconds off, 2 seconds on, 14 seconds off, 24 hours a day. The area around the lighthouse is just as interesting as the light inside – and it is a favored spot for natural wildlife. Situated on the migratory path for Gray Whales, visitors may spot them just offshore in early December and January on their travels South – or again in March and April as they return North toward the Bering Sea. Birdwatcher’s also have a lot to be excited about at Yaquina Head. One of the West Coast’s largest nesting colonies of common murre’s resides there along with Brandt’s and pelagic cormorants, western gulls, and bald eagles. Yaquina Head is also home to a mated pair of peregrine falcons, easily spotted most days in the cliffs above the Interpretive Center. For beachcombers, a stroll around the Cobble Beach Tidepools is a must. The beach is named for the dark, smooth rounded stones that cover it and it is an excellent place to explore tidepools. No matter where you explore near Yaquina Head, you will find staff and volunteers nearby to help you make the most of your visit. PLEASE NOTE: Summer 2020, parts of Yaquina Head recreational area are currently closed so check for their hours of availability.
Oregon Coast Aquarium
The Oregon Coast Aquarium, located in Newport, Oregon, first opened its doors to visitors in 1992. This award-winning facility is the pride of the Central Coast and attracts regional, national, and international visitors to its world-class programs and exhibits. Showcasing marine mammals, seabirds, plants, fish, and invertebrates native to the Oregon coast, The Aquarium endeavors to share its well-informed view of the wealth of coastal resources and promote environmental awareness, conservation, and stewardship with visitors of all ages. Located on 39 picturesque acres overlooking Yaquina Bay and across from Newport, Oregon’s Historic Harbor, The Aquarium makes for an ideal way to spend part of your day when visiting Newport or nearby cities Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Waldport, and Yachats. The facility is considered one of the nation’s top aquariums, and has been recognized as such by the Travel Channel, USA Today, Coastal Living, Parents Magazine, Forbes Traveler and 10Best.com . Open by reservation this Summer, please check for hours of availability.
South Beach State Park
Another beautiful stop to make when traveling South on US Highway 101 is South Beach State Park. Sitting next to the Yaquina Bay Bridge, the park begins in south Newport and stretched for several miles down the Oregon Coast, offering many recreational opportunities for visitors. There is an equestrian trail for those wanting to explore on horseback (sunset views on horseback are extra special!) and the Jetty Trail is a beautiful place to go for a jog or take a bike ride. The park also offers a 9-hole disc golf course, horse shoe pits, a playground, and a camping area. When open, park’s Hospitality Center is a great place to get park maps and brochures, shop for souvenirs and check out free discs or horse shoes. Please note the park has limited facilities available this Summer and check online to see what is open before your visit.
Where to Stay in Yachats/Waldport:
Sand and Sky, Waldport
You will be charmed from the moment you arrive to this oceanfront, beautiful one-level home with walls of windows facing the sand and sea. Step outside your door and you are mere seconds away from miles of Bayshore ocean beach! Inside you will love the light-filled spaces, white stacked-stone fireplace, and well-appointed kitchen. A short stroll away you will find the Bayshore Beach Club with its fitness center and seasonal pool, and all the shops and restaurants in Waldport and Yachats are just a short drive away!
3 bedrooms/ 1 bathrooms / Sleeps 6
Dowd House, Waldport
Find Oceanfront, classic Beach House charm at Down House, on the beautiful Southern end of Alsea Bay. This home features tow living areas and two kitchens and makes an ideal getaway for households travelling together. Once you arrive you will find countless cozy corners and nooks perfect for reading or gazing at the sea – and that expansive oceanfront back porch will become your new favorite place. Be sure to bring your pups to enjoy this pup-friendly getaway, with all that Waldport has to offer nearby.
4 bedrooms / 3 bathrooms / Pup-friendly
The Nautical House, Waldport
You will love the light and bright coastal décor of this stylish, completely renovated, and nautical-themed Waldport getaway. Located just behind the dune with miles of beautiful beach a few steps away, The Nautical House will have you at hello. Two well-appointed queen bedrooms and a bunk room with a ping pong table provide plenty of room for everyone to rest and play. Your secluded beach access is right outside your door or you can hop on the included cruiser boles and head to the Bayshore Beach Club to enjoy their seasonal pool and fitness center.
3 bedrooms / 1.5 bathrooms / Pup-Friendly
Beach Abode, Waldport
Beach Abode will be your new favorite happy place! Filled with light and featuring newly updated décor, and sitting alongside a picturesque stretch of ocean slough, you will exhale directly in to vacation mode upon arrival. Enjoy the cozy woodstove, comfortable seating areas, fully equipped kitchen, and water views inside and the fresh ocean air on your back deck outdoors. All that Bayshore Beach Club has to offer is a short stroll away, along with Alsea Bay and its beautiful views and endless recreation.
2 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms / Sleeps 6 / Pup-friendly
Guinevere’s Cottage, Yachats
Tucked into the trees, but still walking distance to all the sites and shops in Yachats is the perfect little cabin in the woods, Guinevere’s Cottage. You will be charmed by the exposed beams, cozy woodstove, modern and comfortable décor, and well-appointed kitchen. After a day of exploring nearby sites, tuck in to the cozy bed and rest and recharge for another day of adventures. There are many cozy corners for reading books or watching movies and a deep front porch with Adirondack chairs perfect for morning coffee or a sunset toast!
1 bedroom / 1 bathroom / Sleeps 4
Looking for wide open spaces, inside and out? Welcome Home to Optiaqua! This well-appointed and spacious home features and open floorplan with living room, wood burning stove, a dining table that seats 6 (plus four more at the breakfast bar!). Stay cozy inside around the woodstove or move outdoors to enjoy the expansive deck, private hot tub, and panoramic ocean views. All the shops and restaurants in Yachats are just a short drive away.
3 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms / Sleeps 8
Things to See, Eat & Discover in Waldport & Yachats
Chubbies Food Truck
Offering a wide array of salads, sandwiches, and soft drinks, Chubby’s is most famous for their burgers, with diners coming from neighboring towns on a regular basis to enjoy them. This popular food card is a family-friendly, budget-friendly, and delicious stop when visiting Waldport.
Alsea Bay Bridge and Visitors Center
When coming into Waldport you will cross over the beautiful Alsea Bay Bridge. Learn more about this modern engineering marvel as well as many other Oregon Coast bridges when you stop by the Alsea Bay Bridge Interpretive Center. Pleased check for hours and availability and ask about crabbing and fishing demonstrations, too.
Green Salmon Coffee
The Oregon Coast and excellent coffee is a perfect pairing and locals love the coffee at Green Salmon Coffee Company. Offering fair trade coffees, teas, and organic cocoas, Green Slamon serves their coffee out of their Yachats Café, which also has delicious food on offer. Many are partial to the bagels and lox, and all menu items are rumored to be delicious and locally inspired.
Yachats Farmers Market
Find the absolute best of Oregon Coast produce, farm to table meat, fish and food and local crafts at Yachats Farmer’s market. Open on Sundays from Mid-May to the end of October, this local-favorite Sunday activity draws visitors and residents alike. Buy local and support local at the Yachats Farmer’s Market!
Did you know one of Oregon’s most-beloved craft breweries in in downtown Yachats? Here is, along with some of the best food in town! Yachats Brewery + Farm store features 30 taps, including 15-20 of award-winning beers as well as house-made probiotic beverages, including Kombucha, Jun, and Kefir soda. A locally sourced menu offers flavorful comfort-inspired food including salads, sandwiches, and picnic items to go…with the brisket sandwich being a local favorite, along with the garlic dill pickles!
Cape Perpetua Scenic Area
If you like breath-taking views where you can see the ocean meet the sky for miles of endless shades of blue, you will love the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area (named after Saint Perpetua by Captain James Cook). Just south of Yachats, the most stunning views are from the Cape Perpetua Headland, towering 800 feet above the sea., making it the highest viewpoint accessible by car on the Oregon Coast. On a clear day, you can see 37 miles out to sea and along 70 miles of pristine coastland. The Scenic area has been preserved for its significant ecological characteristics, connected to its unique location where the spruce rainforest extends to the sea. Let your eyes fill with wonder at Cape Perpetua.