The Pacific Coast Highway Travel guide to Yachats in Oregon, with a brief history of the town, what to do and see, where to stay, and how to pronounce Yachats!
Yachats is a small town on the coast of southern Oregon, right on the Pacific Coast Highway. Although it's technically a city, with a population of only around one thousand, it certainly doesn't feel like a city.
It's a delightful little place, though, and definitely worth a night or two of your drive along the coast. No less an experienced traveler than Arthur Frommer listed Yachats at number eight when he was asked to draw up a list of his ten favorite places to travel to in the world.
Something about Yachats that's both cool and creepy, is that when they were constructing the Pacific Coast Highway that goes right through the town/city, they found lots of human skeletons and artefacts buried in the ground. Some were saved, but when you drive PCH through Yachats you're driving over many more human remains and historical artefacts than could be rescued.
How do you pronounce Yachats?
It's definitely a good idea to know this before you go. In case you need to ask directions, it helps to pronounce the name properly. The 'c' is silent, so the 'ch' is pronounced 'h'. Both the letter a's are slightly long, but if you say 'Yaahats' people will know where you mean.
But what is, or are, Yachats? It's thought to be a word from the local Native American people, the Siletz, and means "dark water at the foot of the mountain". However, there are other theories so don't quote us on that if placing bets.
People have lived in the area of what is now Yachats for at least 1,500 years. In 1875 the US government opened up the Yachats area for homesteading, sadly forcing the Native Americans to move out. In 1892 a post office was established, but access by road was difficult and mail was brought in by boat.
In 1917 the name of the developing town was changed from Oceanside to Yachats. In 1926 the Little Log Church was built, and that's now a historical museum where you can learn all about the history of Yachats. It's only a small place but it has a big slice of history behind it.
So, what is there to do in Yachats? The answer is not a lot, in comparison to bigger places, and that's part of its charm. People have time for you in Yachats. It's a perfect place to just hang out, spend some time on the beach, go for a walk, do a bit of shopping, find somewhere to eat (there's lots of choice), and rinse and repeat.
This was built in 1926 as an Evangelical Church but today is owned by the city and operated as a historical museum. It's not a huge museum, just as Yachats is not a huge place, but it packs in a lot as there's a lot of history here. It displays photos, historical artefacts, paintings, and writings about the area.
Nine miles (14 kms) east of Yachats along Yachats River Road is this charming covered bridge. It was built in 1938 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
A few miles south of Yachats and very close to the Pacific Coast Highway is the natural phenomenon known as Thor's Well. It's a hole in the rocky coastline that fills with water from the incoming tide. The water comes in with such force that it shoots into the air like a geyser, and then drains away again as if the well is draining the ocean.
A good time to visit, if you can, is about an hour before high tide, when the ocean is starting to gush in. Take care, though, and keep your distance as the wave patterns are unpredictable and people have been swept into the ocean here.
You can visit Yachats all year round. It seldom drops below freezing in the winter, and in summer rarely gets above about 75F (24C). The most rainfall is from October to April, and you should aim for June-September if you don't like getting too wet.
See our separate page on Where to Eat in Yachats.
Read about our stay at the lovely Overleaf Lodge and Spa in Yachats, which is right on the beach and only a three-minute drive from the town's restaurants and other amenities. It's a wonderful place, though it doesn't have its own restaurant.
May 10, 23 09:47 AM
Apr 26, 23 10:07 AM
Apr 25, 23 11:08 AM