#61–Yachats & Cape Perpetua . . .


When I have out-of-town guests, I head north to Cape Perpetua and Yachats. I enjoy sharing two of my favorite places on the coast. In fact, when folks in Florence want to get away, they often head to Yachats. While Florence is a town at almost 9,000, Yachats is still a village at just under 700. Yachats has lots of charm and lives up to its slogan––the gem of the Oregon Coast.


Yachats is a charming village tucked between the ocean and the coastal mountains.

Since I had books to deliver at both Cape Perpetua and Yachats on July 26, I packed a lunch and made a day of it .

Cape Perpetua happens to be the highest point on the Oregon Coast that visitors can drive to. The cape rises to 802 feet. The Cape Perpetua Scenic Area also includes 26 miles of trails and a Visitor Center that is an interpretive center to the flora and fauna of the area. Along the shore are Native American shell middens, tidepools, and blow holes also called spouting horns where the ocean blows up through holes in the basalt.

The stone shelter at Cape Perpetua provides one of the best views on the entire Oregon Coast.


You could spend days here, but if you have one day, I recommend stopping at the Visitor Center, hiking the 2-mile easy round-trip trail to the Giant Spruce (the second largest and possibly the tallest Sitka spruce in Oregon), and driving up to the top of the cape to see the view and hike the short trail to the stone shelter. It was built in the 1930s by the CCC and served as a lookout for enemy ships during World War II. Today it’s a great place to watch for spouting whales, enjoy a sunset, or see approaching storms. I also recommend stopping at Devil’s Churn especially in winter to hike the paved trail down to see the narrow fissure where the water flows in and out. At low tide, sea stars and sea anemones are exposed and at high tide frenzied water rushes in and out all at the same time. It’s totally wild in winter. Add the naturally occurring foam that bounces high in the air in the wind and it’s quite a sight.


The Visitor Center at Cape Perpetua has a gift and book shop, displays of coastal flora and fauna, a theater showing informative videos, and a great ocean view.

While I was there, I dropped off six copies of Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges at the Visitor Center and then drove up to the top and hiked out to the stone shelter. It’s always a grand view seeing many miles up and down the coast.


This little bookstore in Yachats is always open, has friendly proprietors, and always has something I want.

In Yachats, I dropped off 4 books at Mari’s Books, one of my favorite bookstores. Run by Mary and Mari, they seem to epitomize the friendliness of folks in Yachats. Judith’s Kitchen Tools next door is tiny but has great stuff from all around the world and one of my must stops.


This little gift shop is filled with great stuff. Totally charming!

I wandered over to 3rd Street and checked out some of my favorite places. Toad Hall—a gift shop with “decorative accessories for body and abode” is where I’ve found some of my favorite earrings. The Little Log Church and Museum, built in 1930 from local logs in the shape of a cross, was renovated by community volunteers in 1993. I didn’t stop in, because Thursday is the one day it’s closed.

The Little Log Church and Museum in Yachats is open every day except Thursday in the afternoons and hosts weddings, vow renewal services, and more.

The Commons, a renovated school, is the happening place in Yachats.  Major events are held there as well as the Farmer’s Market on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. between May and October. I find great produce, crafts, and more. One of my most coveted treasures is a beautiful felt pin cushion I bought there by the maker. And, of course, Fog Wash soaps, knitted wash clothes, and crocheted pot scrubbers are quintessential Yachats products I’ve bought there that I give as gifts and am never without.


The scenic drive south of Yachats is where the Yachats Inn is located. It’s also where my late husband and I decided in 1979 that since we like the Oregon Coast so much, we should plan to move there. And we did in 1985.

As I wandered around town, I passed quaint houses, some with yards filled with wonderful flowers. I wandered to the small state park and watched the waves and the gulls lined up on the fence all facing the wind. This really is a charming town. Then I went back to my car and headed across the bridge and turned onto Yachats Beach Access Road, where I stopped to eat my lunch on the edge of the ocean with a view of the Yachats Inn. In 1979, my late husband, Walt, and I stayed in one of their knotty pine and big view window rooms and made the decision to move to the Oregon Coast.


This is a favorite place to eat in Yachats. And it also has good musical entertainment on certain evenings.

On other trips to Yachats, I’ll end the day at either The Drift Inn or at Ona’s for dinner. I’ve gone to Drift Inn for years and never had a bad meal and Ona’s, much newer, is run by the folks who operate the Heceta Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast and so far so good.


I come to Cape Perpetua in the winter to check out waves at Devil’s Churn, in the spring for whale watching, and at very low tides for tidepooling. It seems like these all take place in the morning, so I always end up in Yachats at Green Salmon Coffee and Tea warming up with wonderful coffee and great pastries. They serve breakfast and lunch as well—all with environmentally sound practices.

Great place for coffee and pastries. It’s where I warm up after a morning of storm watching, whale watching, or tide pooling.

One of my favorite places in Yachats is the tiny whale park, where a small grassy area has a whale tail and if you wait a couple of minutes, water bursts forth representing the whale’s spout. This park shows the quirky side of Yachats, as does the La de da parade each Fourth of July. My friend, Jan, sums up Yachats quite nicely, “It’s quiet and relaxing with friendly people and great places to eat.”  With Cape Perpetua nearby, what’s not to like!





Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges can be yours for $24.95 plus $4.99 shipping. Order from Pacific Publishing at http://www.connectflorence.com or pacpub@oregonfast.net. It is also available on the coast in bookstores, museums, and gift shops; in Eugene at the airport, the historical museum, and several bookstores; in Portland at Powell’s and the Oregon Historical Society; in Made in Oregon stores throughout the state; and more and more bookstores, libraries, and museums in western Oregon.

Current happenings:

The half-hour interview with Dr. Veronica Esagui for the “Author’s Forum” program on public access TV in the Portland Metro area ended it’s two-week run June 1-14, 2012, but can be seen on YouTube in two parts: Google  Judy Fleagle YouTube.


Upcoming events:

September 17, 7 p.m., Bandon––I’ll be giving my PowerPoint presentation at the Bandon Public Library  (1204 11th Street, 541-347-3221)

September 29, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Florence––2nd Annual Florence Festival of Books–an authors and publishers fair held at the Florence Events Center (715 Quince Street, 1 block east of Highway 101). I’ll be there with two books! (If all goes according to plan.)

October 13, 11 a.m. Oregon City––The historic Arch Bridge designed by McCullough reopens in Oregon City on the weekend of October 13­14. I have been asked to be part of the festivities and will be giving my PowerPoint presentation at the Museum of the Oregon Territory on Saturday. The actual bridge reopening celebration will be on Sunday.


About crossingsauthor

Judy Fleagle spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.Since 2009, she has written five books: "Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges," "The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans," "Around Florence," "Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known," and "The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED!!!."
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