Family Friendly

Accessible Trails

Russell Colwell - Cape Perpetua Whispering Spruce Trail

Photo Credit: Russell Colwell

Open the FS link below to learn about premier accessible points in the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area just south of Yachats and in other areas of the Siuslaw National Forest nearby. 

Open the Yachats map to locate the oceanfront 804 Trail in Yachats. Most of this trail is accessible. The north section of the 804 Trail – beginning at Smelt Sands State Wayside and continuing north for three-quarters of a mile … Read more

Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve & Marine Protected Areas

The Yachats shoreline is part of the North Marine Protected Area (MPA). The Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve with MPAs is the largest marine reserve network in Oregon.

Visitors here have opportunities for scenic and wildlife viewing, hiking, and guided outdoor learning, stewardship, and community science activities.

On summer weekends (through September), find a marine reserve volunteer posted on the 804 Trail at Smelt Sands State Park to answer questions about the marine reserve, sea birds, … Read more

Marbled Murrelet - Cape Perpetua Marine Rserve

Cape Perpetua Visitor Center and Programs

Cape Perpetua Visitors Center Sign, 3 miles S of downtown Yachats, OR

  • The information window at Devil’s Churn and Kyleen (the little food/drink kiosk) have reopened, and host couples will be staffing Devil’s Churn seven days per week. Devil’s Churn is on the west side of Hwy 101, at Milepost 166.5, about a half-mile north of Cape Perpetua Visitors Center.
  • Cape Perpetua Visitor Center will remain closed until further notice; however, the Visitor Center parking lot and restrooms have reopened. The Center will not be doing any
Read more
  • 2400 US 101
    Yachats, OR 97498
    3 mi S of downtown Yachats

Day Use State Parks in Town

Yachats 804 Trail, Smelt Sands State Park by Rena Martin

There are three (yes 3!) oceanfront day-use state parks in Yachats, and no day-use fees.

(Oceanfront Trail) ♦ SMELT SANDS STATE RECREATION SITE is located at the north end of town. Turn west off Hwy 101 at the Smelt Sands sign onto a lane that leads to the park/parking lot. The park has a small pebble beach near the entrance, and picnic tables and benches along a beautiful 3/4 mile stretch of the 804 … Read more

Go On An Oregon Coast Quest

In the Yachats Area:

Habitats of Diversity Quest – This Quest, created by the Yachats Youth and Family Activities Program (YYFAP), features a choice of paths to follow and takes explorers through a variety of coastal habitats.

Cape Perpetua Discovery Loop Trail Quest – Explore a lush, coastal forest! Created by YYFAP day-camp students, this Quest takes you along the Discovery Loop Trail at Cape Perpetua. Click Here for This Quest.

Quest Books (2019-20) … Read more

Heceta Head Lightstation

Heceta Lighthouse Moon by Curt Peters, Yachats, Florence, Oregon

Photo Credit: Curt Peters


The historic Heceta Head Lighthouse, circa 1894, signals to seafarers from a spectacular … Read more

Heceta Lightstation Photo, Yachats, Florence, Oregon
  • 92072 Hwy 101 South, Yachats, OR 97498

History of Oregon Bridges

The Waldport Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center and Alsea Bay Bridge Interpretive Center is located at the base of the bridge in Waldport and is a marvelous center for learning about Oregon bridges. Small children may construct a wooden toy bridge here while adults and older youth view historic photos and other related exhibits.

  • Waldport Chamber of Commerce &
    Alsea Bay Bridge Interpretive Center
    320 NW Hwy 101, Waldport OR 97394
    8 mi N of Yachats

Kayaking & Other Paddling Near Yachats

Kayaking Alsea River Water TrailWatercraft rentals are available at paddle shops in Waldport, Newport, Florence, and at Honeyman State Park just south of Florence.


The Alsea River Water Trail offers 10 river-miles, including the Alsea River, Drift Creek, and Lint Slough. Dockage and moorage is provided by Port of Alsea. Where/Directions: Port of Alsea is 8 miles N of Yachats; 16 mi S of Newport. At … Read more

Kayaking Tours – Beaver Creek Natural Area | Brian Booth State Park

  • The Beaver Creek Natural Area boat ramp, water and hiking trails are open to limited daytime use.
  • Kayaking Tours have been canceled for the 2020 season.
  • The Beaver Creek Welcome Center is temporarily closed.

Video: Beaver Creek Otters


Rangers at Brian Booth State Park lead 4-hour guided kayak tours (kayaks and equipment provided) at Beaver Creek State Natural Area between July 1 and Labor Day, with sign-up beginning June 1. Tours are from 8:00 … Read more

  • Tour groups meet at the
    Beaver Creek Welcome Center
    On Beaver Creek Road
    1.2 miles east of Ona Beach

    Seal Rock, OR 97376
    Reservations Required

Lincoln County Historical Society – Pacific Maritime Heritage Museum

This museum is housed in an impressive former home on Newport’s historic bayfront. The exhibits and programming are dedicated to telling the stories of those who have shared a desire to live and work where the sea meets land, and along its rivers and estuaries.

Hours: 11am-4pm Thursday through Sunday.
Admission: $5 for adults, kids 12 and under get in free.

  • 333 SE Bay Blvd. Newport, OR 97365
    25 miles N of Yachats

Oregon Coast Aquarium

Oregon Coast Aquarium - Passages of the Deep
The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a living classroom for all learning styles and ages, and includes exhibits on Sandy Shores, Rocky Shores, Coastal Waters, Secrets of Shipwrecks, Sea Otters, Harbor Seals, Sea Lions, Giant Pacific Octopus, Seabird Aviary, Turkey Vultures, Orford Reef, Halibut Flats, Open Sea, Aquarium Grounds, and Big Bites.

Plan to stay a couple of hours and enjoy.

  • 2820 SE Ferry Slip Rd, Newport, OR 97365
    23 miles N of Yachats

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Beginning just 26 miles south of Yachats, the Oregon Dunes, the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America, stretch out for 40 miles between Florence and Coos Bay.

Check out the website for the recreation area below, and “A Local’s Guide to the Oregon Dunes,” linked below, for more information. 

Sea Lion Caves

Sea Lion Caves Gift Shop Exterior, Yachats, Florence, OR

Sea Lion Caves is proud to be part of the Oregon/Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve helping to protect the local marine animals and marine environment.

Sea Lion Caves, America’s largest sea cave,  is a privately owned (since 1932) wildlife preserve and bird sanctuary located between Yachats and Florence. It is the year-round home of the Steller sea lion, but sea lions are not always in the Cave. This is not a zoo, and sea lions are wild … Read more

Sea Lion Caves, Yachats, Florence, OR
  • 91560 Hwy 101 N
    Florence, OR 97439
    15 mi S of Yachats
    11 mi N of Florence

Siuslaw Pioneer Museum

Historic displays feature the pioneers whose occupations were primarily as loggers and fishermen, and whose primary means of transportation was the Siuslaw River. 

If you are a group of 10 or more, please call to make reservations. Please check the web site linked below for additional information, current hours, and admission fees.

A History Walking Tour is also available. 

  • 278 Maple St, Florence, Oregon 97439
    26 miles S of Yachats (about a 40 minute drive)

The Oreo Cows

Oreo Cows

Take a drive on Yachats River Road for a possible view of grazing belted bovines – and sometimes also a majestic herd of elk. These black cattle with their signature cream-colored stripe are known affectionately by local children as “the oreo cows.”  The river valley is also home to herds of bleating goats, sheep, and less vocal horses and llamas, as well as ducks, peacocks, and other wonderful beings. 


Sea Anemones by Girl In Water Photography
Photo Credit: Girl In Water Photography

Know before you go when visiting tide pools. Check the local tide table and plan to get to the tide pools about an hour before low tide.

The guides linked below provide a map of locations for tide pools in our area (and the entire Oregon coast); information about tide pool zones and the many creatures that live in them; and important guidelines for tide pool etiquette and beach … Read more

Whale Watching

Gray whales (and occasionally others) are often viewed off the coast of Yachats from the three day-use state parks in town. Other favorite nearby spots to watch for whales include the following:

  • Cape Perpetua Visitors Center (about 3 miles south of downtown Yachats)
  • Cook’s Chasm Turnout (about 3.25 miles south of downtown Yachats)
  • Sea Lion Caves Turnout – large Highway 101 turnout south of tunnel (15 miles south of Yachats)

Gray whales live along our … Read more

White Wolf Sanctuary

White Wolf Sanctuary offers guided tours by appointment only. The tour begins with an educational talk about wolves and the White Wolf Sanctuary. Guests are then escorted around the sanctuary to learn about each wolf’s history. 

Tours are approximately three hours depending on the size of the group, activity of the wolves, and interests of guests. Reservations are required.

Please check the web site for current fees and hours.

  • 60 acres in a coastal mountain range near the town of Tidewater.
    A 30-minute drive from Yachats, approximately.

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is believed to be the oldest structure in Newport. It is also the only existing Oregon lighthouse with the living quarters attached, and the only historic wooden lighthouse in Oregon that is still standing.

The lighthouse has an unusual history. It was built in 1871, only to be decommissioned three years later, in 1874. More than a century later, it was officially restored as a privately maintained aid to navigation, reopening … Read more

  • 24 miles N of Yachats
    Please see the web site linked below for a map and directions.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse & Outstanding Natural Area

The 100-acre site includes the lighthouse, an interpretive center, wildlife viewing – including whales, seals, tidepools, and seabirds – as well as short trails and incredible views.

This is Oregon’s tallest lighthouse at 93 feet. It was first lit on August 20, 1873 and has been guiding ships and their supplies along the west coast ever since. The lighthouse is located on a narrow point at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. Please see the link below for information … Read more

  • 750 NW Lighthouse Drive, Newport, Oregon 97365
    3.5 miles N of Newport