For nearly 400 miles along the Oregon coast, US-101 abounds with national forests, state parks, and viewpoints. But unless you have a lifetime to spend here, Cape Perpetua, two miles south of Yachats, deserves most of your attention. Stop first at the Siuslaw National Forest visitors center (541/547-3289), just east of US-101, for seacoast views, and exhibits on forestry and area history. From the visitors center, trails lead across the highway past wind-bent trees, piles of seashells and other artifacts left behind by native peoples, excellent tidepools, and two rock formations, Spouting Horn and the Devil’s Churn. During stormy seas, both shoot huge spouts of foam into the air. The friendly folks at the visitors center can also point you toward Cape Perpetua’s small, summer-only campground ($12), which has bathrooms but no showers or hookups.
You can reach the top of 800-foot-high Cape Perpetua itself by following a two-mile-long road, marked by Cape Perpetua Viewpoint signs and leaving US-101 100 yards or so north of the visitors center. Once atop the cape, walk the Trail of the Whispering Spruce, a half-mile loop around the rim of the promontory that yields, on a clear day, 150-mile views of the Oregon coast from a rustic, WPA-built stone observation point.