I found this B&B while looking through the travel section on the Chicago Tribune site. I came across a travel writer’s top places he had ever stayed. Something struck a chord with me about this place and at the beginning of May I booked us the Victoria room for one night.
We left Seal Rock on Thursday and headed south to Yachats (pron. ya-hots). Along the way we stopped at Cape Perpetua, the highest point on the Oregon Coast, to explore the hiking trails. We hiked down to Devil’s Churn and almost to Spouting Horn. We spent some time hiking the rocks and looking at tide pools again. This area offered some incredible views of the coast.
We were early for check-in by the time we arrived in Heceta Head. Check-in is precisely between 3 and 3:30 p.m. I am not quite sure why this is the case, but this does put a wedge in the day for planing long activities. We continued on down to Florence for lunch, but as we rounded past the curve and went over the bridge, looking back, the b&b was perched on a cliff and enveloped in an eerie fog. We had an “oh my god that’s where we’re staying” moment. It’s exciting to see a place in person after anticipating it for three months.
We were able to check-in at 2:30. We had a four poster queen bed overlooking the garden and part of the guest parking lot. The bathroom is a pretty tight squeeze as it was made from the old closet. Because the house is also an interpretive center to show what it looked like when the lightkeepers lived there, they give tours. We took one of the last tours before they stop in the early evening. These tours give the b&b less of a homey feeling. You feel a bit restricted to your room, however they do have a guest kitchen with snacks and a jar to donate money. There is also a gift shop, which came in handy for me when I needed to buy a heavier sweatshirt for the chilly weather.
Nearby and only a 1/2 mile up the road is the famous Sea Lion Caves, home of the world’s largest sea cave. While the gift shop is the ultimate tourist trap, the experience is pretty cool. For about $12 you can go stand on the edge of a bluff and look down at all the sea lions. The sounds of their barking and groaning echo up from the rocks below. You can then walk to the elevator that takes you 200 feet into the cave. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but once you are down there you peer through a fence into a huge cave where the sea lions are lounging on the rocks. If you follow a staircase up from behind the viewing area there is an outlook facing the Heceta Head Lighthouse. It’s supposedly one of the best views.
We had dinner in Yachats at the Drift Inn Historic Pub where we listened to live music and enjoyed a nice dinner. We looked at going to Heidi’s for Italian food but they close their doors at 8 p.m. It was packed inside there just like the Drift Inn.
After dinner it was time to go witness one of the reasons why you should stay at this b&b. Each room is equipped with a flashlight solely for this purpose. Bundled under four layers of clothes, we took the trail in the pitch dark to go see the lighthouse at night. Expecting to see one beam of light rotating around, this was one of the more amazing things I’ve ever seen. A sunburst of beams rotated around hitting over 21 miles out into the ocean and fog and hitting all the surrounding hillsides. It was hard to capture this on camera – but we stood there mesmerized for quite some time.
In the morning was the much anticipated seven course breakfast, which used ingredients from their garden. We started with a dish of berries and cream followed by a Dungeness crabcake. To cleanse our palettes, we then were served a peach and rose frappe, like a smoothie but lighter. This was followed by a frittata and sausages, that were a hit. We then ate blueberry crumb cake and to finish were served a platter of plum slices and a creamy cheese sliced. People were getting stuffed by the end, I, however could have kept on eating. I was savoring what I don’t normally get at home!
After breakfast, which ended at 10 a.m. was check out at 10:30 a.m. I was able to peek in a few rooms before I left; I will definitely spring for the Mariner’s Room when I have more money next time. The views overlooking the ocean were awesome. We made the executive decision not to walk up to the lighthouse during the day, deciding we would not regret this in five years. Instead we went down to the beach to explore the rocks and caves before we headed out. Make sure to do this when tide is out so you don’t get stranded. I would suggest hiking past the caves and up the rocks. There are some great views from up there.
On a side note, you may or may not have heard of the ghosts of the Oregon Coast. Heceta Head B&B is rumored to be haunted by Rue. Apparently the room we stayed in was the haunted one. We were all asked in the morning by Monica, our server for the morning, if there were any strange happenings during the night. No one really had anything to share. I will admit if felt hard to fall asleep at night knowing about Rue. In the morning when we took pictures of the garden out our window a strange white blob was moving back and forth against the fence. This was only viewable via the camera’s view finder on both our cameras. Very odd…