Perched on a wind-swept chunk of basalt 500 feet above the Pacific Ocean, Cape Foulweather is a picture perfect viewpoint along Oregon’s central coast. No matter how many times you stop here, it’s never the same view twice— depending on what the sky’s doing, it makes the ocean look different. On days when the cloud layer is thick, it’s like being on top of the clouds. In addition to the sweeping views of coastal forests, rocky headlands and, of course, the vast Pacific, browsing the Look Out Gift Shop is another good reason to stop.
Cape Foulweather was discovered by Captain James Cook on March 7, 1778. It was the first geographic location named on his voyage to the north Pacific coast. According to his logbook, the English explorer called it Cape Foulweather because it was a particularly stormy day— the weather so bad that he and his crew did not disembark, but continued their northward journey looking for a passage to the Atlantic Ocean. Winds are often clocked here at 100 mph, so Captain Cook’s moniker is appropriate at least some of the time. But on calm spring days when migrating gray whales are spotted from this vantage point, and summer sunsets dazzle the eyes, you can’t imagine a more unsuitable name.
If you can tear yourself away from the view outside, go inside the Look Out Gift Shop. First opened in 1937, it is still going strong. In the early 1930s, Buck and Ann Badley bought 160 acres atop the cape and spent four years constructing a building that could withstand Mother Nature. Eighteen-inch thick concrete walls and steel reinforced doorways and window frames do the trick! The Badley’s continued to run the Shop until Buck’s death in 1964. After a series of owners, Ralph and Katherine Peyton bought the property in 1977. Ownership has since passed to the Peytons’ son and daughter, Mike and Sally.
No matter the weather, the Look Out Gift Shop remains a great spot to do a little souvenir shopping, and snap your own postcard perfect photos. It’s located adjacent to the Otter Crest State Scenic Viewpoint, just off Highway 101, four miles south of Depoe Bay and six miles north of Yaquina Head. The gift shop is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.
IF YOU GO
Lookout Gift Shop at Cape Foulweather
905 Otter Crest Loop
Depoe Bay, Oregon 97341
Phone: (541) 765-2270