Astoria Things to Do

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    They are undisturbed even with the boat...
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  • Astorian tales of the past are retold
    Astorian tales of the past are retold
    by mtncorg
  • %cbThe sea lions on the dock%c*
    The sea lions on the dock
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Best Rated Things to Do in Astoria

  • thecatsmeow's Profile Photo

    A Column of History

    by thecatsmeow Written Jun 28, 2005

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    Astoria Column and viewing platform
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    The Astoria Column is an amazing work of art and history combined. Fashioned after the Trajan Column in Italy and the Vendome Column in France. The Astoria Column is 125' tall and sits on top of Coxcomb Hill which is 600' so you can imagine the views from here. There are 14 scenes on the Column which depict a historical timeline with words to describe each picture. Done by an Italian immigrant named Attilo Pusteria in an art form called Sgraffito which is done with paint and plaster carvings. There is a visitor center off to one side where you can purchase some postcards or the like and pick up some very informative brochures about the Column.
    There is also a $1 parking fee that helps with the park maintenance and it is good for the whole year. The park is open dawn to dusk and the information center 9 to 6 in the summer and 10 to 3 the rest of the year.

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  • thecatsmeow's Profile Photo

    Maritime Museum Must See

    by thecatsmeow Written Jun 28, 2005

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    Mural inside. Yep you know why I took it!
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    Columbia River Maritme Museum is a definate must see if you like histoy. This museum covers everything from the ship wrecks at the barr to the seafood canneries on the piers. There is an admission fee of $8 for adults, $7 for seniors (65 +), $4 for children ages 6-17. Children 5 and under are free. There is a family pack available for $20 that includes 2 adults and 2 children. There are some really unique nautical collections inside if you are interested in that sort of thing as I am.

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  • thecatsmeow's Profile Photo

    Hit The Streets

    by thecatsmeow Written Jun 27, 2005

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    A Bed  and Breakfast Victorian home

    If you go to Astoria you need to take the time to hit the streets. We parked our car and walked all over. There are some fantastic homes in the nieghborhoods. Of the 648 Victorian era homes in the area 230 are on the National Register of Historic Places. Some have been turned into wonderful little bed and breakfast's and other are still family owned and passed from generation to generation. The townsfolk are very friendly and willing to talk of the history to the interested visitor.There is also a nice pamphlet you can pick up at the visitors center in town that lists several of the grand homes in town and how to get to them.

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  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Astoria Column: windy views of everything

    by glabah Updated May 5, 2010

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    Astoria Column: famous landmark view point, 1926
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    For many years Astoria's best known landmark, this 125 foot tall column is still one of the best known landmarks on Oreogn's west coast, and offers a wonderful 360 degree view that includes the Pacific Ocean, the Columbia River, and the Cascade Mountains.

    The artwork that scrolls up the side of the column would be some 500 feet or more long if it were completely unrolled. This artwork tells of early Oregon history, especially that early history that took place in the area around Astoria.

    Now, a few words of warning: peak tourist season in June, July, and August will make this quite a bit less pleasant to visit due to the crowds. The 164 steps that go from the bottom to the top are steep, and very difficult to navigate if there are a lot of people on them. It is somewhat difficult to for groups of people to pass eachother on these narrow steps. When it was built in the 1920s, tourists were fewer, and much better behaved.

    There are landings on the stairs every 1 1/4 turn or so, and if you hear people coming in the opposite way you would do a lot better to wait and let them pass.

    The top of the column is windy, and you will find it quite a bit colder up there than at the bottom of the column.

    If it is raining, the metal stairs may be a bit slippery.

    Also located at the top of the hill is a very large "Native American" canoe, and a grass hillside that is part of a larger city park. If it is a sunny day, you may want to consider having lunch here, but it may have a cold wind coming from the west.

    More information than you could possibly want to know is located at the Astoria Column Web Site, below.

    In 2005, they replaced the entire staircase by removing the roof of the column, yanking the old staircase out the top with a huge crane, and dropping a new one in. This was the only way anyone could think of that would remove the old staircase and put in a new one, without the work being horribly time consuming and difficult.

    The parking fee at the tower is $1 for an annual permit. There are a number of items available in the gift shop in the parking lot, including some literature that comes with the parking permit.

    The column closes at dusk, but the park at the top of the hill remains open until 10 at night. The column has ligths on it at night.

    In addition to the five photos I have on this tip, I have added a few more photos in a traveloge in the event you would like to take a look at some of the views from the top.

    The Astoria Column Visitor's Center offers a number of things for sale, including column memorabilia, some literature and interpretations of the column artwork free of charge, and some general Oregon Coast items.

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  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Columbia River Maritime Museum

    by glabah Written May 3, 2010

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    Columbia Maritime Museum with river traffic view

    The museum contains not just a wealth of information about the maritime history on the Columbia River, but also information more relevant to today, including one of the most spectacular displays being a full-sized Coast Guard rescue boat being pitched at a severe storm wave, which is also life-size and takes up an entire side of the museum.

    You will find that there are hallways upon hallways here. You will turn a corner and find a new corridor that you didn't realize was there before.

    If your interest is boats and ships, this is definitely a place you will not want to miss, and there is a lot here of general interest as well.

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  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Historic Houses

    by glabah Written May 30, 2008

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    One of Astoria's interesting old houses

    Astoria is one of the oldest communities in Oregon, and there are a number of houses that reflect this history. If you like exploring a community on foot, be sure to climb up the hill a little bit and from the main highway and take a look at some of these interesting old places.

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  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    RIVERFRONT

    by mtncorg Written Jul 31, 2008

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    The waterfront and the Bridge beyond

    Like the Willamette riverfront in Portland, the waterfront here used to teem with wharfs, docks and mills. With the demise of fishing and timber, those wharfs, docks and mills became empty. Astoria, like Portland has taken the imitative and reinvigorate the silence with a fine walking path that extends the length of the old waterfront area - complete with explanatory exhibits along the way telling the story of Astoria’s past. The Astoria Trolley parallels the walkway for part of the journey. As you walk, remember this whole area was alive - more people lived in Astoria in 1940 than do so here today. Besides getting a sense of what was as you walk, you can gain a simple appreciation of the natural beauty that still exists. Sea lions pop their heads out of the river just offshore. Large and small ships are constantly in movement out on the water. All good reasons to get your feet moving.

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  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    ASTORIA TROLLEY

    by mtncorg Written Jul 31, 2008

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    The Astoria Trolley rolling by my table
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    OK, Astoria has done its homework. A Riverwalk is great, but the bulk of visitors just aren’t into the exercise, plus, the town needed a hook to get those folks out of their cars and possibly into Astorian shops. Viola, the Astoria Trolley, which runs between the main commercial ventures found along the waterfront. Plus, for only $2 a day, you can ride as many times as you would like to. $1 per ride otherwise.

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  • cruisingbug's Profile Photo

    The Views are Worth the Climb - Astoria Column

    by cruisingbug Updated Feb 14, 2005

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    Astoria Column, Astoria, OR

    You can see the Astoria Column for miles, so it's not hard to wiggle your way up to the hill upon which it stands. Once there, you already have some great views of the surrounding Oregon and Washington countryside. Climb up the steps to the top for even better views! If you're not up to the steps, though, check out the murals depicting the history of the region which encircle the column. Other points of interest include a topographic map of the area at the base of the column, or the American Indian ceremonial canoe at the end of the parking lot, overlooking the city.

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  • Mauzl's Profile Photo

    Beach-ing

    by Mauzl Written Nov 25, 2003

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    Haystack Canon Beach

    When you are a Water-Fanatic like I am you will - of course - check out the beaches!
    Well -we did, although it was a very windy & cold day, but we enjoyed it tremendously!
    I especially love the Haystack-Rocks strewn all over the coastline - this one is in Canon Beach!!!

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    North Head Lighthouse (at Washington State side)

    by sunnywong Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    North Head Lighthouse

    One of the first stops heading up the Washington coastline from Oregon across Columbia River on the other side of the Astoria-Megler bridge is North Head Lighthouse.

    The North Head Lighthouse at Fort Canby State Park was built in 1898 and is one of the windiest places in the United States. Visitors can take in the view from the height of North Head, or ascend the lighthouse itself on a tour offered by volunteers from Fort Canby State Park for a $1 fee. Tours are conducted daily during the summer from 10 AM to 6 PM, and during the off-season on weekends from 11 AM to 3 PM.

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  • sunnywong's Profile Photo

    Astoria Waterfront Trolley

    by sunnywong Updated Dec 13, 2003

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    Astoria Waterfront Trolley

    Trolley service returned to Astoria in May of 1999. Service is provided along freight tracks paralleling the Astoria Waterfront. Pay $2 and you can get on or off wherever you like all day. Each trip is narrated by a guide, pointing out historic points of interest along the route.

    The trolley runs between the tracks from Portway Street on the west to East Mooring Basin, seven days a week during the summer, from 3 PM to 9 PM weekdays and from Noon 'til 9 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. During the off-season, the weekday runs are eliminated and the weekend runs end at dark.

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  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Coast Guard Cutter Alert tour

    by glabah Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Coast Guard Cutter Alert open for tours in Astoria
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    The Coast Guard Cutter Alert is assigned to Astoria. While it does spend some considerable amount of time at sea, it also spends some time in port, here in Astoria. During certain periods of the port stay, the ship is open for tours.

    Going into what is essentially an open house of a modern military ship is a very interesting opportunity, and if they are open for business when you visit, the opportunity should not be missed.

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  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo

    Columbia River Maritime Museum

    by Donna_in_India Updated Mar 9, 2010

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    Entrance to Columbia River Maritime Museum
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    The Columbia River Maritime Museum is actually on the Columbia River. The river formed the last leg of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and was part of the early route of the Oregon Trail. It is 1,243 miles from the source in British Columbia, Canada to its mouth - the Pacific Ocean on the Washington-Oregon border.

    The Columbia River Maritime Museum was set up very well and I enjoyed the museum more than I thought I would. It was surprising to learn that the Columbia River is as treacherous and important a river as it is. Over 2,000 ships - 200 of them large ships - have gone down in the Columbia River.

    The museum itself has world class maritime artifacts and several interactive exhibits. You can pilot a tug boat and participate in a Coast Guard rescue. And don't miss the short film, The Great River of the West.

    Outside the museum you can walk on the bridge of a WWII era US Navy Destroyer. You can also board the Lightship Columbia - a ship used as a floating lighthouse. Very tight quarters, but cool.

    I would definitely recommend spending sometime in this museum - one of Astoria's must sees! You can catch a bus or trolley back into town outside the museum.

    Open Daily 9:30 am – 5:00 pm

    Admission: $10 Adults/$5 Children 6-17

    Gift shop inside the museum.

    You can purchase a Museum Pass that will gain you access to the Flavel House, the Heritage House, and the Maritime Museum.

    Please note that the visitor information is correct at the time of this writing.

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  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo

    The Astoria Column

    by Donna_in_India Updated Mar 9, 2010

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    Astoria Column
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    The 125 foot Astoria Column is located in a wooded park atop Oregon's highest point (600 feet), Coxcomb Hill. The views of the city and river from the hill are really beautiful on a sunny day. You can even see as far as snow-capped volcano Mt. Rainier and the Pacific Ocean.

    The column itself is made of concrete and patterned after Trajan's Column in Rome, Italy. It is 125 feet tall and the climb to the top is 164 steps. The outside of the column is decorated with murals of events in Northwest history that include scenes of American Indians, life on the Columbia River, and Lewis and Clark's Expeditions.

    Unfortunately on the day we were there, the column was "closed" for renovation and we were not able to make the climb. However, I would consider even an "outside" visit one of the must sees in Astoria. The murals and the views from the bottom are still worth the trip!

    Nice spot for a picnic. Tables on the lawn available.

    The column is open from dawn to dusk.

    $1 per car donation.

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Astoria Things to Do

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