great place for a day out on the beach - alone or with your family
Busy Highway Through Town makes Walkability Somewhat Limited, Not That Close to Any Beaches as it Faces the River
Good place to take a break and sit along the water
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...more
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...more
The Astoria Column commemorates the westward sweep of discovery and migration. Designed by a New York architect named Electus Litchfield and inspired by the Trajan Column in Rome, the Astoria Column was completed in 1926 for a total cost of just over $27,000. The initial expense included the etchings of fourteen scenes in the cement around the...more
Especially if you have kids coming, buy some balsa wood gliders in the gift shop before you go up the tower. They sell them to launch from the tower and it's great fun to watch them glide and circle their way down to the ground. If you write your name on the plane you may be able to recover it at the bottom, although if you catch a good updraft you...more
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...more
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...more
From the outside the Flavel House is a beautiful example of a Queen Anne Style Victorian Home. The house was built in 1885 for Captain George Flavel and his family. Captain Flavel was a harbor master and one of Astoria's most influencial residents. He made his fortune in real estate and shipping investments.The inside of the house has some...more
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...more
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...more
10 Basin Street, Astoria, Oregon, 97103, United States
Good for: Solo
One of the nicest hotel rooms I have stayed in. Looked directly across the river under the bridge....more
357 12th Street, Astoria, Oregon, 97103, United States
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Business
Welcome Astoria back to the Pier 11 Feedstore & Restaurant. Come in & enjoy a traditional hamburger, fresh seafood or the finest steak & potatoes you’ve had in a long time. We’ll satisfy your hunger while you enjoy the comfort & character of our historic building, watching the sea lions & maritime traffic right outside our windows. Pier 11 is...more
I was born and raised in Astoria but have had the privilege of traveling and working in the restaurant business for over 3 years. I can honestly say that the only reason the Fort George Brewery is still in business is because people around here (Astoria) are used to terrible service. My beer took over 15 minutes(out of a tap mind you), and my...more
After walking around the quaint town of Astoria we stopped for some coffee and a quick something to eat. We had a wonderful table outside in the warm sunshine. Although the menu had some very interesting breakfast, sandwich, and salad items, we chose a couple of their delicious pastries to go with our cappuccinos. A nice place for a break in...more
The Bowpicker is somewhat of a unique place to pick up fish and chips. Located in what used to be a gillnet boat used for a long time on the Columbia River, the Bowpicker is a popular place for locals and tourists alike to scoop up fish and chips. You walk up a walkway on the south side of the boat and give your order to the cook who is hard at...more
Now, for over ten years, Astoria Brewing has set up shop here along the Astoria waterfront doing nice brews to go along with a decent menu of pub food - great fish and chips. There is a nice deck to sit out on those nice summer afternoons and watch the river from. Sea lions bop about just off shore. Big and little ships come and go. As does the...more
Running along the riverfront through much of downtown Astoria is the Astoria Riverfront Walkway. This walkway parallels the old railroad line that is now used as the Astoria Trolley line. The walkway goes through an assortment of environments, including a few remaining industrial areas, places that have been converted to modern condominium...more
The large and very long bridge (it appears to not have an end!) that crosses the mouth of the Columbia is an impressive structure, but it is only two lanes. Driving over it can feel a little intimidating when there is no where else to go but into the water should someone cross the median line at you.This was the last gap on highway 101 to be...more
Public bus service through downtown Astoria only operates once every hour, and using it requires crossing from many of Astoria's waterfront attractions to the other side of Highway 30, which can sometimes be difficult.Throughout most of the 1980s and 1990s, the railroad route to Astoria was not used extensively, and a land slide eventually closed...more
Visiting the Astoria Column (see "Things to Do" tip), you will find there is a visitor's center in a portable building that is set up to not just sell the visitor's parking permits (at $1 per year) for visiting the column, but also has an assortment of memoriabilia for the city of Astoria and related Oregon Coast material. This includes everything from Christmas ornaments to post cards and various articles designed to spin in the wind (of which Astoria has quite a lot).
What to buy: Never pay more than what you think it is worth. There are some unique items here, but there are also some things that you can get anywhere (such as some of the wind spinners). Concentrate on the items that are unique to Astoria or otherwise of local origin.
The Columbia River Bar - aka “Graveyard of the Pacific” - at the mouth of the river, can be one of the most treacherous spots for an ocean-going vessel - any vessel for that matter - in the World. This is the only Bar in the US where it is mandatory for a ship to have to take on a Bar Pilot to help navigate the ship into the river from the sea. Once over the Bar, the pilots then have to take on River Pilots to help navigate the ships up the river channel to ports like Portland or other upriver ports. The process is repeated - at some expense to the ship owner - on the return trip. Both sets of Pilots are very well-paid - and there are not a lot of them (only 19-20 Bar Pilots) - but they take on enormous responsibilities. Conditions are ever-changing and one mistake could mean an instant change in career direction or even death. The Bar Pilot boats are lime yellow (this is for the University of Duck fans) an orange (Oregon State Beavers get the newer $4 million boat. These rugged boats are engineered to take on very exacted conditions that one can encounter out on the Bar. The River Pilot boats are more like fast tugs and while strongly built, they don’t have to be able to flip over and come up singing like the Bar Pilot boats do. A great place to watch ships take on and let off their River Pilots is from the deck of the Wet Dog Café of Astoria Brewing Company - weather permitting, of course.
If you go to the Astoria Column you are able to climb the 164 steps to the top viewing platform but do be careful for if it rains (What rain in the Pacific Northwest?) the stairs can be a bit slick. They are metal stairs built in a spiral up but it is not an easy climb. If you are not fit you should not go up unless you have a buddy to help. This is what the person at the visitors center says.
The aquarium in nearby Seaside lured me in with the promise of 'feeding the seals'. The aquarium was really small, displays were weak with the exception of the octopuse....(Octopi?). The seals were pretty dang cool and did tricks for small pieces of fish; except they were in a caged area that didn't seem large enough for them to get much exercise.
On the way along highway 30 just east of Astoria, you will come to signs that point the way to the "Twilight Eagle Sanctuary". These point the way to a narrow road named "Burnside Loop Road", which gets a little closer to the Columbia River.There is a nesting pair of bald eagles that have chosen to nest in a tree near this site, and their favorite...more
On the same long and wide sandy beach where people lay out, kite surf and build sand castles is the rusting iron hulk of a shipwrecked vessel- the Peter Iredale. It ran aground in 1906 while attempting to enter the Columbia river at night in the mist and has lain there ever since. It was built in 1890 in England and sold for scrap. It is a...more
Astoria is wel known for its location to the Ocean and the Columbia river but friends of mine and I have discovered it is a great place to go Garage Sale hunting. We head down to go camping and end up spending a few hours cruising around newspaper in hand looking for local garage sales. We have picked uo some really great things for next to...more
literally, cross a bridge to get there.
Fondest memory: The drive through Astoria, while traveling down the Oregon coast began a very scenic and relaxing weekend trip.