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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
In a nutshell
Good place to take a break and sit along the water
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.
Updated May 5, 2010
Address: 2199 Coxcomb Drive, Astoria, OR 97103
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.
Written Jul 31, 2008
Website: http://www.colrip.com/ and http://www.columbiariverbarpilots.com/