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Trip List by mistletoe

Dora the Explorer explores Astoria

May 2, 2006  Sometimes people are so familiar with a place, they overlook or take for granted the activities or sights that make it a great place to visit. So this is a listing of favorite Astoria activities and sights from the perspective of an admittedly infrequent visitor.
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Best sights and activities for visitors to Astoria, Oregon

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Astoria
  • Category: Best of
  • Traveler type: Sightseeing, Shopping, Active/Outdoors, Beachgoers
  • Appeals to: Couples/romantics, Families with small children, Families with teenagers, Seniors, Active/adventure, Tourists
  • Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. Astoria-Megler Bridge

    The Astoria-Megler Bridge spans the mouth of the Columbia River, connecting Oregon to Washington on highway 101. At over 4 miles in length, it is easily Astoria's most noticeable and impressive feature. Though not for the feint of heart, it's well worth one's time to drive across and back, which is really the best way to appreciate the sweep and scope of the Columbia River.

  • 2. Astoria Column
    Astoria Column, Astoria

    125 foot Astoria Column sits on top of 600 foot Coxcomb Hill, overlooking the town and the mouth of the Columbia River. With a mural depicting important events in Astoria's history scrolling around the column, it has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places. For no charge, visitors can climb the 164 stairs to the platform on top where they will be rewarded with spectacular views. But perhaps even better, they can also sail balsa wood airplanes from the top and watch them ride the winds.

  • 3. "Lights! Camera!" Astoria??

    Yes, even Hollywood has discovered Astoria! Movies shot here include Goonies, Kindergarten Cop, Short Circuit, and Free Willy I and II. Agreed, none are really blockbusters, but a drive around Astoria to locations where scenes were shot will give you a good flavor for the town, and maybe lead to some exploration on your own. Guides to movie locations can be picked up at the Chamber of Commerce, Flavel House, or Heritage Museum.

  • 4. Fort Clatsop National Memorial
    Fort Clatsop National Memorial, Astoria

    If you're an American history buff, and in particular, Lewis & Clark, you'll want to stop here. The replica fort attempts to depict the living conditions and hardships endured by the Lewis & Clark expedition during the winter of 1805-06, and is thought to be located near where the original fort was built.

  • 5. Fort Stevens State Park
    Fort Stevens State Park, Astoria

    Though not really in Astoria, Fort Stevens has to be included as a place to stop when you're visiting there. Aside from the miles of beaches, camping, hiking, biking, boating, swimming, wreck of Peter Iredale, and Civil War battery that can be enjoyed there, Fort Stevens is the best place to see the mouth of the Columbia River from the Oregon side. That's the main reason I visit!

  • 6. Columbia River Maritime Museum
    Columbia River Maritime Museum, Astoria

    Located on Astoria's historic waterfront, this is a no-brainer for the sailor in all of us. But a visit to this museum will inform you that life as a sailor is not as romantic as it may seem. The Columbia River bar crossing is one of the most dangerous in the world, and the Maritime Museum houses some of the evidence to prove it. That's in addition to its extensive collection of nautical artifacts.

  • 7. Josephson's Smokehouse

    You're on the coast (or close to it), for Pete's sake, so seafood is the order of the day. And Josephson's is the place to stop if you'd like to extend those seafood memories beyond your visit. In business since the 1920's, Josephson's has some of the best smoked and canned seafood products you'll taste anywhere.