• Astoria is the oldest and most northerly located city in Oregon
• The city's port serves commercial boats, recreational vessels, and cruise ships from around the world
Astoria is the most northerly located and the oldest city in the state. It is also the first permanent settlement of the U.S. west of the Rocky Mountains. Sitting at the mouth of the Columbia River, Astoria is renowned for its blend of culture, history, and traditions.
Captain Robert Gray discovered the Columbia River in 1792 and named it after the ship he traveled on. Fort Astoria was established on the bank of the Columbia River in 1811 by the fur trader John Jacob Astor and named in his honor.
Like a peninsula, water surrounds Astoria on three sides - the four-mile-wide Columbia at its northern and eastern sides and Youngs Bay at the western side. Youngs Bay lies between Astoria and Warrenton, while the Columbia River separates Oregon and Washington.
The longest truss bridge in North America, the Astoria-Megler Bridge, connects the western part of Astoria to Point Ellice in Washington.
Because of colored Victorian and Craftsman-style houses that cover the steep hills above the waters, Astoria is known as "The Little San Francisco of the Pacific Northwest." This picturesque city's neighborhood is shown as an all-American town in the iconic comedy "Goonies."
Astoria has served as a staging area for ships entering or departing the Columbia River from the Pacific Ocean. Since 1982 the Port of Astoria has welcomed cruise ships from over the world.
In the early days as a port town, Astoria relied on its logging, fishing, and canning industries. Today, most of the area's economy comes from tourism, fishing, logging, and light manufacturing. The town has a rich Scandinavian heritage and holds the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival every June.
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Things to Do & See
Towering on Coxcomb Hill, a unique Astoria Column was built in 1926 in dedication to Astoria's founders and first settlers. The memorial is 125 feet high (38 m), sits 600 feet (183 m) above sea level, and has a 164-step staircase twisting up to an observation deck.
The breathtaking vista from the highest point of this tower makes the walk upstairs worth it. It has an excellent 360-degree panoramic view of the town, the Columbia River, mountains, bays, and the ocean.
The fourteen murals scenes in chronological order from the bottom up represent the region's history. The column is part of a 30-acre city park. In 1974, it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
1 Coxcomb Drive, Astoria, OR 97103
Astoria Riverfront Trolley
Astoria Riverfront Trolley, often called Old 300, provides guided rides for $1 (one ride) or $2 (day pass). The trolley was built in 1913 in San Antonio, Texas. Later it made its way to Portland and then to Astoria. Old 300 runs 3 miles (4.8 km) along the Riverwalk on the original freight railroad train track.
Astoria Riverfront Walk
Astoria Riverfront Walk extends five miles from the Port to Tongue Point along the Columbia River. The riverfront promenade also follows the Riverfront Trolley tracks, so you can walk, bike, or ride past piers, shops, offices, historical buildings, restaurants, and fish-packing plants.
Columbia River Maritime Museum
The museum was founded in 1962 by Rolf Klep. It showcases a rich collection of maritime exhibits and artifacts. You can try navigation with the tugboat simulator, listen to U.S. Coast Guard rescues' recordings, and explore a floating lighthouse.
Visitors of all ages can learn the history of the Columbia River region. The museum shows shipwrecks, lighthouses, and fishing exhibits. You can also learn about the naval history and the region's early exploration.
1792 Marine Drive, Astoria, OR 97103
Flavel House Museum
Flavel House Museum is an example of Victorian-era Queen Anne-style architecture. Constructed in 1886, it belonged to an entrepreneur and maritime pilot Captain George Flavel. The Flavel's mansion demonstrates the life of the wealthy society of Astoria in the late 1900s.
714 Exchange Street, Astoria, OR 97103
Oregon Film Museum
The small museum displays the history of film-making in Oregon dating back to 1908. Housed in the old Clatsop County Jail, the museum contains numerous historical artifacts and displays.
732 Duane Street, Astoria, OR 97103
Astoria Megler Bridge
The longest continuous truss bridge in North America, the Astoria Megler Bridge, spans the Columbia River from Oregon to Washington. The bridge became the final segment of Highway 101 in the continuous route between the Mexican and Canadian borders. An annual Great Columbia Crossing Event in October provides a unique opportunity to walk or run across the bridge.
Youngs River Falls
Youngs River Falls sits a few miles south of Astoria. This scenic forested destination features a picturesque waterfall and warm water during the summer months.
In summer, the waterfall area is a popular wading and swimming spot. It is a fantastic place to relax and take a refreshing dip in the warm water of this coastal river.
Fort Clatsop National Memorial
A part of the 3,200-acre Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, Fort Clatsop commemorates and preserves an important chapter in American history.
In 1805-1806, during an overland expedition to the Pacific Ocean, 40-member Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery camped at Fort Clatsop during winter months. They prepared for the return journey and gathered information on resources, land, and native inhabitants.
92345 Fort Clatsop Road, Astoria, OR 97103
Fort Stevens State Park
Fort Stevens was named after the first governor of Washington territory Isaac Stevens. The fort was constructed in 1864 as an active military installation until it shut down in 1947. Since 1955, Fort Stevens State Park has been open to the public as a park and a museum.
Besides military buildings and displays, the 4,300-acre Fort Stevens State Park is home to the large campground, Coffenbury Lake, and Peter Iredale Shipwreck. There are also miles of wide beach, hiking, and biking trails.
Peter Iredale Shipwreck
Peter Iredale Shipwreck is a historical landmark of the North Oregon Coast. On October 25, 1906, the ship ran ashore at Clatsop Spit, south of the Columbia River channel. Located within Fort Stevens State Park, the wreckage is considered one of the most accessible and long-lasting in the world.
Festivals & Events
Fisher Poets Gathering celebrates fishing and other marine industry through poems, stories, artwork, and songs. It is held annually in late February.
Astoria-Warrenton Crab, Seafood & Wine Festival takes place last weekend in April.
The Scandinavian Midsummer Festival is held the third weekend of June.
Astoria Regata Week is a five-day event that takes place in mid-August.
Civil War Reenactment in Fort Stevens State Park occurs at the beginning of September.
The Great Columbia Crossing 10k Run/Walk is held in the first weeks of October.
Astoria's history is deeply connected to the discovery of new Pacific territories in 1804. Captain Meriwether Lewis and second lieutenant William Clark led their Corps of Discovery, consisting of 40 soldiers and crew members, to find a route to the Pacific Ocean.
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