Best Activities In Astoria Oregon: 33 Must-Do Attractions

Things To Do In Astoria Oregon

Astoria, Oregon, offers a rich tapestry of experiences for visitors. From historical landmarks to natural wonders, this coastal gem has something for everyone.

Climb to the top of the Astoria Column

We can’t miss climbing to the top of the Astoria Column when visiting this charming Oregon coast city. Standing tall at 125 feet, this iconic landmark offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of the Columbia River, lush forests, and Astoria’s picturesque cityscape.

As we ascend the 164 steps, we’ll marvel at the intricate murals depicting Astoria’s rich history from 1792 to the 1800s.

The climb might leave us a bit winded, but the stunning vistas at the top make every step worthwhile.

It’s a perfect spot for photography enthusiasts and history buffs alike, offering a unique perspective on the Pacific Northwest’s beauty and Astoria’s storied past.

Hike to the Cathedral Tree

We love exploring the Cathedral Tree Trail, a hidden gem in Astoria that offers a serene escape into nature. This easy-to-moderate hike starts at the Irving Avenue Trailhead and winds through lush forest, leading us to the iconic Cathedral Tree – a majestic Sitka spruce estimated to be over 300 years old.

Along the way, we’re treated to glimpses of local flora and fauna, making it a perfect activity for nature enthusiasts and casual hikers alike.

For those seeking a longer adventure, the trail extends beyond the Cathedral Tree to the Astoria Column, providing panoramic views of the Columbia River and surrounding landscape. It’s a fantastic way to immerse ourselves in Astoria’s natural beauty while getting some exercise.

The trail’s accessibility and stunning scenery make it a must-do attraction for visitors looking to experience the quieter side of this charming coastal town.

Visit the Flavel House

We can’t miss the chance to explore the Flavel House Museum during our visit to Astoria. This Victorian-era gem, managed by the Clatsop County Historical Society, offers a glimpse into the life of one of Astoria’s first millionaires, George Flavel.

Built in Queen-Anne style, the house showcases original furniture from the Flavel family—about 30% of the pieces on display are authentic. As we wander through the rooms, we’ll discover fascinating stories about the family and their home, making it a truly immersive experience.

The Flavel House isn’t just a static display; it’s a living museum that brings history to life. We’ll step back in time as we admire the period-appropriate decor and learn about the social customs of late 19th-century Astoria.

The museum’s knowledgeable staff provides insights into the Flavel family’s influence on the town’s development, making our visit both educational and entertaining. It’s a perfect stop for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike, offering a quiet respite from the bustling downtown area.

Explore local museums

We love exploring the local museums in Astoria, Oregon. They offer a fascinating glimpse into the town’s rich history and culture. The Maritime Memorial and Flavel House Museum are must-visit spots for history buffs.

At the Maritime Memorial, we can pay tribute to those lost at sea, while the Flavel House Museum showcases Victorian-era architecture and lifestyle. For a taste of Astoria’s industrial past, the Hanthorn Cannery Museum is an excellent choice.

Film enthusiasts will appreciate the Oregon Film Museum, which celebrates the many movies shot in the area. It’s housed in the old Clatsop County Jail, adding an extra layer of intrigue to the experience.

The Uppertown Firefighters Museum is another gem, displaying vintage firefighting equipment and memorabilia. These smaller, quieter museums provide an intimate look at Astoria’s diverse heritage without the crowds of larger cities.

Take a selfie with the Astoria Bridge

We’ve found the perfect spot for capturing memories in Astoria – the iconic Astoria-Megler Bridge. This impressive structure spans the Columbia River and holds the title of the nation’s largest continuous truss bridge.

It’s not just a feat of engineering; it’s a picturesque landmark that offers stunning backdrops for photos. As we snap our selfies, we’re treated to sweeping views of ships sailing the river and lush coastal forests stretching into the distance.

The Astoria Bridge isn’t just a popular tourist attraction; it’s a beloved local landmark too. Its unique perspectives against scenic backdrops make it an ideal subject for photography enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.

We can capture the bridge’s beauty while soaking in the surrounding natural landscapes and river views. It’s a must-see attraction that perfectly encapsulates the charm and history of this quiet coastal town.

Things to do in Astoria Oregon

Photograph a shipwreck

We love exploring the unique attractions in Astoria, and one of our favorites is photographing the Peter Iredale shipwreck. This iconic remnant of maritime history sits on the shores of Fort Stevens State Park, offering a captivating subject for photographers of all skill levels.

The rusted skeleton of the four-masted steel barque, which ran aground in 1906, creates a striking contrast against the sandy beach and rolling waves of the Pacific Ocean.

For the best shots, we recommend visiting during low tide when more of the ship’s structure is visible. Early morning or late afternoon light can cast dramatic shadows and create a moody atmosphere perfect for capturing the shipwreck’s haunting beauty.

Don’t forget to bring a wide-angle lens to capture the full scale of the wreck against the expansive coastline. The Peter Iredale isn’t just a photo op – it’s a glimpse into Astoria’s rich maritime past and a testament to the power of the sea.

Try some local seafood

We can’t visit Astoria without savoring its incredible local seafood. The Columbia River and Pacific Ocean provide an abundance of fresh catches, making this coastal town a seafood lover’s paradise.

At Fort Stevens State Park and Cape Disappointment State Park, we’ll find some of the area’s best seafood dining options. These parks offer not only outdoor adventures but also the chance to indulge in mouthwatering dishes featuring locally sourced fish, crab, and shellfish.

Astoria’s seafood scene goes beyond just restaurants. The Bumble Bee Cannery Museum gives us a fascinating glimpse into the local fishing and cannery history. Here, we’ll see Bumble Bee artifacts and crab examples, deepening our appreciation for the town’s maritime heritage.

Whether we’re craving a classic fish and chips or a gourmet seafood platter, Astoria’s eateries deliver unforgettable flavors that capture the essence of the Oregon coast.

Visit Youngs Creek Falls

Let’s explore Youngs Creek Falls, a hidden gem near Astoria, Oregon. This 65-foot waterfall is a perfect spot for those of us seeking a peaceful retreat from bustling tourist areas.

We’ll enjoy a short 0.3-mile walk suitable for families and casual hikers alike. In autumn, the surrounding foliage bursts with vibrant colors, creating a picturesque backdrop for our visit.

The falls offer a serene atmosphere where we can relax, take photos, and connect with nature – a true Oregon coast treasure off the beaten path.

Embark on a DIY Movie Tour

We’re excited to share one of Astoria’s most unique attractions with you. A self-guided movie tour offers a fantastic way to explore the town’s cinematic history and iconic filming locations.

  1. Start at the Oregon Film Museum: This former jail-turned-museum serves as the perfect launch point for our movie adventure. It’s packed with exhibits on films shot in Oregon, including those filmed in Astoria.
  2. Visit “The Goonies” house: Our next stop is 368 38th Street, the iconic house from the 1985 classic. While we can’t enter the property, we can snap photos from the street and relive our favorite scenes.
  3. Check out the Astoria Column: This 125-foot tall structure featured in “Short Circuit” (1986). We’ll climb to the top for panoramic views of the Columbia River and surrounding area.
  4. Explore the Flavel House Museum: This Victorian mansion appeared in “The Goonies” and “Kindergarten Cop” (1990). We’ll tour the beautifully preserved interiors and gardens.
  5. Stop by the Bowpicker Fish & Chips: This converted boat serves some of Astoria’s best fish and chips. It’s a great spot to refuel during our movie tour.
  6. Visit Fort Stevens State Park: We’ll see the remains of the Peter Iredale shipwreck, which appeared in “The Road” (2009) starring Viggo Mortensen.
  7. End at Fort George Brewery: We’ll wrap up our tour with a craft beer at this local favorite, housed in a building that appeared in “The Goonies” and “Short Circuit.

Walk or drive the Historic Loop

We love exploring Astoria’s Historic Loop, a charming journey through the city’s rich past. This scenic route takes us past beautifully preserved Victorian homes, quaint shops, and historic landmarks.

Along the way, we encounter the Astoria Column, offering panoramic views of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean. The loop also includes a stretch of the Astoria Riverwalk Trail, a 4-mile paved path perfect for a leisurely stroll or bike ride.

Our favorite part of the Historic Loop is the downtown area, where we can browse vintage stores, grab a bite at local cafes, and pick up unique gifts. The 12.8-mile trail system connects us to various attractions, including the Columbia River Maritime Museum and the Astoria-Megler Bridge – North America’s largest continuous truss bridge.

This self-guided tour gives us a comprehensive look at Astoria’s maritime heritage and architectural gems, making it a must-do for history buffs and casual sightseers alike.

Learn about Lewis and Clark at Fort Clatsop

At Fort Clatsop, we step back in time to 1805, immersing ourselves in the Lewis and Clark expedition. This national memorial showcases a replica of the original fort where the explorers spent a challenging winter.

We can explore the reconstructed buildings, imagine life during that era, and gain insights into the expedition’s pivotal role in American history. The site’s interpretive center offers fascinating exhibits and artifacts that bring the Corps of Discovery’s journey to life.

The Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks, which include Fort Clatsop, preserve numerous sites crucial to the expedition’s success. As we wander the grounds, we’re transported to a time of great discovery and adventure.

The park’s rangers provide informative talks, helping us understand the hardships faced by the expedition and the significance of their achievements. It’s a must-visit for history buffs and anyone interested in the early exploration of the Pacific Northwest.

Hike at Cape Disappointment State Park

Cape Disappointment State Park offers us a wealth of hiking opportunities amid stunning coastal scenery. We can explore diverse trails that wind through lush forests, along dramatic cliffs, and to panoramic viewpoints overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Columbia River.

The park’s 8 miles of hiking paths cater to various skill levels, from easy strolls to more challenging treks.

We’ll find the North Head Lighthouse and Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center nestled within the park’s 2,023 acres. These historic sites provide fascinating insights into the area’s maritime history and the famous expedition.

After our hike, we can relax on the beach, watch for wildlife, or simply soak in the rugged beauty of this coastal gem – a perfect escape for those seeking quieter, natural experiences along the Oregon coast.

Shop downtown

We love strolling through Astoria’s charming downtown area. It’s a treasure trove of unique shops, art galleries, and antique stores that capture the essence of this quaint coastal town.

The Historic Astoria Riverwalk Trail, stretching 4 miles along the waterfront, offers a perfect route for exploring local boutiques and eateries. We often find ourselves popping into quirky bars and browsing through eclectic art pieces, all while enjoying scenic views of the Columbia River.

The downtown’s diverse shopping experience truly reflects Astoria’s rich history and vibrant culture.

Go brewery hopping

Astoria’s brewery scene is a hidden gem for beer enthusiasts. We’ve discovered that this charming Oregon coast town boasts an impressive array of craft breweries, each offering unique flavors and atmospheres.

Fort George, Astoria Brewing, Rogue Pier 39 Public House, Buoy Beer Company, and Reach Break Brewing are just a few of the standout spots we’ve explored. These local brewpubs serve up a diverse selection of craft beers, from crisp lagers to bold IPAs, perfect for sipping while taking in Astoria’s scenic views.

Our brewery hopping adventures have led us to some truly memorable experiences. At Buoy Beer Company, we’ve enjoyed fresh brews while watching sea lions lounge on the pier below. Fort George Brewery’s rooftop deck offers stunning vistas of the Columbia River and Astoria Bridge.

Between tastings, we’ve found it easy to explore other Astoria attractions, like the historic Astoria Column or the Lewis and Clark National Park. This combination of craft beer and local sights makes for an ideal day out in this quaint coastal town.

Enjoy cocktails and atmosphere at local bars

We love unwinding at Astoria’s local bars after a day of exploring. The town boasts a vibrant cocktail scene with cozy spots perfect for sipping creative drinks. Fort George Brewery and Buoy Beer Taphouse offer welcoming atmospheres to enjoy locally brewed beers and inventive cocktails.

These laid-back venues provide the ideal setting for relaxing and soaking in Astoria’s charm.

For those seeking a more intimate experience, Astoria Brewing Company serves up unique drink specials in a warm, inviting space. We find these local watering holes capture the essence of Astoria’s small-town appeal while delivering big-city quality libations.

It’s the perfect way to cap off an evening and mingle with friendly locals and fellow travelers alike.

Catch a classic film at the Columbian Theater

We’re excited to share one of Astoria’s hidden gems with you – the Columbian Theater. This charming venue offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and enjoy classic films in a historic setting.

It’s a must-visit spot for film buffs and anyone looking to experience a slice of small-town Americana on their Oregon coast road trip.

The Columbian Theater isn’t just about movies; it’s a community hub that supports local vendors and businesses. During summer months, you’ll find regular screenings and special events that capture the essence of Astoria’s laid-back vibe.

Keep in mind that some events may require registration, so it’s worth checking their schedule in advance. Whether you’re catching a beloved old film or participating in a themed night, the Columbian Theater promises a memorable evening in this quaint coastal town.

Visit Painted Lady Lavender Farm

At the Painted Lady Lavender Farm, we’re treated to a sensory delight that captures the essence of Astoria’s quieter side. This top attraction offers us a chance to wander through fragrant fields of lavender, taking in breathtaking views that epitomize Oregon’s natural beauty.

We can participate in workshops and events at the farm, immersing ourselves in the local culture while supporting vendors from the community. It’s a perfect spot for those of us seeking a peaceful retreat – just remember to check if any specific activities require pre-registration.

Indulge in delicious desserts

We can’t resist the sweet temptations Astoria offers to satisfy our dessert cravings. The Flavel House Museum isn’t just a historical treat; it’s also a gateway to downtown’s delectable dessert scene.

After exploring the Victorian-era mansion, we love to stroll through the charming streets, stopping at local bakeries and cafes for mouthwatering pastries, homemade ice cream, or artisanal chocolates.

Our dessert adventure doesn’t end there. The Astoria Sunday Market is a sugar lover’s paradise, featuring over 200 vendors selling an array of treats. We often pair our sweets with a craft beer from one of Astoria’s breweries or enjoy them while taking in views of the Columbia River.

For a unique experience, we head to the Astoria Food Hall, where we can savor desserts alongside fresh seafood from Bowpicker Fish and Chips or Buoy Beer.

Outdoor Activities in Astoria

Astoria boasts a wealth of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts. From scenic hiking trails to pristine beaches, the area offers countless opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.

Hiking trails

Astoria offers a wealth of hiking trails for nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best trails in the area for you to explore:

  1. Cathedral Tree Trail: This popular 1.5-mile trail leads to the iconic Cathedral Tree, a massive Sitka spruce estimated to be over 300 years old. The path winds through lush forests and offers stunning views of the Columbia River.
  2. Fort Stevens State Park Trails: With over 9 miles of hiking trails, this park provides diverse landscapes including beaches, forests, and wetlands. The Fort to Sea Trail is a standout, connecting the fort to Sunset Beach.
  3. Youngs River Falls Trail: A short 0.3-mile hike leads to the beautiful 54-foot Youngs River Falls. The trail is relatively easy and rewards hikers with a picturesque waterfall view.
  4. Lewis and Clark National Historic Park Trails: Fort Clatsop offers several hiking trails that retrace the steps of the famous explorers. The Fort to Sea Trail and Netul River Trail are particularly scenic options.
  5. Astoria Riverwalk: While more of a urban trail, this 6.4-mile paved path along the Columbia River offers stunning views and historical points of interest.
  6. Sunset Beach State Recreation Site: This coastal trail provides breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and is perfect for beachcombing and wildlife watching.
  7. Tongue Point Trail: A challenging 3.6-mile out-and-back trail that offers panoramic views of the Columbia River and surrounding landscapes.
  8. Clatsop State Forest Trails: Just outside Astoria, these trails offer a more secluded hiking experience through dense coastal forests.

Beaches

We love the beaches in Astoria, Oregon. They’re perfect for those seeking a quieter coastal experience. Clatsop Spit offers breathtaking ocean views from its viewing platform, making it a must-visit spot for nature enthusiasts.

We can’t get enough of the rugged beauty and peaceful atmosphere these shores provide.

On Clatsop Spit, we’ve discovered a unique attraction – the Peter Iredale shipwreck. This fascinating piece of maritime history is accessible right from the beach, allowing us to explore and photograph the remnants of this once-majestic vessel.

It’s an incredible sight that brings the area’s rich seafaring past to life.

Parks

Astoria boasts several beautiful parks that offer tranquility and stunning views. We’ve compiled a list of must-visit parks for those seeking a peaceful escape in this charming coastal town.

  1. Fort Stevens State Park: This expansive park covers 4,300 acres and features diverse landscapes, including beaches, lakes, and forests. Visitors can explore historic military installations, go fishing, or enjoy a picnic by the ocean.
  2. Tapiola Park: A local favorite, this park offers a variety of recreational facilities, including a skate park, playground, and walking trails. It’s perfect for a leisurely afternoon with family or friends.
  3. Shively Park: Nestled on a hillside, this park provides panoramic views of the Columbia River and downtown Astoria. The park’s walking trails and picnic areas make it ideal for a relaxing day outdoors.
  4. Astor Park: Located near the Astoria Column, this small park offers a peaceful setting with benches and green spaces. It’s a great spot to take in views of the surrounding area.
  5. Astoria Riverwalk Park: This linear park follows the Columbia River, offering scenic views and access to the water. Visitors can stroll along the riverfront, watch ships pass by, or enjoy a picnic with a view.
  6. McClure Park: A hidden gem, this small neighborhood park features a playground and open green spaces. It’s a quiet spot for a quick break or a family outing.
  7. Customs House Park: Situated near the waterfront, this park offers a glimpse into Astoria’s maritime history. Visitors can enjoy views of the Columbia River and learn about the town’s past as a bustling port.
  8. Cathedral Tree Trail: While not a traditional park, this hiking trail leads to the famous Cathedral Tree and offers a serene forest experience. The trail connects to the Astoria Column, making it a popular choice for nature enthusiasts.

Water activities

Astoria’s waterfront location offers a wealth of aquatic adventures for visitors. We’ve compiled a list of exciting water activities that showcase the best of this coastal gem:

  • Columbia River Cruises: Glide along the mighty Columbia, taking in panoramic views of the Astoria-Megler Bridge and coastal forests. These trips often include historical narration and wildlife spotting opportunities.
  • Crabbing Excursions: Join local experts for a hands-on crabbing experience. Learn traditional techniques and potentially catch your own dinner.
  • Kayaking: Paddle through calm waters, exploring hidden coves and getting up close to marine life. Rentals and guided tours are available for all skill levels.
  • Fishing Charters: Cast a line for salmon, sturgeon, or halibut on a guided fishing trip. Local captains know the best spots for a successful day on the water.
  • Riverwalk Strolls: Enjoy a leisurely walk along the Astoria Riverwalk, which stretches for miles along the Columbia River. Stop at local shops and eateries along the way.
  • Stand-Up Paddleboarding: Try this popular water sport on the calmer sections of the river. It’s a great way to get a unique perspective of Astoria’s shoreline.
  • River Taxi Rides: Hop on a river taxi for a quick and scenic trip across the Columbia. It’s a fun way to see the town from a different angle.
  • Shipwreck Photography: Capture images of the Peter Iredale shipwreck at low tide. This iconic spot offers a glimpse into Astoria’s maritime history.

Wildlife viewing

We’ve found Astoria to be a wildlife enthusiast’s paradise. The Columbia River and surrounding forests teem with diverse fauna, offering ample opportunities for nature lovers. At the Astoria Column, we often spot bald eagles soaring above the treetops, while the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park – Fort Clatsop provides excellent hiking trails where we’ve encountered deer and various bird species.

Fort Stevens State Park and Cape Disappointment State Park are also prime locations for wildlife viewing, with chances to see seals, sea lions, and even migrating whales during certain seasons.

Along the Astoria Riverwalk and during rides on the Riverfront Trolley, we’ve observed river otters playing in the water and osprey diving for fish. The Peter Iredale shipwreck on Clatsop Spit offers a unique backdrop for spotting coastal wildlife, including sandpipers and occasional harbor seals.

We recommend bringing binoculars and a camera to capture these unforgettable moments with nature in Astoria.

Scenic drives

Astoria’s scenic drives offer a perfect way for us to explore the quieter side of this charming coastal town. We love taking leisurely drives along the Columbia River, where the Astoria-Megler Bridge provides stunning views against picturesque backdrops.

This iconic structure, spanning 4.1 miles across the river, is a must-see attraction for visitors and locals alike.

Our favorite routes include the winding roads through lush forests and along rugged coastlines. These drives let us soak in the natural beauty of the area, from misty mornings to golden sunsets.

We often stop at viewpoints to snap photos or simply admire the scenery. It’s a relaxing way to experience Astoria’s unique blend of history and nature.

Things To Do In Astoria Oregon – Food and Drink Experiences

Astoria’s culinary scene offers a delightful mix of fresh seafood, local brews, and cozy cafes. From food trucks to fine dining, there’s something for every palate… Want to know more about Astoria’s food and drink experiences?

Food trucks

We love exploring Astoria’s vibrant food truck scene. It’s a fantastic way to experience the town’s culinary diversity and support local vendors.

  • Astoria Food Hall: This is a must-visit spot for food truck enthusiasts. We enjoy the fresh seafood options here, especially at Buoy Beer where we can savor delicious fish paired with locally brewed beer.
  • Bucket Bites: One of our favorite food trucks in Astoria. They offer a diverse menu that caters to various tastes, reflecting the town’s commitment to culinary variety.
  • Surf 2 Soul: This food truck brings a unique flavor profile to Astoria’s streets. We appreciate how it contributes to the town’s rich food and drink experiences.
  • Roll and Bowl: Another great option that adds to the diverse cuisines available in Astoria’s food truck scene. It’s a testament to the town’s support for local businesses.
  • Local Flavors: The food trucks in Astoria offer us a chance to taste authentic local flavors. We find it’s an excellent way to immerse ourselves in the town’s culinary culture.
  • Community Support: By patronizing these food trucks, we’re helping to sustain Astoria’s local economy. It’s gratifying to know we’re supporting small businesses while enjoying great food.
  • Unique Dining Experience: Food trucks provide a casual, laid-back dining atmosphere that we find perfect for a relaxed day out in Astoria.

Local seafood

We’re spoiled for choice when it comes to fresh seafood in Astoria. Our local waters teem with delicious catches, from succulent Alaskan King Crab to flaky fish perfect for fish and chips.

Bowpicker Fish and Chips is a must-visit spot, serving up golden, crispy fish that’ll have your taste buds dancing. For a broader seafood experience, we head to Buoy Beer in Astoria Food Hall, where we can pair our meal with locally crafted brews.

Astoria’s rich maritime history is reflected in its seafood offerings. The Bumble Bee Cannery Museum showcases this legacy, with displays of fishing artifacts and examples of various crab species.

On Sundays, we love browsing the Astoria Sunday Market, where over 200 vendors gather – many offering locally caught seafood. It’s a perfect opportunity to taste the flavors of the Oregon coast and chat with the folks who bring these oceanic delights to our tables.

Coffee shops

Astoria’s coffee scene is a hidden gem for those seeking a quieter, more intimate experience. We’ve discovered some fantastic local coffee shops that offer unique food and drink experiences while supporting local vendors.

  1. Bowpicker Coffee: This cozy spot serves locally roasted beans and homemade pastries. Their signature lavender latte pairs perfectly with a view of the Columbia River.
  2. Street 14 Cafe: A charming space offering organic, fair-trade coffee and seasonal, locally-sourced breakfast and lunch options. Don’t miss their house-made granola.
  3. Coffee Girl: Located in a historic cannery building on Pier 39, this cafe boasts stunning river views and delicious espresso drinks. Try their famous crab melt for a true Astoria experience.
  4. Astoria Coffeehouse & Bistro: A local favorite, this spot combines great coffee with a full menu of comfort food. Their outdoor seating area is perfect for people-watching on a sunny day.
  5. Bridgewater Bistro: While primarily known for its food, this waterfront restaurant also serves excellent coffee. Enjoy your brew with a side of live jazz on weekends.
  6. Columbia River Coffee Roaster: A small-batch roastery offering tours and tastings. Pick up a bag of their signature Astoria blend as a souvenir.
  7. The Rusty Cup: This quirky cafe features an eclectic decor and a rotating selection of local art. Their cold brew is a must-try on warm days.
  8. 3 Cups Coffee House: A community-focused spot with a relaxed atmosphere and a great selection of teas alongside their coffee offerings. Their homemade scones are a local favorite.

Restaurants

We’ve explored Astoria’s dining scene and discovered some hidden gems. Here’s our list of must-try restaurants that offer a taste of the local flavor:

  • Fort George Brewery + Public House: This popular spot serves up craft beers and hearty pub fare. Try their famous clam chowder, a local specialty with a unique twist.
  • Bowpicker Fish & Chips: A converted gillnet boat turned food cart, Bowpicker offers some of the best fish and chips in town. The long lines are worth the wait for their perfectly crispy Albacore tuna.
  • Bridgewater Bistro: Enjoy panoramic views of the Columbia River while savoring fresh seafood and locally sourced ingredients. Their crab cakes are a crowd favorite.
  • Buoy Beer Company: This waterfront brewery and restaurant offers stunning river views and delicious pub grub. Don’t miss their beer-battered fish tacos paired with a craft brew.
  • Clemente’s Restaurant: A cozy spot known for its fresh seafood and intimate atmosphere. Their cioppino, a hearty seafood stew, is a local favorite.
  • Reach Break Brewing: This unique establishment offers a variety of hard seltzers and hosts food carts like Wahoo Charlie’s and Coastal Smash. It’s perfect for a casual dining experience with diverse options.
  • Astoria Brewing Company: Sample local brews and enjoy classic pub fare at this laid-back spot. Their fish and chips are a standout dish.
  • Rogue Pier 39 Public House: Located on a historic pier, this restaurant offers stunning river views and a menu featuring Rogue Ales and fresh seafood. Try their clam chowder in a bread bowl for a satisfying meal.

Brewery tours

Astoria’s craft beer scene is a hidden gem for enthusiasts seeking a quieter, more intimate experience. Our town boasts several local breweries that offer tours, giving visitors a chance to explore the art of beer-making up close.

  • Fort George Brewery: This popular spot offers guided tours on Saturdays at 1 pm. You’ll see their production facility, learn about their brewing process, and sample some of their signature beers.
  • Astoria Brewing Company: Though they don’t have scheduled tours, the staff is often happy to show visitors around if you ask. Their riverside location provides a picturesque backdrop for enjoying their craft beers.
  • Rogue Pier 39 Public House: Located in a former fish processing plant, Rogue offers a unique brewing experience. Tours are available upon request and include a tasting of their award-winning beers.
  • Buoy Beer Company: Situated in a restored cannery building, Buoy offers tours on weekends. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at their brewing operations and enjoy stunning views of the Columbia River.
  • Reach Break Brewing: This smaller brewery doesn’t offer formal tours, but its open layout allows visitors to see the brewing process while enjoying their beers. The friendly staff is always eager to answer questions about their craft.

Cocktail bars

We’ve discovered some delightful cocktail bars in Astoria that offer a unique drinking experience. The downtown area boasts quirky spots where you can unwind and enjoy expertly crafted drinks.

One standout is Galactix Arcade & Taphouse, a sci-fi themed bar that combines nostalgic arcade games with local brews and creative cocktails. It’s a perfect blend of fun and relaxation for those seeking a laid-back evening out.

Astoria’s cocktail scene goes beyond the typical bar experience. We’ve found cozy lounges tucked away in historic buildings, rooftop bars with stunning views of the Columbia River, and speakeasy-style establishments that transport you to another era.

These spots often feature locally sourced ingredients in their cocktails, showcasing the flavors of the Pacific Northwest. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic Old Fashioned or an innovative craft cocktail, Astoria’s bars have something to satisfy every palate.

Unique dining experiences

Astoria’s unique dining experiences offer a culinary journey through this charming coastal town. We’ve discovered that local breweries, food trucks, and coffee shops serve up delectable flavors that capture the essence of Oregon’s coast.

Our favorite spots blend historical significance with modern tastes, creating memorable meals in unexpected settings. From seafood feasts overlooking the Columbia River to cozy cafes tucked away in Victorian-era buildings, Astoria’s dining scene caters to every palate.

Planning ahead can enhance your culinary adventure in Astoria. Many restaurants and food events require advance registration, especially during peak seasons. This approach allows us to secure spots at popular eateries and participate in special dining events that showcase the best of Astoria’s food culture.

By booking early, we’ve enjoyed exclusive chef’s table experiences and seasonal tasting menus that highlight local ingredients and culinary traditions.

Things To Do In Astoria Oregon – Shopping and Entertainment

Shopping and Entertainment in Astoria offers a mix of old-world charm and modern delights. From antique shops to live music venues, there’s something for every taste and interest.

Antique shops

Astoria’s antique shops offer a treasure trove of history and unique finds. We’ve explored these charming stores and compiled a list of must-visit spots for antique enthusiasts:

  1. Vintage Hardware: This sprawling shop houses an eclectic mix of antiques, from Victorian-era furniture to mid-century modern pieces. We love their selection of vintage lighting fixtures and architectural salvage items.
  2. Finn’s Fish House Antiques: Located in a historic building, this shop specializes in nautical antiques and collectibles. We’ve found everything from ship wheels to vintage fishing gear here.
  3. Astoria Vintage Hardware: Don’t let the name fool you – this store offers more than just hardware. We’ve discovered vintage clothing, retro kitchenware, and unique home decor items in this well-curated space.
  4. Garbo’s Vintage Wear: For those seeking vintage fashion, this shop is a gem. We’ve unearthed stunning pieces from the 1920s through the 1980s, including accessories and jewelry.
  5. Deals Only Antiques: This no-frills shop is perfect for bargain hunters. We’ve scored great deals on furniture, glassware, and quirky knick-knacks during our visits.
  6. Old Town Framing Company: While primarily a framing shop, this store also features a selection of antique prints and maps. We’ve found some beautiful pieces to adorn our walls here.
  7. Astoria Sunday Market: Though not a permanent shop, this weekly market (May through October) hosts several antique vendors. We’ve enjoyed browsing the ever-changing selection of vintage goods and collectibles.

Local markets

Astoria’s local markets offer a vibrant glimpse into the community’s culture and culinary scene. We’ve explored these bustling hubs and compiled a list of must-visit markets for those seeking an authentic taste of this charming Oregon town:

  1. Astoria Sunday Market: This seasonal market runs from May to October, featuring over 200 vendors. It’s a treasure trove of local produce, artisanal crafts, and live music.
  2. Astoria Co-op Grocery: A year-round market focusing on organic and locally-sourced products. We love their extensive selection of regional cheeses and wines.
  3. Bowpicker Fish & Chips: While not a traditional market, this converted boat serves some of the best fish and chips in town. It’s a unique local food experience you won’t want to miss.
  4. Astoria Indoor Market: Open on weekends, this market showcases local artists and craftspeople. It’s perfect for finding one-of-a-kind souvenirs and gifts.
  5. River People Farmers Market: A summer market held on Thursdays, featuring fresh produce from local farms and artisanal food products.
  6. Fort George Brewery + Public House: This brewery doubles as a market for local craft beers. You can sample and purchase a variety of unique brews here.
  7. Bridgewater Bistro: On Saturdays, this restaurant hosts a small farmers market in its parking lot, offering fresh produce and local specialties.
  8. Astoria Riverwalk: While not a market itself, this walkway is lined with various food carts and pop-up vendors, creating a market-like atmosphere along the Columbia River.

Art galleries

Astoria’s art scene is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. We’ve explored the charming galleries that dot the downtown area and found some truly exceptional spaces showcasing local and regional talent.

  • Downtown Astoria boasts several art galleries featuring diverse works from Pacific Northwest artists. These intimate spaces offer a mix of paintings, sculptures, and mixed media pieces that capture the essence of the region.
  • The Heritage Museum often hosts rotating exhibits that highlight various artistic themes. We’ve seen displays ranging from traditional Native American art to contemporary installations inspired by Astoria’s maritime history.
  • At the Oregon Film Museum, we stumbled upon an unexpected treat – a collection of movie-related art and memorabilia. The museum showcases posters, props, and behind-the-scenes artwork from films shot in the area.
  • Local galleries frequently hold opening nights and artist meet-and-greets. We’ve found these events to be excellent opportunities to chat with creators and gain insight into their inspirations and techniques.
  • Many of Astoria’s galleries focus on showcasing works that reflect the town’s coastal charm. We’ve seen stunning seascapes, wildlife portraits, and abstract pieces that capture the misty, moody atmosphere of the Oregon coast.
  • Some galleries in Astoria double as working studios. We’ve had the chance to watch artists at work, providing a unique glimpse into their creative process.
  • The art scene in Astoria isn’t limited to traditional galleries. We’ve spotted murals, sculptures, and installations throughout the town, turning a simple stroll into an impromptu art walk.

Live music venues

We love the vibrant music scene in Astoria, Oregon. This charming coastal town offers a surprising array of live music venues for visitors to enjoy. From intimate coffee shops to lively breweries, there’s no shortage of places to catch local and touring acts.

We’ve found that many of these venues are tucked away in historic buildings, adding to their unique atmosphere. It’s not uncommon to stumble upon impromptu performances while exploring downtown or browsing the Sunday Market.

These live music spots provide the perfect backdrop for relaxing evenings after a day of sightseeing, allowing us to immerse ourselves in the local culture and connect with fellow music enthusiasts.

Outdoor events

Astoria offers a vibrant array of outdoor events throughout the year. These gatherings celebrate the town’s rich history, natural beauty, and community spirit. Here’s a list of notable outdoor events in Astoria:

  • Astoria Sunday Market: A lively weekly event from May to October, featuring local produce, artisanal crafts, and live music.
  • Astoria Regatta: This annual August festival includes boat races, parades, and fireworks, honoring Astoria’s maritime heritage.
  • Fort Stevens State Park Campfire Programs: Educational and entertaining evening events held during summer months, perfect for nature enthusiasts.
  • Astoria Warrenton Crab, Seafood & Wine Festival: A springtime celebration showcasing the region’s culinary delights and local wines.
  • Astoria International Film Festival: An outdoor cinema experience held in various locations around town, screening independent films.
  • Astoria Music Festival: A series of outdoor concerts featuring classical and contemporary performances in scenic venues.
  • Fourth of July Festivities: A day-long celebration with parades, picnics, and a spectacular fireworks display over the Columbia River.
  • Astoria Riverwalk Festival: A summer event along the waterfront, offering food, music, and family-friendly activities.
  • Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival: A June celebration of the area’s Nordic heritage with traditional games, food, and music.
  • Astoria Open Studios Tour: An annual event where local artists open their workshops to the public, often including outdoor demonstrations.

Unique shopping experiences

We’ve discovered that Astoria’s downtown area is a treasure trove of unique shopping experiences. From vintage stores and quirky gift shops to art galleries and used bookstores, there’s something for every taste.

Our favorite find is the Galactix Arcade & Taphouse, a sci-fi themed arcade bar that combines local brews with retro gaming fun. It’s the perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploring the charming boutiques and cafes that line the streets of this small coastal town.

Exploring the Best Small Towns in Oregon

Oregon’s small towns offer a treasure trove of experiences for those seeking quieter escapes. We love exploring these hidden gems, each with its own unique charm and character. Astoria, nestled on the Columbia River, stands out as a prime example.

This coastal town boasts 33 must-do attractions, including the iconic Astoria Column, which provides breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. History buffs will appreciate the town’s rich maritime heritage, showcased at the Columbia River Maritime Museum and the Lightship Columbia.

Food enthusiasts can indulge in local seafood and craft beer at numerous breweries and restaurants dotting the downtown area.

Astoria’s cultural tapestry extends beyond its maritime roots. The Garden of Surging Waves pays homage to the town’s Chinese heritage, while the Flavel House Museum and Uppertown Firefighters Museum offer glimpses into its past.

For movie buffs, a DIY movie tour reveals filming locations of popular films shot in the area. Nature lovers can explore nearby hiking trails, beaches, and Cape Disappointment State Park.

With its blend of outdoor activities, historical sites, and culinary delights, Astoria exemplifies the allure of Oregon’s small towns – perfect for those seeking authentic, laid-back experiences away from the bustle of big cities.

Uncovering the Mystique of Oregon Ghost Towns

We love exploring the hidden gems of Oregon, and ghost towns are some of the most fascinating places to visit. These abandoned settlements offer a glimpse into the past, telling stories of boom-and-bust cycles, forgotten dreams, and the resilience of early pioneers.

From old mining camps to deserted lumber towns, Oregon’s ghost towns are scattered throughout the state, each with its own unique history and charm.

Visiting these abandoned places can be an adventure in itself. We often find ourselves wandering through empty streets, peering into dilapidated buildings, and imagining what life was like during their heyday.

Some ghost towns, like Shaniko in central Oregon, still have a few residents and preserved buildings, while others, such as Golden in southern Oregon, are little more than overgrown ruins.

Each site offers a different experience, but all provide a tangible link to Oregon’s rich history and the people who shaped it.

Discovering the Charm of Towns on the Oregon Coast

We’ve fallen head over heels for the quaint coastal towns dotting Oregon’s shoreline. These hidden gems offer a perfect escape for those seeking tranquility and natural beauty. From Astoria in the north to Brookings in the south, each town has its own unique character and attractions.

In Astoria, we can climb the 164-step spiral staircase of the Astoria Column for breathtaking panoramic views of the Columbia River and surrounding forests. The Lewis and Clark National Historic Park nearby lets us step back in time, exploring a replica of the original fort and hiking through lush trails.

For food enthusiasts, Astoria’s culinary scene is a delight, with fresh seafood and local craft beers at spots like Buoy Beer Taphouse and Fort George Brewery.

Things To Do In Astoria Oregon Conclusion

Astoria, Oregon, offers an incredible array of activities for every type of traveler. From historic landmarks to outdoor adventures, this charming coastal town never fails to impress.

Our list of 33 must-do attractions only scratches the surface of what Astoria has to offer. Whether you’re climbing the Astoria Column or savoring fresh seafood, unforgettable experiences await around every corner.

So pack your bags and get ready to explore this gem on the Oregon coast – your next great adventure starts here!

Things To Do In Astoria Oregon FAQs

1. What are some must-do things in Astoria, Oregon?

Astoria offers many attractions. You can visit the Astoria Column, explore Fort Stevens State Park, or tour the Columbia River Maritime Museum. Don’t miss the Astoria Riverwalk for scenic views… it’s a local favorite!

2. Is Astoria, Oregon worth visiting?

Absolutely! Astoria is packed with history, natural beauty, and unique experiences. From its charming downtown to its coastal landscapes, there’s something for everyone. Visitors often comment on the town’s friendly atmosphere and diverse activities.

3. What’s the best time to visit Astoria for outdoor activities?

Summer is ideal for outdoor adventures in Astoria. The weather is mild, perfect for hiking, beach-combing, or kayaking. Spring and fall offer fewer crowds… but pack a raincoat! Winter can be stormy, yet beautiful for storm-watching.

4. Are there family-friendly things to do in Astoria?

Yes, Astoria has plenty for families. Kids love the Astoria Trolley, the Oregon Film Museum, and the Astoria Aquatic Center. Fort Stevens State Park offers beaches, trails, and a shipwreck to explore. Many visitors comment on how family-friendly the town is.

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