Astoria Travel Guide

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Astoria Travel Guide

Astoria Local History

The First American to first enter the Columbia River was Captain Robert Gray in May of 1792, in his 230 ton Columbia Rediviva. President Tomas Jefferson asked his personal secretary, Army Captain Meriwether Lewis to lead an expedition to the Pacific some ten years later, to find the most direct and practical water communication across the continent.

The Expedition of The Corps of Discovery left St Louis on 31 August 1803 and entered the Lower Columbia River in November 1805 where they stayed through March 1806. The group 'wintered over' at Fort Clatsop where it rained continuously for the whole winter except for 12 days. They spent the winter hunting, making moccasins and other clothing, worked on their journals and traded with the Clatsop, Tillamook and Chinook Indians.

There are over 200 major shipwrecks that have occurred near the mouth of the Columbia River, which has been known as 'The Graveyard of the Pacific'. The Peter Iredale is still visible on the beach at Fort Stevens State Park; this ship went down in 1906.

Astoria Attractions

Astoria Shopping

Astoria Marine Trading Company No. 1 Twelfth Street, Suite 114, Astoria. This little shop has various gifts, linens, home décor, toys and souvenirs, which feature nautical, wildlife and Christmas themes. They also sell fresh butter and cram fudge.

Riversea Gallery 1160 Commercial Street, Astoria. Riversea offers various types of contemporary artworks, which are created by regional and national artists. Jewelry, prints, paintings, photographs etc are also on display and for sale.

Gypsy's Whimsy Herbal Apothecary & Gift Shop 1139 Commercial Street, Astoria. This eclectic store sells over 150 herbs and teas, which are locally made. There are also classes, herb walks and consultations by clinical herbalists for those who are interested in learning more.

Columbia Chocolates 1332 Commercial Street, Astoria. This little store sells candy, which is made from a tradition of more than 35 years. There are various collectible tins with assorted chocolates and enough candy to satisfy everyone's sweet tooth.

Astoria Activities

Astoria Column, Coxcomb Hill - The Astoria Column is located on top of the 600-foot Coxcomb Hill. This is a 125-foot tower that was built in 1926 by the Great Northern Railway. There are 164 spiral stairs that you can climb up and have a great view of the Columbia River, the volcanic cone of Mt. St Helens and the Pacific Ocean. This is a one in a million attraction, and the only one of its kind in the world. The Astoria Column has been included in many movies including Kindergarten Cop, Free Willy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, Goonies and Short Circuit.

Astoria Children's Museum The Astoria Children's Museum is located at 11th and Exchange Streets, Astoria. This museum has changing exhibits, which are designed to capture the imagination of children of all ages. Among the permanent exhibits you can find a child sized grocery store, an active toddler area, boats to sail in the nautical area and an art and craft project at the 'Creation Station'. The Museum is open Monday, Thursday and Friday from 11am to 3pm and Saturday from 11am to 4pm and on Sunday from 1pm to 4pm.

Upper town Firefighter's Museum Located at 30th and Marine Drive, Astoria. This Museum is fun for kids of all ages, with various displays of fire fighting equipment, memorabilia, hand pulled vehicles, horse drawn vehicles and motorized vehicles.

Astoria Parks & Gardens

Fort Stevens State Park Fort Stevens State Park is located 8 miles from the mouth of the Columbia River and was built during the Civil War to protect the Columbia River and its important port cities. Throughout the summer there is a military surplus truck, which gives tours through the Park. There are miles of bicycle paths, beaches, a campground and a picnic area.

There is a viewing tower at the north end of the Park where you can get a splendid view of the South Jetty, which was built to make navigating the Columbia River easier. The Park also has the wreck of the Peter Iredale, which did not make it safely though the river's mouth in 1906. Every year over the Labour Day Weekend, you can witness a Civil War reenactment here. Admission to the Fort Stevens State Park is $3.

Bradley State Scenic Viewpoint This State Viewpoint offers wildlife watching, various forest and historic resources. The Wondrous Douglas fir forest overlooks the Columbia River. Entrance to the park is free.

Astoria Beaches

The beach stretches for miles from the south Jetty at the mouth of the Columbia River to Seaside's Skipnano River and Tillamook head. There are great walks, sunsets and water sports available, such as fishing, surfing, windsurfing, kite boarding and hiking.

Astoria Restaurants and Bars

Astoria Restaurants

Baked Alaska 1 12th Street, Astoria. This restaurant is built on a pier, and is not just on the waterfront, it is over the waves. This restaurant started out as a mobile soup trailer in Alaska, but when the chef/owner and his wife decided to settle down, they picked Astoria.
This restaurant offers great views and excellent food. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for sea lions. Try to soup in a sourdough bread bowl; remember this is what got this place started. Baked Alaska is open Monday to Friday from 11am to 10pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 10pm.

Columbian Cafe 1114 Marine Drive, Astoria. There are only three or four booths and a lunch counter, but the reputation of this café keeps the seats full. Columbian Café specialises in vegetarian and seafood dishes, as well as crepes. There are various fillings that come with the crepes, such as avocado, tomato and cheese and curried bananas. Even the condiments are homemade. They are open Monday and Tuesday from 8am to 2pm, Wednesday and Thursday from 8am to 2pm and 5pm to 9pm and on Saturday from 10am to 2pm and 5pm to 10pm.

Silver Salmon Grille 1105 Commercial Street, Astoria. This restaurant might not have a river view, but it sure does have great food and a historical atmosphere. As the name implies, this restaurant specialises in seafood, and salmon to be specific. If you are not a fan of salmon, there are other delicacies on the menu, which might intrigue you. The beautiful cherry wood bar came around Cape Horn in the 1880's and once even graced an Astoria brothel. This restaurant is open daily from 11am to 10pm.

Astoria Bars & Clubs

Wet Dog Café & Brew Pub 144 Eleventh Street, Astoria. This great pub offers a fantastic atmosphere with live music being performed over the weekends. There is a family friendly environment and great pub grub.

Desdemona Club 2997 Marine Drive, Astoria. Desdemona is a friendly bar that serves a variety of sandwiches, burgers beer and wine. There are four pool tables and two shuffleboard tables to add to the entertainment.

The Portway 422 West Marine Drive, Astoria. This is the oldest bar in one of the oldest American settlements west of the Rockies. The Portway has been around since 1923 and serves excellent food and has plenty of beer on tap.

Lighthouse Brew Pub 4157 North Highway 101, Suite 117, Lincoln City, Astoria. The Lighthouse has a wide selection of burgers sandwiches, fresh seafood and various unique brews on tap. Once you have enjoyed a meal here, take a tour through this unique brewery.

Astoria children's activities

Astoria Column, Coxcomb Hill - The Astoria Column is located on top of the 600-foot Coxcomb Hill. This is a 125-foot tower that was built in 1926 by the Great Northern Railway. There are 164 spiral stairs that you can climb up and have a great view of the Columbia River, the volcanic cone of Mt. St Helens and the Pacific Ocean. This is a one in a million attraction, and the only one of its kind in the world. The Astoria Column has been included in many movies including Kindergarten Cop, Free Willy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, Goonies and Short Circuit.

Astoria Children's Museum The Astoria Children's Museum is located at 11th and Exchange Streets, Astoria. This museum has changing exhibits, which are designed to capture the imagination of children of all ages. Among the permanent exhibits you can find a child sized grocery store, an active toddler area, boats to sail in the nautical area and an art and craft project at the 'Creation Station'. The Museum is open Monday, Thursday and Friday from 11am to 3pm and Saturday from 11am to 4pm and on Sunday from 1pm to 4pm.

Upper town Firefighter's Museum Located at 30th and Marine Drive, Astoria. This Museum is fun for kids of all ages, with various displays of fire fighting equipment, memorabilia, hand pulled vehicles, horse drawn vehicles and motorized vehicles.

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