Astoria Things to Do
Located near the mouth of the Columbia River, this coastal community offers family-friendly activities and opportunities to learn about the area’s unique history.
The Astoria Column
Astoria’s best known landmark is the Astoria Column. This observation tower offers stunning views of the surrounding region. At 125 feet, to reach the top, you’ll need to climb its 164 winding steps. Once you reach the observation tower, you’ll view the Pacific Ocean, the Columbia River, the Astoria-Megler Bridge, Mt. Rainier, the Cascade Mountains, Nehalem Valley, and Washington’s Cape Disappointment. Its exterior is decorated with scenes depicting key moments in the community’s history during settlers’ westward expansion.
Columbia River Maritime Museum
Located right on the Columbia River, the museum displays world-class maritime artifacts and several interactive exhibits. You can pilot a tug boat or participate in a Coast Guard rescue. One of its most spectacular displays includes a full-sized Coast Guard rescue boat pitched to replicate its position while navigating severe storm waves. Outside the museum you can walk on the bridge of a World War II era U.S. Navy Destroyer. You can also board the Lightship Columbia, a ship used as a floating lighthouse.
Built in 1885 for Captain George Flavel and his family, the Flavel House and museum is an exquisite Victorian home designed in the Queen Anne style. The exterior of the house is distinguished by its steep pitched roof, towers, asymmetrical outlines, and a fourth-story cupola used by Captain Flavel and his wife to watch river traffic. The inside offers beautiful woodwork, several mantels, and wonderfully high ceilings, and decorative spindles. Allow about an hour to explore the house and its very pretty grounds. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, you may also recognize this home from the movie, The Goonies.
The Coast Guard Cutter Alert Tour
Moored near the Lightship Columbia, during certain periods of its port stay, this active Coast Guard ship is open for tours made available by its crew.
Travel Astoria using the Trolley, which runs between the main commercial ventures found along the waterfront. For only $2 a day, you can ride as many times as you would like. Each trip is narrated by a guide, pointing out historic points of interest along the route.
The Astoria-Megler Bridge
Connecting Washington State with Oregon, the view from the 4.1-mile-long Astoria-Megler bridge is spectacular, especially at sunset. The bridge’s main span is 1,232 feet in length, making it the longest “continuous truss” in the world. When originally completed, it allowed travelers to drive the entire coastline from Canada to Mexico, thus lending it the name “Bridge to the World.” For the best view of the bridge, go to the Sixth Street viewing dock to gaze out at the massive bridge, which stretches across the mouth of the river.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about things to do in Astoria, Oregon.
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