The Astoria-Megler Bridge
The Astoria-Megler Bridge is recognized as the longest continuous truss in the U.S., spanning an impressive 1,232 feet in length. The bridge, which was formally dedicated in 1966, travels 4.1 miles from Astoria, across the mouth of the Columbia River, to Point Ellice, WA. Not only has the Astoria-Megler Bridge been a significant benefit for motorist drive-time, it also offers amazing views of the Columbia River and the hills of Astoria.
Take in 360-Degree Views from Atop the Astoria Column
In a wooded park towering above Astoria’s highest hill, the Astoria Column presents a panoramic view of the city and surrounding rivers, bay, forest, mountains and Pacific Ocean. Built in 1926, the column is 125 feet high and boasts 164 steps circling to a viewing deck at the top. On the outside, it features a completely restored depiction of historical events leading to the initial settlement of Astoria and western America. Visitors’ facilities are available, including restrooms and a gift shop. Location: The monument is situated on top of Coxcomb Hill in a residential district above downtown Astoria. Hours: Open dawn to dusk.
Visit the Nationally Accredited Columbia River Maritime Museum
Located on Astoria’s historic waterfront, the 44,200-square-foot Columbia River Maritime Museum brings to life the rich maritime heritage of the entire Columbia River region. The recently renovated museum houses interactive exhibits that combine many historical objects with cutting-edge technology. Exhibit galleries in the internationally acclaimed museum include: fur trade and exploration; navigation and marine safety; fishing, whaling and canneries; sailing vessels; steamboats on the Columbia River; and naval history. A tour onboard the lightship Columbia – the last seagoing lightship to serve on the West Coast – is included with museum admission. Location: 1792 Marine Dr. Phone: (503) 325-2323. Website: www.crmm.org. Hours: Open daily 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day). Cost: $12 adults; $10 seniors (65+); $5 youth (6-17); free for children (5 and under). Active Duty Military: Free.
Walk In the Footsteps of Lewis and Clark
Discover Oregon as it was in the days of the earliest explorers with a visit to Fort Clatsop, a replica of Lewis and Clark’s winter outpost, where the expedition sheltered for four months before returning east. The park-like setting includes the reconstructed fort, a visitor center, historical exhibits, a canoe landing thought to have been used by Lewis and Clark and picnic areas, all joined by trails through the wetlands and rainforest of the park. During the summer months, park rangers outfitted in historical clothing of the day depict original explorer activities at the fort including candle making, meat smoking and canoe building. Fort Clatsop is part of the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, created to honor the bicentennial anniversary of the exploration. Location: About five miles southwest of Astoria, off U.S. 101. Phone: (503) 861-2471. Website: www.nps.gov/lewi. Cost: $3 per adult (16 & over) and free for children.
Discover a Turn-of-the-Century Shipwreck
On the Pacific Ocean beach, walk through the remains of the iron-hulled sailing ship, Peter Iredale, which ran aground in 1906. Once a graceful three-masted sailing ship, the Peter Iredale was attempting to enter the mouth of the Columbia River when it fell victim to an ocean storm. While the years have worn away at the ship’s original appearance, visitors can still view what remains of the rusted iron hull. The ship is one of the most photographed wrecks in the U.S. Location: Fort Stevens State Park; follow signs to Peter Iredale Beach.
Relive the Victorian Era at the Flavel House
Experience the luxury and elegance of the late Victorian period at the Flavel House Museum, an historic 1885 Queen Anne-style Victorian home built for Captain George Flavel, one of the first licensed Columbia River bar pilots and Astoria’s first millionaire. The 1885 home features original Eastlake influenced woodwork, period furnishings and exotic hardwood fireplace mantels. Tours begin at the Carriage House Visitor Center (located behind the house on the corner of 7th and Exchange), which contains additional exhibits, the museum store and an orientation video. Location: Downtown Astoria on the corner of Eighth and Duane. Website: www.cumtux.org. Hours: Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., May through Sept.; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. through April. Cost: $5 adults; $4 senior (65+); $2 youth (6-17); free for children (5 and under).
Learn About Astoria’s Rich History at the Heritage Museum
Built in 1904 as Astoria’s City Hall, this building now houses the Clatsop County Historical Society’s Heritage Museum, research center and archives. Galleries explore the history of Clatsop County through permanent and changing exhibits about natural history, geology, commerce, pastimes and the people of this historically rich region. Highlights include American Indian artifacts and more than 10,000 cataloged historic photographs. Location: Downtown Astoria on the corner of 16th and Exchange. Phone: (503) 325-2203. Website: www.cumtux.org. Hours: Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., May through Sept.; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. through April. Cost: $4 adults; $2 youth (ages 6-17); free for children (5 and under).
Ride “Old 300” – Astoria’s Riverfront Trolley
Hop aboard this 40-passenger antique trolley for some of the best scenery on the waterfront. Historic “Old 300” travels along the Columbia Riverfront tracks, crossing the city from the West End Mooring Basin east to 39th St. Built in 1914 by the American Car Company of St. Louis, the car was restored by 300 volunteers, including skilled local craftsmen and artists, who worked more than 2,800 hours during a five-month period in 1999. It is now operated entirely by community volunteers. Please call the Chamber of Commerce at (800) 875-6807 for a current schedule. Due to the historic nature of the trolley, it rarely operates in the rain. The trolley is equipped with a GPS device that reports to a website with its current location and heading, accessible through www.oldoregon.com. Location: Board the trolley anywhere along the waterfront by waving at the conductor or going to one of the covered benches located at: 39th, 36th, 30th, 20th, 17th, 14th, 11th, 6th, 3rd, Bay, Basin streets. Website: www.old300.org. Hours: The trolley operates March to December, typically running in the afternoon and evening, but hours vary by season (weekends in the spring and fall, seven days a week in the summer). Cost: $1 per ride or $2 for a day pass.
Tour an Original Fort Constructed in the Late 1800s
Fort Stevens State Park was a military outpost built during the Civil War and used in defense of the U.S. through World War II. Learn the history of the fort at its museum and explore the abandoned gun batteries that once protected the entrance to the Columbia River. Visitors can watch ocean-going ships navigate the notorious Columbia River sand bar from the viewing platform at the South Jetty. The 3,764-acre park includes picnic facilities, nature trails, beaches, lakes, boating, camping, swimming and paved bicycle paths. The campground is open year-round with more than 500 tent, yurt and R.V. campsites. Location: The historic area entrance is at 1900 Ocean Dr. in Hammond. Phone: (503) 861-1470. Website: www.visitftstevens.com. Hours: Open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., May 1 through Sept. 30; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. 1 through April 30; guided tours available in the summer. Cost: $5 day use fee per car.
Tour Astoria’s Hollywood
Astoria was the setting for the first movie with a plot filmed in Oregon, The Fisherman’s Bride, in 1908 and continues to inspire filmmakers today. Find the homes and sites made famous in movies filmed in and around Astoria, including The Goonies, The Ring Two, Kindergarten Cop, Short Circuit, Free Willy, Into the Wild and more. Purchase a guide booklet to movie locations at the Astoria and Warrenton visitors centers, the Heritage Museum and the Oregon Film Museum, download The Reel Astoria audio tour from the Chamber’s website or find more information at www.oldoregon.comvisitor-info/entry/movie-tours/.
Oregon Film Museum
With a rich legacy of films and filmmaking, the Oregon Film Museum memorializes the industry and the many movies (more than 300!) that have been filmed here, including One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Animal House, Kindergarten Cop and The Goonies. The museum is positioned within the Old Clatsop County Jail – once a working jail and then a film set for several films, including Short Circuit, Come See the Paradise and The Goonies. Guests are invited to browse through three galleries highlighting the making of a movie. There is even a gallery dedicated to everything Goonies, including memorabilia and various on-set props. Location: Downtown Astoria at 7th and Duane. Website: www.oregonfilmmuseum.org. Hours: Open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Cost: $4 adults, $2 children (6-17) *** May change in 2013 ***
High Life Adventures
Those looking for an adrenaline rush, look no further. High Life Adventures, in Warrenton, invites you to fly with the birds – only faster – on their zip line tours. The Oregon Coast’s newest adventure (opened in 2012) will guide the brave and fearless along the park’s eight lines that fly over seasoned timber, ponds, and a private lake. The two-hour tour provides plenty of hang time, with runs spanning as long as 1,600 feet! High Life Adventures will leave your family with memories, and make you want to come back for more. Location: 33136 Hwy 101 Business, Warrenton, OR 97146 Phone: 503-861-9875
North Coast Craft Beer Trail
Oregon’s North Coast is bottled up with secrets, and travelers are invited to find them by toasting their way along the North Coast Craft Beer Trail. From bitters with body to carbonated complexities, there are unique flavors at each of the trail’s destinations. Explore maritime malts from Astoria to Seaside and Cannon Beach, and when you visit enough stops, you’ll receive a free commemorative pint glass!
Astoria is a great starting destination to this beer-loving journey, with Fort George Brewery, Astoria Brewing Company/Wet Dog Café and Rogue Ales Public House in town. Pick up a brochure at any participating brewery or local visitor center in Astoria-Warrenton, Cannon Beach or Seaside to get started, or find it online at everytrail.com. Now that is something to cheer about!
Listen your way through Astoria and Warrenton
Travelers to the historic regions of Astoria and Warrenton can feel like locals with two new downloadable audio tours highlighting popular historic attractions and movie scene locations. Narrated by local experts who reveal little-known facts and help visitors relive past eras, the tours were produced by and are available through the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce.
Astoria & Warrenton’s Historical Attractions tour features 21 locations around the community with historical significance, including the Flavel House, the Astoria Column and Fort Clatsop. Tour narrators share tidbits about Lewis and Clark’s expedition, the fish canning industry and maritime tales, among other topics.
The Reel Astoria tour includes 12 destinations featured in major motion pictures, most famously the cult classic The Goonies, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2010. Notable highlights include the jail where the Fratelli brothers caused a ruckus, the house where Mikey lived and Ecola State Park, where the kids discover the Fratellis’ hideout. Movie hounds can also visit the school where (former California Governor) Arnold Schwarzenegger taught in Kindergarten Cop and the spooky house from the The Ring Two.
Printed maps and CDs of the tours are available at the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce at 111 West Marine Dr. in Astoria, for a small fee ($1.00) to help cover the printing and CD creation costs. Or download the tour or separate tracks for free at www.oldoregon.com. The tours can be taken in any order you choose and you are encouraged to linger as long as you like at each site.