15 Best Things to Do in Astoria, Oregon

15 Best Things to Do in Astoria, Oregon

The city of the infamous Lewis and Clark Expedition- Astoria has quite a renowned history.

Though it might seem like one of those small cities of Oregon- Astoria does leave a huge impact on tourists. Filled with old forts, gorgeous architecture, the graceful Columbia River- Astoria is a nice place to get away for a weekend tour.

These are the top 15 things to do in Astoria.

Check out the Astoria Riverwalk

Astoria Riverwalk
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If you want to get the real vibes of the city of Astoria, then we might as well start off this trip by paying a visit to the hip part of town- the Astoria Riverwalk.

The Astoria Riverwalk is the top spot of town that needs to be checked out at least once by the tourists.

The Port of Astoria is the main thing to check out here. Watch as the ships set sail for the distant lands. This place is really the hub of trade and commerce in Astoria.

You can see the Astoria-Megler Bridge as it stands tall and proud. The Columbia River has some of the best scenes from here. There are also a lot of shops and museums here that you can check out on the first morning of your trip.

Visit the Garden of Surging Waves

Astoria is the gathering place of all kinds of people from all over the world. Different religions and cultures have made Astoria their home. And, this is what makes Astoria more beautiful than it already is.

The Garden of Surging Waves is the epitome of this togetherness. The best part about this place is that it celebrates the gathering of all the cultures.

Though it might look like a simple park from outside, the presence of spirits here is really high and amicable. It also shows the friendly relation with China. Chinese have played a great role in shaping the history of Astoria.

Gaze at the Astoria Column

Astoria Column
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It is time that we take you to see some of the best landmarks of Astoria. The first one that falls on our list is the great Astoria Column. The length is so high that it can be seen from a great distance too.

Placed on the valiant Coxcomb Hill, the Astoria Column is something that every tourist goes to click and clicks a few pictures. If you want, you can still climb the old column.

But, let us warn for there are almost 160 steps and they are too steep. But, once you get up there- you shall be rewarded with some of the most gorgeous views of Astoria as you can overlook the entire city.

Check out the Columbia River Maritime Museum

Diving suit in Columbia River Maritime Museum
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If you want a greater knowledge of the marine history of Astoria, you must pay a visit to the Columbia River Maritime Museum. Built in 1962, the Columbia River Maritime Museum still remains here as a piece that has seen the old Astoria.

The main motto of the Columbia River Maritime Museum is to keep the heritage of Astoria safe and to let the people know how much of a rich marine history it used to possess once upon a time.

There is even a library inside. Also, the artifacts and the photographs present speak a lot of the past. Do get a close look inside.

Pay a visit to the Fort Stevens State Park

Fort Stevens State Park
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Fort Stevens is one of the best pieces of architecture that was constructed during the Civil War period of America.

Did you know that Fort Stevens also happened to be among the top defense forts for the soldiers? It even played a huge role during WWII.

But, nowadays Fort Stevens State Park has been built around the fort and it brings a lot of tourists.

Though the history is deep indeed, people also visit to breathe in the greenery that surrounds the fort on all sides.

Explore the Flavel House Museum

Flavel House Museum
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Want to go look at some gorgeous pieces of architecture now? What do we have Flavel House Museum for? Let’s go!

The Flavel House Museum is one of the best-designed houses you can get your eyes on the West Coast. If you are familiar with the well-renowned Queen Anne-style architecture- then this house might be of significant interest to you.

Carl W. Leick designed this house brilliantly back in 1886. Astoria river pilot Captain George Flavel was the owner of this gorgeous house and spent his whole retirement period here.

The house gives off the grand Victorian vibes and is extremely elegant. The interiors reek of elegance and gorgeousness too.

Check out the Fort Clatsop

Fort Clatsop
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Astoria has quite a good number of old forts. The first one that we shall be taking you to see is Fort Clatsop. Before we get into all the details of architecture, we might mention the good location to you.

The best part is the location after all. Being located in the immensely pretty Clatsop Plains, the fort stands on the banks of the beautiful river- Lewis and Clark.

The fort has got quite a historic significance that you shall get to know about once you check out the place. The infamous fort also served as the winter home to Lewis and Clark and their explorers.

The original Fort Clatsop is no longer here. What you now see is a beautiful replica of what used to be. Know all the things about the iconic Lewis and Clark’s expedition from the help center.

Check out Fort Astoria

Fort Astoria
Another Believer, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You might have noticed it by now, but we are still going to comment on how Astoria is skilled with old forts. And, Fort Astoria is one of the most important ones.

The forts which still now stand tall and proudly, once used to be quite an important center of trade and commerce.

Astoria was quite well known for its fur trading and this is the spot where it all happened. The fort was built back in 1811. But, the one that you will be seeing on your trip is not the original one sadly.

Also, it is now located in downtown and has been built in a beautiful manner. It resembles the original one. Also, the location is quite good as it falls near the other attractions of Astoria too!

Take a ride along with Astoria Riverfront Trolley

Astoria Riverfront Trolley
Debbie Ann Powell / Shutterstock.com

The Astoria Riverfront Trolley is something that has been here for a long time. It has got quite a bit of historic influence too. The Astoria Riverfront Trolley runs for almost 3 miles and the line is old enough too.

Earlier, it used to be means of transportation for people- but, now it goes for tourists, and tourists enjoy a ride in the car as means to go along this historic line and take a look at the spots that fall on this line.

Though a lot of renovations have been done, the streetcar that still goes on was manufactured back in 1913. The tram is one of the landmarks of Astoria.

Cross the Astoria–Megler Bridge

 Astoria - Megler Bridge
Jess Kraft / Shutterstock.com

Let us go see the landmark of Astoria. The Astoria–Megler Bridge might be one of the top sights to see in Astoria, but when it comes to actually cross the bridge- many people take a step back. The initial reason is that it’s scary for most of them.

Connecting Oregon to Washington, the bridge goes on for a length of almost 4 miles. And, when you look up at the bridge from the river down below- you will find it more beautiful.

The Great Columbia Crossing is an event that is held on the bridge which remarks crossing the bridge by different people that takes part in these events. Also, people are not allowed usually during other times of the year.

Check out the Uppertown Firefighter's Museum

So, you have already taken a ride in the amazing Astoria Riverfront Trolley. But, the best thing you can check out after the ride is still left. Welcome to the Uppertown Firefighter's Museum.

One of the top-rated tourist sites in Astoria- the Uppertown Firefighter's Museum mainly focuses on the different firefighters and firefighting tools.

The building in which it is situated is also quite an old one and probably dates back to the 19th century that we can tell by its architecture and design.

You can see a lot of trucks that have been used by firefighters throughout the year and you can also see how much they have changed. But, the best thing is that there are facts written all over the place about big fires or remarkable incidents.

You can also get to see a lot of tools that were used by them.

Visit the Heritage Museum

Heritage Museum
Steve Morgan, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Astoria has one of the most blissful histories in all of the States. But, what shapes those histories? Of course- the buildings that still stand strong after they have been through a lot for several decades. Heritage Museum is also one of them.

Located beside the iconic Historical Society’s Archive, the museum has an important role to play in shaping the history of the city. Also, the building in which the museum is located happens to be quite historically significant as well. It is Astoria’s Old City Hall building!

There are a lot of exhibits inside the museum. The permanent collection is quite good too. But, the temporary collections that are often set up during different times of the year also get attention!

Shop a bit at Astoria Sunday Market

Astoria Sunday Market
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Want to see the local people of Astoria? Do you wish to visit a local market and see the beautiful local vibes? It’s time we take you to the Astoria Sunday Market.

Located in the downtown part of Astoria, the Astoria Sunday Market has some different vibes. You get to see the local farmers and artists come here and make their living.

Did you know that this also happens to be the second-largest market in all of Oregon? Yes, the market is blissful in its own ways. But, there are other good things too.

The baked goods that can be found here are all made at home and are quite delicious. You can even find different jewels here.

Go on a Columbia River tour

Cruise in Columbia River
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The Columbia River is one of the best locations in Astoria. But, what can you do to enjoy the river fully?

Don’t worry for there are some companies that plan cruises and eco-tours that take you all around the river and show you the spots that lie along the shoreline.

You can see the gorgeous Astoria-Megler Bridge that we mentioned before. It is one thing to watch the bridge by walking on it, but to see that from below in the waters is completely different on another level!

The tour guides will even take you to Twilight Creek Eagle Sanctuary where you get to see a lot of exotic birds. There are a lot of salmon nurseries that are located in the river!

Take a few pictures of Young River Falls

Are you looking for something to do on a summer day? Yes, we have something for you to do if you are visiting in the summers. Head over to the Young River Falls to have some fun.

It is quite a nice family spot located a bit away from the heart of Astoria. The waterfall stands at a height of havoc 54 feet. This waterfall might seem a bit familiar to you.

Did you yet guess where you have seen it? Yes, you are right! It was in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 movie! The falls have a huge crowd. Also, the scenes are immensely good. Go, jump from the cliffs as there is a pool formed at the bottom. Have a nice time!

We bid farewell to this trip here. We shall be back with another one. Till then stay tuned!