Explore Astoria, Oregon
Early visitors and Native Americans left their thumbprint in what is now Astoria, Oregon.
Astoria’s heritage and roots began with the arrival of Capt. Robert Gray in 1792 and continued when the Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived in the winter of 1804-1805. The town was named for John Jacob Astor who started his fur trade in 1811. Astoria has embraced its early American history and has diversified and revitalized itself to become a major tourist destination attracting cruise ships, history students, river and sea explorers and vacationers.
Astoria truly is a “museum without walls” yet keeps its character and focus as an authentic working town for fishing and logging.
Here’s a short list of Astoria, Oregon area attractions & things to do:
- Fort Clatsop National Park winter camp of Lewis and Clark Northwest Expedition.
- Columbia River Maritime Museum, a nationally acclaimed nautical museum.
- The Flavel House Museum, described by SUNSET MAGAZINE as the best example of Queen Anne architecture in Oregon and home of Captain George Flavel, the first Columbia River bar pilot.
- The Heritage Museum, an exhibit of the natural history, geology, presence of Native American artifacts and arrival of early immigrants and settlers.
- Fort Stevens Historical Area and Military Museum, an early battery for coastal and harbor defense.
- A self-guided historic walking tour of Victorian homes. Astoria has more than 600 Victorian homes.
- Other must-see attractions include the biggest Sitka Spruce in the U.S., oldest Red Cedar Grove on Long Island in Willipa Bay; Jewell Meadows elk viewing area; Eagle Sanctuary; Columbia White-tail Deer; North Head Lighthouse and Cape Disappointment Light house; Saddle Mountain hike- highest point in country; working waterfront where bar pilots boats and tug boats service river traffic. The natural rugged beauty of the region entices visitors from all over the world to boat, fish, hike, bike, enjoy beaches and wildlife sanctuaries throughout the area and explore its historical impact. Other attractions include waterfront parks, a RiverWalk along the Columbia River, whale and bird migrations in winter and spring, bird sanctuaries. Astoria has great shopping, art galleries, and restaurants.
Helpful Area Highlights
Because there is so much to appreciate here in the Lower Columbia and North Oregon Coast region, we highly recommend a multi-night stay. In fact during the summer and early fall months, which are the best in terms of weather expectations, we request at least two-night stays (then we open to single night availability about ten days before your desired date). But winter and spring is the time to stormwatch on our shores. You can choose activities according to your personal interests, daily weather conditions, as a family with children, appreciation for wildlife and birdwatching interests, whale watching or if you have a passion for history and early exploration, there is plenty to do and see. Stroll the Sunday Market abundant with farm-fresh vegetables and artistic crafts May thru mid-October, ride the Astoria Riverfront Trolley, take your early or late run or walk along the Riverwalk, and generally breathe in the fresh air of our pristine environment.
Visit the Astoria Chamber website for lots of information about the area, events, and things to do.
Theater, Music, Galleries and Art Venues
- Second Saturday Art Walk, a taste of Astoria’s art life once each month
- Go to a $4 second-run movie, eat pizza and drink wine or beer in the balcony on cushy sofas at the Columbian Theater downtown Astoria, a big local fav.
- The gorgeously restored 1920’s Liberty Theater for performing arts has concerts, speakers, and other presentations throughout the year.
- The Clatsop Community College schedules regular events at the Performing Arts Center all season,
- Astoria Fiber Arts Center downtown
Visit the hugely popular farmers’ markets on different days in the area: Astoria Sunday Market, other markets within a short drive are in Ilwaco, Wa., Cannon Beach, and Manzanita.
It’s amazing how many museums there are right here or close to Astoria. Astoria has been called “a museum without walls.” Some of the many:
- Columbia Maritime Museum
- Flavel House Museum, Heritage Museum, Uppertown Firefighter’s Museum
- Lewis & Clark National Park
- Fort Stevens State Park
- Bumble Bee Cannery Museum in Old Hanford Cannery
- The Air Museum in Tillamook where the ice cream factory is.
Miscellaneous Interesting, Active and Fun
- Fort George, the Fort, not the brewery!
- Astoria Aquatic Center
- Horseback riding
- Guided bicycle, hiking and kayaking trips – call the B&B
- Astoria Chinese Park commemorating the Chinese heritage which helped build Astoria
Festivals – all year long!
- Astoria Film Festival in October
- 115 year-old Astoria Regatta in August and a great hometown parade
- Crab, Seafood and Wine Festival last weekend in April
- The last weekend in February celebrates the Fisher Poets Festival
- Scandinavian Festival celebrating heritage and summer solstice
Restaurants, Bistros, Bakeries, Coffee Shops
Not listed in any particular order. All within a ten-minute walk. Many more not listed.
- Silver Salmon Grille
- Fulio’s Pastaria and Tuscan Steak House
- Urban Café & Supper Club downtown
- Astoria Coffee House and Bistro
- Bridge Water Bistro
- Carruthers Restaurant
We are happy to make reservations for you at any of these recommended eateries.