Astoria: Best Tourist Destinations for Explorers & Families

January 27, 2022

Categories: Astoria | North Oregon Coast

Astoria waterfront views of sternwheeler, ship and cargo barge

Located on the Columbia River, Astoria has long been a popular tourist destination for explorers and families alike. There are many things to do in this coastal city that will be sure to delight you. If you're looking for something serene, visit the Astoria Waterfront Trail or wander down historic streets lined with shops and restaurants. For more of an adrenaline rush, take a tour at the Columbia River Maritime Museum, where you'll learn about maritime history from Cape Horn to today's sophisticated ships.

In addition, visitors can enjoy plenty of activities such as fishing charters, whale watching tours, and kayaking trips that depart from nearby docks. No matter what you're looking for, Astoria is sure to please.

The best time to visit Astoria is during the summer months when the weather is warm and sunny. However, if you're looking for fewer crowds, consider visiting in fall or winter. Whatever time of year you choose, be sure to enjoy all that this charming city has to offer!



Astoria Riverfront: The Astoria Riverfront is one of Oregon's most popular tourist destinations. With its stunning views of the Columbia River and several Cascade Mountain peeks, it's easy to see why visitors flock here year after year. There are plenty of things to do on the riverfront, including fishing, hiking, and biking trails. 

Columbia River Maritime Museum: The Columbia River Maritime Museum is just upriver from Astoria. This museum is home to some of the most impressive collections of maritime artifacts in North America. Visitors can explore everything from the history of river navigation to the sinking of the Titanic. The museum is open year-round and is a must-see for anyone interested in maritime history.

Fort Clatsop: Just south of Astoria is Fort Clatsop, the replica of the Lewis and Clark fort built in 1805. Visitors can explore the many exhibits on display at the fort or take a guided tour to learn more about its history and inhabitants. The best time to visit is when plenty of activities and events occur during the summer months.

Astoria Column: Built in 1926, the Astoria Column is a tower that stands 660 feet above sea level. From its perch high atop Coxcomb Hill, visitors can enjoy stunning 360-degree views of the Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood. The column is open year-round and is a popular spot for weddings and other special events. 

Astoria Column view from the ground with sunny blue skies

Hammond Marina: The Hammond Marina is an excellent spot for visitors who want to get out on the water and explore the Columbia River Gorge. The marina offers boat rentals, fishing charters, and guided river tours. The Hammond Marina is also home to several restaurants and bars, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon or evening.

Astoria-Megler Bridge: The Astoria-Megler Bridge is the longest continuous truss bridge in North America, and it's a must-see for anyone visiting Astoria. The bridge spans the Columbia River over 4-miles, connecting the states of Oregon and Washington. It's open to pedestrians and cyclists, so be sure to stop by and check it out! 

Astoria Megler bridge in the distance and cargo barge from the waterfront

Flavel House Museum: The Flavel House Museum is a beautiful Victorian-era home that was once the home of Captain George Flavel. Visitors can explore the many rooms of the house and the large gardens surrounding it. Flavel House Museum is open from May to September and offers guided tours and special events throughout the season.

Astoria Oregon Riverwalk: The Astoria Oregon Riverwalk is a newly-developed walking and biking path that follows the Columbia River from downtown Astoria to Fort Stevens State Park. The path is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a morning bike ride and offers stunning views of the river and the surrounding landscape.

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail: The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is a route that follows the path of the Lewis and Clark expedition from St. Louis, Missouri, to the Pacific Northwest. Visitors can follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark by visiting any of the many points along the trail. There are dozens of museums, parks, and interpretive centers located along the trail, making it a perfect destination for history buffs!

Young River Falls: Just a short drive from Astoria lies Young River Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Clatsop County. The falls are easy to reach and offer an excellent spot for a picnic or a day of fishing. Be sure to bring your camera; the views around Young River Falls are nothing short of spectacular!

Fort Stevens State Park: This beautiful 4,300 acre park on the Columbia River features  campgrounds, swimming, hiking, beachcombing, and a historic shipwreck. Enjoy river views and a wide sandy beach. 

Astoria - Fort Stevens beautiful river and ocean view point, blue sky and waves

Oregon Film Museum: The Oregon Film Museum is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the history of Oregon. The Oregon Film Museum is a brand new museum in Astoria that celebrates film history in Oregon. The museum features exhibits on popular Oregon-made films like Animal House and The Goonies and props and costumes from those movies. It's a must-see for movie fans of all ages!

Astoria is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the Pacific Northwest and offers something for everyone. Whether you're looking for a place to explore nature, enjoy a day on the water, or take in some history, Astoria has it all. Be sure to visit soon!



Explore some beaches: Astoria is also home to some fantastic beaches. Fort Stevens State Park has nine miles of coastline to explore with sandy beaches, rocky headlands, and driftwood-strewn coves. There are also plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing, including elk, seals, sea lions, and birds.

Urban exploration: If you're looking for something a little more urban, downtown Astoria is full of charming shops and restaurants as well as galleries and museums. The Heritage Museum & Cultural Center tells the story of Astoria's past, from the Native American settlers to the present day.

Adventure activities: If you're looking for a bit of adventure, head out on the water with a kayak or fishing boat tour. There are also plenty of hiking trails in and around Astoria, including some that lead to incredible views of the Columbia River.

Fishing: Astoria is a popular fishing destination, with plenty of salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon in the Columbia River. Some smaller rivers and streams offer excellent trout fishing.

Wildlife watching: Astoria is a great place for wildlife watching with its diverse wildlife and stunning scenery. The Fort Stevens State Park offers some of the best opportunities, with elk, seals, sea lions, and birds all familiar sights.

Hiking: There are many hiking trails in and around Astoria, from easy family-friendly hikes to more challenging routes. Some of the most popular trails in Astoria lead to incredible views of the Columbia River.

Kayaking: With its calm waters and abundance of wildlife, kayaking is a popular activity in Astoria. There are also several kayak tours available to take you to some of the area's best spots.

Biking: Biking is another excellent way to explore Astoria and its surroundings. Several bike trails in the area and many of Astoria's attractions are within easy reach.

Golfing: If you're looking for a bit of relaxation, golfing is a great option. Several golf courses in the area, including one right in Astoria.

Shopping: Astoria has a wealth of charming shops and boutiques, especially downtown. You'll find everything from local artisans to high-end fashion brands.

Dining: Astoria is well known for its fantastic food, with something to suit everyone's taste. From casual diners to upscale restaurants, you'll find plenty of places to eat in Astoria.

Grab a bite to eat: No matter what you're looking for, Astoria has something to satisfy your appetite. There's something for everyone in this culinary melting pot, from fresh seafood to international cuisine. And don't forget about the local craft beer scene - Astoria is home to some award-winning breweries.

Explore the history: Astoria is home to a rich and varied history, from the Native American settlers to the present day. The Heritage Museum & Cultural Center tells the story of Astoria's past, while the Columbia River Maritime Museum is one of the largest maritime museums in North America.

Take a walk on the pier: One of the best ways to enjoy Astoria's scenery is to take a walk on its many piers. You'll get great views of the river and surrounding hills, as well as plenty of opportunities for fishing and wildlife watching.

Attend an event: There is always something going on in Astoria, from music festivals to art walks. Check out the calendar of events and see what's happening during your visit.

Explore the coastline: The coastline around Astoria is full of stunning scenery and opportunities for exploration. From rocky headlands to sandy beaches, there's something for everyone. And don't forget about the tide pools - they're a great place to find sea creatures!

Take a scenic drive: If you want to take in all of Astoria's beauty, take a scenic drive along the coast or through the hills. There are plenty of opportunities for photography, wildlife watching, and just relaxing and taking it all in.



If you are looking for sandy beaches nearby, Astoria is located in the middle of two popular beach town destinations. Enjoy a 15-mile drive south to the beaches of Seaside Oregon and find a nightly rental for your stay. Head north across the famous Astoria-Megler Bridge to the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington and discover miles of flat sandy beach. For lodging options, find private rentals in Long Beach as well! No matter what you choose to do, Astoria is sure to provide an enjoyable and memorable experience. So, pack your bags and explore this wonderful corner of Oregon!


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