"Now a Major Tourist Town" Top 5 Page for this destination Astoria by glabah

Astoria Travel Guide: 78 reviews and 256 photos

I'm not sure that any city in Oregon has changed as much as Astoria has in the last 20 years. Not so very long ago, this was a lumber and fishing city that most tourists only passed through on their way to one of the smaller communities that is truly located on the beach. Astoria has since become a destination tourist city in its own right, and has a number of restaurants, mueums, and various other attractions.

It still isn't a beach community (it faces the Columbia River), but it is close enough to many of the beach locations to be a hotel community for the beaches.

Thankfully, Astoria has retained most of its historic charm while in the process of turning into a tourist town. Unfortunately, many of the coast communities now have fairly ugly modern buildings. Astoria has a few of those, but many historic structures remain. I sould point out, however, that many of those historic structures are located in the residential areas up higher in the hills above downtown. The downtown core has lost a huge number of historic structures - those that remain are towards the eastern end of what is now the downtown area.

One of the most famous of the tourist attractions in Astoria is the Astoria Column, where it is possible to see a complete 360 degree view of the surrounding countryside, and all the way out to the Ocean during good weather. It is enough of a tourist attraction that it might almost be called a "tourist trap" except that parking here is only $1 for an annual parking permit - so it isn't as if anyone is trying to make vast amounts of money by sucking money from tourists that visit the column.

Other tourist attractions include the Columbia River Maritime Museum, and located right next door you may find the Coast Guard Cutter Alert offering tours - but only on certain days and during certain hours, as the ship is an active military vessel.

Astoria has a waterfront streetcar in order to provide services from one end of town to the other. The shape of the main part of town is ideally suited to this, as it is basically a linear city between the hills and the end of the Columbia River.

A walkway parallels the old railroad line on whic the waterfront trolley operates, and in some cases shares the same bridges (be careful if you walk in this place!).

A huge bridge - the last link constructed on highway 101 - connects Astoria with Cape Disappointment State Park, Ilwaco, Long Beach and western Washington on the other side of the river.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Some Hotel Options, Somewhat Close to Beaches
  • Cons:Busy Highway Through Town makes Walkability Somewhat Limited, Not That Close to Any Beaches as it Faces the River
  • In a nutshell:Largest City in the Immediate Area, and OK (not the greatest) base for exploring region.
  • Last visit to Astoria: Jun 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (11)

Comments (2)

  • Florida999's Profile Photo
    Jul 19, 2010 at 11:29 AM

    Scary bridge...I don't think I want to drive over that!!

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Jul 14, 2010 at 11:56 PM

    Nice Page! The bridge to Megler certainly is loooong! I would enjoy browsing around those interesting old homes.


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