The picturesque Columbia River port town of Astoria is the oldest city in Oregon. It was also the first U.S. settlement west of the Rocky Mountains. The city’s natural beauty pairs splendidly with its historical significance, Victorian charm, and relaxing nightlife. Astoria Riverwalk Inn is an idyllic Oregonian basecamp for nature enthusiasts, history buffs, and honeymooners alike. This quintessential Astoria hotel is located on the Old 300 Riverfront Trolley’s route; thus, guests are a short, scenic ride from everything that downtown has to offer. To ensure that your upcoming escape to the Columbia River’s edge is nothing short of flawless, we’ve pieced together a handy Astoria museum guide that includes three essential stops.
Oregon Film Museum
This self-guided Astoria museum tour includes three stopovers in downtown, from the bustling Riverwalk itself to quiet Duane Street. Our first attraction is the Oregon Film Museum, as featured in The Goonies, a classic Steven Spielberg-penned tale. The museum is housed inside the former Clatsop County Jail on the west side of downtown. Much of the memorabilia inside the museum, as you might expect, is from The Goonies. You’ll also find props from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Kindergarten Cop, Free Willy, Animal House, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and many more masterful films.
Flavel House Museum
Around the block from the Clatsop County Jail lies the Flavel House, a quintessential Astoria museum. This Queen Anne-style Victorian mansion was the home of one of the city’s most influential residents: Captain George Flavel, a brilliant entrepreneur who settled in Astoria in 1851. Much of his fortune was made via his pilot boat management business. He also owned a local wharf and an Australian coal company, among many other things. The Flavel House was eventually donated to the Clatsop County Historial Society and has been magnificently preserved to reflect Flavel’s occupancy in the mid-to-late 1800s. Visitors marvel at the Eastlake-influence, mahogany, burl rosewood, fireplace mantels, and crown molding. It’s a journey back in time worth revisiting time and time again.
Columbia River Maritime Museum
The last stop on this self-guided Astoria museum tour is, of course, the Riverwalk’s Maritime Museum, which includes access to the Lightship Columbia, the first active lightship on the West Coast (1892). The Maritime Museum is arguably the county’s most dazzling attraction, with its contemporary architecture, well-preserved boats, and interactive exhibits. Learn about dangerous bar crossings, legendary salmon fishing hauls, floating lighthouses, deadly storms, World War II significance, and museum founder Rolf Klep. Oh, and the 3D film experiences are quite the visual delight!
Bonus Astoria museums include the Heritage Museum and nearby Fort Stevens.
Astoria Museum Basecamp: Astoria Riverwalk Inn
Combine your historical tour through the heart of Astoria with an oceanside hike, a Riverwalk bicycle ride, or some deep-sea fishing. As mentioned earlier, Astoria Riverwalk Inn collaborates with the Riverfront Trolley, so you’ll also be a few minutes away from craft beer, coastal eats, and downtown shopping. Our historic waterfront respite is commonly referred to as the most romantic hotel in Astoria, primarily because of our head-turning themed rooms, cozy fireplace area, and complimentary cruiser bicycles. Please give us a call today at 503-325-2013 to book a well-deserved escape to the Oregon Coast (or check availability online).