The seaside town of Astoria, Oregon, is nestled along the wide Columbia River, just a four-mile bridge drive from Washington. It’s known for its historical, exploratory significance, natural beauty, and, for many, its ties to several Hollywood classics, such as The Goonies, Richard Donner’s 1985 masterpiece. This charming town has evolved into a popular weekend escape for city dwellers from Portland, Seattle, and Salem. But it’s also become a quintessential stop along the Pacific Coast for adventurers, history buffs, and casual travelers. Most visitors gravitate toward the serene Astoria Riverwalk, a 6.4-mile trail that follows the Columbia River, passing many noteworthy attractions, such as a maritime museum, a rousing Sunday market, award-winning breweries, and, yes, Astoria Riverwalk Inn. This elegant, waterfront respite is minutes from the five best things to do in Astoria, Oregon—a perk you won’t find at every Astoria hotel.
The Top Things to Do in Astoria, Oregon
It’s never easy compiling a list of the best things to do in Astoria, Oregon, because there are so many hidden gems, high-end restaurants, and must-see attractions that will inevitably miss the cut. That being said, we think this handy top list truly encapsulates the idyllic blend of history, nature, and luxury that our community provides.
1. The Astoria Column
The Astoria Column, which provides panoramic views of the Columbia River valley (including the picturesque Astoria-Megler Bridge and the Pacific Ocean), is typically everyone’s first stop here in town. The column towers above the town, just a short trek from Downtown Astoria. Most guests visit this 125-foot-tall, 93-year-old tower to obtain a bird’s-eye view of the region. But we deeply appreciate the historical significance of the column. It was erected to commemorate the outstanding contributions made by the Great Northern Railway. And, after several restorations, it’s never looked more glamorous than it does today.
2. The Astoria Riverfront Trolley
Perhaps the easiest way to explore our seaside community is by hopping aboard the historic Astoria Riverfront Trolley. Keep in mind that the trolley typically only runs during the warmer months. For just $2 per person, travelers can ride the trolley for the entire day. In fact, the trolley makes a stop right here at Astoria Riverwalk Inn, one of the only pet-friendly hotels in Astoria, Oregon (and home to the city’s best continental breakfast). The trolley, known as “Old 300,” was built in 1913 and makes 10 stops, including one at the maritime museum.
3. The Columbia River Maritime Museum
A trip to downtown is incomplete without a stroll through the Columbia River Maritime Museum, yet another one of the top things to do in Astoria, Oregon. Visitors young and old can learn about the region’s Coast Guard, the Columbia River Bar Pilots, legendary salmon runs, 40-foot-tall waves, a floating lighthouse, and so much more! There’s also art, absorbing meteorological lessons, a 3D theater, and, of course, many ancient ships moored nearby.
4. Fort George Brewery
The West Coast is known for its craft beer. Giants, such as Deschutes Brewery, Rogue Ales, Ninkasi Brewing, are all headquartered in our breathtaking state. Luckily for visiting beer aficionados, Astoria is home to several top-rated breweries, including Fort George Brewery. It makes sense that the oldest settlement west of the Rockies would feature a thriving craft beer scene as the industry used to be a behemoth prior to Prohibition. Fort George was founded in 2007—and they’ve been turning heads ever since. Don’t leave town without purchasing a growler of the Vortex IPA, an American IPA worth revisiting time and time again. Oh, and Reach Break Brewing is also worth a stop.
5. Lewis and Clark National Historical Park
Lewis and Clark National Historical Park narrowly thwarted the Astoria Sunday Market to cap off this handy list of things to do in Astoria, Oregon. Yes, Cannon Beach’s Haystack Rock is just 40 minutes down the coast, but a genuine hidden gem rests only a few miles south of town: Fort Clatsop. The fort was, of course, the last encampment for Lewis and Clark before they returned eastward. Lewis and Clark National Historic Park is home to curious wildlife, scenic hiking trails, and a striking replica of Fort Clatsop.
Waterfront Lodging in Astoria, Oregon
After visiting a handful of can’t-miss Astoria attractions, retreat to the inn for a cruiser bicycle ride before dinner. We’re within walking distance of many top-reviewed restaurants, including Bridgewater Bistro, Portway, and El Tapatio. With a hearty dinner in the rearview mirror, return to the inn for a heartwarming sunset on your private balcony and a glass of wine beside our sleek lobby’s fireplace. For even more things to do in Astoria, Oregon, please give us a call today at 503-325-2013. And don’t forget that you can book a stay right now by visiting us online at AstoriaRiverwalkInn.net.