Located on the Columbia River, just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean, Astoria is the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies.
While it was first established as a fur trading post, it has expanded to become the bustling port city it is today. It’s rich history, scenic views, and romantic setting is what draws tourists to this unique town often referred to as “little San Francisco”.
On our way back home from a trip to the Oregon Coast, Astoria was our destination of choice. Although I was smitten with the gorgeous display of Victorian homes that dotted the hillside, what lured us there was the famous Column.
A View From the Top
Built in 1926, the Astoria Column commemorates the westward sweep of discovery and migration. It’s 125 feet high and has 164 steps winding to the top. In case you are wondering, yes, you ARE allowed to climb it!
While the artistry bestowed on the Column is definitely captivating, the view from the top is spectacular. The city of Astoria, the Columbia River, the surrounding forest, mountains, and even the Pacific Ocean can all be seen if you are so inclined to climb the interior steps.
Astoria is also home to a 4.1 mile-long bridge, which connects Astoria with Point Ellice, Washington. It’s actually the longest continuous truss bridge in North America. And I must say, it was thrilling to drive over!
Other Points of Interest in Astoria
- Visit the Columbia River Maritime Museum – Experience what it’s like to pilot a tugboat, participate in a Coast Guard rescue on the Columbia River Bar, and live in Astoria during the height of salmon fishing.
- Ride the Trolley – Originally built in 1913, this 20-ton, 40-passenger trolley travels on Astoria’s original train tracks between the East End Mooring Basin and West End Mooring Basin, and passes along Astoria’s historic working waterfront. On the return trip, you can view the architecture and maritime character of Astoria’s historic Victorian homes silhouetted on the hillside.
Places to Stay
The Astoria KOA campground has all the bells and whistles! It’s what’s known as glamping at it’s best.
Here are a few highlights:
- an indoor pool and hot tub
- mini golf
- jumping pillow
- several playgrounds
- basketball AND volleyball courts
- nightly movies with popcorn
- craft and game hours
- pancake breakfasts
For a small fee, they even offer a little extra luxury….you can get food delivered right to your trailer!! I was willing to try it out, just for the novelty, but unfortunately hubby thought it was a little over the top. What a spoilsport!
Fort Stevens State Park
Once a military defence system, Fort Stevens is now a uniquely diverse 4300-acre park that offers exploration of history, nature, and many recreational opportunities.
- Approximately 170 full-hookup sites
- More than 300 electrical sites with water
- Six tent sites with water nearby
- 15 yurts (one pet-friendly)
- 11 deluxe cabins (one pet-friendly)
- Hiker/biker sites
- Flush toilets and hot showers
- RV dump station
- Adult Bike Rentals
Other Recommended Accommodations
- Cannery Pier Hotel & Spa – named “one of the top 25 hotels in the West” by Sunset Magazine, this luxury boutique hotel is built on the historic site of the former Union Fish Cannery, 600 feet into the Columbia River Estuary.
Want Even More Options? Use this handy map: (zoom out for more options)
I am so glad we got to discover this amazing town, especially the deluxe KOA campground. We will definitely be back. However, next time I am definitely ordering room service, or rather, trailer service.
Have you ever been to Astoria? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.