Astoria is a port city where old-world charm and nature blend together seamlessly. Rich culture, arts, and history make the things to do in Astoria interesting for all types of travelers.
Referred to as “Little San Francisco”, gorgeous homes perch on the hilly landscape, looking down on the lengthy Astoria-Megler Bridge, which spans the wide mouth of the Columbia River. Marvel at beautiful Victorian architecture stretching along the riverbanks and explore all of the nearby outdoor offerings. Forests, rivers, and mountains offer abundant adventurous exploits that will help you to get the most out of the rich Pacific Northwest nature.
Foodies will enjoy eating their way through fantastic restaurants in Astoria, as well as sampling craft beer at breweries along the North Coast Beer Trail.
Uncover all the amazing things to do in Astoria, Oregon.
Climb the Astoria Column
Gain a new perspective of the city and the surrounding area from the top of the famous Astoria Column, one of the top things to do in Astoria, Oregon.
With views stretching all the way out to the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains, a visit to this iconic site is sure to leave you breathless—and not just because of the 164 steps. The ascent is worth the effort when you feast your eyes upon the panorama from the top.
This historic, 125-foot-tall landmark perched on Coxcomb Hill is much more than an amazing lookout point. The Astoria Column is, in fact, a monument dedicated to the settlers of the Pacific Northwest and the natural treasures the region holds.
Built in 1926, it was originally constructed as an observation tower and is adorned in intricate artwork that has changed throughout the years. Local guides will point out the figures and inscriptions and tell you the story of this once-remote town.
Channel your inner child and purchase one of the small balsa wood airplanes at the gift shop. Once at the top of the column, launch your plane; it’s tradition, after all.
Visit the Oregon Film Museum
Oregon has formed a lush backdrop for numerous media productions. The Oregon Film Museum pays homage to the film history within this diverse state. While exploring the museum, it will be apparent just how versatile Oregon’s landscape is through the camera lens.
Tour the old Clatsop County Jail building that has also served as a movie set for various films, and learn about the film and television production history in Oregon through a collection of intriguing exhibits.
Try your hand at movie trivia, peruse galleries, and even enjoy making your own little film, using the museum’s onsite green screen. With so many informative displays, you’ll have the chance to get a well-rounded idea of what it takes to work as a cinematographer, director, actor, and many more roles.
Make sure to get your “mugshot” taken before you leave; it’s the perfect souvenir from your visit to the Oregon Film Museum.
Go on a Photo Safari to Cannon Beach
Located a little over half an hour from Astoria, the iconic Cannon Beach is a must-see when traveling to the area. The coastline is hailed as one of the world’s beautiful places and with rock formations, waterfalls, and tidepools, it’s easy to see why.
Cannon Beach is a photographer and outdoor lover’s paradise, with a variety of beach walks perfect for capturing photos, interesting wildlife to observe, and rugged scenery to admire.
You’ll want to get a shot of Haystack Rock, a hulking sea stack, 235 feet high, along a two-mile-long coastal stroll from downtown. Spot marine life in the rich tidepools at low tide, and keep an eye out for soaring bald eagles and tufted puffins from April to August.
With visitors building sandcastles, flying kites, and discovering coastal surprises, there’s no shortage of subjects to photograph. It’s likely you’ll strike Oregon gold with a dreamy mist hanging over the trees, just adding to the atmosphere. This scenic area is one of the top things to do near Astoria, Oregon.
Cycle Along the Riverwalk
Take in the scenery along the Columbia River on two wheels with an adventure on the Astoria Riverwalk. The trail spans 12.8 miles from Pier 3 to Lagoon Road, and features views, dining, breweries, historical points of interest, museums, and shopping.
The Riverwalk is a fantastic way to enjoy a mix of Astoria’s nature, city life, and history. The well-loved path is paved in some portions and wooden boardwalk in others and has numerous access points. The Riverwalk can be ventured for varying lengths, depending upon your preference. Walking, biking, and jogging are popular activities along the waterfront trail.
All along the Riverwalk, informative signs and interpretive exhibits detail the various historical points. Visit Tongue Point, where explorers Lewis & Clark stayed in the early 1800s, and make sure to stop for photos at the Astoria-Megler Bridge, an iconic landmark of the city.
At one end, the Maritime Museum makes for another educational and interesting stop. If you’d prefer to rest your legs, a historic trolley built around 1913 is available to ride as well.
Tour the Tillamook Ice Creamery & Cheese Factory
Head approximately an hour and a half south to the town of Tillamook, home of the famous Tillamook Ice Creamery & Cheese Factory. Take a self-guided or guided tour of the factory where you’ll learn about the cheese and ice cream-making process and see where it’s made, as well as an interactive exhibit on milking cows. Understandably, this is a popular day out for anybody with kids in tow.
Make sure you go with an appetite, as the café here is known to dish up amazing food and, of course, ice cream. Try a few different mouth-watering flavors with the famous ice cream flight; the classic Oregon Strawberry is irresistible. Stop in the gift shop to peruse cheeses, locally sourced produce, and other gifts that make the perfect edible souvenir.
Travel Back in Time at Lewis and Clark National Park
Embark on a historic adventure at the Lewis and Clark National Park, situated just outside of Astoria, Oregon. The park serves as a portal back in time to discover the heritage of the native people to this area and the incredible story of explorers Lewis and Clark. A collection of significant sites throughout the park grounds pays homage to their famous expedition.
Choose from an extensive network of 14 miles of trail to see areas of the park on foot. Or hop in a canoe for a ranger-guided paddle along the Lewis and Clark River while listening to the story of the hardship they endured.
Other highlights include exploring the replica of Fort Clatsop, which served as the camp for Lewis & Clark for three miserable, rain-soaked winter months, during which the sun only appeared 12 times.
Fort Clatsop often hosts historical reenactment events, as well as demonstrations of candle making, quill writing, and flintlock gun shooting. Make sure to stop in the Visitor Center gift shop for a souvenir of your time at Lewis and Clark National Park, too.
Explore the Quaint Town of Seaside
Venture to the aptly named coastal town of Seaside for more classic northwest Oregon charm. Just half an hour south of Astoria, Seaside is an ideal destination to explore for part of the day. It’s more than a beach town. You’ll discover the old boardwalk, an exciting aquarium, galleries, shops, and restaurants, as well as beautiful scenery.
Explore the quaint downtown shopping and dining area in the Gilbert Historic District, where you won’t have any problem finding souvenirs and can indulge in the delicious seafood dishes for which the area is known. Rent a kayak to explore Seaside’s natural wonders; rivers, ponds, and ocean paddling offer opportunities to take it all in and look for wildlife including eagles and whales.
Stroll “The Prom”, Seaside’s famous promenade that stretches one and a half scenic miles along the Pacific Ocean. Stop to take a picture at The Turnaround, a famous statue erected in honor of the Lewis & Clark expedition. Don’t leave Seaside without taking a ride on the town’s iconic carousel. Located inside the Carousel Mall, this large ride is one of the town’s best known attractions.
Wander Through a 19th-Century Mansion
Marvel at the elaborate Queen Anne Architecture of the two-and-a-half story Flavel House Museum in Astoria, listed on the National Registry of Historical Places. Once home to Captain George Flavel, this impressively designed mansion was built in the 1880s.
He was the city’s first millionaire, a retired Columbia River bar pilot, and an influential member of the community. Tour the grounds, marveling at the well-preserved rooms and details such as the parlor, library, stained-glass windows, copper bathtub, and six fireplaces, all crafted with Victorian-era design.
As you venture outside, you’ll have the sensation of stepping back in time in the gardens, with wrap-around porch, carriage house, and lush Victorian landscaping.
Stroll to a Scenic Waterfall
Uncover one of northwest Oregon’s top natural attractions, only 20 minutes from Astoria. Originally discovered by Sergeant Patrick Gass. a member of Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery, in the early 1800s, Youngs River Falls has been enchanting visitors for over 200 years.
Accessible by a short, easy hike, this waterfall is a 54-foot cascade, tumbling over a rock face with an idyllic pool at the base, surrounded by dense forest. It’s a popular spot for swimming in the summer months. Take photos, dip your toes, and enjoy the pure Oregon air.
Taste Brews on the North Coast Craft Beer Trail
Beer lovers will enjoy sampling some of Oregon’s best craft brews while in Astoria. The North Coast Craft Beer Trail is a collection of a dozen breweries along Oregon’s scenic north coast, most of which are housed within historic buildings, such as the old tuna cannery and a restored jail constructed in the 1920s.
With six of these breweries and pubs within Astoria, it’s possible to visit a hearty selection of beer houses without leaving the city. The remainder of breweries can be found as you travel south along the coast, in Seaside, and Cannon Beach. To make visiting these craft brew spots even easier, hop on the trolley or bus that connects most of these popular establishments.
Bring along your beer “passport” and check into each brewery as you sample local ales. If you stop into 10 out of the 12 breweries during your time in Astoria and the surrounding area, you can earn a special gift, too.
Wash down a seasonal IPA with a wood-fired pizza inside a converted auto shop circa 1920 at Fort George Brewery & Public House in downtown Astoria. Enjoy a selection of Pale Ales and pub food at the well-loved Buoy Beer Company.
Sip award-winning brews at the cozy Hondo’s Brew Pub, where the relaxed atmosphere may have you staying for more than one. Whatever craft breweries you choose to visit, this is sure to be an enjoyable way to explore the northern Oregon Coast.
Uncover all the incredible gems in and around Oregon’s oldest town. A luxury cruise is a fantastic way to explore all that Astoria has to offer, from rich history to beautiful scenery.
Visit important sites from the Lewis & Clark expedition, take in the views from the Astoria column, and brewery-hop along the beer trail. You’ll find seemingly endless incredible things to do in Astoria, Oregon. Browse our luxury cruises to Astoria on our website and book your northwest Pacific coast vacation today.