This sleepy Oregonian town boasts a population of less than 10,000 people (as of 2016), and Astoria’s rich history makes it a picturesque stop on any Pacific Coast cruise. It’s unsurprising cruises to Astoria, Oregon and the excursions within the town paint a rich picture of America’s past—from the explorations of Lewis and Clark to wartime preparations during World War II. Cruises to Astoria, Oregon are an ideal vacation stop for lovers of American history and a hunger to learn about the Pacific Northwest.
While it may not be Seattle or Portland level famous, Astoria’s charm is woven into its friendly, close-knit culture. Each week, the Astoria Sunday Market lines up local vendors and live entertainment for the entire town to enjoy. While on an Astoria, Oregon cruise, travel to Fort Clatsop, where Lewis and Clark survived a bitter winter. Spend a day museum-hopping from the Columbia River Maritime Museum to the perfectly-preserved Victorian Flavel House Museum. Stop in for fish and chips from a repurposed boat, or grab a coffee while taking in views of the Columbia River.
While on your Astoria, Oregon cruise, stop at this museum of maritime history for an interactive, educational trip through the rich legacy of ships traveling along the Columbia River. The river’s difficult waves and severe winters made this port city’s success nothing short of miraculous.
If you love aviation history and air museums, check out the Tillamook Air Museum. Spend time in Hangar B, a massive seven-acre hangar built in 1943 to aid in U.S. preparation efforts during World War II. The Tillamook Air Museum has curated artifacts, gear, and medals from World War II. An ideal afternoon for a history buff.
Drive across the Astoria-Megler Bridge, which crosses the Columbia River, for stunning views of Astoria. The bridge is now a hallmark of the area for residents — don’t miss the bridge at sunrise or sunset, when the view of Astoria in the distance is particularly beautiful.
The Oregon Film Museum is a small museum in Astoria dedicated to honoring the legacy of films shot and made in Oregon. The museum itself is the site of what once was the Clatsop County Jail. Love The Goonies? Part of the movie was shot in Astoria, the Oregon Film Museum has an entire exhibit dedicated to Goonies memorabilia.
Lovers of Victorian mansions, gardens, and architectures will feel right at home at the Flavel House Museum. Built in 1885, this mansion in was decorated in the ornate Queen Anne style and is located just steps from the Oregon Film Museum. Tickets are only $5 for adults. Pop in for a quick trip back to the Victorian era.
Walk where these influential figures of American history lived, and visit the recreation of their encampment from 1805-1806. Lewis and Clark spent a winter at Fort Clatsop, which is now a National Park for all to learn about and experience a critical part of their journey.
You’ll be awed by this 125-foot structure built on the mouth of the Columbia River. Climb the spiral staircase to its summit, where you’ll witness breathtaking views of Astoria and the Pacific Northwest beyond.
Enjoy this three-mile streetcar ride for an unhurried, relaxed way to take in the Columbia River. Oregon’s natural beauty is unmatched, making the trolley one of the easiest and most cost-friendly ways to see Astoria’s entire waterfront.
You won’t find many options for food and drink at the port itself, but venture along the waterfront and into downtown and you’ll stumble into small, family-owned restaurants and cafes for all tastes. Astoria has a growing microbrewery scene, too, so be sure to try a craft beer from the area. Here are a few of Astoria’s food and drink offerings:
Street 14 Cafe
Address: 1410 Commercial St, Astoria, OR 97103
Get your coffee fix and indulge in a pastry while at Street 14 Cafe. They also serve a full breakfast menu, everything from bagels with lox and capers to eggs benedict. An easy spot for a hearty breakfast in Astoria.
Address: 20 Basin St, Astoria, OR 97103
This American restaurants sits on a pier overlooking the Columbia River, and Bridgewater Bistro is known for its locally sourced fish dishes, romantic setting, and expertly executed meat dishes like roasted duck or pork ribeye.
Bowpicker Fish & Chips
Address: 1634 Duane Street, Astoria, OR 97103
This small ship-turned-restaurant is the Astoria equivalent of a food truck. There’s usually a line, and word on the street is their signature fish-and-chips shouldn’t be missed while you’re in Astoria.
Buoy Beer Company
Address: 1 - 8th St, Astoria, OR 97103
Buoy Beer Company is a local brewery, bar, and restaurant in Astoria, founded by local entrepreneur Luke Colvin. Stop in for a Cream Ale or a fried oyster basket in a fun, unfussy warehouse environment.
Lewis and Clark spent part of their famous expedition in Astoria during a harsh winter of 1805-1806, where they lived at a log cabin called Fort Clatsop. The fort didn’t survive, but was since recreated and is a highly-visited historic site in Astoria. In the mid-1800s, Astoria grew as a port city, and fur-trading and commerce drove the area’s economy.
Later, fishing, canning, and lumber were Astoria’s key industries, but the town became less important in the early 20th century as counterparts like Seattle and Portland grew in size and significance. Today, Astoria is a small slice of the Oregon coast, a perfect excursion or day-long getaway for those en route to other cities and destinations in the Pacific Northwest.
Since 1910, the Port of Astoria has served commercial boats and recreational vessels alike. Cruises to Astoria, Oregon are just one of the types of ships coming in and out of the small but mighty port. It’s also a hub for cargo exchange, fishing, and commerce. Astoria is now a port of call for a variety of cruises along the Pacific coast.
Taxis are available after you leave the port, and taxis can drop you off outside of the port entrance. There aren’t too many taxis on the ground in Astoria, however. A more common way of getting around is the trolley, which can take you to and from downtown for just $1.00 each way. Access to the trolley is just a short walk from the port entrance. The trolleys are popular, so be prepared for short waits during peak visiting season.
As one of Oregon’s smallest towns, Astoria is quaint and unfussy. You won’t find much shopping at the Port of Astoria itself, but take the trolley downtown to find more shops and things to do in Astoria.
While on cruises to Astoria, Oregon, the official currency is the U.S. Dollar (USD), and you’ll find an ATM about a ten-minute walk from the port. Credit cards like MasterCard and Visa are two widely accepted forms of payment as well. For overseas visitors, note that tipping is used at bars and restaurants when you’re traveling to the United States. A 15% gratuity is left for good service, while 20% is considered excellent service.