Astoria Warrenton - Pure Character

Oregon day trip: Astoria

1/26/2011
Written by / Published by Sunset Magazine

Fort Stevens State Park

Don't miss the striking coastal views at Fort Stevens State Park

Why go now: Because rain can actually be romantic when paired with thundering surf—and fresh, crisp beach walks when the storm breaks. Plus, in the off-season, you’ve got the typically packed place to yourself.

Scene: Yellow-slickered fishermen mixed with just a sprinkling of iPad-toting tourists in a small riverfront town with San Francisco–steep streets.

Population: 10,050.

Number of bridges: 4.

Local shipwreck: The Peter Iredale, a four-master that ran aground in 1906 at what’s now Fort Stevens State Park (see below). You can explore the ship’s rusty hull at low tide.

OMG, look at those waves: Fort Stevens State Park is one fine stretch of sand, with towering dunes, uninterrupted ocean views, and, in winter, some of the most impressive storm watching anywhere. For formidable whitecaps, the park’s South Jetty viewing platform is where you want to be—the Columbia River hits the Pacific here. Bundle up and watch the waves explode against enormous black boulders. 1675 Peter Iredale Rd.; oregonstateparks.org
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