Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Astoria
Written by Karen Ulvestad / Published by CBS SeattleAstoria is the gateway to the Oregon Coast, nestled against the hills at the mouth of the Columbia River. Founded in 1811, the town houses historical Victorian and an up-an-coming artist haven, featured as the set of such movies as “Kindergarden Cop,” “Free Willy,” “Goonies” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” Other must-visit venues include the Columbia River Maritime Museum, Heritage Museum, Pier 39 Cannery Museum and the Astoria Column on Coxcomb Hill.
Astoria is 181 miles southwest of Seattle. To reach the town, south on I-5 to Portland, Oregon. Exit on Highway 30 going west. Astoria is located where Highway 30 intersects the coastal Highway 101.
92343 Fort Clatsop Road
Astoria, OR 97103
(503) 861-2471, ext. 214
Price: $3 visitors 16 years old and older/free children 15 years old and younger
Fort Clatsop was the fort Lewis and Clark spent the winter at from 1805 to 1806. The visitor center boasts displays, information, short films and a bookstore illustrating the area’s fun history, and the Fort Clatsop Exhibit is about 100 yards from the Visitor’s Center. The current fort is a replica built in 1955 from drawings from William Clark’s journal. The area offers hiking trails, picnic locations, and canoe and kayak launches. Nearby Fort Stevens State Park and the wreck of the Peter Irdale make this a trip to remember. The ship has rested on the beach for more than 100 years, and at low tide is easily accessible to the public.
Columbia River EcoTours
Astoria’s West Mooring Basin
Astoria, OR 97103
Price: $150 per person for a four-hour tour/$95 per person for a two-hour or sunset tour
Columbia River Eco Tours takes visitors to locations along the river, including those explored by Lewis and Clark. The tour visits the Columbia Esutary and Lewis & Clark National Wildlife Refuge, offering wonderful photographic opportunities of bald eagles, blue herons, osprey and Canada geese. The tour explores everything from salmon nurseries to ocean-going ships up close. Enjoy tours led by Christopher Lloyd, who has great knowledge of the area and a deep appreciation for the sea visitors love.