6 Hours in Astoria and Warrenton
The oldest settlement west of the Rockies is brimming with historic sites, sudsy brews and quirky culture that will keep you entertained for days. But if you have to explore Astoria in a pinch, here are the top stops that will fill you up on the tastes, sights and sounds that make this small town exceptional.
Soar to great heights: Climb all 164 steps of the Astoria Column to discover a stunning, 360-degree view of the Pacific Ocean, Youngs Bay, the Columbia River and wooded coastal forests. Marking the town’s highest point atop Coxcomb Hill, the column was built in 1926 to commemorate Astoria’s storied past.
Ride the historic trolley: In operation for more than 100 years, the Astoria Riverfront Trolley carries passengers through downtown along the Columbia River waterfront for a historic and scenic ride. Look for the trolley operating from March to December in good weather, and if you can’t get to a designated stop, wave down the friendly conductor. Check here for current schedules.
Soak in maritime culture: One of the premier maritime interpretive centers on the West Coast, the Columbia River Maritime Museum depicts Astoria’s connection to the Columbia River. From courageous bar pilots who navigate the deadly mouth of the Columbia River, to the canning culture that built the town from the ground up, to early settlers and native cultures of the Northwest, this interactive experience is your best look into Astoria’s past and present.
Shop ‘til you drop: Oregon’s tax-free shopping means you can take home souvenirs for the whole family. As you explore our historic downtown, make time to stop in Finn Ware for armloads of Scandinavian kitsch and bold Marimekko patterns, Vintage Hardware for unique and refurbished antiques, Commercial Astoria for classic records and local jewelry, and Purple Cow Toys for children’s gifts. From May to October, the Astoria Sunday Market takes over 12th Street with regional artists and craftsman, fresh produce and local fish mongers, hot food carts, music and more.
Get hooked: Across the street from the Maritime Museum, a converted gillnet fishing boat sits inland, dishing up the most mouth-watering fish and chips on the north coast. Bowpicker Fish & Chips serves fresh-caught Albacore tuna lightly battered and crispy with steak fries. Get it before it’s gone – the boat is open 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. or until they run out.
Taste the hops: For two towns their size, Astoria and Warrenton are surprisingly sudsy, and if you only have time to visit one of our five breweries, make it Fort George. Climb the spiral staircase salvaged from the Astoria Column to the second-floor pub and enjoy a taster tray, wood-fired pizza and floor-to-ceiling views of downtown and the Columbia River. Check their calendar for a schedule of live music, performances and beery events.