The Family Guide to Astoria and Warrenton

Imaginations run wild in historic Astoria and Warrenton, a Pacific Northwest playground with a range of exciting learning experiences for young explorers. From shipwrecks to sharks to the trails first blazed by Lewis and Clark, Astoria is the ideal place for your clan to discover its own uncharted territory. 

Swashbuckle like a pirate: Just 11 miles west of downtown Astoria in Warrenton, kids pretend to be pirates at the Peter Iredale Shipwreck, which permanently rests on the beach of the Pacific Ocean in Fort Stevens State Park. The steel skeleton has been ashore since 1906, when the vessel wrecked and was abandoned by its crew en route to Portland. 

Hold down the fort: Fort Stevens, the Civil War and World War II defense station is a great place for kids and adults to get out the wiggles. Throughout the year, visitors can navigate the preserved gun battery, delve into history at the military museum, and hike or bike the extensive trail system. Keep an eye out for wildlife! 

Live like Lewis and Clark: At Fort Clatsop, costumed reenactments, ranger-led kayak tours, a replica fort and interpretive center send visitors back in time to the Lewis and Clark exploration, encouraging participation in the continued discovery of the Pacific Northwest. Document wildlife on the four-mile Fort to Sea Trail as you traverse the same coastal dunes, forests, rivers and lakes as the first inhabitants of the land. 

Soar to great heights: Towering over the Columbia River and Youngs Bay, the Astoria Column marks the town’s highest point at 600 feet above sea level. Climb 164 steps to the top for panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding city. Purchase a biodegradable glider plane from the welcome center at the base of the column and send them soaring from the top. 

Hitch a ride: Rolling through town for more than 100 years, the Astoria Riverfront Trolley takes passengers along the historic Columbia River waterfront for just one buck. Don’t miss this romp through town with informative and entertaining conductors. Kids can even ring the trolley bell.  

Be a salty seafarer: Take a look inside the lives of the brave Columbia River bar pilots at the Columbia River Maritime Museum. Sharing stories of Astoria’s maritime past, kids will enjoy the interactive exhibits and lifelike displays at one of the West Coast’s premier maritime centers. 

Have some reel fun: Housed in the jail from the 80’s cult classic The Goonies, the Oregon Film Museum invites young stars to film their own original motion picture. Each actor and actress shoots on three distinct sets with extensive props. Then they can edit their film and e-mail it home – all while learning about the more than 300 films shot in Oregon.

Play high and dry: Don’t let a rainy day get you down. Turn it into a day of play at the Astoria Aquatic Center or other indoor attractions.

Good eats: T.Paul’s Supper Club downtown fills families up with noshes from its extensive kid’s menu. Pig N’ Pancake near the waterfront serves up unbeatable homemade pancakes, and Bowpicker Fish & Chips is sure to have young mouths chomping for another bite of the best Albacore tuna fish and chips on the north coast. 

Family lodging: Several Astoria and Warrenton hotels offer swimming pools and easy access to downtown amenities at a range of price points: Holiday Inn Express Astoria, Hampton Inn & Suites Astoria, The Lloyd Hotel Astoria Bayfront, Comfort Suites Columbia River. 

Check out See & Do and Events for more family travel ideas.