A trip to the North Oregon Coast would not be complete without visiting the Astoria/Warrenton area. With its steep hills and beautiful Victorian homes, Astoria is also known as the “Little San Francisco of the Pacific Northwest.” Located near the mouth of the mighty Columbia River and at the western end of the Lewis & Clark Trail, Astoria is the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies. Astoria/Warrenton is a nationally significant historic region, with more points of historical interest than any other area on the Oregon Coast.
A fun way to explore Astoria’s historic waterfront is to stroll the three-mile Riverwalk or ride the Riverfront Trolley. The beautifully refurbished 1913 streetcar runs weather permitting from March through Memorial Day and daily during the summer season. Observe barges and freighters navigating the river and watch commercial fishing vessels delivering their daily catches to the local fish markets and processing plants. The Sea Lions at the East Mooring basin are also a popular attraction.
The Columbia River Maritime Museum is another interesting stop on the waterfront. It is one of the finest maritime museums on the west coast and the official maritime museum of the State of Oregon.
Astoria has been the home of many Hollywood movies. Some of the movies filmed in Astoria are: Kindergarten Cop, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, The Goonies, Short Circuit, Come See the Paradise, and Free Willy I and II. A driving tour of Astoria gives visitors a chance to see many of the locations.
Just south of Astoria is the Lewis & Clark National Historical Park and the Fort Stevens State Park Military Museum. The Fort Clatsop Visitors Center has a full size reconstruction of the fort where Lewis & Clark’s Corps of Discovery spent the winter of 1806. Fort Stevens State Park was once the site of military fortifications guarding the mouth of the Columbia River. The skeletal remains of the 1906 wreck of the sailing vessel Peter Iredale are at the park, along with more than five miles of hiking trails, seven miles of bike trails and sweeping views of the mouth of the Columbia River, Young’s Bay and Astoria.
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