Saturday, June 10, 2017

More than the Goonies: Visiting Astoria, Oregon

Every year, Dan and I try to take a week-long vacation as a couple.  For our 2017 trip, we decided to take a road trip through parts of Oregon and Washington!

When we were planning our trip, we knew we wanted to visit Newport, Oregon and Seattle, Washington.  So we had to figure out what to do in the middle, a stopping point for a night of our road trip up the coastal 101... and I happened upon a cute bed & breakfast in Astoria, Oregon.  So after Newport, that was our next destination!

Astoria is the oldest U.S. settlement west of the Rockies, named for John Jacob Astor whose fur company founded the first settlement there.  As a results of its early founding, this small city is filled with incredible historic buildings and architecture.

Fortunes in Astoria have risen and fallen over time, but we can tell the city is on the up and up.  While some houses needed attention, many have beautifully been restored.  New businesses and restaurants are popping up too.  I would love to have one of the old Victorian homes in the area!  Quite a few have become bed and breakfasts, and ours was within walking distance of so many things.

One of the things that put Astoria on the map in modern times?  The Goonies.  Yup, that movie was filmed here, and the Oregon Film Museum is now located in the old county jail.  You'll recognize quite a few buildings and areas from the movie.  The "Goonie house" however is not so visible these days; legions of movie fans have harassed its poor owner over the years, so she has obscured most of the house from view.  But we were content to just take in the town!

We were only in Astoria for one night, but we'd already picked out where we were going to grab dinner: Fort George Brewery.  Craft beers for the win.  And I absolutely love the building it inhabits!

The beers were good, and the food was delicious.  It was a modern, fun atmosphere, definitely with a modern vibe.  It's nice to see the old and new combine in Astoria.  We didn't get to eat at the cafe/bakery under the brewery, because our lodging included breakfast, but I read it's good!

One iconic sight to see is the Astoria Column, built in 1926.  It was one of a series of planned historical markers constructed between St. Paul, Minnesota and Astoria by the president of the Great Northern Railroad at the time.

It's $5 to access the column, which is good for a year if you leave nearby.  You can even climb the column, and toss a little wooden glider plane if you'd like.  But I think it's worth it for the view.  We didn't even climb the column, and we really enjoyed it!

We really loved the architecture and old charm of Astoria.  I don't know if we'll ever return, but perhaps we'll drive past this way again someday!  I really think that a full day or two in this town is enough to really appreciate it.

Worth mentioning, Astoria is just 40 minutes away from the photographically famed Cannon Beach, known for its iconic Haystock Rock.  We actually stopped at this beach on our way up from Newport to Astoria, but opted not to stay there because it was a bit pricier.

Cannon Beach

In hindsight, I would have enjoyed more time exploring Cannon Beach, and our resort in Newport has a sister resort there.  It was definitely more packed with tourists and visitors than Astoria, though, and it doesn't have the same historic architecture.

Cannon Beach
Dan hates taking pictures, LOL

Gosh, I wish I could own one of those old historic homes in Astoria!
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