Bridge over Columbia River
Featured Oregon Outdoor Activities

Astoria on the mighty Columbia River

Caption: The Astoria-Megler Bridge and Canary Pier. Photo credit: (photographer: Joni Kabana)

My favorite Northwest Destinations: Astoria on the mighty Columbia River

By Greg Johnson, travel writer

Most of my Astoria experience over the years dealt with either chasing salmon at the mouth of the Columbia River, enjoying the town’s fun eateries or crossing the Astoria-Megler Bridge over to the Southwest Washington coastal towns on the north side of the Columbia.

However, there’s plenty of other attractions in this historic coastal Oregon town.

Astoria Column lit up
The Astoria Column overlooking the mouth of the Columbia River. Built in 1926. 125-foot (38 m)-tall column has a 164-step spiral staircase ascending to an observation deck. National Register of Historic Places in1974. Photo Credit: (photographer: Joni Kabana)

Sightseers will want to explore the many historic buildings in the Astoria Downtown Historic District. There’s the 1885 Queen Anne-style Flavel House Museum, restored Italianate Liberty Theater and of course, the 125-foot Astoria Column. Climb the column for free to see amazing, 360-degree views of the Columbia River.

The Columbia River Maritime Museum is a must visit for its interactive displays on shipping and the salmon industry. My favorite activity is walking the canneries and shops along the Astoria Riverwalk. It’s also the ideal way to view the many freighters passing under the 4.1 mile Astoria-Megler Bridge.

Of course, beer lovers will find plenty of craft suds at the Fort George Brewery+Public House, Wet Dog Cafe and Buoy Beer Company. Wet Dog Cafe is also a great dining venue as is the Blue Scorcher Bakery & Cafe, Bowpicker Fish & Chips and Bridgewater Bistro.

For a special treat, try the local wild seafood and exotic meats at Hurricane Ron’s Bar and Grille.