A how-to guide to Planning the Best Vacation in Astoria
If you drive along the Columbia River and keep going west, as far as west goes, you’ll find yourself in a little coastal town called Astoria. With a population of fewer than 10,000 people, Astoria is a peaceful and calm city with mild weather and beautiful shorelines. If you love watching the sun go down where the horizon unites with the ocean, Astoria can be the perfect holiday location for you.
However, if you want a trip to Astoria, or any other place, to be successful and rewarding, you need to plan ahead. This article will act as your guide for preparing an escape to Astoria.
How to Get to Astoria?
Astoria is 94 miles from Portland and 181 miles from Seattle. The town also has its own airport, the Astoria Regional Airport. The four best ways to get to Astoria are:
- Catch a train from Portland or Seattle to Astoria. Amtrak operates two trains from Seattle ($58) and three from Portland ($15) to Astoria.
- Get a flight from anywhere in the US to Astoria Regional Airport and then a taxi to the city.
- Take a bus from Seattle or Portland to Astoria. This takes more time than trains but costs less.
- The best way, however, is to drive to Astoria. The road is scenic and passes along the Columbia River. It will make the journey a beautiful part of your vacation.
The Best Time of the Year to Visit Astoria
Astoria has an oceanic climate. The winters are mild and rainy, and summers are cool and moderate. Even though the temperatures in the winters are not unbearable (occasional subfreezing nights), fog can cause problems while traveling.
This makes the period from June to September the best to travel to Astoria. The average temperature is between 50° and 70° F (10° and 21° C) in these months, and it is usually sunny.
However, if you want to absorb the panoramic views from the Astoria Column with next to no tourists around, or if fog is your thing, winters are always an option worth considering.
Top 5 Places and Activities in Astoria
- Columbia Riverfront
If you want to witness one of the best sunsets in the Americas, take a walk along the Astoria Riverfront. The sight of the sun setting on the horizon while the mighty Columbia river slowly flows into the ocean is something that cannot be described in words.
- Cannon Beach
Astoria does have a decent beach, but it is often crowded. If you can drive an extra 25 miles from the city, you can have a beach all for yourself. Cannon Beach is every bit as beautiful as the Caribbean beaches. And you won’t have to sunbathe next to hundreds of people from all over the world.
If you have the time for it, plan a camping trip to Cannon Beach and witness a sunset and sunrise there in privacy and tranquility.
- Trails and Waterfalls
If hiking makes a trip great for you, Astoria will not disappoint you here as well. The city is known for numerous hiking trails and waterfalls. The most impressive ones of them include:
- Cathedral Tree Trail: 1.4 miles from the city and 1.6 miles long. It has moderate traffic and is easy enough for hikers with any skill level. You’ll find mesmerizing wildflowers, birds, and butterflies hiking here.
- Gnat Tree Trail: a 6.6-mile trail at a distance of 18 miles from the city. It is decorated with wildflowers and small waterfalls. You can also take your pets on this moderate trail.
- Young Rivers Falls: a 54-foot waterfall, just 10 miles from the city.
- Netul River Falls: will require you to cross a moderate 2-mile hike, but the views are great, and the trip is totally worth it.
Astoria might be a small town, but it has a rich history. That is depicted by the two museums in the city that no visitor should miss.
- Columbia River Maritime Museum is situated next to the Columbia River. It is a display of the recent maritime history of Oregon. It is a kid-friendly facility. In addition to the cultural, historical, and natural features of the State of Oregon, you can watch a unique 3D movie about the state and its history here.
- Uppertown Firefighters Museum is situated inside a 19th-century building. Both the building and the antiques displayed inside it are artifacts of the recent past.
- Astoria Column
Built in 1926, the Astoria Column is the most famous destination in the city. Around 400,000 tourists visit the column every year.
It is a 125-foot tower with an observation deck at the top. If you are up for climbing 164 steps, the tower can offer some of the best panoramic views of the Columbia River.
Where to Stay in Astoria?
As the city gets so many visitors, Astoria is in no short supply of hotels. However, if you want to make your trip to the city memorable, you need to select the one that blends the city’s history with modern luxuries.
One such example is Selina Hotel Astoria, Oregon. It is situated right in the center of downtown, in the historic icon of Astoria, the Lewis building. It is just a few minutes walk from the beach and near all the famous hiking trails. Staying there, you’ll be cozy and comfortable and still connected to the outdoors.
To Sum it Up
One of the most peaceful North American beach towns is Astoria, Oregon. You can visit it any time of the year, but June to September is the best period. Getting there is easy; you can catch a bus, train, plane or just drive there. While you are there, do not miss the museums, hiking trails, the world-famous Astoria Column and the Columbia River Front.