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So Much More Than Goonies: Astoria, Must See In Oregon.

Traces of The Goonies, longest continuous truss bridge in North America, the most challenging expedition in US history. Astoria, must see in Oregon.

The rare kid never watched or heard of “Goonies“, an adventure comedy, based on Steven Spielberg’s story. Much of the filming was done in Astoria, a port city and the oldest city in Oregon. “Astoria Must See In Oregon” is about the most interesting places and how to explore them with/without little ones.

Astoria, Must See In Oregon

Astoria is a Coast Guard city and often skipped on the way to Cannon Beach and other, more popular spots on the Oregon Coast. Thanks to it, Astoria has fewer crowds. And plenty of things to do.

When to visit Astoria: winter or summer; for a couple of hours or a day.

1. Climbing up the Astoria Column

The Astoria Column appeared in nearly every movie filmed Astoria.

We had a great experience there with the entire family, despite windy and cold weather in December. I would do the climbing the first thing while visiting Astoria:

Astoria Column, Oregon

The grassy area around the column is an excellent place to fly a kite or just run around and have fun. Kids have a blast there! Pictured below: views from the top of the column and inside of it:

2. Astoria, Must See In Oregon: Astoria–Megler Bridge

Drive 4.2 miles across the beautiful Columbia River on the longest continuous truss bridge in North America! The invisible border between Washington and Oregon state runs along the river:

Aerial view of Astoria and Astoria–Megler Bridge.
Aerial view of Astoria and Astoria–Megler Bridge. photo credit: Wikimedia

Every year the first weekend of October is dedicated to the annual Astoria–Megler bridge run/walk. Register early!

3. Watch the California sea lions

Watching the California sea lions relaxing at East Mooring Basin is quite an experience. Hundreds of noisy sea giants occupy the floating docks, creating disorder for local marina workers. (The Basin was also a filming location for Goonies.)

The pier closed in late 2018 for reconstruction, so don’t forget a zoom camera or binoculars to watch the animals:

California sea lions at East Mooring Basin, Astoria
California sea lions at East Mooring Basin, Astoria. photo credit: Dan Kemble

If you did forget a camera/binoculars, go to Buoy Beer Company:

4. Astoria, Must See In Oregon: Buoy Beer Company microbrewery

Buoy Beer Company is more than a microbrewery and restaurant. There is an amazing river view, seafood, a special floor “window” for sea lion viewing, and an outdoor terrace to have a meal and watch the animals:

More seafood options in Astoria: Mo’s; Pig ‘n and Pancake.

5. Explore Lewis and Clark National Historical Park

One of the biggest gems in Astoria is Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.

American students (and the ones, who preparing for the US citizenship exam) learns about the Corps of Discovery – the dramatic story of brave American explorers. Lewis and Clark and their guide Sacagawea explored the territory of the “Louisiana Purchase”. Their 4,000 miles expedition was successfully completed in Oregon:

Lewis and Clark route
Lewis and Clark route

The ranger-guided canoe/kayak tour is on our bucket list. Register in advance and make sure to check out the summer Fort Programs for kids and adults:

Lewis and Clark National Historical Park
Astoria Must See In Oregon: Lewis and Clark National Historical Park. photo credit: inkknife_2000

6. Visit Columbia River Maritime Museum

On rainy days, the Columbia River Maritime Museum is a nice place to spend a couple of hours and learn about US Coast Guards, navigation, and local history. Save a couple of hours for the museum. Family-friendly.

7. Astoria Underground Tour

We never participated in Astoria Underground tour but would love to do it once our younger son will be a little bit older. I love the description and reviews!

Where to stay in Astoria

Holiday Inn is a very nice hotel with an amazing Columbia River view. You can watch occasional sea lions and ships passing by right from the window, as well as the tide is coming in and out:

Astoria, Must See In Oregon, view from Holiday Inn
Astoria, Must See In Oregon, view from Holiday Inn

Astoria is a popular movie location. Besides “Goonies” (adventure, comedy, IMDB 7.8) were also filmed in Astoria:

June 7, by the way, is celebrated as Goonies Day in Astoria :). Also, there is an Oregon Film Museum: one of the most recognizable Goonies locations, and a collection of items used in the popular movie.

Favorite places to visit in Astoria on My Maps

Must See In Oregon: Astoria. Essentials

  • Binoculars/good camera for Astoria Column and for watching the sea lions
  • Layers, rain gear, sunscreen, sunglasses
  • Kite: Astoria and Oregon is windy and very popular for kite flying
  • Water and snacks

Make sure to check out schedules, hours, fees, and Covid restrictions before you go

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By Mrs. Grazy Goat

I am Ira, the author behind Grazy Goat. My husband and I run this blog and share our experiences about thrilling places and cultures. Our son Artem recently joined us and helps with editing.

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