The Port City of Astoria, Oregon sits at the mouth of the great Columbia River that connects to the ocean.
Two weekends ago, we had no plans and spontaneously decided to drive about an hour and a half to Astoria even though the weather forecast stated “severe weather”. We are nonsensical travelers like that.
Our day trip to Astoria ended up being magical. We ate fresh fish and chips, took a walk along the rails, basked in the perfect chilly sunshine, came across a running historic 100 year old trolley and rode it, walked some more, had a couple of drinks and dessert, and finalized our day by buying our first piece of art for our apartment from an art gallery. It only started pouring rain when we drove back home after 8pm.
A Little History
The Lewis and Clark Expedition spent the winter of 1805–1806 at Fort Clatsop, a small log structure south and west of modern-day Astoria, Oregon. The expedition had hoped a ship would come by to take them back east, but instead endured a torturous winter of rain and cold, then returned east the way they came. Today the fort has been recreated and is now a historical park.
The city was founded in 1811 as Fort Astoria and incorporated in 1876. This port city has an interesting history revolving around fur trade, fishing, fish processing and lumber.
Today, tourism, Astoria’s growing art scene, and light manufacturing are the main economic activities of the city.
We decided to dine at the highly reviewed Silver Salmon Grille Restaurant.
You are never too young to draw on the table (if paper and crayons are provided). Remember the Astoria pink and green boat, and the rainbow in the pictures above? That was my art.
I ordered the salmon fish and chips and Josh picked the herb crusted salmon. They were definitely yummy. You can’t go wrong with fresh salmon. Unless you don’t like seafood of course.
After a wonderful lunch, we decided to take a walk and explore.
The weather was my kind of weather. It was chilly and sunny just enough.
The Historic Trolley of Astoria, Oregon
Then we came across a trolley. We quickly found out that it cost a dollar to ride it and it tours along the scenic riverfront of Astoria. We hopped on it without even discussing it.
On board, we learned that the trolley is over a 100 years old and built in 1913 by the American Car Company of St. Louis, Mo.
Average round trip is about 1 hour. The trolley uses the same tracks going both directions, but the tour narration changes. The trolley passes through downtown twice during the hour round trip. It costs $2 for an all-day ticket.
One of the stops is at the Maritime Museum of Astoria, Oregon. We saved that attraction for another day.
Since the trolley was going to suspend service for an hour, we rode it all the way to the end near the Astoria-Megler bridge and walked back to downtown. It was a really pleasant walk.
We stopped at the brewery we saw earlier but they were packed (1 hour wait), so we kept going.
We went back to downtown and found a place to have a couple drinks and dessert. Then we found that there was an Art Walk happening that evening and we joined by going into one of the art galleries where we bought our first decorative art piece.
Then we drove home. It was a really wonderful chill Saturday.
This was our third time in Astoria, and every time we come, it is a different experience that we always enjoy.
What is your favourite port city?