Our Return Visit to Astoria, Oregon

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September 18th 2018
Published: September 18th 2018
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My husband and I have now visited the Pacific Northwest on three occasions and I truly believe, every time we go back, that it becomes more and more beautiful. From the foggy air rising over the Pacific that never feels too thick or too heavy to the mountains jutting into the ocean and the waves crashing along the shore, this is a place that astounds and amazes us every time. When we went back a few weeks ago, we were planning to spend a little more time in the region around Astoria, Oregon and Cannon Beach. While I have written extensively about our prior two visits to Cannon Beach, we had only been to Astoria once, in a whirlwind visit that only lasted about two hours.

This time around, we planned to spend two full days in Astoria, spending the night here and taking in the city. As we went in late summer, it was not quite as busy as I’m sure the tourist season was. However, there was still plenty to see and do. One must-do for us this time around was summiting the Astoria Column. This is a tall historic structure in the heart of the town that is akin to a lighthouse. In fact, to get to the top, we had to enter from the bottom and climb flight upon fight of curvy stairs, much like many of the lighthouses we have climbed in the past!

Even though it was a little warm when we started our ascent, it quickly dipped in temperature when we arrived at the top. It was windy and chilly and we were glad we packed our layers. Still, even though we were cold and a little out of breath from the climb, the view was out of this world. Years ago, my sister and her husband honeymoon in the French Alps and sent us photographs of the view from their chalet in Meribel. I thought that was one of the most beautiful vistas I’d ever seen, but the view from the Astoria Column was equally breathtaking. We spent a few minutes up there taking pictures and taking it all in before beginning the equally-laborious descent.

On our last visit to Astoria, we had eaten briefly at Fort George Brewery, and we knew we wanted to go back. Though previously we had only had the draft beer and pub snacks, we made a proper meal of it this time, indulging in gourmet burgers and taking in the local environment. That next morning, we had our coffee at a local hole-in-the-wall called The Coffee Girl in Astoria. It was divine and after we took it out onto the docks, the view was incredible. We spent about half an hour here watching the ships pull in and out of the harbor. The air was crisp but not cold and the coffee was perfect. It was a truly idyllic way to ease into our second day in the pretty city.

From there, we toured the Hanthorn Cannery Museum on Pier 39 in town. This was the site of the original Bumble Bee tuna canning factory, and it has been set up as an interactive and informative tourist location where you can see some of the original uniforms, walk through some of the work areas and learn about the rich history and significance of the spot. After a quick visit to Indian Beach, Oregon, where many of the scenes from the movie “Twilight” were filmed, we headed to Cannon Beach.

Though we’ve seen it three times now, the site of coming upon Haystack Rock is one I never tire of or get used to. We ate dinner at a local burger spot and just took in the sunset, grateful for this time together. The next time we come, we have vowed to take the kids so we can share with them this special part of the country that we’ve both grown to love so much.

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