Day 26 (August 25)
Our third day at Cape Disappointment State Park is not a great beach day (chilly and gray), so we take the scenic drive south into Astoria, Oregon.
Astoria has a great walkable downtown and revitalized waterfront. We walk around and do a little shopping, taking home gifts from Scandinavian themed shop Finn Ware and the most tasty fresh caught, house-smoked halibut and salmon from the legendary century-old Josephson’s Smokehouse.
It was here in Astoria that we first realized how Sasquatch obsessed the Pacific Northwest is. I love it!
A lucky parking spot lands us within sight of the Oregon Film Museum, in front of which a visitor’s beautifully restored Delorean (sporting Back to the Future themed plates) is parked. Props to this cinema super-fan.
Just across the street stands the Flavel House museum, in front of which a gigantic Douglas fir has been standing for many centuries. To get an idea of the scale, note the picnic table sheltered by that massive lower limb.
Both of the aforementioned museums made an appearance in The Goonies – a favorite of many of we children of the 80’s, so it’s a treat to see them. We also spy another Goonies filming location downtown: the Lower Columbia (LC) Bowl.
Although we walk the outside area and pop into the gift shop, we don’t have adequate time to tour the Columbia River Maritime Museum, although it looks really pro and the modern design of the building is awesome.
There are so many great places that we didn’t have time to visit, including the food truck (food boat!) Bowpicker Fish & Chips, which had a lunch line 20 people long…
And Buoy Brewery…
And the Custard King…
And maybe we’ll stay at the Atomic Motel, one of several cool-but-inexpensive lodging options…
I’ve already filled a weekend-long itinerary for a future trip!
I would never tire of crossing the Megler bridge. The Columbia River is magnificent!
We even see some fall color. In August! This is definitely a first for us, as at home in the Tennessee River Valley our fall peak isn’t generally until the end of November.
After leaving Cape Disappointment a couple of days later (en route to Oregon beaches) we drive up to the Astor Column.
Even if one isn’t capable of climbing the stairs to the top, it’s worth the $5 entry fee, which is good for one year of unlimited visits, just to view the city and the river from the parking lot. From the top of the tower the 360 degree views are amazing.
Astoria retains some grit and still feels like a very livable city and not just a tourist town. One can’t help but feel deeply connected to the water here. This is our favorite kind of city. We dig Astoria and will definitely be back one day.