Discover all of the things to do in Astoria Oregon in just one day! This guide will help you make the most of your cruise stopover with all of the must-see attractions.
If you are planning a cruise with a stop in Astoria, Oregon, you are in for a treat! Astoria is a little hidden gem of a city at the mouth of the Columbia River. Astoria is a charming town filled with historic sites and natural wonders. While your time in port may be limited, you can still make the most of your one-day visit by exploring the town’s must-see attractions. In this blog post, I’ve compiled a list of things to do in Astoria! You may be able to get through it all, but my hope is that this will give you a good sense of all that there is to do and you can decide! And, since you will be on a cruise and may not have a car, many of these things are totally walkable from the port!
This post is all about the things to do in Astoria Oregon in a day.
How to Get Around in Astoria
First things first, let’s talk about how you can get around Astoria! If you are on a cruise and don’t want to rent a car, you’re in luck! You can walk or use public transportation to get to most places! If you want to venture out a little further away though, you will probably want to rent a car or get a Lyft or Uber. Let’s talk about all of your options!
Astoria is super pedestrian-friendly! Most of the attractions are within walking distance from the port and from the center of town. You will want to put on some comfortable shoes though! Even though Astoria is totally walkable, you will probably put some mileage on your shoes if you want to hit up a lot of sites.
If you love biking, then renting a bike in Astoria is a great option! You can see a lot of the town this way and get some good exercise. And Astoria is bike-friendly! You can rent bicycles from various rental shops in town. We’ve heard great things about Bikes & Beyond if you want to go the biking through Astoria route.
Astoria Riverfront Trolley
Hop aboard the historic Astoria Riverfront Trolley for a unique and nostalgic way to explore the town. The trolley runs along the waterfront, making stops at popular attractions and providing a delightful tour of Astoria’s highlights. We love using the trolley when we are in Astoria, especially when it’s warm out or we are tired.
If you prefer the flexibility of driving, you can rent a car from various car rental agencies in Astoria. Having your own vehicle allows you to explore the town and venture further to nearby attractions at your own pace. We have had the best experience with Enterprise, so that is who we usually recommend!
If all else fails, you can always request a Lyft or Uber to help you get around in Astoria!
No matter which mode of transportation you choose, navigating Astoria is easy and enjoyable. So, pick the option that suits you best and get ready to discover all the wonderful sights and experiences this charming town has to offer!
Things to do in Astoria Oregon
There is actually quite a bit to do in Astoria, so get your walking shoes ready, and don’t forget that camera of yours! Or just your phone since most phones have pretty great cameras now!
1 // Astoria Riverwalk
Let’s start with the Astoria Riverwalk! The Astoria Riverwalk is a scenic trail along the Columbia River in Astoria, Oregon that runs about 5 miles and ends in Tongue Point. You can access the trail anywhere along it and the trailhead just happens to be at the Port of Astoria where you get off the cruise ship! The Riverwalk features some pretty amazing views of the river and surrounding forests and hills. Not to mention all that you can see along the way! Along the way, you can explore so many things like museums, shopping, and other historical sites that capture your interest! So don’t forget your walking shoes!
2 // Astoria Riverfront Trolley ($)
Sometimes when traveling, it can be very ambitious to plan to walk around everywhere in a city that you visit, even though it may mean you get an extra dessert. Take it from someone who has fallen asleep before I get said extra dessert way too many times to count, if there is a trolley, take it! I especially love the Astoria Riverfront Trolley because, aside from the obvious river views you get, you also get to ride through some fun landmarks throughout Astoria, most of which are on this list of things to do in Astoria! The trolley cars are also very old-timey, so it just adds so much more to the experience!
3 // Astoria-Megler Bridge
Besides being an iconic bridge, the Astoria-Megler Bridge actually crosses the Columbia River and connects Oregon to Washington. So if you fancy a drive over to Washington, you can get yourself an Uber and drive across the bridge to Point Ellice, Washington! Or you can take the pictures you want from the Riverwalk. Either way, you don’t want to miss seeing this iconic bridge when you are planning things to do in Astoria.
4 // Maritime Memorial
Right at the Astoria end of the Astoria-Megler Bridge, you can find the Maritime Memorial. It’s a memorial that commemorates the lives of those who were lost at sea, whether they were serving their country or fishing. It is a really beautiful tribute in a really beautiful location.
5 // Columbia River Maritime Museum ($)
If you’re looking for things to do in Astoria, one of the things you don’t want to miss is the Columbia River Maritime Museum. Set right next to the Columbia River, it is home to all of the maritime history that Astoria has to offer. This includes maps, models, weapons, and some incredible displays. Along with being able to tour an old floating lighthouse. It is really very unique and very fun!
6 // Cathedral Tree Trail
If you want to get one with nature, you don’t have to go far when looking for things to do in Astoria! The Cathedral Tree Trail is a great little hike that you can do right in Astoria! No long-distance driving is required. The hike will take you about an hour roundtrip and is about 1.6 miles in total. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can actually take the Cathedral Tree Trail to the Astoria Column for a more scenic route! That’s what we ended up doing and it made for a great leadup to the Astoria Column. Plus, most of the trail was shaded so it kept us from overheating!
7 // Astoria Column
I want to say that the Astoria Column is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Asotira, and it probably is to those more educated. When we first went though, I thought it was just something cool to see. Little did I know how historic it was! Or there is a much easier way to get up there than by walking through the Cathedral Tree Trail.
The Astoria Column sits on top of Coxcomb Hill and gives you some amazing views of Astoria, the Columbia River, and the Pacific Ocean if you go up on a clear day. They also sell little planes in the gift shop that you can fly from the top if you decide to venture the 164 stairs to the top, which I highly recommend adding to your list of things to do in Astoria!
8 // Flavel House Museum ($)
The Flavel House is located in the downtown area of Astoria and is really quite a unique site. It was built in 1885 for the wealthy George Flavel and is now a museum you can tour. The gardens are very beautiful and the architecture of the home is very unique to America.
9 // Oregon Film Museum ($)
If you’re a fan of movies, the Oregon Film Museum is a great thing to add to your list of things to do in Astoria. The building alone is a part of the beginning scenes of the Goonies movie. It is the Clatsop County Jail if you are a fan! Inside you will find mementos from several different movies made in Oregon.
10 // Goonies House
If you are a fan of the Goonies, and you are already planning on being in Astoria, you don’t want to miss your chance to see the house from the movie! However, like many iconic homes from movies, this one is privately owned, so if you want to see it and take a picture with it, it’s probably best to be conscious of how you go about doing it. The road in the area is not great and happens to be a dead end right past the home, so walking up to it is your best bet! If you have a car, it’s probably best to park two blocks away and just walk up for your picture. Oh, and be cautious of the neighbors because I have heard horror stories!
Things to do in Astoria with a Car
Alright, so let’s be real. We all know that driving helps us get places faster. So if you have a car and are wanting to venture out of the walkable path, here are some things to do in Astoria!
11 // Young River Falls
If you have some extra time and access to a car, Young River Falls is a great place to go! When it comes to what to do in Astoria, Young River Falls is a hidden gem about 8 miles from downtown Astoria, Oregon. If you don’t want to leave Oregon without seeing a waterfall, then this is the one to see! The falls are tucked away in the forest and can only be accessed by a short hike. Once you arrive, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the cascading water and the surrounding foliage. So grab your hiking boots and prepare to discover one of Astoria’s best-kept secrets!
12 // Lewis and Clark National Historical Park and Fort Clatsop ($)
Did you know that the Lewis and Clark expedition spent a winter in Astoria? If that interests you and you want to know more, then add the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park to your things to do in Astoria! Located about 6 miles from downtown Astoria, it is a perfect place if you love learning and being immersed, in history. Aside from all of the educational things you would expect, you can also immerse yourself in history by visiting Fort Clatsop. It is a replica of the living quarters that the company lived in during their time in the area! There are also some really beautiful trails that you can explore. It is a fun place to visit!
13 // Fort Stevens State Park
Last on our list for what to do in Astoria Oregon if you have a car is Fort Stevens State Park! This park is huge! It used to be a military station that was used to guard the Columbia River and has now been turned into a recreational heaven! There are places to camp, an observatory, a museum, places to swim, miles of trailers, disc golf, kayak tours, and beach access! The beach is where you can find an old shipwreck as well, so you don’t want to miss that!
Well, that’s a wrap for all of the things to do in Astoria Oregon in a day! It’s definitely not a super touristy city to visit and it was not at the top of our bucket list, but we still loved it! Like, I’m not kidding. It’s still one of our favorite cruise stops to this day! We hope you love it as much as we do!