We arrived in Astoria and were excited to drive around to check out the immediate area. The pictures don’t quite show it but the first thought that came to mind was how its hills were as steep to those of San Francisco. We took our own driving tour around this cute town which is the oldest settlement west of the Rockies, dating back to 1805. Its glory days are preserved by many museums, exhibits and a number of pastel colored Victorian homes. Its historic downtown was undergoing restoration, but yet there was excitement in the air. Restaurants and breweries are multiplying alongside its waterfront and we had not known that also cruise ships have made this a port of call.
A short drive away we visited Ft. Clatsop, the local stockade where Lewis and Clark set up camp during the winter of 1805 after their long journey from the Mississippi to discover the Pacific Ocean.
The locals suggested we partake in the local tradition of attending the Sunday market and so we did. Downtown side streets close and farm-fresh produce, plants, arts and crafts and specialty food were available. Although most of Astoria’s waterfront is lined with warehouses and docks, the Riverwalk provides a paved passage for both pedestrians and cyclists. We ended up enjoying a delicious lunch watching the barges on the Columbia River.
We did not want to leave the area without visiting Oregon’s northern coast. We set out to see what all the buzz was about Seaside and on our way came across beaches where windsurfers were getting ready to do what they do.
Upon arriving at Seaside, I was immediately reminded of a mini Myrtle Beach, SC. with tons of people everywhere with lots of traffic, large hotels, condos, ice cream parlors, game arcades and many beachwear stores, after all it is Oregon’s oldest family beach resort. It definitely did not have the same feel as the other beach towns we had visited, but I can say we’ve been there.
Our visit to Cannon Beach however, was lovely. This coastal town has a low-key charm and is a great alternative to the hustle and bustle of Seaside, its northern neighbor. It was small enough that we were able to stroll its main drag enjoying its many art galleries, boutiques, bookstores and eateries. The town’s architecture is dominated by understated earth tones and cedar shakes. Its beach is highly recognized by Haystack Rock, the third tallest sea stack in Oregon at 235′ high.
We certainly did not get our fill of the Oregon coast, but this will have to do for now. It is that time for us to move on to Washington. Stay tuned!