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Astoria, Oregon (part two)

Fun activities to enjoy in Astoria

Dramatic exhibit at the Columbia River Maritime Museum. Photo credit: Marguerite Cleveland

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There is so much to see and do in Astoria, Oregon, and being so close to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, it's a quick and easy weekend getaway.  

The Astoria Column is an extraordinary attraction. It is located on Coxcomb Hill high above the downtown area. The column is the centerpiece of a 30-acre city park. Built in 1926, it celebrates the history of the area with artwork spiraling its length from the base to the viewing tower. It is 164 steps to the top and well worth the climb. The 360-degree views are just unbelievable. On a clear day, you can see the Columbia River as it rushes toward the Pacific Ocean, Young's Bay, the Coast Range and much more. You will want to get an early start for this activity due to its popularity and limited parking. Insider tip: Make sure to stop in the gift shop and purchase a glider to fly from the top of the column. Even video-game-obsessed teens enjoy this activity.

Astoria Column, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily, 1 Coxcomb Dr., Astoria, Oregon, 503.324.2963,

The Columbia River Maritime Museum is located on the banks of the Columbia River and covers the maritime history of the area. Plan to spend two hours touring the museum. One of the more interesting exhibits is "Crossing the Bar: Perilous Passage." One of the most dangerous bar crossings in the world is where the forces of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean collide. During winter storms, waves can exceed 40 feet in height. 

"The new exhibit features dramatic, never-before-seen video of rough-water passages captured while working with the U.S. Coast Guard and Columbia River Bar Pilots during fierce winter storms," said Senior Curator Jeffrey Smith. 

On display is a bar pilot pulling a boat as well as many interactive exhibits. Insider tip: Make sure to tour the Lightship Columbia, a floating lighthouse located outside of the museum on the waterfront.     

Columbia River Maritime Museum, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily, 1792 Marine Dr., Astoria, Oregon, 503.325.2323,

The historic Astoria Riverfront Trolley is a three-mile streetcar line along the banks of the Columbia River and through the waterfront of Astoria. This is a fun way to see the town and learn a little local history as well. The tour lasts about an hour and uses the same tracks in both directions, but the narration changes each way. It's only $1 a trip or $2 for all day. A volunteer crew maintains and operates the trolley. To board, head to one of several trolley stops located along the riverfront between Basin Street (near the Astoria Riverwalk Inn) and 39th Street. Insider tip: You can flag the trolley down by waving a dollar bill at the conductor.

Astoria Riverfront Trolley, noon to 6 p.m., daily, Astoria waterfront, 360.252.36245,

This just scratches the surface of things to do in the Astoria area. Use the search button on to find more articles about Astoria. For more local information, visit

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