Historic Inn Overlooking Bay and Astoria–Megler Bridge
The town of Astoria is tucked away in the northwestern corner of Oregon on a peninsula that juts into the mouth of the Columbia River. In the late 1800s, this was one of the busiest ports on the Pacific coast, and today, the river still bustles with fishing ships, sailboats, and private yachts. At the Astoria Riverwalk Inn, you'll have a front-row view of the bay, as each guest room has a balcony that overlooks the marina and its passing vessels. You can also catch a glimpse of the town's iconic landmark, the Astoria-Megler Bridge, which runs for 4 miles along the horizon and connects Oregon to Washington State.
This getaway makes a great gift for the holidays. In addition to accommodations at the Astoria Riverwalk Inn, it comes with passes to the town's Heritage Museum, as well as the Flavel House, an 1885 Queen Anne–style Victorian home. The mansion has been returned to its original splendor, with period furnishings and a restored three-story octagonal tower. You'll also get passes to the Oregon Film Museum. The museum's exhibits chronicle the blockbuster movies filmed in the area, including The Goonies and Kindergarten Cop.
Astoria, Oregon: Frontier Port with Victorian Architecture and Museums
One of the oldest US settlements west of the Rockies, Astoria brims with relics of its storied past. The town itself is named after John Jacob Astor, who founded the Pacific Fur Company and established Fort Astoria in 1811. The area's rich nautical history is documented through interactive exhibits at the Columbia River Maritime Museum. Here, you'll find artifacts such as a US Coast Guard surf rescue vessel, a historic sword and scabbard rescued from a shipwreck, and a 17th-century chunk of beeswax.
A few miles west, in Fort Stevens State Park, you can view remnants of the Peter Iredale shipwreck, an English vessel that ran aground in 1906 while the captain was texting and steering. Nearby, there are plenty of opportunities to hike on the wooded shores of the Columbia River.