Situated near the mouth of the Columbia river on Oregon’s lush Northwest coast, Astoria secured its place in history as the U.S.’s first settlement west of the Rockies (of course, this does not take into account native American settlement). After Lewis and Clark encamped here in the early 1800s during their famed expedition, a trading post was established and became the basis for a new town.
Astoria is surrounded by water and by unspoiled wilderness. The air here is fresh and clear. Thanks to the abundant precipitation, verdure is ubiquitous here. Astoria is also the gateway to Oregon’s rugged and picturesque coast. Visiting Astoria, one cannot help but sense a lingering feel of discovery and adventure.
History on a column
The Astoria column records the town’s 200-year history since its days as a remote outpost on an uncharted coast. Besides beautifully depicting the progression of time, the observation deck of the monument also offers a sweeping view of Astoria and beyond. You’d have to climb 144 steps to get there, but the fresh air here will help to cleanse your lungs.
The drive to the Astoria column takes you past several interesting and beautiful Victorian houses, situated on several undulating hillsides. Astoria almost reminds you of another famous hilly town in Northern California.
When in doubt
Stop by the Tourist Information Office on the main highway through town. The staff there are friendly and helpful. You’ll find information for Astoria and vicinity, as well as for the rest of Oregon.