NORTHERN OREGON COAST
The north Oregon coast is home to some of the most beautiful and historical sites. From old shipwrecks and state parks to art galleries and amazing restaurants, there is something for everyone.
The Pacific Northwest boasts several activities and attractions. Seaside, Oregon has great walking and hiking opportunities, both the Seaside Prom and Tillamook Head. The cove is an excellent place to surf or watch the sunset. The beaches between Seaside and Astoria have ample clam digging, fishing and crabbing locations. Gearhart and Warrenton have wonderful golf courses. Astoria has several movie film attractions including the Goonies House. You can also enjoy a beautiful sunset along the Astoria Riverwalk along the Columbia River.
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Welcome to Astoria ~ The Oldest Settlement West of the Rockies!
But don’t let the fact that Astoria just celebrated its 200th birthday fool you into thinking we’re just another boring old town! Astoria is rich in history and offers something for all ages who visit this eclectic town of 10,000. Situated on the northern most tip of Oregon – Astoria was celebrated as the liveliest boom town on the west coast and was well-known for “shanghaiing” unsuspecting young men from bars and brothels only to wake up as unwilling deck hands on merchant ships heading out to sea. The Columbia River bar is known as “The Graveyard of the Pacific” due to the number of ships that never made it across this notorious bar noted to be one of the most treacherous river bars in the world.
Astoria was also known as the “Salmon-canning capital of the world” with fish canneries on docks and piers all along this riverfront town. Its San Francisco style hillsides are speckled with historic homes each boasting their own fascinating story and a home owner excited to share them with visitors passing by.
Rich in history of Lewis & Clark – visitors have a multitude of things to see and do to learn more about their travel to Astoria and setting up the encampment that resulted in Astoria being the Oldest Settlement West of the Rockies. A great starting point to your adventure is the Astoria Column which sits atop Coxcomb Hill – the highest point in Astoria – and is a “must see” for anyone visiting. The story of Astoria from Lewis & Clark to the arrival of the train is hand painted on the entire circumference of this 125 ft. tall monument. Climb the 164 steps to the top and you will be treated with a magnificent view like no other; kids big and small will have fun launching balsa wood gliders from the viewing deck down to the ground below.
The historic downtown district runs along the edges of the mighty Columbia River. One of the highlights is a four mile paved river walk that’s perfect for strolling, dog walking, jogging, biking, roller blading or just sitting on one of the many benches that face the river to watch the ever changing view of river traffic. Don’t want to walk? No problem, hop aboard “Old 300” a fully restored 1913 streetcar that runs on train tracks next to the river walk. Restored, maintained and operated by a volunteer group of Astoria residents, for $1 a volunteer shares stories about our local history, the people, the characters, our local attractions and more during this 4 mile journey along the river’s edge. On a daily basis you get an up close view of freighters, tugs and fishing boats to the US Coast Guard practicing life-saving rescues or boarding incoming vessels for security and safety precautions.
Astoria is becoming a destination hot spot with a growing reputation for its excellent upward mix of locally owned restaurants and bistros, arts & culture and an ever growing list of attractions. Are you a movie buff? Astoria has been the filming location for hundreds of movies – surprisingly the largest draw being the “The Goonies” which has become a cult classic with a world-wide following that brings visitors from all over the world to visit Astoria. In fact, Astoria is now home to the Oregon Film Museum which is housed in the old county jail – featured in the opening scene of The Goonies. Be sure to pick up a copy of the Movie Location Guide that will lead you to other movie locations filmed in Astoria like Kindergarten Cop, Free Willy, Teenage Mutant Turtles, Short Circuit, The Black Stallion, Benji the Hunted, The Ring II and many more!
There are so many characteristics of Astoria that make it such a magical place and one of the most important is the “people”. You are never a stranger when you visit Astoria but instead you are a very welcomed guest in a town where the people are friendly, helpful and always ready to share colorful stories about our history and help you find your way around. As you stroll through our vibrant downtown don’t be surprised when the locals have a smile on their face and make a point just to say “Hi”.
Whether you come for a vacation or are just passing through one thing is certain – after one visit to Astoria you too will be forever drawn to come back again and again. One day, you might even make your new home here! Whether you want to rent or buy – we’ve got you covered! We specialize in Long Term Property Management & Rentals as well as Real Estate Services to assist you to buy or sell your home!
Welcome to Cannon Beach
Which was originally named “Ecola” in 1806 by Captain William Clark when the Lewis & Clark expedition visited the area. They discovered a whale washed up on the beach and “Ecola” was the Native American term for “whale” and so the area was named. Then, in 1846 a cannon belonging to a shipwrecked U.S. Navy schooner called, “The Shark” washed up onto the beach. It was at that time folks started referring to the area as Cannon Beach and then in 1922, the name was officially changed from Ecola to Cannon Beach.
Cannon Beach is home to many attractions that make it such a wonderful coastal retreat and resort area to come visit. However it is probably most recognized for Haystack Rock, a natural rock formation rising 235 feet up from the beach and whose picturesque beauty can be found in print across the globe as one of the most photographed natural wonders on the Oregon Coast.
The town of just under 2,000 attracts an estimated 750,000 visitors annually who come to experience firsthand its natural beauty, history, art galleries, live theatre, music, culture and restaurants featuring world class chefs. The beautifully landscaped downtown area has a very upscale, eclectic mix of unique one-of-a kind shops, eye catching window displays, local eateries, street art and sculptures and meticulously maintained buildings.
Cannon Beach is also honored to maintain a reputation for being “one of the 100 best art towns in America” showcasing an extraordinary selection of art galleries featuring local and national artists. Speaking of art – not only are they known for their galleries but for taking it out onto the beach as well! The annual Sand Castle Contest is celebrating its 48th year and continues to attract teams from all over the world to show off their talent in building incredible sculptures in the sand. To experience what these individuals create in just 12 hours with nothing more than water, sand and some hand tools is incredible!
Next on the list and still bringing laughs, jeers and tears to the stage for over 35 years is the Coaster Theatre – known throughout the Northwest as one of the best. The design of this theatre puts the audience so close you feel as though you were in the middle of each scene. Be sure to check out the schedule for a current list of activities from live theatre, art shows, concerts and more.
Seems as though everyone knows someone who is a fan of the cult movie “The Goonies” filmed locally in the Astoria and Cannon Beach area. Remember the race on the beach when Mama Fratelli had just helped bust one of her sons out of the jail? Or the secret hideout where Sloth was kept in the basement? While you’re here – take a trip down to Haystack Rock Beach and then over to Ecola State Park for the film locations of those scenes! Heck, you might even find one of One Eyed Willy’s gold doubloons in the sand!
Welcome to Warrenton
A neighboring city next to Astoria, Warrenton is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west and the mighty Columbia River on the north. Making history in 1913, Warrenton elected the very first woman mayor in the state of Oregon – but the real history started back in the 1800’s with the building of the Fort at Point Adams. After a name change in 1865 we know it today as Fort Stevens which served as the primary military installation at the mouth of the Columbia River.
Fort Stevens was constructed to defend the mouth of the Columbia from possible attack by the British during tensions related to the Pig War of 1859-70 in the San Juan Islands. Fort Stevens was also the only military installation in the continental United States to receive hostile fire during World War II when a Japanese submarine fired 17 shells at Fort Stevens. Fortunately after being hit by those 17 shells there was only minimal damage to the installations baseball field backstop. The fort was decommissioned in 1947 and put under the control of the Army Corps of Engineers and later passed onto the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department who still cares for this historical site today.
Most visitors to the Warrenton area would never know about this next special place as its best enjoyed by the residents who were lucky enough discover it and move there. Smith Lake is located in a quiet, beautiful setting of trees, natural vegetation, grassy shores and private homes dotted all along the water’s edge around the lake.
Fishing is allowed on this 45 acre warm water lake, bigmouth bass and striped bass are generally the catch of the day. However, the true magic about the lake is watching all the wildlife that lives on and around it. On a daily basis you’ll see swans, geese, ducks, herons and the most thrilling – Eagles! Picture yourself sitting along the water’s edge, the air is quiet and calm, all you hear is the honking of some geese down the way, song birds and the buzz of a honey bee as it fly’s by – then, out of what seems to be nowhere, a mature bald eagle swoops down across the lake talons spread open and splash – he rises from the lake with a fish tight in his grasp – dinner is served.
You can’t miss visiting the Peter Iredale shipwreck of 1906 on the beach at Fort Steven’s State Park, although the sands of time have consumed much of this famous shipwreck – its skeleton is still visible today and on low tide visitors can actually reach out and touch a piece of history.
Another must see is Fort Clatsop the winter encampment site of the Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery. Interpretative interaction with costumed park rangers at the fort is a truly memorable experience for both adults and children of all ages, a visitor’s center, Park Service led tours; hiking trails and biking are just a small list of all the wonderful activities visitors can enjoy in this area.
NEW to the list of Warrenton activities is “High Life Adventures” an exhilarating zip line quest that’s quickly becoming a destination for locals and visitors alike. A thrilling two hour zip line tour winds through a natural setting encompassing 30 privately owned acres of seasoned timber, ponds, and a 7 acre lake. During the summer months kids of all ages will be able to experience some great old time fun on the rope swing and big water slide into the lake!
Warrenton also features two marinas as private, commercial and chartered fishing trips on the Columbia River are a popular attraction. Warrenton Deep Sea is a local seafood market featuring some of the freshest fish, shrimp, clams, oysters and crab you’ll find.
Welcome to Seaside – The Northwest’s Beach Getaway for over 150 Years!
That’s about how long families and friends have been coming to this coastal town on the north Oregon coast. In the early 1920’s the now famous turnaround and 1.5 mile promenade began welcoming visitors from all over the world. The turnaround features a life size statue of Lewis & Clark; this national landmark represents the end of the Lewis & Clark Trail. Visitors can also visit the reconstructed Lewis & Clark Salt Maker’s Campsite just a short journey down the promenade.
The Promenade is the perfect way to enjoy a leisurely stroll, bike ride, run or jog taking in all the sights and sounds of this wonderful coastal setting. Best yet, the Promenade is 1.5 miles of smooth, flat paved walkway making wheelchair access and pushing strollers a breeze. Feel like beachcombing, flying a kite or building a sandcastle? Take a detour off of the promenade down one of the many access trails through beach grass and driftwood leading you right onto the sandy beach right up to the ocean’s edge.
Whether on the beach searching for sea shells and agates or clamming at the surfs edge – one can’t help but enjoy the splendor of Tillamook Head rising from the beach at the southernmost end of town. Excellent hiking trails through lush forests bring you right to the top edge of Tillamook Head overlooking the vast Pacific Ocean below.
Known as a great vacation getaway for families – there’s tons of stuff to keep kids of all ages busy having fun from sun up to sun down. The Seaside Aquarium – now in its 75th year still captures the oohs and ahhhs from visitors who come to feed the seals! These well-seasoned diners know all the tricks to entice you to continue tossing them tasty little morsels of fish, from slapping their sides, aquatic tricks to just plain begging – you can’t help but get a kick out of feeding them!
You can find almost anything in the heart of downtown on Broadway, from a vast array of restaurants featuring every style of cooking you can imagine, to shops, gift stores, locally made salt water taffy and other delectable goodies to pubs, antique stores, wine shops and more! Not to miss is the famous Seaside Carousel featuring 24 full scale carousel animals; then it’s off to the Bumper Cars and a visit to the largest arcade on the Oregon Coast!
Welcome to Gearhart
Gearhart is located just a couple miles to the north of the bustling tourist town of Seaside. Known for having great vacation rental homes – guests coming to Gearhart not only choose it for its quaint charm, ocean views and beautifully maintained gardens but also for its quiet, relaxed atmosphere and surroundings. The Gin Ridge area on Ocean Avenue features many older historic homes with a New England style feel that have been in the same families for generations.
Gearhart is also home to Oregon’s first public Golf Course – Gearhart Golf Links. This spectacular Club House and 18 hole golf course has been welcoming golfer’s for over 120 years. From its opening in 1892 with only three holes on a sand dune, today this 18 hole course features meticulously maintained greens and is distinctly the oldest course in the Western United States. The walls of this historical club house are lined with historic early pictures of Gearhart, the golf course, its visitors, residents and surrounding areas.
The intimate town square features a unique array of locally owned shops, gourmet market, bakery & restaurant, public tennis court and post office. During your stay you will definitely want to make an early morning trip to the much sought after Pacific Way Bakery – it opens at 7am Thursday through Monday and when these just made delectable pastries are gone they’re gone (until of course – the next morning!). Pacific Way Café next door is open Thursday through Monday serving up some of the best local food you’ll ever have! Lunch is served from 11:30 – 3:30, Soup & Salad 3:30 – 5:00 with dinner service beginning at 5pm, the wine & beer list offers a nice selection of local and international options.
Speaking of food – many people don’t know that when foodie pioneer James Beard was growing up in the early 1900’s, his family spent their summers in their vacation cabin here in Gearhart. The cabin still exists today and is currently a private residence on “E” Street.
Gearhart is one of the few Oregon beaches that permits vehicles on the beach, take 10th street off of Marion St. for access. The nice wide flat sandy beach in Gearhart is perfect for picnics, flying kites, building sandcastles, dog walking or just leaning up against a piece of driftwood and enjoying a book with the sounds of ocean waves in the background.