“Character is like a tree and reputation its shadow. The shadow is what we think it is and the tree is the real thing.” – Abraham Lincoln
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Astoria, OR – We’re back in the northwest and the choice this time is down to the beautiful city of Astoria, OR. Located near the mouth of the Columbia River, this small town is the seat of Clatsop County, Oregon. Named after John Jacob Astor, an American investor, Fort Astoria was founded at the site in 1811 by his American Fur Company. On October 20, 1876, this charming place was officially incorporated.
Astoria, OR – Seemingly A Town Of Opposites…
With a population of just over 9,600, Astoria holds the distinction of having the first U.S. post office west of the Rockies. Served by the deep-water Port of Astoria, it can be found on the south shore of the Columbia River. A notable feature of the small town is the characteristic bridge that curves away across the river. It is called the Astoria-Megler Bridge and its 4.1-mile (6.6-kilometer) length connects this small town to neighboring Washington.
Having been through boom and bust times alike on more than one occasion, this small town has weathered the collapse of both the Oregon timber industry and the Columbia River fishery. Today it stands proud as a cultural haven, a title bestowed upon it by numerous visitors that are present year-round. Astoria is an old place that’s newly hip and is often referred to as little San Francisco. Maritime relics and Victorian mansions live in harmony here with tattoo parlors and chef-driven restaurants.
…But Only At First Glance
This is a town that boasts a somewhat rustic, gritty exterior at first. However, those who are willing to dig deeper are in for a surprise. Astoria’s outer layers are a cover for a number of unexpected dichotomies that wait around the next corner. What do we mean by that? Well, here loggers drink espresso, fishermen are poets, and both five n’ dime and nouveau gallery are welcome on Main Street. Who’d have thought, right?
Basically, it’s all about character when it comes to this small town. And that includes the character of the locals, who are incredibly passionate when it comes to calling this place home. Examples? Think – the hotelier who resurrected a once bustling pier. The artist who migrated to this place seeking out a new palette. Or the skipper who challenges the same mighty river his great grandfather challenged before him. Yes, there’s a lot of pride in Astoria, indeed. And that only makes it more enchanting.
Both Enchanting And Historically Significant
Needless to say, this small town is incredibly rich in scenic beauty. It is surrounded by water, complete with tall evergreen spruce, hemlock and Douglas fir trees. Moreover, it boasts a vista of the Pacific Ocean, as well as virtually endless miles of sandy beaches gazed upon from a top of the historic Column. Every nature lover out there will feel right at home in Astoria.
And when it comes to interesting things you’ll be able to see and do here, we’ll just name a few and let you discover the rest for yourselves. A number of unique shops and cafes make Astoria a truly delightful romantic getaway. A tour of the nationally acclaimed Columbia River Maritime Museum should definitely not be missed. There’s also an opportunity to explore the maritime history of the area that ranges from dugout canoes to sail ships. And if history is really your thing, surely the bridge of a World War II warship sounds like an interesting field trip. And this is just the start!