I am late to posting this, but two weekends ago Ian and I decided to venture out to Astoria for a daycation 🙂 I am not sure if daycation is actually a word, but I am making it one! HA!
For those of you who read my last post (here), I talked a little about my goals of exploring my own “backyard” more this year. Just because you haven’t planned a grand vacation to a far away land doesn’t mean you can’t travel! That being said, Ian and I decided to give Astoria a shot in an effort to see more of our home state – Oregon.
Being the planner I am, I decided to do my research before making the trek out to Astoria and was shocked to learn that there are very few resourceful travel recommendations or guides for this coastal city. Besides discovering that Astoria is home to The Goonies, I mainly found reviews on Fort George Brewery & Buoy Brewing. That being said, I hope this post helps anyone looking to plan their own trip to Astoria, Oregon.
Wanting to get ourselves excited for our daycation in Astoria, Ian and I prepped our trip by watching The Goonies the night before making our drive. Embarrassingly enough, while this 1985 classic has been watched by most people my age.. I had only seen part of it when I was in 7th grade when a substitute teacher put it on to keep the wild 7th graders at bay. To her dismay, it didn’t work and we all goofed off and watched very little of the movie. So I guess it was about time that I watched it – and I am glad I did! For anyone planning on travelling to Astoria, I highly recommend watching The Goonies beforehand.
We originally planned on getting up early and heading out to Astoria.. but we ended up snoozing a tad longer than planned and found ourselves on the road with empty bellies and no coffee in hand. How horrible. So we decided to fix that by making our first stop in Astoria at Street 14 Café. And boy are we glad that we did – everything about it was amazing!
Disappointed by the google search results I was finding on places to visit in Astoria, I turned to my pal Instagram for some inspiration. After stalking business accounts & random people from Astoria – I discovered Street 14 Café and knew that we had to stop by and check it out.
Not only do they sell coffee, but they also serve alcoholic beverages as well as breakfast and lunch. Who knew!
Buoy Beer Company
If there is anything I discovered while doing my research on Astoria, it’s that locals love Buoy, and for good reason! There are two main breweries in Astoria, one of them being Buoy, and the other being Fort George. From all of the reviews I read, I was able to gather that the locals preferred Buoy over Fort George, which was often times overcrowded with tourists.
Wanting to have more of an authentic Astoria experience, Ian and I chose to go to Buoy Beer Company AND I AM SO HAPPY WE DID. If you could not already tell from my all caps letters, I absolutely loved Buoy. In fact, it was both Ian and I’s favorite stop while in Astoria.
From the outside, Buoy may not appear as impressive as Fort George, however, as you begin to walk closer you will begin to understand its charm.. and hear a bark or two from its resident sea lions!
Being just on top of the Columbia River, Buoy has seating available with a gorgeous view of the river and the Astoria-Megler Bridge. Unfortunately for us, there were no tables available that overlooked the river, so we settled for their tap room – which was also a great experience!
Oh, and did I mention they have a glass floor for sea lion watching?!
If you like beer and you are at Buoy, get yourself a beer. Just do it. Sip a beer, look at the sealions, and order yourself some fresh caught seafood.
Not being terribly hungry, but wanting to try seafood at Buoy, I went with their clam chowder and wow it did not disappoint. It was creamy and full of flavor. If it would have been appropriate, I may have licked the bowl afterwards..
Ian tried their salmon burger with a side of clam chowder and also was very happy with his choice. So it’s safe to say, they mean business when it comes to both their beer and food.
Not only is there a lot to enjoy indoors Buoy, but it’s also absolutely gorgeous outside. You can walk, or if you are me.. take photos, alongside the river.
In the video above, you can hear how loud the sea lions were outside.. and my inability to film one that swam by…
Walking Around Town
While Ian and I would have loved to have stayed at Buoy all day, we knew that we needed to see more of what Astoria had to offer.
Being a small town, Astoria is very walkable. In fact, Ian and I walked all throughout their downtown area within an hour or two.
One thing I couldn’t help but notice was all of their uniquely painted buildings. I feel like this place would have been an Instagram heaven for those who love a good backdrop.
I couldn’t help cheesing in front of this adorable wall we passed by 😊
They had the most adorable bookshops that had a cozy small town feel to them.
I am an absolute sucker for bookstores, so you can expect me to pop in one whenever I find them.
One of the bookshops even had an adorable “Blind-Date” book cart and I thought it was the cutest thing ever! If I owned a bookstore, I would definitely implement this idea into my store. So fun.
Having strong Scandinavian roots, Astoria not only has a Scandinavian Heritage Park, but also plenty of shops with Scandinavian traces. This shop in particular is dedicated to Scandinavian goods, so I had a blast exploring it and reminiscing on my adventures in Copenhagen nearly 3 years ago. Where does time go?
I also loved how gorgeous the Liberty Theatre was. It was built in 1925 as the first theatre to be re-established in Astoria after a fire destroyed nearly 30 blocks in 1922. While we did not have the time to venture inside the Liberty Theatre, I hope that we will have the chance to check this place out should we ever find ourselves back in Astoria.
After walking the entirety of the downtown area, we decided to head back towards the river and watch the waves roll and the sun slowly set.
Fort George Brewery
After walking by Fort George Brewery, we decided to stop inside and check it out.
Fort George, being quite large, has two floors – each offering different food selections. Ian and I chose to head upstairs where they serve pizza and also have their taproom and patio.
Before we knew it, we were sipping a beer, gawking over the wood ceilings and large windows AND dog watching!
The patio on the second floor is dog friendly, so many people enjoyed their beers with their dogs by their side. Had we known they had a dog-friendly section, we would have brought Winston with us!
Astoria Takeaways & Tips:
Because I spent hours trying to find what to do in such a short amount of time in Astoria, I want to give you all my own recommendations and findings for Astoria should you ever venture over there.
- Buoy Beer Company – for great beer and fresh seafood! website ($$)
- Fort George Brewery – for a fun atmosphere and a dog-friendly patio ($$) website
- Street 14 Café – great coffee & atmosphere ($$) website
Places we didn’t try but have great reviews:
- Bowpicker Fish & Chips – A converted, stationary boat with a walk-up window selling beer-battered fish ‘n’ chips. This place has great reviews and looks like a blast! If Ian and I visit Astoria during the summer one day, I am sure we will stop by there and order some fish and chips! website ($)
- Bridgewater Bistro – great views of river & locally sourced seafood. From the reviews I read, people love the their Mayan Salad and Salmon. ($$) website
- Astoria Coffeehouse – great coffee & breakfast options. ($$) website
For those of you who have already been to Astoria and have recommendations, please comment below and let me know! Ian and I plan on revisiting Astoria in the future, so I plan on not only updating this list but also using it when we find time to revisit.
Activity Recommendations: (coming soon!)
Lodging Recommendations: (coming soon!)
And now a few questions for you guys:
- Have you ever been to Astoria? If so, what do you recommend doing and/or eating?
- Have you ever seen The Goonies?
- What is your favorite town to visit in your home state?