I had the absolute honor of visiting this gem of a town last week. I knew absolutely nothing about Astoria prior to arrival. I had no idea The Goonies (amongst quite a few others) was filmed here. I had no idea that this section of the Pacific Ocean is also known as The Graveyard of the Pacific. I didn't even realize that the Astoria-Megler Bridge was a thing. My husband and I were able to spend three short kid-free days here, enough time to decide that we absolutely must return this summer with the kids. For such a small town (of less than 10,000 people), there's so much to do and so many places to explore!
So first of all: The Weather. This needs to be addressed first because I've seen a lot of weird weather in a lot of weird places and I truly think Astoria takes the cake on this one. I'm not exaggerating when I say we would regularly, throughout the trip, see sunshine, rain, and/or hail all within the span of about 15-20 minutes, then rinse and repeat ALL DAY. I'm not talking about passing rain storms like you see a lot in tropical regions, this was happening over and over and over every single hour of every single day and all the locals are just like "yeah, this is a normal thing". Just a geographical phenomena. We did a lot of walking, despite both of us failing to bring adequate cold weather attire, and we had a few regrets in that department. I will say, I've heard summertime in Astoria is absolutely gorgeous so we will plan to go back in a few months.
The next coolest thing: There's a movie being filmed in Astoria right now! I don't have a ton of details because things are pretty under wraps, but the movie is called The Mortuary Collection. I did a bit of research and it looks like this independent Gothic Horror film started out as a Kickstarter project several years ago that raised $60,840. Filming is primarily taking place at the Captain George Flavel House Museum, and I had the unique opportunity of touring the house mid-production! No shooting was taking place, so I guess I missed my opportunity to be accidentally discovered and turned into an instant Hollywood superstar, but peaking in on an actual movie set was pretty neat. Mostly, the rooms being used just looked utterly disheveled but the back room had an embalming table all set up and now I have to see the movie when it comes out for the soul purpose of seeing that same embalming table that I was able to photograph.
Oh, and the Flavel House itself was cool AF. I'm fascinated by old houses, and I would for sure return here when everything is put back into place after filming.
If you don't know anything about the history of Astoria (like me about a week ago), it's fascinating. As a port city, it has always had an important relationship with the Columbia River. The mouth of the Columbia that meets up with the Pacific Ocean is actually one of the most dangerous places for ships and boats in the world. There's an entire stretch of water known as the Graveyard of the Pacific where tons shipwrecked boats never made it out. The Columbia River Maritime museum explores this in perfect detail (shout out to the Coast Guard!). If you're in the area, the museum is absolutely worth checking out.
The last day of the trip brought actual sunshine and I had a chance to visit the Astoria Column, though I didn't climb it because exercise apparently isn't my thing. Fun fact, you can buy paper (cardboard?) airplanes from the gift shop across from the 125 foot high Column and kids (or fun-loving adults) can throw them from the top and watch them fly down.
Overall, a fun time was had and I want to make a point of exploring more of the WA/OR coastlines this summer.