My boyfriend and I took a quick trip from Seattle to the Oregon Coast this weekend, stopping in Astoria and Cannon Beach. It rained the majority of the days, but we still had fun; I actually love being at the beach when its cold and rainy. Here is what we got up to.
We stayed for the first night in Astoria. This was a last minute decision to try and split the drive up a bit. Astoria is a small port city located on the Colombia River. It's best known for the Astoria-Megler Bridge, the longest truss bridge in North America, and for its feature in The Goonies. I loved it here and hope to come back as we didn't get to do everything that I would have wanted on such a time crunch (we were in town for less than 24 hours).
1. Young River Falls: Can you go to Oregon without seeing a waterfall?This 54 ft waterfall was first discovered by Lewis and Clarke. It's about a 20 minute drive from downtown Astoria, then a quick 5 minute "hike" from the parking lot (you can view the waterfall from the parking lot as well). In the summer this is a popular swimming spot, but in the cold it is still a beautiful spot to see. This waterfall was featured in both Free Willy 2 and TMNT 3.
2. Astoria-Megler Bridge: At just over 4 miles this is the longest continuous truss bridge in North America. It doesn't look 4 miles, but we did drive it and measured for ourselves and it checks out. It spans the Colombia River, connecting Oregon to Washington. This was also featured in Free Willy and The Goonies.
3. Sea lion watching on the Riverwalk/downtown: Walk along the Colombia River spotting Sea Lions on this five mile boardwalk, that used to be railroad tracks. From the boardwalk you have beautiful views of the bridge and the Colombia River where you can watch the freight boats coming in and out of the port. It passes within a few blocks of downtown Astoria, so cut in a peruse some of the shops. For $1 you can pop onto Old 300, the trolley, and ride the length of the trail.
4. Where we ate: The only place that we got to eat here was Buoy Beer. It is a brewery located right on the riverwalk. The beer and food are both great, but the stand out to me was the little window that you could look through in the floor to see Sea Lions down below. Also it's located right on the water so you have a beautiful view as you eat/drink. If you have more time we were also recommended Fort George Brewery, but unfortunately didn't have the time to go.
Things we Missed: The Maritime Museum, Astoria Column and Oregon Film Museum (the opening jail scene of The Goonies was filmed here). We missed more than this, so leave your recommendations in the comments please!
Cannon Beach, Oregon
We drove down from Astoria and spent two nights in Cannon Beach. This family friendly beach town was named one of the best beaches in the world by National Geographic, and it did not disappoint. Living in the Pacific Northwest this was a bucket-list item for me, but we fell in love and will deffinitely be back.
1. Haystack Rock: This is probably the most popular attraction at Cannon Beach. This large rock is home to many birds and sea creatures in the tide pools near the base. Puffins also nest here around April until June. The rock itself is located right on the beach and depending on the tide you can walk right up to the tide pools. There are many rocks similar all along the beach, but this is the closest to the town.
2. Hug Point: This state park located a few minutes drive to the south of Cannon Beach is another beautiful spot. It is a bit less crowded than Cannon Beach and just as beautiful. You can check out the cliffs or stop at one of the pull offs on the highway on the way here and look out for whales in the ocean.
3. Ecola State Park & Indian Beach: This State Park is located a quick drive to the North of Cannon Beach and has a $5 entrance fee. This is another place where you can stand atop the cliffs and lookout for whales in the ocean. There are also a few different trails offering beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean. Look into weather beforehand, it had been really rainy for us and the trails were extremely muddy, but we still managed to do all the hiking we wanted. Indian Beach is a popular beach in Ecola State Park, you can drive here and park in the parking lot just above it or hike to it from some of the trails. A lot of the Goonies was filmed here as well.
4. Downtown/shopping district: There are so many unique boutiques and surf shops in downtown Cannon Beach. Plus a lot of great restaurants, candy shops and ice cream places. The design of the buildings reminds me of a small beach town and I don't think we saw any chain restaurants which adds to the small town feel.
5. Where we ate: Our first meal was at Screw and Brew, which is a restaurant inside a hardware store. It is a fun ambiance, the staff was super friendly and the food and drinks were good. We also had breakfast at Pig n' Pancake which is a small regional diner that has been around since the 60's. It is a pretty standard diner with all of the staples, the food and coffee were good, but the history is what really persuaded us to go. Another place that we were highly recommended, but didn't make it to was Pelican Brewing (we'll make it there next time).
This trip was a really relaxing easy weekend getaway. I highly recommend going to both places. If you've been let me know in the comments what you would recommend and what I've missed. I will definitely be going back, hopefully in the summer when it's warmer.