Free or Cheap Things to Do in Astoria, Oregon

The historic maritime town of Astoria, Oregon is the oldest settlement west of the Rockies and will celebrate its bicentennial in 2011.  With many budget-friendly restaurants, free activities and various types of lodging, Astoria is perfect for a weekend getaway on the cheap.

For breakfast, head to the Astoria Coffee House for a grilled breakfast sandwich for $3.95 while using the free wireless internet.  Then, hike up the Cathedral Hill Hike through an old growth forest and climb to the top of the Astoria Column affording an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean and mighty Columbia River.  Back in town, listen to a free downloadable audio tour highlighting popular historic attractions and movie scene locations (via CD or iPod). The free tours are narrated by local experts who reveal little-known facts and help visitors relive past eras. After your tour, have lunch at cozy T Paul’s Urban Café for about $8. 

Next, get a dose of history at Fort Stevens State Park and explore abandoned gun batteries and relax among the miles of Oregon beaches, lakes and trails.  At low tide, walk through the remains of a shipwreck at Peter Iredale beach and watch oceangoing ships navigate the bar from the viewing platform at the South Jetty (all this for a $5 parking pass). 

For dinner, head to the Fort George Brewery.  Split a beer taster tray for $8 and the Sausage Sampler (four types of house-made sausage, three cheeses and flat bread) for $12.95.

After dinner, take a waterfront stroll along the Astoria River Walk.  If you find your feet getting tired, hop on the historic trolley for $1 (operates seasonally).

There are many lodging options for budget-conscious travelers.  With more than 600 camping sites, Fort Stevens State Park offers a place for a tent for just $18 per night.  Yurts offer a bit more comforts than a tent, and these domed structures include basic amenities from $30 per night. The Commodore Hotel has recently been remodeled and offers European style rooms starting at $69. The Rivershore Motel offers many amenities, including free high speed wireless internet, free continental breakfast, deluxe kitchen rooms and views of the Columbia River and Astoria-Megler Bridge, all for a modest price. 

This information was written by Christine Gerrie on behalf of  the Astoria-Warrenton Chamber of Commerce. For more information, contact the Astoria-Warrenton Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-875-6807 or visit www.oldoregon.com

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  1. As an Oregonian, I can vouch for all of these activities! We love Astoria and the Oregon Coast. If you go up the column, be sure to bring with you (or buy in the souvenir stand) one of those cheap wooden gliders. It’s a lot of fun to fly them from the top and pick them up again at the bottom. The wind carries them quite far.

  2. I would LOVE to stay in a Yurt, at least once in my life. I wonder if they have wifi in the Yurts? Seriously, great roundup of things to do during the bicentennial.

  3. And if you’re looking for a place to stay then Kim and I would love to host you at our Bed and Breakfast, The Officer’s Inn B&B located at Fort Stevens in nearby Warrenton. A former Army Officer’s quarters built in 1905, the Officer’s Inn is now an 8 unit luxury bed and breakfast.
    Call us at 503-791-2524 or visit our website at http://www.officersinn.com. And a special thanks to TravelingMamas for letting me post this gratuitous plug for our B&B!
    Steve Nurding, owner, Officer’s Inn

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