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How many days in Astoria area and where to stay?

California
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How many days in Astoria area and where to stay?

I'm planning a trip this summer to Astoria and Mt. St Helens in either early July or mid-August. We'll be driving from the San Francisco Bay Area. I'm interested in Astoria because of the history and natural beauty. We have three kids, ages 10, 13, and 15, all good hikers who enjoy the outdoors. I'd like to stay somewhere for 3-4 nights where we can hang out and not have to drive very much (but still do some hiking, time at the beach, etc.). I'm considering Cannon Beach, but is that too far from Astoria? Or can we do Astoria as a day trip? Or should we just stay in Astoria or closer to Astoria?

I'm also looking for recommendations for where to stay for Mt. St Helens (I realize there is another forum for that, but thought I'd throw that out there).

Port Angeles, WA
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1. Re: How many days in Astoria area and where to stay?

Astoria is great, but 1 day is really enough. I'm afraid you would all become quite restless after 2 or 3 days.There are some interesting Lewis and Clark sites nearby, but the hiking is limited. Mt. St. Helens is far from lodging, so resign yourself to a long day in the car, but it is absolutely awesome.We stayed at the Best Western in Centralia, WA., and it was very comfortable.

I have another suggestion for you, however. How about spending those 3 to 4 days in Olympic National Park? If your family loves the outdoors, ONP is the perfect choice.

Oregon Coast
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2. Re: How many days in Astoria area and where to stay?

Hi, how long do you have for your trip? Are you thinking of driving 101 both ways, or doing a round trip via the coast and an inland route?

Cannon Beach v. Astoria -- huge difference!

Cannon Beach is very small, very upscale & artsy, very pretty, very congested. The beach is lovely, with the famous Haystack Rock as the centerpiece.

Astoria is about 10 times larger, built on hills (it's sometimes called "little San Francisco") , is becoming "gentrified" but still has vestiges of its rough-and-tumble past. Perhaps most importantly, Astoria is slightly inland on the Columbia River and does not have a beach.

The two towns are approximately 30 minutes apart.

If you are interested in history, definitely plan to go to Cape Disappointment in SW Washington, about 30 minutes from Astoria. There is an excellent Lewis & clrk interpretive center there, plus an interesting little stop along the way right near the north end of the big bridge, called Middle Village Station Camp where L&C stayed:

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g58400-d43…

--

Kaleberg posted whilst I was typing ;-)

I'll disagree that you'll get bored as we enjoy Astoria's many attractions:

tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g60806-Activitie…

There is also a zip line in Warrenton, the town adjacent to Astoria just across Youngs Bay Bridge. Hiking is limited though, and you'll find more in Cannon Beach.

Edited: 29 December 2013, 20:03
California
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3. Re: How many days in Astoria area and where to stay?

I'd love to visit Olympic National Park, but we'll have to save that for another trip. I'm trying to economize by driving rather than flying (Olympic is a little too far for us to drive).

Thanks for the input. Cannon Beach sounds like it might not suit us. Is there some place closer to Cape Disappointment we could stay? I'm interested in visiting some of the museums in Astoria, but I'd also like to spend a few days somewhere peaceful.

California
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4. Re: How many days in Astoria area and where to stay?

Sorry, did not mention the # of days. The trip will probably be about 8-9 days, including a day to drive on each end. We will drive up the inland route. We might add a stop at Oregon Caves on the way up or down.

Oregon
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5. Re: How many days in Astoria area and where to stay?

We spent a couple of nights at the Riverwalk in Astoria, looks out on the river and the bridge and is on a trolley stop, though also easy walk to downtown.

Astoria is excellent place if you like history. There are several Lewis and Clark sites including the replica fort which is hands on place. and also across river to Cape Disappointment

The Maritime Museum there is world class place does a good job of telling the history of the Columbia R and where it meets the ocean including the many shipwrecks.

Astor Column a must stop, great views of town and rivers. Astoria was first town in this part of world.

Fort Stevens an interesting stop. The pill boxes where we watched for the Japanese are still there, and it has been a fort for many more years than that.

Remains of Peter Iredale are on beach at Ft Stevens,

Portland, Oregon
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6. Re: How many days in Astoria area and where to stay?

If you want to stay some place peaceful, I'm thinking that Gearhart might be a nice place- just south of Astoria and on the beach(instead of the river). I don't normally think of Astoria as peaceful. I agree that there would be enough to do in Astoria and environs for 4-5 days. Oregon Caves idea- its really out of the way and inbetween hwy 101 and I -5. Not exactly on the inland route and would not be able to drive to Astoria-California with a stop to OCaves in one day....

Port Angeles, WA
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7. Re: How many days in Astoria area and where to stay?

I don't want to make it sound that I am bashing Astoria. It's a wonderful little place, and the Maritime Museum is packs an astonishingly powerful emotional punch. You'll never look at the Coast Guard the same way. However, if the OP is interested in hiking, Astoria is not the best base for 3 to 4 days.

Oregon
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8. Re: How many days in Astoria area and where to stay?

We spent a few days at Mt. St. Helens a couple of years ago and stayed in Kelso/Longview. It's a bit of a drive to the mountain and back, but you'll have a lot more choices for lodging and restaurants.

When you visit the mountain, be sure to include coming at it from both/all directions. The first day we took the long drive around the south and east sides - you'll see what looks like a moonscape out east. Borders on eerie, and is definitely worth the time you put in to get there! Then do the typical tourist visit, entering from the west and stopping at the visitor centers.

Florence, Oregon
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9. Re: How many days in Astoria area and where to stay?

I was born in Astoria, and I have family there, so we go back often. If you include the Cannon Beach area, and with your interest in history, you could easily spend your entire 8-9 days there and not run out of things to see/do. Heck, I can't count the number of times I've visited, but I can easily spend one half day at the Historic Area at Ft Stevens State Park!

Your best bet, I think, is to find a suitable place in Astoria. From there, it makes it easy to explore as far south as Manzanita (highly recommend!!) AND visit Cape Disappointment. And if you are going to visit Cape Disappointment (also highly recommend), you should also plan to spend some time In Long Beach, one of the most attractive coastal towns along the west coast IMO.

As for hiking, don't forget the Fort to Sea Trail and Saddle Mountain!!

Edited: 30 December 2013, 16:21
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10. Re: How many days in Astoria area and where to stay?

Check out The Holiday Inn Exoress in Astoria for your family. It is right on the trolley run with beautiful views of the Columbia River. You can make easy day trips to Seaside (your kids will love it there!) and Cannon Beach.

www.oldoregon.com :)