Traveling along the Oregon Coast brings you to some special places. Astoria is a favorite of ours. Astoria is named after John Astor, of the Pacific Fur Company, and based on the coastal fort established by Lewis and Clarke.
It is the actual end of the Oregon Trail and also the end of the Columbia River. The mouth of the river provides great views and treacherous waters. So much so, that for ships to cross between the ocean and the river proper requires a Bar Pilot, an expert of the area to navigate the features under the water surface.
Astoria is both a beautiful and melancholy location which can be though of as a failed San Francisco. Its hilly, has a grid layout regardless of terrain, and was focused on shipping trade and commerce. The big difference is the relentless rain and much colder temperatures. The place is a time capsule of an era focused on the water.
Recently it has had a small rebirth with several great places to eat and stay along with a thriving artist community. Make sure to rest at the Commodore Hotel and eat at the Columbia Cafe. You'll enjoy some of the company of some of the most kind and hospitable people you can imagine.
Astoria is a true Waaypoint.