11 Free and Unusual Things You Must Do in Astoria, Oregon

Astoria, Oregon offers the perfect location for your next vacation. Whether you’re looking to go alone or with your family, you’ll absolutely love this charming Oregon town. In this guide, we’ll go over eleven of the best free and unusual things you absolutely must do in the city so that you can make your vacation as good as it can be. And Astoria ranks as one of the best vacation spots in USA

Keep reading to find out how to make your next vacation the best one yet!

1) Hanthorn Cannery Museum

A museum that primarily serves as a testament to the city’s past canning industry, the Hanthorn Cannery museum is certainly what we’d call “unusual.” That being said, it’s one of the best free locations in the city.

Hanthorn Cannery Museum - Unusual Things You Must Do in Astoria, Oregon
Credits: Hanthorn Cannery Museum

With many formal and informal free exhibits and a gift shop that offers incredible souvenirs, this is one location you’ll want to keep in mind as you plan your vacation. 

2) Fort George Brewery and Public House

Visit this brewery and public house to relax and chill with friends or simply take in the ambiance. While you can certainly pay to eat and enjoy fine beer, you can also simply socialize and have a great time

Fort George Brewery and Public House - Unusual Things You Must Do in Astoria, Oregon
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

with your loved ones. No matter what you choose, you can count on Fort George Brewery and Public House to make your vacation even more special. 

3) Clatsop Spit

How many times can you say you’ve been to the place where a major river meets the ocean? This distinguishing fact makes Clatsop Spit one of the most unusual and exciting locations in the area. If you’re in Astoria, you’ll definitely want to check out the incredible ocean views from Clatsop Spit, which oversees the place where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. It’s the perfect place to relax, take pictures, or simply admire the view. For these reasons, make sure to visit this great location next time you’re in Astoria, Oregon!

4) Maritime Memorial

The Maritime Memorial is a defining landmark of the area. A museum that commemorates the men and women who helped build the town, it’s an incredible location for anyone looking to get a glimpse at the town’s unique history and culture.

Maritime Memorial - Unusual Things You Must Do in Astoria, Oregon
Credits: Maritime Memorial, Facebook

With many maritime exhibits and a famous wall of plaques that are dedicated to specific men and women who contributed to the town, it’s a great place to take the whole family. Certainly, it’s one of the best locations to truly get a feel of the distinct regional culture of the area. For this reason, make sure to add it to your bucket list of places to visit in Astoria, Oregon. 

5) Astoria-Megler Bridge

Few things in the area are quite as unusual and thrilling as the Astoria-Megler Bridge. A unique design and particular green color scheme make this bridge, which connects the town of Astoria with Washington State, a famous local landmark.

Astoria-Megler Bridge - Unusual Things You Must Do in Astoria, Oregon

The bridge is uneven and contains a high rise (or a steep-ish drop, depending on which direction you’re coming from), making it a bit of a thrill to cross. The waters surrounding the bridge are blue and beautiful; without a doubt, you’ll want to make this amazing location part of your next vacation!

6) Cathedral Tree Trail

Cathedral Tree Trail is certainly one of the most unusual and interesting aspects of Astoria. This free hiking trail is surrounded by beautiful trees and other natural scenery. Slightly rugged and inclined, it requires a bit of a walk.

Cathedral Tree Trail - Unusual Things You Must Do in Astoria, Oregon

Still, if you’re into hiking, you can’t go wrong with this famous trail, which ends in a landmark old tree that you’ll have to see to believe. If you’re looking to get the best out of Astoria, you certainly don’t want to miss out on this one-of-a-kind hiking adventure!

7) Astoria Vintage Hardware

From mid-century furniture pieces to antique knick-knacks you never knew existed, this hardware store is certainly worth a browse. You’ll have a blast going through the extensive collection of items available—even if you decide not to buy anything.

Astoria Vintage Hardware
Credits: Sara Thompson, Flickr

The Astoria Vintage Hardware store gets shoppers from all around the country, making it one of the most visited locations in the city. Make sure you stop by as well next time you’re in the area!

8) Fort Astoria

Interested in classical architecture and military history? Then you’ll want to check out Fort Astoria! While guided tours of this location aren’t exactly free, they are available at low costs

Fort Astoria - Unusual Things You Must Do in Astoria, Oregon
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

and give you valuable insight into the history of American warfare. With so much to see, make sure you check out Fort Astoria during your next trip! 

9) Imogen Gallery

The Imogen Gallery is famous for tourists and residents alike because it offers some of the coolest exhibits and pieces in the area. You’ll love the fantastic and intriguing artwork that’s always on display at this one-of-a-kind gallery. Perfect for couples, groups, and even single travelers, the Imogen Gallery should definitely have a spot on your next travel list. 

10) Astoria Riverwalk

With very low admission fees that are practically free, the Astoria Riverwalk is a fantastic paved walkway is one of the best sites in the city.

Astoria Riverwalk - Unusual Things You Must Do in Astoria, Oregon
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

While walking the Riverwalk, which spans over six miles, you can catch incredible glimpses at ships, sea lions, and the beautiful waters of the Columbia River. With so much to love, it should certainly be included in your upcoming travel plans!

11) Young River Falls

If you’re ready to see some of the most beautiful natural falls in all of America, you’ll definitely want to check out Young River Falls. It requires a bit of a hike and some climbing to reach, but you certainly won’t be disappointed by the end result. Peaceful and absolutely stunning, this location should be at the top of any traveler’s bucket list. 

The Bottom Line

Astoria, Oregon is a must-see town with all the ingredients of a perfect vacation. Make sure you keep the information in this guide in mind so that you can get the most out of your next trip (for as little cost as possible)!

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