: Courtesy of the Bowline Hotel

Seafood, Ships and Storm Watching in Astoria

October 18, 2021 (Updated September 6, 2023)

Bordered by the Columbia River and Youngs Bay, with Victorian-era homes dotting the streets, Astoria is a perfect mix of old and new. Just north of Seaside, it makes for an easy and beautiful escape year-round but especially in the cooler season, as the fog rolls in off the water. As the oldest city west of the Rockies, Astoria is well steeped in history, and you may feel as though you’ve entered the pages of a storybook or walked onto the set of a dockside film — and in some cases, you wouldn’t be wrong. Here’s a look at some of the city’s vibrant new hotels, restaurants and shops that you’ll want to discover for yourself. 

Sleek modern chairs and benches look out to big windows
Sip a cocktail and soak up the river views at The Knot Bar in the Bowline Hotel. (Courtesy of the Bowline Hotel)

Lodging With a Front-Row Seat to Ships and Storm Watching

One of Astoria’s latest properties is designed to help you forget about your meetings and to-dos, and encourages you to instead revel in the moment. Sitting right on the edge of the Columbia River, the Bowline Hotel is well suited for a stress-free getaway. Many of the hotel’s rooms open up to a riverfront seating area, so you can drink your coffee or have a nightcap while being entranced by the ebb and flow of the Columbia as it meets the Pacific. With amenities like in-room fireplaces, soaking tubs and inventive cocktails at The Knot Bar, it won’t be hard to unwind. The Bowline is an excellent place to watch the river barges come and go as well as partake in a favorite Oregon Coast activity: storm watching. Cozy up by the fire and watch the weather drama play out against your window from the safety of your lodging. 

A mile west of the Bowline is the newly remodeled Cannery Pier Hotel & Spa, situated in a historic building on a pier over the Columbia River with a monumental view of the Astoria-Megler Bridge. The beloved hotel’s elevated amenities include in-room fireplaces, a full-service spa and the new Bar 600, part of the hotel’s famed evening wine hour. Rooms come with a clawfoot tub, a riverfront balcony and other luxuries.

Close-up of beer in glass and chicken burger on bun with fries
Astoria is one of the top spots on the Coast to grab a craft beer or a crave-worthy bite to eat. (Courtesy of Fort George)

Fresh Crab, Tacos and Waterfront Margaritas

Astoria has long held a special place in the heart of seafood lovers, but the newest restaurants and eateries offer even more of a reason to eat your way through the city. The lobster rolls and codfish po’ boys from The SEA Crab House are fresh, and the giant Cajun crab boils come complete with bibs for buttery splashes. If it’s a burger you’re craving, check out the tasty smash-burger creations at Coastal Smash, the new food cart posted up on the expansive patio at Reach Break Brewing. Located in a historic building, Fort George Brewery offers multiple floors for gathering and some of the best food and drink on tap in the region. More excellent dining choices on the riverfront are Italian restaurant Fede, focusing on local ingredients, and Mexican restaurant El Jarocho, beloved for their margaritas. 

Since a partial roof collapse of their taproom in 2021, Buoy Beer Co., has been operating out of the nearby Astoria Food Hub, a communal space shared with the North Coast Food Web. Enjoy Buoy’s expansive menu of local seafood and produce plus draft beer, wine and cocktails. The counter-service space is kid-friendly and features live music Friday evenings. Check their calendar for annual events like Oktoberfest in September and Lager Fest in spring 2024, when Buoy celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Holiday Shopping Extravaganza

It’s never too early to start your holiday shopping. Astoria’s collection of boutique shops is full of unique finds for everyone on your list — though don’t forget to treat yourself, too. For the young and young at heart, Bonsai Hollow Cards, Games and More has an impressive offering of toys, games and collectibles. Find quirky novelties and gags at The Magic Shop & More. Specializing in beautiful wood furniture and impressive charcuterie boards, Ashriver Woodworks is worth popping into. Astoria Vintage Hardware, which recently moved downtown, offers unique antiques, gifts and the perfect little something to adorn your home. 


About The

Emily Gillespie
Emily Gillespie is a travel writer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, CNN Travel and Afar magazine. She’s lived in three of Oregon’s seven regions, currently calling Portland home. She and her husband look for every opportunity to hike to a view, bike through wine country and eat their way through a new city.

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