This summer we went on an amazing adventure of the Oregon Coast and it was a blast! We have much more to see along the coast but for now here is some of our favorite from the Northwest Oregon Coast.
Astoria (home of Free Willy and The Goonies)
Astoria rests on the coast, right at the mouth of the Columbia River. This was where Lewis and Clark, the famous explorers, finally found the outlet to the Pacific Ocean, so it’s also a site of great historical significance.
On the waterfront of the town is the expansive Columbia, often filled with large tanker ships ready to set out across the Pacific. There’s a beautiful dock to walk on during the summer days, with the Columbia River Maritime Museum next to it, and an original lightship ‘Columbia’ that you can walk on. Together with the port of the American Pride cruise liner steamships, it’s a marvelous sight. There’s even a vintage style riverfront Trolley you can take if you have a spare hour, to get any view of the water you could want.
Near the water is the former County Jail, today the Oregon Film Museum, inspired out of the large amount of films that have been filmed in the area. Oregon has had such a large role in use as a location for American filmmaking that it’s gained the nickname of ‘Hollywood North,’ and if you don’t believe us, just look up the list of movies that have been shot there. Most notable is the eighties classic ‘The Goonies,’ of which the opening scene used the jail as a set and allows you to see, looking the same as it did in the film! Outside the town at Hammond Marina is the site of the ending scene of Free Willy, a can’t miss spot for anyone nostalgic for that film. The museum isn’t only educational, you can even shoot mini scenes on small sets and download them later from the website. Lights, Camera, Action!
We were in the mood for some Ice Cream, so we headed down to the water again to find Frite & Scoop, a great little shop with a dozen flavors. As an add on, they make their own special brand of french fries, called ‘frites,’ seasoned and delicious.
Seaside (where everything is on the Shore)
Leaving Astoria, we made our way south to Seaside, another small town on the Oregon Coast. Without the frequent traffic of tankers going through the river and any large seaport many miles off, the town is isolated in all the right ways. Sweeping views of the coast on the beach and a small town vibe make this the prime image when you think ‘getaway.’
Within just a few minutes from pretty much every hotel or venue you can find yourself with miles of beautiful coastline. The beaches are incredibly beautiful and remind me so much of the beaches at home with white sand and swimmable turquoise water. The beach next to our hotel was filled with families enjoying the sunshine and children playing outdoor sports, laughing and even some kite flying.
We stayed at the lovely Hillcrest Inn and House which is located just one block from the beach. It is located on a quiet side street away from the hustle and bustle but just steps away from the heart of downtown and minutes from the water. The Hillcrest Inn features 26 units ranging from cozy rooms for 2, to spacious two bedroom cottages for the family. Some of the rooms are pet friendly and others offer Jacuzzi tubs and/or fireplaces, perfect for those romantic getaways.
We stayed in their Pacific Mini Suite which had a large living area with a couch, dining table, TV w/ DVD player, and cable. It had a fully stocked kitchen, roomy bathroom and a large bedroom with two beds. Also, the bedroom and living room had an AC unit which felt amazing, especially for the summer nights.
One thing that was great about this place is it feels a lot like home, each unit has small kitchens which includes a fridge, microwave and coffee pot. The Inn also has a large yard area that is set up with yard games, toys and BBQs for the guests enjoyment, along with an large array of sand toys, beach blankets, towels and chairs to burrow for a day at the beach.
In addition, in the main lobby there is coffee, tea and pastries served daily from 8-10am in the lobby and small snacks available all day. There also offer a large movie selection so you can cuddle up after a long day in the sun and watch a thrilling action film or a Disney classic.
Considering the location and size of the units, the Hillcrest Inn has an amazing value for what you get in return. The front desk gals were super helpful and informative and gave us some great recommendations for food and places to check out.
Overall, our trip to the Northwest Oregon Coast was a blast! And I am excited to say we have more lined up for you as we travel to Tillamook and the beautiful Pacific City Aug 3-5.
Until then, may the sunshine and warm water keep coming back for more..