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What's Up with Astoria: Dizzying Heights of Oregon Coast Town

Published 11/21/20 at 5:55 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

What's Up with Astoria: Dizzying Heights of Oregon Coast Town

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(Astoria, Oregon) - What’s up with Astoria? Or at least upwardly pointing? Much of the town is, actually.

It's the Oregon coast burgh of high places. From sea level to soaring, Astoria is the one place on the coastline with towering hillsides that ascend quickly from the bay to heights that border on the dizzying. Certainly the steep inclines of Astoria’s roads look intimidating as you begin the drive upwards, but then starting the downward trip feels a bit like a thrill ride and your mind quickly turns to the state of your brakes.

It doesn’t help that at least one particularly white-knuckled, out-of-control chase scene was filmed on one of these sharp slides down: the movie Short Circuit, for example.


Coxcomb Hill is the literal pinnacle of Astoria, standing at nearly 600 feet above the waters. It’s where inventors created the beginning of cable TV, and it hosts the enormous Astoria Column. Already one of the highest points on the entire coast at 595 feet, the Column then juts another 100 feet or so above the skyline, allowing incredible panoramic views of Young's Bay and the end of the Columbia River. However, you can simply wander the lawns of this park to catch awe-inspiring glimpses of that massive span of the Astoria-Megler Bridge, which stretches some four miles across the river to Washington.


Therein again lies another fun fact of vertiginous Astoria: the bridge itself is nearly 200 feet above the water. Plenty of visitors talk of how uneasy that ride makes them. It’s wooziness-inducing to be sure but spectacular.

Atop Coxcomb Hill at night is a rather special experience. The Astoria Column is lit up in a magnificent way, or even better you can catch it around the holidays when it’s really dressed to the nines. From here, you can gaze down on a sea of glowing lights, and Astoria looks more like a big city from here than any other burgh on the Oregon coastline.

More soaring attractions can be found if you meander along any of its engaging, sometimes-ancient neighborhood streets to catch these views, as well as take in the hypnotizing architecture of the numerous Victorian homes. Even the streets offer an abundance of little wonders and charming details, things off the radar of the average tourist. Take your time in Astoria and discover elements like the concrete adornments that line these atmospheric streets, adding to the views perhaps tenfold. In at least one case, there’s a small bench that comes with the scenic wall.

Another bewitching detailed aspect of Astoria is the almost hidden walkways between streets, built with steps. They’re sort of like grand staircases from one street to the next, adding a special but practical surprise to the scenic discoveries of this town like no other.

Also in Astoria:


Clementine's Guest House - Astoria.
 An engaging historic experience featuring fine foods. There's even a vacation rental available next door. A stately Victorian where each room is stylishly decorated in a mix of Asian and European furnishings, with flowers from their private garden. All rooms private baths, luxury linens, some with fireplaces or Jacuzzi tubs. Views of Columbia River, mountains or city. Free wi-fi, cable TV. Large open for conservations and meeting new people. 847 Exchange Street. Astoria, Oregon. 503-325-2005. Website.

Hotels in Astoria/Seaside - Where to eat - Astoria Maps and Virtual Tours




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