I suspect that if you work in tourism in Astoria, Oregon, you probably get tired of hearing references to the movie The Goonies. While this quaint town at the mouth of the Columbia river is also very popular for it’s turn of the century homes, museums highlighting it’s varied history as a fur trading outpost and fishing port, and more recently it’s developing cafe and arts scene, the Goonies was all my children wanted to talk about. “STOP THE CAR ! STOP THE CAR ! IT’S THE GOONIES HOUSE MOM ! “. As if we stumbled upon it by accident. One of the great things about having children is that you can pretend you are doing things like this for them. As it turns out, there have been more than a dozen movies filmed in Astoria, and after enjoying some time in this picturesque little town, we could certainly understand why.
First a little video….or just skip ahead:
where to stay with kids in astoria, oregon
The Cannery Pier boutique hotel, as it’s name implies, was rebuilt on the site of an old cannery, right over top of the Columbia River, with the Astoria-Megler bridge providing a interesting backdrop. From our room we enjoyed watching large boats go by, sea lions popping their heads up, and a fantastic lightening storm.
the cannery pier hotel (website)
address: 10 basin street (map)
nightly rate: from $169 including continental breakfast
get a deal: check website for special packages
hotel class: 5 star
room: studios, 1 bedroom, and the extra special top floor pilot house
reviews: 96% of family reviewers rate as very good or excellent on tripadvisor
note: The one bedroom corner suites are a great choice for families.
what mom loved: The clawfoot bathtub, the wonderful view, the complimentary evening wine and cheese reception, the on-site coin laundry facilities, the in-room ship identification guide (so I could look really smart to my children)
what the kids loved: using the binoculars in the room to get a closer look at the river and bridge, making their own waffles at breakfast, the wine and cheese reception (or rather, sparkling apple juice for them), and the option to take a ride in one of the vintage cars
what could make it even better: the hotel has a crib and pack n’ plays available, but I would also like to see a high chair available in the breakfast nook.
where to eat in astoria, oregon with kids
There are a number of nice family-friendly restaurant options in Astoria. We very much enjoyed the following:
the bridgewater bistro (website) $$ seafood / steak
address: 20 basin street (map)
reviews: 82% recommend on tripadvisor
note: next door to the Cannery Pier Hotel, nice view, good food, a kid’s menu and wikki stix for them to play with
the wet dog cafe and brewery (website) $ american
address: 144 11th street (map)
reviews: 77% recommend on tripadvisor
note: nice view, good burgers, a kid’s menu with a fun scavenger hunt activity
If we had more time in Astoria, we would have also tried the following family-friendly restaurants:
kid friendly activities in astoria, oregon
the old 300 riverfront trolley (website)
address: 1 basin street (map)
cost: $1 one way, or $2 round trip (about 1 hour)
hours: 12pm-6pm in the summer, weekends only in the spring, fall and winter (does not run in rain)
reviews: 91% of people rate as very good or excellent on tripadvisor
columbia river maritime museum (website)
address: 1792 marine drive (map)
cost: adults $12, children 6-12 $5, under 6 are free
hours: daily 9:30am – 5pm
reviews: 99% of people rate as very good or excellent on tripadvisor
note: This museum is best suited for older children, but there is a very good interactive ship’s bridge that even a toddler would enjoy. The museum’s new Jean Michel Cousteau 3D movie on sharks is also very enjoyable (an additional $5 per person).
the astoria aquatic center (website)
address: 1997 marine drive (map)
cost: adults $6.50, youth $4.50, 5 and under free
hours: daily 5am – 7pm
note: Great for the early riser, this aquatic center has a kiddie pool, lazy river and water slide (although check website for the slide hours).
park and monuments
During our short visit to Astoria, we experienced an exciting storm. With that came more rain in 24 hours than normally falls in a month, thus limiting our outdoor time. During better conditions, the following parks and monuments would have been on our list.
the astoria column (website) – Climb the 125 foot column for fantastic views. Kids will enjoy sending balsa wood planes off the top (from the gift shop).
fort stevens state park (website) – Show kids a real shipwreck on the beach (The Peter Iredale – 1906). Also a great place to fly a kite.
fort clatsop (website). Visit this famed part of the Lewis and Clark expedition where they set up camp for the winter of 1805/06. Although the original camp is no longer there, it has been reconstructed and provides an interesting look at life from that time period. Kids can participate in the Junior Rangers program, earning passport stamps and badges for completing activities.
visit the goonies house
address: 368 38th street (map)
note: The current owners allow you to walk up their private drive to take photos. There is a donation box outside.
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