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How to spend 48 hours in Astoria Oregon

Astoria-Magler bridge at sunset. 48 hours in Astoria Oregon itinerary.

If you’re looking for a picturesque coastal escape on the Oregon Coast then Astoria needs to be on your bucket list! Nestled at the mouth of where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean, Astoria has a delightful blend of outdoor adventures and hikes, maritime heritage, and quirky small-town coastal charm. Located just 1.5 hours from Portland, Oregon and 3.5 hours from Seattle, Washington, Astoria is the perfect escape for a Pacific Northwest weekend getaway. Ready to plan your next Oregon coast vacation? Read below for how we spent 48 hours in Astoria, Oregon!

48 hour Astoria Oregon adventure itinerary

DAY 1: wildlife viewing, local brews, and the best cocktail I’ve ever had

Wildlife viewing at the Twilight Eagle Sanctuary

Gwyn looking for eagles and at the Twilight Eagle Sanctuary. This is a great place to stop on your way in to Astoria if you’re traveling from Portland, Oregon!

If you’re driving into down from Portland, start your day off with birdwatching and wildlife viewing at the Twilight Eagle Sanctuary, about 15 minutes east of downtown Astoria. The Twilight Eagle Sanctuary is located on the shore of the Columbia River, and encompasses 76 acres of beautiful tidal wetland and forested shoreline. From the wooden viewing platform overlooking the shore, you can watch bald eagles soaring above. The marsh is also a critical habitat for migrating salmon and waterfowl within the Lower Columbia River Estuary. During our 30 minutes there, we saw two bald eagles and several species of waterfowl feeding in the marsh. 

Parking is free, and is along the road right next to the viewing platform. Note that there are no bathrooms or other amenities at the site. 

Gear tip: We recommend bringing a zoom lens for photography, as well as some binoculars! We love the Nikon Trailblazer binoculars, which are small, lightweight, waterproof, and have amazingly clear optics.

See an old shipwreck and hike at Fort Stevens State Park

Next, pick up a picnic lunch and head out to Fort Stevens State Park! Here you can enjoy beach combing, camping, hiking…. and a SHIPWRECK!

Speaking of shipwrecks… assuming the tides are favorable, your first stop in Fort Stevens State Park should be the famous Wreck of the Peter Iredale. During low tide you can see the remnants of a ship that ran aground near the mouth of the Columbia River in 1906. While most of the ship has deteriorated you can still see its massive steel frame rising out of the sand. This is one of the most accessible shipwrecks on the West Coast!

Next, go for a hike! We recommend the Coffenbury Lake Loop to DeLaura Trail, which is a beautiful trail that takes you along the west side of Coffenbury Lake. This easy hike is 3.8 miles and features 108 feet of elevation gain, and it’s a great trail for small kids. Keep an eye out for banana slugs on the path!

Note that you’ll need to pay $5 for a day use pass for the state park.

Dinner and brews at Fort George

A vegan “chicken” sandwich, poutine, and a beer flight at Fort George.

Now it’s time to head back into town for dinner! We recommend grabbing dinner at Fort George Brewing, which offers a classic Pacific Northwest brewery experience in a bight and modern building. Fort George brews all of their own beer in downtown Astoria, and has a delicious dinner menu with options for vegans, vegetarians, and meat lovers alike! For dinner we shared a flight of beers, the Isotope vegan chicken sandwich, and poutine covered in wild mushroom gravy. All were delicious! 

Cocktails at Blaylocks Whiskey Bar

End the evening with amazing cocktails from Blaylocks Whiskey Bar, which is tucked away on a side street of downtown Astoria. Blaylocks honestly has some the best cocktails I have ever had in my life, and their menu is super creative! I ordered the Peat’s Dragon, which the bartender lit on fire at our table – it was quite the show! While Blaylocks specializes in whiskey, they have an impressive menu of other spirits as well, all of which are meticulously crafted. 

Where to stay in Astoria – the Norblad Hotel

Amiana taking in the views from one of the Astor Suites at the Norblad Hotel.

Located in the heart of downtown Astoria, the Norblad Hotel was fully renovated in 2017 and offers a modern atmosphere in a historic building. It is beautiful! When booking, look to stay on the 8th floor of the Astor Suite. We stayed in room 804 which had an incredible view over downtown Astoria and the famous Astoria-Megler Bridge spanning the Columbia River. The windows are huge and offer an amazing sunset view!

DAY 2: Sunrise hike, exploring downtown Astoria, and waterfront dining

Hike to a 300-year-old Sitka Spruce and the Astoria Column

Gwyn hiking to the Cathedral Tree. We got to experience some fresh snow when we went to Astoria in January 2024, which is pretty unusual!

Start your day with a hike along Cathedral Tree Trail. This 1.6 mile out-and-back hike includes 330 feet of elevation gain, and I would consider it relatively easy. The hike starts near downtown Astoria and winds its way through a secluded forest. Along the hike you’ll pass the Cathedral Tree which is a 300-year-old Sitka Spruce. Its trunk and roots are hollow, forming a natural “cathedral spire” appearance.

The Astoria column. This is a great place to watch sunrise or sunset!

The end of the Cathedral Tree Trail leads directly to the famous Astoria Column, which is a 125-foot monument on top of Coxcomb Hill. The column has sweeping 360 degree views of downtown Astoria, the Columbia River, Pacific Ocean, and several mountain peaks of the Oregon Coastal Range. During normal business hours visitors can walk up a spiral staircase within the column to the top viewing deck! This is the best view in all of Astoria!

Visiting the column is free; however, if you choose not to hike via the Cathedral Tree Trail you will need to pay a $5 parking fee at the top of the hill.

Lunch at The Knot

After a morning of exploring, head to downtown Astoria for lunch at The Knot. Located in the Bowline Hotel, The Knot has an intimate dining room with beautiful views overlooking the Columbia River, as well as a lounge area with a gorgeous fireplace. With its fresh and vibrant foods, lunch at The Knot did not disappoint! Their butternut squash tarte tatin with toasted hazelnuts, feta, and muscavado mascarpone was truly delicious. We also loved the spiced apple bread pudding and chocolate and salted hazelnut custard, which were the highlight of our meal. This is a restaurant we will absolutely be going back to the next time we’re in Astoria!

We made an Instagram reel spotlighting our meal at The Knot, which you can check out here.

Walk along the Riverfront Trail and downtown Astoria

Amiana strolling along the riverfront. Note all the ice on the boardwalk!

After lunch we recommend exploring Astoria’s Riverfront Trail and downtown. This 6+ mile trail was converted from an old railroad into a paved trail that winds along the Columbia River. You’ll pass by several notable stops in town including the Port of Astoria, Maritime Memorial Park, and local shops, and you can stroll as far (or not!) as your heart desires. You can find more information about stops along the trail here.

Visit the Columbia River Maritime Museum

If you like maritime history you’ll love the Columbia River Maritime Museum! Located in downtown Astoria, The Columbia River Maritime Museum is one of the best maritime museums in the country. Kids under 5 are free, and adult tickets are $18.

more than 48 hours in Astoria? Additional recommendations

Sunset as seen from the Astoria Column.

If you’ve got more than 48 hours in Astoria, Oregon you might also want to check out the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, and some of the other beautiful hikes nearby. The Goonies was also filmed here, so movie buffs may want to plan to visit some of the iconic filming locations.

Have you been to Astoria? If you’re local, what “must see” attractions did we miss? How would YOU spend 48 hours in Astoria?

Looking for more? You can view our Astoria itinerary reel here! Make sure to follow @gwynandami on Instagram for more Pacific Northwest travel itineraries and hikes. You can also find more Pacific Northwest itineraries and destinations on our blog.

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