- Columbia River Maritime Museum(Astoria): The mighty Columbia River empties into the Pacific at Astoria, site of the oldest settlement west of the Mississippi. The collection of heritage boats, from Coast Guard rescue ships to fishing trawlers, and a docked light station that you can visit, highlight the many ways that the Columbia has been integral to Astoria’s history. Nautical artifacts and memorabilia are scattered throughout this compact, well-designed museum, including rare maps, cannons washed up from shipwrecks, and exhibits explaining Astoria’s once-thriving salmon canning industry.
- Flavel House (Astoria): Built in the 1880s for a wealthy sea captain, Flavel House is the grandest and most historic house in Astoria. On a self-guided tour, you can wander through the enormous rooms, furnished with original and period furniture, and see how the other half lived way back when.
- Fort Clatsop–Lewis & Clark National Historic Park (near Astoria): Of all the early explorers, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark are most ingrained in the consciousness of Pacific Northwesterners. On orders from President Thomas Jefferson, these two intrepid adventurers assembled the Corps of Discovery and traveled from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean, traversing half the continent and going where no whites had ever gone before. When they reached the Pacific in 1805, they built a fort like the replica seen at this national historic park and spent a cold, wet winter there before heading back to civilization.
- Yaquina Bay Lighthouse(Newport): There are two lighthouses in Newport, but this one is in the town itself, and it happens to be the oldest lighthouse on the Oregon coast, dating from 1871. Even more unusual, it is built of wood and looks more like a house than a lighthouse. Now part of Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site, the lighthouse is open as a museum so you can go inside to visit the lighthouse keepers’ quarters and gaze out over the same coast they kept watch over some 140 years ago.
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