It's OrEgun

: Where Each North Coast Town

Is Unique

Astoria OR

Astoria the largest north coast Oregon town by population.  It's neighbor, Warrenton, is the largest by square miles.  Astoria is rich in arts and history.  Today Shanghaied in Astoria is a delightful show.  In the early 1900's persons were actually Shanghaied (kidnapped) in Astoria.

The grand Astoria - Megler Bridge spans the Columbia River.  It was built 1962 - 1964.  Before that, only a fair weather ferry service connected Oregon to Washington.  The bridge closes on rare occasion due to bad weather.  For the most part, it is open for all those with the guts to cross it.
Salmon have always been a treasure.  Canneries once lined Astoria's River front.  Now piers along the river are reminders of those days as well as several impressive museums.  A few canneries have been converted to interesting shops and restaurants.
Above: Astoria Oregon from Astor Column.
Left: Sailing ships in open sea, bound for the Columbia River, pic early 1900's.  Their first stop was Astoria.  Today, ships lack grand sails but continue to dock at Astoria.  A bar at the mouth of The River remains a dangerous place.  Ships are safely guided into the Columbia River by skilled river pilots.
Above: Astor Column, Astoria OR
Above: Salmon fishing on Columbia River upstream from Astoria, early 1900's.
Above: Whispering Giant at Young’s Bay Bridge, Astoria.
Above: Sailors Memorial beneath Astoria - Megler Bridge. The Tribute is in honor of Sailors who did not return; accessible by Astoria Riverwalk that extends from Maritime Museum along the waterfront.
Sea Lions were a rare sight on The River prior to 1970.  Their numbers have grown, and no one can figure out how to get rid of them.  The problem is simple.  They like to eat Salmon and refuse to review the endangered species list before chomping a hole in a fish.  In 2005, the Army Corps of Engineers at Bonneville Dam watched California sea lions consume 3,023 salmon during the year.  That was just one section of the Columbia and only those observed. 
(There are observable differences between Sea lions and seals.)
Above: Pilings from old canaries along Astoria's Columbia River bank.  Several have been converted to restaurants, pubs, gift shops,...
Above: Sea Lions on an Astoria Dock, east Astoria Riverwalk . 
Above: Columbia River Maritime Museum, on Riverwalk, continuously expands . An interactive exhibit allows land lovers to cross the ferocious Columbia River Bar, tour a lighthouse ship and a Coast Guard Cutter.  The North Coast cannot be appreciated without a visit to this museum.

Warrenton OR

Is the largest town, by acreage, on the North Coast.  It’s striving to be known as the Chain Store Capitol of Clatsop County.
Above: North Coast Traffic Cam on Hwy 101, Warrenton, OR. 

Warning: In some coast towns, a speed limit of 45 mph means 45 mph and not 46 or higher.
Above:  Peter Iredale Wreck at Ft. Stevens Park near Warrenton

Fort Stevens State Park

Fort Stevens was a primary military defense from the end of the Civil War to the end of WWII.   It is now a fine State Park offering a glimpse of history as well as a great spot to camp, hike, picnic, view the ocean and the Peter Iredale shipwreck.  It hosts a major annual Civil War reenactment.

Gearhart Oregon

Above; Peace filled Gearhart, as viewed from north end of Seaside's beach.  The two towns are separated by a river mouth.

Seaside Oregon

Seaside began in the early 1900s, as a tourist resort, and remains so to this day. The town is at the end of the 1805-6 Lewis and Clark's trail.  While Lewis and Clark stayed at Fort Clatsop, near Warrenton, they traveled south to Seaside to boil salt water, then turned back to the north. During the Bicentennial Celebration, a Lewis and Clark history buff asked me the name of their dog.  I did not know.  He later complained that the north coast towns roll up their sidewalks by 10 pm.  I replied, "Well, now you know why Lewis and Clark only stayed here for one winter.”  Actually there is much to do in Seaside.- kites, bikes, rides, volleyball, classic car shows, and other events.. We just like doing these things during daylight. 
Fireworks, 4th of July.  In Oregon, it is illegal to set off fireworks the go into the air.  Many disregard this law.  On a vast expanse of sandy beach, what’s the harm?  Not much, unless it lands on someone.  But, please, no firing of illegals anywhere else.  Remember the Eagle Creek Fire.  It was set off by fireworks and destroyed a huge section of one of the world’s most scenic treasures, the Columbia River Gorge.
Above: Seaside fun includes renting a bicycle built for 1, 2, 4, or more.  When driving in town, look for small yellow triangular flags.  There's a bike below the flag. Try not to hit it.
Above: A replica of their salt making system used by Lewis and Clark, located in south Seaside.
Above: The restored Merry-go-round still provides rides in the heart of Carousel Mall
Above: Seaside Oregon looking north to mouth of Columbia River, as viewed from a Helicopter ride, that operates in the summer.
Above:  Seaside is the end of the annual Hood to Coast Run, held in August.  It begins at Mt. Hood.  By the time they arrived in Seaside, they are tired but still have their sense of humor.
Left:  Necanicum River once divided 2 separate towns named Seaside.  They joined in the early years to form present day Seaside.  Before that there was a Native American Village on the Necanicum.  It is honored with Quatat Park behind the Convention Center, where paddle boats can be rented.  Drowned driftwood makes the river hazardous for anything larger than a canoe.
Above: Lewis and Clark, “End of the Trail” Statue, at the “turnaround,” Seaside.

Cannon Beach Oregon

Named after a cannon from the U.S. Navy ship Shark, wrecked at Clatsop Spit in 1821.  Haystack Rock adorns the long sand beach.  Their annual Sandcastle Festival brings the arts to the shore, until the high tide washes it all away.
Double click to edit
Photos from Sandcastle Festival 2015
Above: Haystack Rock of Cannon Beach, viewed from Hwy 101 turnout south of Cannon Beach

Above: Troy of Almost Free Comics, admires the sand sculptures. Haystack Rock in background.

Manzanita and Neah-Kah-Nei Mt. Mystery(s)

An Indian god once climbed 1,600 foot Neah-Kah-Nei Mountain.  He sat down and turned to stone.  That was a long time ago.  He still sits there today.  If you are the super-ego type who likes to hike, I recommend the Neah-Kah-Nei trail, but don't sit down.

The area is filled with mystery.  Bees wax has been found on the Manzanita Beach, from a ship wrecked in times forgotten.  Native Americans passed down stories of one ship chased by another, of a crew of sailors or pirates who buried a treasure on Nea-kah-nie Mountain.  And then there are those strange stones with hieroglyphics that have been found on the mountain.  It has sent many in search for the treasure.  One fellow calculated the water currents and concluded that the treasure had shifted.  It was under Manzanita Beach.  He spent a fortune digging up the beach and he recovered a lot of sand.

Sir Francis Drake may have staked a claim to the area in 1579.  This was just after the Frobisher Expeditions to Hudson Bay, Canada, in search of the Northwest Passage.  Perhaps Drake planned to greet Frobisher when Frobisher reached the other side.  Perhaps Drake was the one the Natives saw chasing the Spanish ship.  Perhaps the strange hieroglyphics are Drake’s survey markers.  All that is certain is when walking the beach, or climbing Nea-kah-nie, keep a sharp eye.  There’s no telling what you might find.

Additional Mystery Information:
opb video:
Above: Looking south from Hwy 101. Neahkahnei with Manzanita in background.
Above: View of Pacific from Hwy 101 south of Cannon Beach.
Above: David Poole, Portrait Artist, Carousel Mall, Seaside OR
Updated: Feb. 21, 2021
© = R. W. Faulkner