You can climb the 164 steps of the Astoria Column and enjoy the view from the top. Or you can visit the Columbia River Maritime Museum (more fun than it sounds!) or the Fort Clatsop National Memorial (also way cooler than it sounds).
You can enjoy highway signs listing place names like Dismal Nitch and Cape Disappointment.
So much culture and education!
This is what my husband and I did on our weekend getaway, to belatedly celebrate our 20th anniversary.
We splurged on a night at the luxurious Cannery Pier Hotel, which is actually ON the water, built on 100-year-old pilings at the mouth of the Columbia River.
View from our room.
The Astoria Bridge (above) was actually called “The Bridge to Nowhere” long before a certain Alaskan project received that designation. Six thousand cars a day cross the bridge on an average day, so it seems to be leading somewhere.
The Columbia is a working river, with huge ships passing by all day and night. Ship-peepers, take note!
You know all those fun things you can do in Astoria I listed earlier?
We’ve actually done all of them before, so my husband and I were happy to do NOTHING this weekend except take naps, read, and have actual conversations, instead of saying things to each other like, “Would you pick up dog food on the way home?” and “Have you seen my keys?”
We’re not good at getting away on our own. We’ve only managed it once before in the eleven years since we’ve had our son. So with an average of five years between getaways, by the time we managed this rare anniversary trip, we were so burnt from daily obligations that we just wanted to laze.
Besides, did you see how gorgeous that room was? Some hotel rooms look nice, but are dinky or dark or weird-smelling. This room was big and welcoming and just made for relaxation. The bathroom was big, too, with a nice shower and a pristine clawfoot tub next to shutters that peeked into the main room, and allowed a view of the river. There was even a pair of binoculars provided so you can spy on the birds and sea lions, and read the names on the ships as they go by.
We ate at our favorite Astoria eatery - The Columbian Cafe - where we’ve enjoyed memorable meals for more than 15 years.
We took in some history, conveniently displayed on the walls of the hotel. Here are my favorite shots (courtesy of the Clatsop County Historical Society) of the old cannery (I’m leaving them big, so you can see those long-ago faces):
And because my husband knows me better than anyone, he told me to bring my laptop along, “just in case.”
I insisted that I wanted to spend all my free time gazing at him, but he assured me I was welcome to write during our getaway, if I felt like it.
You know what?
He’s my best friend.
I should go away with him more often.