May 3, 2018
Seattle, WA-> Astoria, OR
Fremont Coffee Company (Seattle, WA)
Portage Bay Goods (Seattle, WA)
Fremont Bowl (Seattle, WA)
Post Office (Seattle, WA)
Astoria Column (Astoria, OR)
Hampton Inn (Astoria, OR)
Buoy Beer Company (Astoria, OR)
The third day of our trip was filled with last-minute ventures in Seattle, WA before our 3.5 hour coastal drive to Astoria, OR (where I slept for a good chunk of the car ride… thanks for driving, Darren!).
Unfortunately, I don’t have photos from all of our stops that I listed in the above “location summary” because some of them were taken on Darren’s camera and he hasn’t gotten around to sorting those, yet. But do enjoy the ones I DID manage to obtain!
We woke up early in the morning to finish packing our belongings, have breakfast, and fill out our postcards (we both made it a point on our trip to send postcards to friends and family from each big city at which we stopped during our trip). We also found a cute travel notebook that was left by our host for their travelers; we made sure to fill it out and thank them for such a wonderful stay! We hope to be back here someday!
Fremont Coffee Company
After departing from our Airbnb at around 10:30am, we headed to our morning coffee fix at Fremont Coffee Company. This place was highly reviewed on Yelp as a eccentric, yet cozy coffee shop housed in, well, a small house! They are also known for their cute latte art, as seen in the cute little owl that I received on my own latte.
Following coffee, we did a bit of souvenir shopping at Portage Bay Goods, where we bought some coasters and postcards with artwork designed by local artists (one of my goals on this trip was to shop at small businesses/local businesses—I hope to also keep this up in the future!). We also had a late lunch at Fremont Bowl, famous for their chirashi bowl. Of course, we ordered the famed chirashi bowl and an additional sake don (salmon) to share between the two of us and woah—this place definitely lived up to the hype! There was a lot of fresh, tasty fish in our bowls, fresh wasabi, and fresh picked ginger that really brought our dishes together. Finally, we dropped off our postcards at the post office and then we were on our way!
As we drove to Oregon, we saw the weather deteriorate from Sunny San Diego weather to the famed PNW cloudy gray, but it was beautiful all the same.
Our first stop in Astoria was the Astoria Column! It was highly recommended in the AAA Oregon guidebook and even though my initial impression was that it might be a slightly sleepy stop, it turned out to be quite an experience.
*A bit of background information about the column from their website:
Standing above the city–600 feet above sea level to be exact–the Astoria Column unleashes an unrivaled view of Young’s Bay, the Coast Range, the mighty Columbia River, and in the distance—the Pacific Ocean. Its light shines each night as a silent testament to the pride, fortitude, and resolve of the people who settled the Pacific Northwest, and to those who live here today.
Modeled after the Trajan Column in Rome, the Astoria Column features a hand-painted spiral frieze that would stretch more than 500 feet if unwound. The monument was dedicated in 1926, and has since undergone several restorations.
Learning more about the history of the column made it more interesting in my eyes, especially as I also recognized the similarities to Trajan’s Column from my art history studies. However, the true enjoyment came from driving up the hill, seeing the views from the bottom of the column, and then actually CLIMBING the spiral staircase inside of the humid column before opening the door and seeing a panoramic version of the views I had just seen from below.
Hampton Inn & Suites
Subsequently, we drove to our hotel to check-in, drop off our things, freshen up, and find a place to have dinner. To our pleasure, our room had a gorgeous view (obviously, that meant Darren had to stick his Go-Pro to the window and take a time lapse; I’ve yet to see the fruits of his labor… haha!) and we spent a few moments simply enjoying it before heading out again.
Buoy Beer Company
There were a few promising options on our quest for food, but in the end we decided on Buoy Beer Co. because not only was the food highly rated, but the views from the restaurant were supposed to be stellar.
Again, Yelp came through! The food was delicious (fried cheese curds, the sweetest oyster shots, and steamer clams), the service friendly, the beer pretty tasty (my personal favorites of our flight were the Dunkel and Mandarina Bavaria Single Hop IPA), and the views majestic. I’m so bummed that I didn’t get any photos of the scenery 🙁
Another highlight of this place was the partial glass floor that allows for the viewing of sea lions perched underneath!