The secret’s out about this awesome town on the mouth of the Columbia River.

Start your visit at Fort Clatsop National Historical Park, where you can trace Lewis and Clark’s journey to the sea and explore a replica of the fort they built to shelter them over the long winter of 1805-1806. Afterwards, stretch your legs by hiking the Fort-to-Sea trail — smaller kids will want to turn around when you’ve reached the summit of Clatsop Ridge, in about 2 miles. Back in town, rent bikes from Bikes and Beyond and head out on the Astoria River Trail, a 5-mile-long wooden boardwalk that reminds you that for all its tourist gloss, Astoria is still very much a working port. You’ll go under the Astoria-Megler Bridge, the world’s largest truss bridge, which spans the mighty Columbia. Not cyclists? The quaint Astoria streetcar covers part of the same route.

On nice days, it’s worth a trip up to the top of the Astoria Column, a 125-foot tower painted with murals that recall key moments in Oregon history. For lunch, many people swear by Bowpicker Fish & Chips, located near the Columbia River Maritime Museum in a converted gillnet boat; for dinner, try the Buoy Beer Company, where kids can watch the sea lions lounging on the pier while you eat.

Stop by Finn Ware, a Scandinavian-themed gift shop, to pick up souvenirs (last time, we got our kids a plastic Viking helmet). Stay at the Cannery Pier Hotel on the waterfront, where there are free snacks at happy hour and views of the river from most rooms.

Gear Guide
All gear available at Next Adventure or online at nextadventure.net. Click on the image for more details.

Youth rain pants: Versatile piece for urban commutes or rainy-day adventures.

Rain jacket: Perfect for any day in the Pacific Northwest.

Trekking shorts: Comfortable and chafe-free, breathable shorts make for fun adventures.

Water bottle: Collapsible water bottle for hydration anywhere you go.

Hiking boots: Waterproof hiking boots keep baby bunions at bay.

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