Sitting on the banks of the Columbia River at Youngs Bay just a few miles from where these incredible waterways unite with the vast Pacific Ocean, Astoria, Oregon, has the prestigious title of being the oldest American settlement established west of the Rocky Mountains. With its endless miles of gorgeous beaches, diverse wildlife, tranquil yet exhilarating waters, and towering old growth forests of evergreen Spruce, Hemlock, and Douglas Fir, Astoria, Oregon, also has the designation of being one of the most beautiful towns in the world.
There’s many types of homes for sale in Astoria, OR ranging from the many historic homes that dot the North slope to charming bungalows on the South slope. Neighborhoods like Mill Pond Village and River Point feature newer homes that offer all the modern conveniences without the feeling of living “in the city”.
Rich In History
Located in Clatsop County, Oregon, named in honor of the local Clatsop Indians, Astoria, Oregon, is home to a multitude of museums, parks, and landmarks along with a fascinating history that delights residents, history buffs, and visitors alike.
Astoria’s settlement history began with the Lewis and Clark Expedition building a small log structure they named Fort Clatsop just west of today’s Astoria, Oregon, where they rode out the winter of 1805 to 1806. In 1810, John Jacob Astor, owner of the Pacific Fur Company, established Fort Astoria (named after himself) as a fur trading post and the first permanent American settlement on the Pacific Coast. Fort Astoria became Astoria, Oregon, when the Oregon Legislative Assembly incorporated it on October 20, 1876.
Astoria, Oregon, grew quickly as one of the most important cities on the Pacific Coast, especially due to its easy port access to interior Oregon via its location at the mouth of the Columbia River and Youngs Bay.
- Fort Clatsop – Newly reconstructed as a national monument commemorating the western end of the Lewis and Clark Trail and where the expedition wintered from December 1805 until March 1806, Fort Clatsop features living history demonstrations and a museum, historical exhibits, trails, picnic areas, and more.
- Astor Column – Located atop Astoria’s highest rise, Astor Column offers a spectacular view of Astoria and the surrounding bay, river, ocean, mountains, and forest. 125 feet high and built in 1926, Astor Column celebrates the discovery of the Columbia River in 1792 by Captain Robert Gray, the settlement of Astoria, and the Great Northern Railway’s arrival.
- Flavel House – This historic Victorian home built in 1885 depicts what life was like in Astoria at the turn of the Nineteenth Century. Its elegant woodwork and period decorations and furnishings look just as they would have a century ago.
- Goonie House – A favorite movie from the 1980s, Steven Spielberg filmed many of the scenes in the movie The Goonies in Astoria. The Goonie house and the goondocks still stand and are a popular Astoria attraction.
- Columbia River Maritime Museum – You can explore Astoria’s maritime history, including shipwrecks, navigation, lighthouses, naval history, and more at the Columbia River Maritime Museum, from simple dugout canoes and early sailing vessels to a submarine, U.S. Navy warship.
- Liberty Theater – A motion picture palace opened in Astoria in 1925, the Liberty Theater is one of the most beautiful examples of 1920s architecture you’ll find in the Pacific Northwest.
Astoria, Oregon, Today
Today, Astoria, Oregon, is a bustling and trendy city that manages to retain its historic charm. It’s a delightfully romantic getaway with many unique shops and restaurants and a wonderful place to raise a family and enjoy a life full of adventure.
From historic Victorian and craftsman homes to newer neighborhoods like Knappa, Svensen, Mill Pond Village, River Point, Olney, and more, Astoria, Oregon, offers something for everyone. That’s why so many people choose to make Astoria, Oregon, their home.
Astoria North Slope
The North Slope of Astoria is best known as any part of Astoria that looks North toward the Columbia River. This is where the oldest homes and buildings in Astoria are located, and the pocket between 7th and 17th Streets is especially desirable when looking for a historic property. The North Slope does have it’s trade offs however- Shaded more often during the day in the spring and fall when daylight hours are short, but also protected from the high winds and rain that tends to come in from the South and Southwest. Also, some areas of the North Slope are prone to slide and other geological hazards, caution must be taken where appropriate.
Astoria South Slope
The South Slope of Astoria is better known as the ‘sunny side’ of Astoria. Facing the South and Youngs Bay, the South Slope tends to get a bit more sunshine during the spring and fall seasons when daylight is short (and sometimes the sunshine). The majority of homes on the South Slope were constructed between 1910-1950 and included craftsman and ranch style homes. (No victorians to be found here) There are some pockets of newer construction, most noticeably above the Astoria High School and near the Coast Guard Housing on Dawson, South, and McClure Streets.
The River Point neighborhood in Astoria is an old navy complex located East of Astoria between Hwy 202 and Youngs River. The area was re-developed during the late 1990′s into a more traditional neighborhood but left many of the original landmarks in tact including the water tower and the brick building. Lots are larger than the typical city lot here, and while River Point is not located in the Astoria city limits it does have CC&R’s and an active HOA. The River Point area is popular because it combines traditional neighborhood living with a more rural feel. River Point is just a 5 minute drive from Astoria heading East on Hwy 202.
Mill Pond Village
What began life as a saw mill on the East side of Astoria has now been transformed into an upscale and trendy urban development in the heart of downtown Astoria. Mill Pond Village is a 16 acre master planned community on the Columbia River in Astoria, located between 23rd and 29th Street. Surrounding the ‘Mill Pond” are 86 home sites (according to reports, however I don’t believe it will reach that number) and a couple of condo projects including Columbia Landing. There’s lots available currently in Mill Pond and custom built homes available as new or resale.