Columbia River Maritime Museum, Astoria, Oregon

Astoria, Oregon, was once a small, relatively quiet town, but in the past 10 years it has experienced a renaissance of culture and tourism. One notable place to go is the Columbia River Maritime Museum. Sitting on the waterfront of this vibrant town, the Columbia River Maritime Museum is a detailed exploration into the history of seafaring in the Pacific Northwest, and more specifically, the dangerous waters where the Columbia River meets the Pacific.

Designed to allow the maximum immersion, this museum surrounds you with images, dioramas and statues to learn both the history and science of this environment. You might want to take a look at the “Shipwrecks!” exhibit, which goes into the history of the thousands of shipwrecks in the region. Or you might want to learn more about the Columbia River bar—known as the “Graveyard of the Pacific”—and how it’s one of the most dangerous places to navigate on the West Coast, so dangerous that it is used by the Coast Guard for training exercises.

From atmospheric science to recently restored naval artifacts, there’s something for everyone to explore here. If you’re going to be visiting lovely Astoria, then you’d be remiss not to go to this museum.

Find more information about the Columbia River Maritime Museum at Plan your visit to Astoria at