We visited Astoria a few weeks ago on our Oregon Bike Tour. Astoria is where we were going to leave our car and launch or trip from.
Before we left, I did a search of dog-friendly stuff in town. I didn’t really find anything except hotels and restaurants on websites like DogGoes and BringFido when I searched “stuff to do with your dog in Astoria, OR”. Upon further research, I found that the one pet store listed had closed, one restaurant (the Gunderson’s Cannery Café) had burned down and one restaurant was inaccurate. It wasn’t looking too promising.
I don’t think I would call Astoria “Dog Friendly”. As with any average town, you can find a couple of things to do there with your dog but it’s a stretch. The City certainly does not cater to dogs.
When we got to Astoria we went straight to the visitor center. We asked them about dog-friendly restaurants in town. I mentioned the Astoria co-op I had seen mentioned but all I got was a funny look. They asked, “You mean the health food store??” They didn’t know of any outside seating there (and a later drive by confirmed that there wasn’t any) so that was out. They said besides the Wet Dog Café/Astoria Brewery, the only other dog-friendly dining in town was at the BowPicker – an excellent fish and chips bar.
We went with the Wet Dog Café because we wanted more of a restaurant atmosphere. It has outdoor seating with a view of the Columbia River.
The seating area is not covered so if it raining it’s probably not an option. They serve beer with names like Old Red Beard Amber and Poop Deck Porter, have a gift shop with a lot of doggie-themed wines and you can order a plain hamburger patty for your dog brought to you on a plate. The food was your usual pub fare but the service was great.
After eating dinner we checked into the Best Western Lincoln Inn at the west end of town.
They book the pet rooms on the first floor (call ahead for availability) and they have a big potty area across the hotel parking lot. They also serve the breakfast basics plus eggs, sausage and waffles and have a 24 hour pool )but can’t used if dog because can’t leave them in the room unattended). Our room left something to be desired though with a burned out lightbulb, thin blankets and a TV remote that didn’t work despite a change of batteries.
That evening we visited the Goonies House.
Someone lives in the house so all we could see was the outside but we took a few pictures. There is a grassy area and picnic table across from the house so you could sit and enjoy your lunch there if you wanted to. We could hear the Sea Lions from the East Mooring Basin barking.
The neighbor, who lives next door in Data’s house, saw Chester and Gretel and came out on his porch. He said he just had to let his dachshund Toby say hi to any other Doxie visitors.
It turns out the man used to work for Channel 13 in Tacoma, WA and his family owned the Goonies house during filming. He said it needed a lot of work so they eventually sold it to a woman from Maine and settled for Data’s house next door.
Next on our list was the Astoria Tower.
Dogs are allowed on grounds but not inside so we took turns climbing the 164 tight, windy stairs to the top of the tower. On the way up you occasionally have to let go of the railing to squeeze past the people coming down and the balcony is high and crowded so this one is not for the height-phobic or claustrophobic people. There are amazing views of Washington and the area surrounding Astoria though so it is worth it though.
Before we went back to the hotel we drove over both, separate bridges out of town to see which biking experience was going to be the best. We picked the shorter Old Young’s Bay Bridge so that the scariness was kept to a minimum, although the NEW Young’s Bay Bridge would probably have been fine without the doggie trailers.
Here is the dog-friendly stuff we found to do in Astoria during our visit.
Sights and things to do
- Goonie’s House – 368 -38th St. No cars area allowed to drive up to the house so you must park on nearby residential streets and walk up the driveway. Visit during normal human waking times because this is a lady’s house.
- Jail from Goonie’s Movie – Clatsop County Jail, 732 Duane St. It is now the Oregon Film Museum but dogs are not allowed inside.
- Astoria Column – Dogs are allowed on grounds only. $1 for an annual parking permit (yes, $1 for the whole YEAR).
- Historic Waterfront Trolley – Trolley runs from the Astoria-Washington Bridge (name) to near the Goonie’s House and Sea Lions. It is about an hour trip. Summer schedule noon to 7 June 1 to October 2. $1 per boarding, $2 to ride all day or you can charter trolley for $100 per hour (for private events like weddings or something I guess).
- Astoria Riverwalk and ship watching – This 5.1 mile trail along the Columbia River is part of the Rails to Trails network. This trail is shared with the trolley in many places so look out.
- Wet Dog Café and Astoria Brewing Company – 144 – 11th Street. Deck with outdoor seating and a great view of the waterfront.
- Bowpicker – Fish and chips bar at 17th and Duane Street, across from Columbia Maritime Museum. Look for the old, small boat in the empty looking parking lot.
- Astoria Coffee House and Bistro – 243 – 11th Street. This place had the most outdoor seating of all the coffee places and when we walked by a woman was sitting outside with her dachshund.
- Rusty cup and Beanery – 1213 Commercial Street. Tiny inside, 1 or 2 tables outside.
- Pet Works – 240 – 14th Street. This warehouse-looking building is the only pet store in town. It also has a self-service dog wash.
- Fernhill Glass Studio – 1450 Exchange Street. You can watch live glass blowing in the pit from theatre seats. Note: Parrot names kitty who apparently bites strangers so don’t stick your fingers in there.
Bike Shops – Of important note to Oregon Coast cyclists
- Bikes and Beyond – 1089 Marine Drive. Store says it ships and receives over 100 bikes per year from all over the world. I walked briefly with Chester and Gretel and they didn’t yell at me to get out but I wouldn’t confirm that they are dog-friendly.
- Bike Garage – 13th and Duane Street.
Like I said, Astoria doesn’t qualify as “Dog Friendly” in our book but maybe dog tolerant in some respects. While there are a few hotels in town that allow dogs, there are only two dog-friendly restaurants , no boutique pet stores and limited access to the sights with pets.