Oregon day trip: Astoria

Get cozy on a winter visit to the Northern Oregon Coast

Jennifer Margulis

Goonies HQ: Movie directors have always loved the Oregon Coast: Twilight, The Goonies, and Free Willy were all filmed on these jutting boulders and windswept beaches. Now, finally, there’s the new Oregon Film Museum to prove it. $4; 732 Duane St.; oregonfilmmuseum.com

Make it a weekend: The Hotel Elliott was built in 1924 but has modern comforts like heated bathroom floors. Right now, there are reduced off-season rates—even for river-view rooms. From $129; hotelelliott.com

Date night, Astoria-style

Candlelit dinner: Don’t be fooled by the bland name of the Astoria Coffeehouse Bistro or its rather retro façade. The ambience is romantic and the food sophisticated. Try the local wild coho salmon topped with a creamy caper sauce, or the Washington venison in a rich mushroom ragu with fresh tagliatelle. $$; 243 11th St.; 503/325-1787.

Beach picnic: Stock up at the Astoria Co-op, which has expanded into an airy, light-filled space. There’s healthy stuff like quinoa salad, red cabbage with toasted almonds and sesame seeds, and Willamette Valley Cheese’s creamy havarti and aged gouda. It’s mostly organic, and prices are reasonable. (Morning plan: Grab bagels and do breakfast by the sea.) 1355 Exchange St.; 503/325-0027.

Steamy soup: The hours are a bit unreliable (don’t believe what you read on the door), and the service isn’t always, shall we say, four-star, but that’s part of the charm of Charlie’s Chowder House, a local lunch hangout that makes the most delicious, most clam-filled chowder in a town brimming with bowls of the stuff. $; 1335 Marine Dr.; 503/325-2368.

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