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This historic waterfront town was the first American settlement on the Pacific Coast, established where the Columbia River flows into the Pacific Ocean. Victorian homes climb up the steep wooded hillsides, and waterfront parks offer great vantage points for photos of the river. For even more spectacular views, take the 164 winding steps to the top of the Astoria Column for sweeping vistas of the city, river, bay, forest, mountains and ocean. You'll find an extensive collection of nautical artifacts at the Columbia River Maritime Museum, or you can stroll through Astoria's historic district. Shore excursions travel just outside Astoria to Fort Clatsop, where Lewis and Clark headquartered in the winter of 1805-06. Although the original fort deteriorated in the wet Northwest climate, this authentic replica was built in 1955 using Clark's sketches. Park rangers dressed in buckskin demonstrate period crafts -- making candles, smoking meat and carving dugout canoes.
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