Travel: Astoria capitalizes on prime Oregon coast site along Columbia

ASTORIA, Ore. — Founded a little more than 200 years ago as America’s first settlement in the West, the port city of Astoria finds itself buoyed these days by a tourist-fueled revival.

Yet history lingers, palpable and powerful, just a two-hour drive from the state’s metropolitan center, Portland.

At the apex of Coxcomb Hill, mural-wrapped Astoria Column traces the area’s evolution, from Capt. Robert Gray finding the Columbia River (named for his ship, the Columbia Rediviva) in 1792 to the Lewis and Clark Expedition more than a decade later and the arrival of a railroad in the late 1800s.

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