Reviews & Photos
December 14 2012
1 family found this helpful
16323 S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard ,
When I first was planning to go to the aquarium, I had heard from friends that they were disappointed. I went in with low expectations, and was pleasantly surprised with things and really enjoyed ourselves. This is not Sea World or the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but a small converted building in Milwaukie, Oregon.
Prepare for a parking lot that is on the small side. They opened a couple of days ago and the Sea Otter and Puffin exhibits are not open yet (they will be in the Spring). The exhibits that are open were really fun.
Hands down my son loved touching the Manta Rays the best. The Manta Rays and young sharks will swim right up and rub on your finger tips. You can also buy food to feed the animals. That will really brings them right up to you. There was lots of hands on experiences for you and your children that were fantastic.
Employees come out and explain the animals and all of their features. Everyone was really helpful and friendly, despite a few opening week glitches, which did not hamper our visit.
The space also offers a great play space and a lorikeets exhibit, as well as a really fun dress up area.
All in all, it is small, but I felt like it was well done considering the space they had to work with. The gift shop is spacious, and very few families got out without buying something (they had some GREAT things!). It looks like they are going to be opening a snack shack outside (by the entrance) as well. It made for a really fun morning out.
November 13 2012
1 family found this helpful
Finn's Fish House
We decided to make a stop in Seaside on our way home from Astoria to get some lunch. My husband and I really wanted Ceasar Salads, and as we walked along Broadway, trying to decide which place to stop in to, we came across Finn's Fish House.
They have a huge menu, mainly consisting of seafood items and other American Food. Portions are good size and prices were more what we would have paid for dinner rather than lunch, but we walked away happy. I had their chicken ceasar and it was delicious. My husband had the blackened Salmon Ceasar and he was very impressed with the flavor of the salmon (it either goes horribly wrong or very good, and this one was very good).
They have a kids menu with several different options. While the dishes come with a good sized portion of vegetables, they were a bit greasy. Our guy really liked his mac n' cheese.
The staff was very friendly and helpful. The food came out quickly and they had crayons and paper to color. The bathrooms did not have changing tables, so that might be difficult for folks with smaller kids.
There is also a lounge and gambling area, but it is all non-smoking and we didn't even notice it while we sat there.
November 13 2012
0 families found this helpful
Fort Clatsop National Memorial
92343 Fort Clatsop Road,
"Good bit of fun, great bit of history"
Fort Clatsop was the winter camp for the Corps of Discovery lead by Lewis and Clark. After making it to Cape Disappointment, on the Washington side of the Columbia, the party decided to cross the river and find a better place to spend the winter. They made their way up the Netul River (now called the Lewis and Clark River), and set up camp. The camp was named after the Clatsop Indian Tribe who inhabited the area. They were very friendly to the Corps and Lewis and Clark were both very impressed with both the Clatsop and Chinook tribes who helped them.
Cape Disappointment State Park, Fort Stevens State Park, Ecola State Park, and Fort Clatsop State Park make up one of the newest national Parks – Lewis and Clark National Historic Park.
Start in the visitor’s center. Admission is $3 for each person older than 16 and the pass is good for a week. Kids younger than 16 are free and the National Park Pass is accepted here as well. The center holds an exhibit explaining about the Lewis and Clark party their route, how they lived and about the local Native American’s that the party befriended, a small interactive board about nature, and a good sized gift shop.
Pick up a Jr. Ranger Packet when you pay. We found this really added to the experience for our 5 year old son. Their Jr. Ranger Program helps you learn more about what the Corps of Discovery were doing and how they managed. Clark spent a good deal of time cataloging plants and trees and your child will get to do a little of that too, as you walk, matching the plants in your book to the plants in the woods. If you have also visited Cape Disappointment State Park and Fort Stevens State Park, your child can earn an extra badge through the Jr. Ranger Program – the Presidents Badge.
The walk around the camp, exploring the replica Fort, and the time we spent in the exhibits took us about an hour. For folks who want to walk a little further, there are additional hiking trails, and the Fort to Sea Trail goes right through the park.
In the summer there are living history and ranger-lead programs, but they were not running while we were there in November.
Something else in the neighborhood, for folks with kids who are heavier than 60lbs, is Highlife Adventures Zip Line Tours. Our guy doesn’t meet the weight requirement yet, so we had to pass it up this time, but it is one of the newest zip lines on the Coast. We look forward to checking it out as soon as he is big enough!
November 08 2012
1 family found this helpful
Cape Disappointment State Park
Cape Disappointment State Park,
"Would love to explore more!"
“Ocian in view! O! the joy.” – Capt. William Clark
During a weekend in Astoria, we took a trip across the Astoria-Megler Bridge to Cape Disappointment State Park. This State Park is a beautiful place and is a very popular camping spot for families in the summer.
We only had a couple of hours to spend in the Park, so we headed straight for the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. We paid for our parking at the automated machine in the parking lot and walked the .6 miles to the building. The trail is paved and the signage offers a Native American greeting and blessing and teaches you words from the Chinook Language. You have to walk up hill, but it is a gradual climb and offers benches for rests if you need them.
When you come up the trail you will immediately see Battery Harvey Allen on the left. This battery, together with the battery at Fort Stevens and Fort Columbia worked to protect the mouth of the Columbia River during the wars. Have a little wander around. You can stand on the platforms where the big guns sat.
Follow the trail around the other side of the battery, towards the cliff and head to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. There is an admission fee, but kids under 6 are free. See the time line and how the Corps of Discovery, lead by Lewis and Clark, made their way to the Pacific Ocean and what they endured. There are lots of “Try Me” exhibits for folks to try their hand at a few of the Corps daily tasks. There is a short movie about the journey, and you get to cast your vote where you would have set up winter camp. As it turns out, they decided to cross the Columbia River, go up the Natul River, and set up camp at Fort Clatsop (near Warrenton, Oregon).
When you finish in the Interpretive Center, head back out and if views are clear have a look out at the Lighthouse. Then head there! It is about a half mile hike to the lighthouse from the Interpretive Center. You cannot go inside, but there are some amazing views, and the walk is really nice. It also goes by a Coast Guard station, so kids might enjoy looking at the boats. There is a short section that is a bit steep, but it was easy for our guy (5 years old) to get up.
After that we got back in the car and headed out. We passed the campground and the road to the North Lighthouse. We wanted to check it out too, but didn’t have time. Reading the website, you can go up that lighthouse, but kids under 7 years old are not permitted. There is also an admission fee there.
We are looking forward to coming back in the summer and camping. There is more hiking that looks like fun, and the paved bike trails look like a blast.
Cape Disappointment State Park, Fort Stevens State Park, Fort Clatsop State Park, and Ecola State Park make up one of the newest National Parks in the System – The Lewis and Clark National Historic Park. The Jr Ranger program also recognizes that and if you visit all of the parks your kids will earn a special badge.
Definitely check this out and enjoy! Your family will definitely have a great time!
November 07 2012
0 families found this helpful
Hampton Inn & Suites Astoria
201 39th Street,
The Hampton Inn & Suites is located on the east edge of town, just off Highway 30, which makes the location nice and quiet. You are a little further from downtown, but the hotel is on the Trolley Line, which makes leaving your car behind easy (as long as it isn’t raining – the trolley only runs on dry days). The hotel is really close to the Goonie’s House, so swinging by and getting a “Truffle Shuffle” in quickly is easy! Self-parking is a breeze at the Hampton Inn and there was plenty of room.
As we walked in we were impressed with how new and modern everything was. The hotel was newly built in 2010, and it shows. The front desk got us all checked in and sent us up to our room. As soon as we had a couple of minutes to wander around the massive room, the phone rang. It was the front desk making sure we were happy with everything.
As I said, the room was massive. The 3 of us were more than comfortable. We had 2 queen sized beds, a desk most CEO’s would marvel at, a pull out couch, and plenty of room for my son to ‘play football’ during the Duck game, even without a ball. There was also a big dressing area with a big vanity, a tub/toilet room, and a kitchenette area with a fridge, coffee maker and sink. We also had a balcony that over looked the river and we could see out to the Rogue Ale House. The beds were very comfortable as well.
The workout room is very well stocked, not just with equipment, but also motivation. They have free weights as well treadmills and ellipticals. The pool was bright and clean and the boys had a great time swimming.
Breakfast was an extended continental breakfast. They offer fresh waffles, yogurts, cereals, and toast/bagels. They also had fruit salad, scrambled eggs, sausages, and biscuits and gravy. We all found plenty to eat. There is no other restaurant in the hotel, but the Rogue Ale House is just a short walk behind the hotel, which is great for lunch and dinner.
One thing I was really impressed with was the accessibility for folks with disabilities. Lifts were available to get in and out of the pool. There are also Accessible Rooms available.
We were very comfortable there and would recommend the hotel to families who are traveling.
This review was based on a complimentary visit to The Hampton Inn & Suites Astoria. I received no other compensation and the business owner did not state any requirements that I express a particular point of view. The opinions I express are entirely my own.