It boggles the mind that anyone would want to take their vacations outside the Cascadian region in the summertime. November through May, totally—but in the warmer months (unreliable as they may be this year) there's almost no place I'd rather be. Quick weekend trips are another story, since it's the best time of year everywhere from San Francisco to Vancouver BC, too. Several summers ago I took my first trip to Astoria and was absolutely charmed. I imagine it's what Sausalito must have been like 200 years ago. There are big old Victorian homes and mansions—some of which you can tour—a bustling pub scene, you can catch your own seafood, and visit the one strip club in town if you dare (it ain't no Mary's mom 'n' pop). There are hints of Portland migration in the form of hip coffee joints and the Commodore hotel, Astoria's answer to the Ace. Small cabin rooms that sleep two start at only $69 per night in the old European style hotel founded by a naval commodore in the 1920s. It was shuttered for about 40 years before the modern owners revamped it, into this:
The one person I know to have stayed here came back with glowing reviews, and I think this summer it's time to give it a shot.
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