Last spring, I got the news that I was going to be stationed in Astoria, Oregon, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew the PNW life would be drastically different from the warm, palm-tree studded life I was used to in SoCal. Naturally, I dove into research mode to find what it’s like living in Astoria, Oregon, and found that there wasn’t too much information out there about it. So, after living here for a little while, I’m here to give you the inside scoop on whether Astoria, Oregon is a good place to live!
The short answer is yes – Astoria is an incredible place to live, full of natural beauty, friendly locals, unbelievable clam chowder, and more. So if you’re thinking about moving or you’ve received military orders here as well, don’t fret! You’re gonna have a great time. Just don’t forget your rain jacket!
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Already know you’re moving to Astoria, Oregon? Check out my list of things you need to know about Astoria before you arrive – things I wish I’d known before I moved!
Is Astoria, Oregon a good place to live?
Alright, let’s dive into the details about what makes Astoria, Oregon a good place to live – from cost of living and crime rates to weather and activities. I’m also gonna be up front with you about some of the potential cons, like the rainy season(s) and distance from the closest airport.
Where is Astoria, Oregon?
First thing’s first – where is this place you might be living?! Astoria, Oregon is located right at the mouth of the mighty Columbia River, just south of Washington. You can hop on the Astoria-Megler Bridge and cross over the Columbia River into Washington in a matter of minutes. Astoria is approximately 95 miles from Portland, which works out to be just under a 2 hour drive.
Astoria sits in the northwest corner of Oregon, so living in Astoria means you’ll be just a few minutes from the Pacific Ocean. Essentially located where the river meets the sea, Astoria boasts a proud, extensive maritime history. Astoria’s nautical roots run deep, and are still visible today with its bar pilots, fishing boats, cruise ships, and Coast Guard presence.
What is there to do in Astoria, Oregon?
I’m glad you asked! Despite its small town appearance, there’s actually a ton to do when you’re living in Astoria – especially if you’re outdoorsy. Here, I have proof – scroll through my ultimate list of 33 things to do in Astoria, Oregon to get some ideas!
In Astoria, you can hit breweries, hike trails through towering pines, tour tons of museums, visit a thriving market, ride a trolley, go antique shopping, and more. There truly is something for everyone here, whether you’re after adventure or relaxation.
Some places, like breweries and restaurants, don’t stay open late. If you’re thinking of living in Astoria and night life is important to you, you should know that there isn’t a ton of it here. But some bars do stay open late, like Capricorn, Rumors, and Worker’s Tavern, so if you enjoy local vibes and the occasional trivia or karaoke night, you’ll enjoy it here!
Is Astoria, Oregon an expensive place to live?
Let’s talk about the cost of living in Astoria, Oregon. So, it’s much less expensive to live in Astoria than bigger cities in Oregon, and even more so when compared to other states. Check out this cost of living comparison for Astoria versus Portland (as of 2022):
As you can see, Astoria is a more affordable area to live than places like Portland, except when it comes to healthcare. Healthcare options are more limited in smaller towns, so it’s a trade off with the other, cheaper expenses. Housing in Astoria, Oregon has increased over the last few years, as it has across the nation, but still tends to be more affordable here than elsewhere, making Astoria a good place to live when it comes to expenses.
What’s the weather in Astoria, Oregon?
I’m gonna be straight with you here – it rains a lot in Astoria. And winters can get chilly (especially if you move from somewhere like SoCal, like I did). On the bright side, summer here is incredible, with clear, temperate days absolutely perfect for hiking or going to the beach. Let’s break it down by season:
- Summer: High of 70, low of 53. Mostly sunny, zero humidity. Perfect weather for outdoor adventures or strolling through town.
- Fall: High of 69, low of 50. Increasingly overcast throughout the season, rainfall becomes likely. Still prime time for adventures, but bring a light rain jacket along.
- Winter: High of 50, low of 30. Constantly overcast, raining more than 50% of the time. Hit up some indoor activities like museums, antique stores, and coffee shops.
- Spring: High of 63, low of 50. Cloudy about 50% of the time, and rains about 30% of the time, clearing up as the season progresses. Break out that trusty rain jacket and keep exploring!
How much rain does Astoria, Oregon get in a year?
Astoria, Oregon averages 86 inches of rainfall each year. The rainiest month in Astoria is November, clocking in at almost 11 inches of rain on average. The driest month in Astoria is July, with an average monthly rainfall of less than one inch. As you can see, living in Astoria means living in the rain.
Astoria is a good place to live despite the rain, because there’s still lots you can do no matter the weather. I’ve found that you can still do lots of the things you can do during summer year round – just invest in a solid rain jacket and adventure on! Whether you choose to go on a muddy hike or visit one of Astoria’s museums, try not to let the rain stop you from making the most of your time here.
Does Astoria, Oregon have an airport?
Astoria does – and I say this with great sadness and an empty gas tank – not have an airport. The closest airport is Portland International Airport (PDX), which is just about a 2 hour drive from Astoria. The drive is scenic, though, especially if you take the 26, and there are some cool roadside attractions you can stop at if you want to make a travel day out of it.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is about a 3 to 4 hour drive from Astoria, depending on traffic. So if you can’t find flights out of Portland that work for you, see if Seattle-Tacoma has better options. I’ve found that there are more direct flights out of SEA-TAC than Portland, and flights tend to be cheaper, so sometimes the extra time on the road is worth it.
Whichever airport you fly into, it’s easiest to get to Astoria by car. Discover Cars offers inexpensive rentals and compares multiple car companies’ rates to get you the best deal. Book a rental car through Discover Cars for a hassle-free trip to Astoria.
Is Astoria, Oregon a safe place to live?
When you’re considering moving here, it’s obviously important to talk about whether Astoria, Oregon is a safe place to live. First off, I’d like to say that as a solo female living in Astoria, I’ve felt extremely safe here. I lived in Long Beach, CA for seven years, and comparatively feel much safer in Astoria. Astoria has a neighborly, community-based feel to it, and in my experience, people look out for one another here.
I say all that so that when you read the stats, you can take them with a grain of real-world salt. The rate of violent crime in Astoria ranks in at 14.6 on a scale of 1 to 100, with 1 being the lowest, compared to the national average of 22.4. Property crime is a little higher, ranking a 65.8 compared to the national average of 65.8.
Overall, as in any city or place that’s new to you, have some street smarts and use common sense. Keep your eyes open to your surroundings, walk with a purpose, and don’t go anywhere that feels sketchy to you. Lock your car, don’t leave valuables in plain view, and definitely lock up your bicycle if that’s how you’re getting around town. As long as you take reasonable precautions, Astoria, Oregon is a good place to live when it comes to safety.
What’s the population of Astoria, Oregon?
As of the 2020 census, the population of Astoria, Oregon, is 10,181 people. Astoria’s population has an annual growth rate of 0.68%, so we are slowly gaining more and more residents! With cities like New York, San Francisco, and Boston losing residents in record numbers, it’s good to see places like Astoria growing.
Are the schools in Astoria, Oregon good?
Astoria High school ranks 51st out of all high schools in the state, and boasts graduation rates of 91%. When it comes to standardized test scores, Astoria High School ranked in the 87th percentile on Oregon Statewide Assessment System tests, outperforming the state as a whole. There are roughly 600 students enrolled in the school, and 24% of students take at least one Advanced Placement (AP) exam during their time there.
Would you move to Astoria?
So there you have it – the main factors that make Astoria, Oregon a good place to live (in my humble opinion, of course). I truly love it here so far and hope you do, too, whether you’re coming to visit or ready to make Astoria your new home.
Anything I missed? Questions about life in Astoria? Let me know, and I’d be happy to chat!