Each Sunday from Mother’s Day to early October, follow local tradition and stroll leisurely up and down 12th Street between Marine Drive and Duane Street for Astoria’s Sunday Market (10 a.m.–3 p.m.), where vendors offer farm-fresh produce, crafts, and specialty foods.
A local store worth noting is Finnware (1116 Commercial St., 503/325-5720) which stocks Scandinavian crystal and glassware, jewelry, books, and kitchen tools. This is a store that takes its Finnish roots seriously.
Astoria has a well-deserved reputation as an art center, with many downtown storefronts now serving as art galleries. Not to miss is RiverSea Gallery (1160 Commercial St., 503/325-1270), with a large and varied selection of work by local painters, glass artists, jewelry makers, and fine craftspeople.
For a more quixotic art scene, go to Lunar Boy Gallery (1133 Commercial St., 503/325-1566), dedicated to animation art, cartooning, and objects best described as simultaneously weird and cool.
Josephson’s Smokehouse (106 Marine Dr., 503/325-2190, www.josephsons.com) was established in 1920 in a false-front clapboard building near the waterfront. Josephson’s is Oregon’s most esteemed purveyor of gourmet smoked fish, producing Scandinavian cold-smoked salmon without dyes or preservatives. Josephson’s caters to mail-order clientele and fine restaurants.
You can buy direct here at cheaper (but not cheap) prices than the mail-order rates. Pickled salmon, salmon jerky, sturgeon caviar, crab, oysters, and a variety of alder-smoked and canned fish are also sold here. On typically foggy days here in midwinter, there’s nothing finer than a cup of Josephson’s very thick clam chowder.
To shop the daily catch, which can include Dungeness crab, wild salmon, halibut, albacore tuna, and rock fish, go to Uniontown Fish Market and Deli (229 W. Marine Dr., 503/325-9592), which can package fresh fish for shipping or to take on a plane.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel