Founded more than 200 years ago, Astoria lays claim to being the first American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains. The town of about 10,000 is located at the mouth of the Columbia River, a major waterway that transports everything from timber and wheat to frozen Idaho French fries -- most of it headed for Asia. In the past, Astoria was a fishing and canning center; even earlier, Lewis and Clark wintered here after reaching the Pacific Ocean.
The town's prosperous history is on display in the Victorian houses that march up the hills surrounding downtown. Its seafaring life is on display at the outstanding Maritime Museum, including fascinating information about the treacherous Bar, where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. Further afield (about two hours' drive), you can visit Mount St. Helens or Oregon wine country.
An army of volunteer greeters hands out information to cruisers at the port, and more helpful folks are on hand in the historic downtown area. The port is about 1.5 miles from the town center, and you can get there by foot along the Sea Walk or hop an historic trolley (not operated in heavy rain).