Astoria Ambience
Published: 10/01/2009
photo by Gary Hayes

With shops and eateries that mingle with the historical and natural influences of the region, the Astoria shopping experience offers more than just a collection of commercial shops.

Historic architecture ­provides a unique frame for shopping districts in the quaint coastal town of Astoria. Views of Victorian homes dotting the hillsides and the ever-present influence of the ­Columbia River accent your stroll through the heart of downtown or along the ­riverfront districts. Along Astoria's streets, you'll find an eclectic ­collection of shops and eateries tucked inside renovated historic buildings, creating a comfortable and creative blend between past and present.

Astoria's Scandinavian roots are ­apparent in some of the shops you'll find here. As the name suggests, Finn Ware offers products with Finnish flair such as crystal and pottery direct from Finland, sauna supplies (for your ­Swedish sauna), Norwegian greeting cards, and smatterings of Scandinavian home décor, music and jewelry.

If you're looking for a particularly sparkly sort of item, Astoria is also home to custom jewelry designer Holly McHone whose work can be seen at her downtown shop. Inside Holly McHone Jewelry, you'll find a great selection of her work or you can have a piece custom-designed by the artist herself.

Astoria also offers great resources for finding art and antiques. Browse through RiverSea Gallery's 3500 square feet of exhibit space and you're sure to find inspiration in the ­enticing variety of work. You'll find the art of Noel Thomas, who captures the spirit of Astoria in his paintings of local ­scenery as well as work by printmakers, sculptors, ceramic and jewelry artists, woodworkers and a variety of furniture items. At Tokugawa Antiques, browse the nice selection of Asian furniture and specialty décor pieces, including ornamental lanterns, lacquerware, metalwork and textiles.

Gifts of the edible variety are ­plentiful in Astoria, too. A specialty seafood market established in 1920, Josephson's Smokehouse offers cured, canned and smoked fish and shellfish, as well as their own canned clam chowder. They offer shipping services, too, so your Pacific Northwest delicacies can make it to just about any destination around the globe. If you or someone on your shopping list has a sweet tooth, Columbia Chocolates invites you to experience the sweet side of Astoria. For 35 years, the folks here have been making their own candy and they feature collectible tins filled with an assortment of chocolates.

There are several specialty clothing shops and boutiques that can offer just about any adornment for the body you might want. Victorian Lace features fine lingerie and intimate apparel, and at Persona Vintage Clothing and ­Antiques you'll find a selection of great retro styles. Four Seasons Clothing is a downtown boutique with all the latest trendy fashions.

Specialty shops make some of the most interesting browses in Astoria. Let It Rain is a shop that celebrates our Oregon advantages. Find an umbrella with huge polka dots or one shaped like banana leaves or a giant flower.

Spend some time exploring in this unique part of the coast where you're sure to find some real hidden ­treasures.

ART & DECOR

Finn Ware
- 1116 Commercial Street - (503) 325-5720

RiverSea Gallery - 1160 Commercial Street - (503) 325-1270

Tokugawa Antiques - 303 Marine Drive - (503) 325-2577

CLOTHING

Four Seasons Clothing
- 1144 Commercial Street - (503) 325-2671

Persona Vintage Clothing & Antiques - 100 Tenth Street - (503) 325-3837

Victorian Lace - 1130 Commercial Street - (503) 325-1030

EDIBLES

Columbia Chocolates
- 1332 Commercial Street - (503) 325-6152

Josephson's Smokehouse - 106 Marine Drive - (503) 325-2190

JEWELRY

Holly McHone
- 1150 Commercial Street - (503) 325-8029

RiverSea Gallery - 1160 Commercial Street - (503) 325-1270

SPECIALTY

Adagio
- 1174 Commercial Street - (503) 338-4825

Let it Rain - 1124 Commercial Street - (503) 325-7728

Purple Cow Toys - 1380 Commercial Street - (503) 325-2996
Astoria Ambience