Best maritime museum on the West coast
The Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria should be on your list if you enjoy regional maritime history. Although many movie lovers may recognize Astoria as the location for the film- The Goonies, not many know that Astoria is also a training ground for the U.S. Coast Guard. Not only are there really cool exhibits, such as the one in the photograph, but there is extensive information and artifacts about the area and town of Astoria.
Where the Columbia River meets the Pacific creates many of the same hazardous conditions that the Coast Guard may face. The area is known as "the graveyard of the Pacific" and has killed many sailors and stranded many ships. The bottom of the river there is always shifting and moving, so ships have to have a local captain come aboard to guide them into the harbor.
Astoria, Oregon itself is a unique little seaport town with a rich and varied history. The houses are interesting and there's plenty of good seafood.
Tip: Come in the late summer when it will be the most sunny and warm.