Road Trip: Astoria
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Where: Astoria, Oregon, the oldest settlement on the West Coast.
Why: The annual Fisher Poets Gathering (2/26–2/28; clatsopcollege.com/fisherpoets), where more than 70 participants from the fishing and maritime industry share tales of life at sea via poems, stories and songs.
Stay: Escape the perfect-for-poets dreary weather at The Commodore (503.325.4747; commodoreastoria.com), reopened last May with a chic, modern facelift (à la Seattle’s Ace Hotel) after 40 years of sitting empty, and your choice of cabin or suite-style rooms.
Drink like a poet: February is Stout Month at the Fort George Brewery and Pub (1483 Duane St.; 503.325.7468; fortgeorgebrewery.com), so sample their dark, rich small-batch brews—plus house-made sausage and bread from the Blue Scorcher bakery (1493 Duane St.; 503.338.7473.bluescorcher.com) next door.
Getting there: Take I-5 south 60 miles, exit toward Montesano and follow signs for Highway 101. Astoria is about 80 miles down 101, just after the Columbia River crossing into Oregon.