Just how far would a Travel Betty go to fulfill a childhood dream? If you said, “Maybe about an hour and a half out of her way,” you’re right. I mean, let’s not get ridiculous. When you’re exploring a whole new city as incredibly amazing as Portland and only have two days to do so, an hour and a half drive is actually a pretty big commitment. But it’s also pretty worth it in this case. The Goonies. You know them. You love them. You know they plied the goondocks of Astoria, Oregon. What you probably don’t know is that you too can pretend you’re One-Eyed-Willying around with Mouth, Data, Chunk, Mikey, Sloth and the rest if you just know where to look. And luckily, they don’t make looking difficult in Astoria.
Simply go to the visitor center and ask. That’s how I then found myself not fifteen minutes later standing proud and triumphant in front of the house from my childhood dreams. Me and Travel Boyfriend basically drove into town with nothing more than mild amusement (his) and the strong belief in Goonie-Power (mine). No map. No Google search. I just figured if I was meant to see the house, the house would appear. Nevermind it had been years since I saw the movie. Nevermind Astoria had lots of nostalgically cool houses to distract and confuse a Goonie fanatic. And never mind that the real Goonie house is not only off the beaten path, but also set off from the street so that you have to park your car and walk up a cindered side road to access it. All I can say is, thank God for that visitor center or I would have been driving back to Portland with a now less-than-mildly-amused companion.
Of course, if for some reason you don’t feel the same Goonies-pull I do (gasp!), there are other movie location treats to discover. Also shot in comely Astoria …
Overboard: Morality tale instructing women (even rich ones) that their place is in the home. Sample dialogue: Kurt Russell as poor man/love interest: “What could I give you that you don’t already have?” Goldie Hawn as Rich Bitch Reformed: “A little girl.” Audience: Awww! Free Willy: Boy meets whale blubber-fest. Short Circuit: Something about computers and Steve Guttenberg. Translation—box office gold! Kindergarten Cop: He was right, it wasn’t a tumor. And now unfortunately he’s my governor. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: I dare say, the best of the trilogy.
I’m telling you, Astoria, Oregon is it as a pop culture mecca. But still you may be asking yourself, was it really worth it, Travel Betty? Was it worth the 90-mile drive just to stand for three minutes in front of a house from a crappy eighties kids movie? Well, dear reader, first of all it was so not crappy. Second of all, you bet your sweet Chester Copperpot it was!
Travel Betty Basics Astoria Visitor Center 111 West Marine Drive Astoria, Oregon (503) 325-6311 Goonies house location: 368 38th Street Astoria, Oregon (be respectful of current inhabitants, please).