We knew that – after trips to Neighbours, Home & Away and Round the Twist locations in Australia – we wanted to continue our Film and TV location geek off along the Pacific North West coast, where our favourite 80s flick The Goonies was filmed.
Chunk, Data and the Fratellis made most of the 1985 film in and around the town, and our first stop had to be the County Jail, now Oregon Film Museum.
The jail cell the Fratellis escape from and their getaway car take pride of place, alongside plenty of other Goonies memorabilia geekery.
What do you think of James’s Mama Fratelli impression in the getaway car?!
Goonies Geeks will spot various other locations in town, including the bowling alley where Chunk spills his milkshake up the window in the opening sequence, although the actual Goonies House is now out of bounds to visitors since the owner became overwhelmed by fans loitering outside.
We wondered, why buy the Goonies house if you’re not a Gooner?! We sneaked a quick shot from the next street down anyway.
Another instantly recognisable location worth a trip in its own right is Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park, about 20 minutes south of Astoria.
Again – James couldn’t resist recreating the iconic scene when the Goonies emerge over the hill with the imposing Haystack Rock in the background.
But it turns out Astoria isn’t just famous for the Goonies; Kindergarten Cop, Short Circuit and Chris’s favourite 90s film Free Willy were all filmed here too!
And Astoria itself is actually a charming, bohemian little town, with several craft breweries and little coffee shops, with new spots opening all over the place.
We stayed in a 1920s hotel and really enjoyed ambling around, and being unexpectedly much more than just ‘the Goonies town’.
Any Gooner could quite happily spend two days here geeking out, but Astoria was worth a stop off even without the 80s nostalgia.
We continued our mini road trip on through Oregon to Portland – where we spent the weekend before our next flight and next state California.
The weather stayed gloomy and cold for our visit to this supposedly ’hipster’ city, we took in the weekend street market and found a festival for our four legged friends (which kept Chris content for a while!).
The “Doggie Dash” involved contests including an 80s doggy dance off, and fastest mutt to lick clean a teaspoon of peanut butter (it’s a dog’s life).
As fun as this was for half an hour, we couldn’t help but feel we were missing something about Portland.
We wandered around, looking for life, but found little so headed into a craft brewery to drink it out, and avoid a freak hailstorm.
Down at heel deserted downtown had a hobo pretty much on every corner, and felt edgy & unsafe compared to Seattle.
Perhaps the bad weather meant its residents were having a CBA weekend (that’s can’t be arsed BTW), but we left on Monday morning feeling like we’d spent a bit too much time in Portland, and not found a great deal to do other than wander aimlessly – we did find an arcade with some pinball machines which killed some time.
Our next stop would be quite the opposite – a city immortalised time and again on the big screen, San Francisco. And it would become the location of our very own happy ending, or beginning, depending on which way you look at it…