The house featured in the classic and beloved 80s movie The Goonies is real. It’s located in Astoria, Oregon, on a hill that offers pleasant views of the surrounding area. When I visited earlier this year, I found the house by following signs in the neighborhood, which is as quiet and unassuming as any place.
I visited The Goonies House because when I googled “Astoria” it was one of the first things to come up. But there are two reasons you should not go to The Goonies House, no matter how much you love the movie:
1. The owners don’t want any more tourists.
Last month, the owners of the house closed it to visitors.
I can’t really blame them. When I went on a random weekday this summer, I was one of a handful of people wandering around looking at what is otherwise an ordinary house. I have no doubt that would get exhausting. I also can’t imagine there was much for the owners to gain by encouraging visitors.
All of which is to say that if the people living in The Goonies House want a break, they ought to get a break.
2. It’s not actually a very good tourist site.
The second reason no one should go to The Goonies House is because as a destination it’s pretty lame. It’s really just an ordinary house, and too boot it’s not the most architecturally interesting or aesthetically pleasing building in the neighborhood. There’s nothing wrong with ordinary houses in general — The Goonies House was probably featured in the movie because it looks ordinary — but for travelers they don’t make for especially interesting sites. If visiting The Goonies House cost money I would call it a tourist trap, but it was free so it’s really just a thing to do. (There was a forlorn donation box on the gate during my visit.)
The truth is, Astoria is a beautiful and charming town with far better things to do. The Astoria Column, for example, offers impressive views of the town. There are also hiking and walking opportunities, beaches, wildlife, and history. Downtown Astoria is wonderful.
Really, Astoria is a charming and beautiful city that I thoroughly enjoyed. Visit it.
Sometimes there is a tendency in travel writing to list off everything there is to do in a place and call them all suggestions. That, however, is not very helpful; as travelers we need guides to point out not what exists, but rather which of the many options are actually worthwhile.
In this case, The Goonies House really isn’t worth the trouble, and the fact that the owners have closed it to visitors is just icing on the cake.
— Jim Dalrymple II