Thursday, August 9, 2012


I was thrilled the other day when I got an email from an old friend hoping to meet for lunch before she left town on vacation.  This meant, aside from seeing a long lost friend, a trip into Corvallis. 

Corvallis isn’t the easiest place to get to -  it’s right in the middle of the WV but nowhere near anywhere else.  Located from one to two hours from Portland, the Oregon Coast or Eugene, it is literally surrounded by farmland or forest on all sides.  So aside from it’s natural resources you might wonder what is so special about this town located in the middle of nowhere.  Well apparently a lot of people in the U.S. think the place is pretty special having been on the list of the10 best places to live for one reason or another by Money magazine, Country Home magazine, and Farmers Insurance to name a few.  These rankings confirm that Corvallis is one of the best, safest and most environmentally responsible cities in the U.S.

That being said, I met my friend for lunch at Big River Restaurant downtown on the riverfront.  A somewhat popular place with a delightful outdoor seating area (a must have during these summer days), a friendly wait staff, and great bread, although a bit pricey.  

Regardless we had a great lunch, got caught up with our lives, and enjoyed basking outside in the sunshine.  

Besides Big River, Corvallis really does have plenty of good places to eat, from pub grub to fine dinning.  Out the front door of the Rig River is the riverfront walk.  Take a stroll along the riverfront walk and then up and around to 2nd Street and you'll find restaurants, bistros, pubs, and wine bars as well as quaint shops to browse.

After lunch I did take a stroll down the riverfront (official name – Riverfront Commemorative Park).  It was beautifully landscaped with both paved and grassy areas, views of the Willamette River, and a lots of places to seat and rest.  One of the most popular features is the decorative water fountain where the public is welcome to enjoy the water jets (mostly children although an adult might sneak in a toe occasionally). It's hard to beat the delightful sight and sound of water and laughing children on a sunny day.

I don’t want to forget to tell you about the vibrant farmers market which takes place on the riverfront every Saturday, 9 AM to 1 PM, April 14-Nov. 17, and Wednesday, 9 AM to 1 PM, April 18-Nov. 21.  The market features locally grown produce, home-made preserves and honey, baked goods, fresh-cut flowers, and home-town meat and poultry.  You will also be able to enjoy local performers and street musician performing weekly. 
In another corner of the city is the home of Oregon State University, number one public research university in the state and home to the OSU Beavers (go Beavs!).  The influence the university has on the community contributes to a mix of urban flair and small-town charm and provides a place for intellectual curiosity to thrive.

I haven’t yet begun to tell you about the wineries or the craft breweries thriving in this area (and there are many) or the charming Hansen Country Inn  located within the town, but out in the country.  But for now if your coming to Corvallis, here are some interesting things to do and places to go during you visit.  It’s always wise to call ahead if you wish to visit a winery or tasting room.
Happy traveling - bye for now.  E

Oregon State University, Oregon’s largest public research university and  home of the OSU Beavers NCAA Division I, Pac-12 Sports Conference.  As an aside OSU campus also has one of the most incredible collection of mature rhodendrum plants which is spectacular in the spring.

4 Spirits Distillery is a new craft distillery located in historic Adair Village, Oregon, and just 7 miles north of Corvallis on Highway 99W.  They specialize in superior hand crafted spirits, bottled with a unique Oregon flair.  Tasting room open.

Avery Park Rose Garden displays 1200 bushes, with 250 varieties represented. June is the most dramatic month, but most varieties bloom from May through October. Avery Park and the rose garden are open during daylight hours, and admission is free.

Belle Vallee Cellars, Tasting Room and Bistro located in downtown Corvallis right on the Riverfront Park.  They specialize in Pinot Noir, but also make a Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Gris and a really special 100% Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Port.

Corvallis Farmers’ Market locally grown produce, home-made preserves and honey, baked goods, fresh-cut flowers, and home-town meat and poultry.  Local performers and street musicians entertain weekly.

Covered bridges   There are three historic covered bridges in the Corvallis/Benton County area, in addition to 50 scattered throughout Oregon. Oregon has the largest collection of covered bridges in the West and one of the largest in the nation.

Nuthatch Cellars is a small Artisan winery specializing in Oregon and Washington red wine varietals.  Call for tasting room hours.

Tyee Wine Cellars specializing in Estate Grown Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer. Located on the Buchanan Family Century Farm.

1 comment:

Aimee said...

Evelyn your writing is so well laid out so that even a Person well versed in the scene around corvallis could discover more that it has to offer! Rick Steve's move over : )