When you visit Albany, you’ll find yourself at the center of a region full of possibility. If you look to the west, the Oregon Coast beckons with its sandy beaches and rugged coastline. To the east, the mountains and forests of the Cascades are calling your name. Right here in the valley, vineyards, lakes, rivers and lots of curving back country roads are waiting to be explored.
If arts and entertainment are more your style, Albany is home to an abundant community theater scene, with frequent live shows, musicals, and outdoor performances. Our parks are full of music in the summer, with the Mondays at Monteith and River Rhythms concert series, and the Oregon Jamboree and Willamette Country Music Festival nearby. You can view and purchase local art at downtown galleries and public art installations. The best all-volunteer art project in the country is right in downtown Albany–the Albany Historic Carousel and Museum. Stop in and watch artisans at work as they hand-carve and paint carousel animals using old-world techniques. For movie buffs, Linn County has both multi-screen movie theaters and small independent cinemas–and even an old-fashioned drive-in movie theater a few miles away.
Albany is a history-lover’s dream: it’s home to four national historic districts, more than 700 historic buildings, and is the starting point for a loop through eight covered bridges. Albany hosts two historic home tours every years, and the county boasts multiple museums and historic buildings that are open to the public.
If you want to plan your visit around an event, that might be tough–simply because there are so many to choose from. The Art & Air Festival in August fills the skies with colorful hot air balloons and the parks with stunning artwork. Jet Sprint Boat races showcase high-octane racing in a family-friendly venue. The Albany Veterans Day Parade each November is the largest west of the Mississippi–hundreds of entries fill Albany’s street with displays of patriotism and honor for veterans.
With 28 community parks and miles of walking/hiking/running trails, Albany is a great place to experience nature or take your family. It’s home to Talking Water Gardens, an innovative public-private project that created an award-winning engineered wetlands criss-crossed with trails and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Albany is the mid-valley’s center for shopping opportunities. Our independent local businesses offer everything from upscale fashion to quirky antiques. Albany’s historic downtown is a great place to lose yourself for the afternoon as you wander from shop to shop. In the center of Albany, Heritage Mall and other nearby shopping areas offer national retail stores like Target, Old Navy, Kohl’s and CostCo.
Albany is full of things to do, and if you don’t see what you’re looking for here, give the Albany Visitors Association a call (541-928-0911) or an e-mail. One of our local experts will be happy to recommend the perfect things to do on your visit to Albany.