What can we do in the winter? Plenty!

Oregon winters offer fun and adventure, from the unfettered views of mountain streams and waterfalls, to searching for architectural treasure in historic buildings. 

So, if you are asking yourself, “What do we do, now that it’s winter?” In Albany, Oregon, the answer is: Plenty!

McDowell Creek Falls County Park. Photo by KateLynn LaGrone.

Indoors or out, Albany offers a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Take a day and hit the highlights, or make it a weekend and take them all in.

History

Albany is home to the largest collection of architectural styles in the state and self-guided tours are available with maps that show you the way through three of the city’s historic districts, providing short bits of history about many of the buildings and homes.

If you prefer an electronic approach, download the app, Albany Explorer, to your cell phone and access the same information, along with audio files for covered bridge tours and information about places to eat, shop and explore.

Covered Bridges

There are eight covered bridges in the county, five of them clustered around the town of Scio. A map gives you a route to see all five. Three more are located east of Lebanon.

Waterfalls

A must-see side trip to McDowell Creek Falls County Park offers spectacular scenery. Hike the loop to see all five of the falls, which should be in full flow. The loop is just under two miles. Prepare to hike some stairs and inclines.

A cozy table at Sybaris Bistro.

Food and Beverage

After a day of adventure, relax in the cozy confines of one of Albany’s pubs or by the crackling fireplace of Sybaris Bistro that boasts a world-class chef at the helm. Enjoy twice-Beard-nominated Chef Matt Bennett’s take on locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, and desserts to die for! Local wines are also featured.

Speaking of wine, visit Springhill Cellars Winery, which overlooks the Coast Range and has a tasting room featuring some of the best Pinot Noir varieties in the Willamette Valley. Tastings are by appointment December to April.

Albany sports several pubs and taphouses, each serving top-of-the-line brews and spirits. Try Calapooia Brewing & Vivacity Spirits, or DeLuxe Brewing & Sinister Distilling. Or pull up a chair at The Squeaky Cork, a Scottish-inspired pub serving tasty fare such as Shepherd’s Pie and Whisky Mud Cake, along with fine spirits and brews.

In Albany, winter isn’t the time to slow down. The fun is just getting started.

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