Small city charm has its benefits when you want to get away. There is lots to do in Albany, and you avoid the crowds and traffic of a bigger city. Albany is packed with great restaurants, adorable shops and fantastic places to relax with a drink.
Start your stay by choosing a great hotel. Phoenix Inn Suites in Albany has an indoor pool and spa, complimentary breakfast and warm cookies in the lobby every night. You don’t even have to skip leg day. If you want to get a workout, the Phoenix has a fitness room. Check out our lodging page for more places to stay, and view virtual tours of all of our hotels.
After getting settled in your suite, head downtown for dinner and drinks. Sybaris Bistro has a Northwest inspired, farm-to-table menu in a serene interior. Chef Matt Bennett prides himself on providing the best, freshest local food for his guests, so the menu changes each month. Bennett has served his award winning fare at the James Beard House in New York City, and the restaurant wins regional awards every year. Sybaris offers an upscale dining experience with a down-to-earth feel.
You can get drinks at Sybaris as they have a full bar and an extensive wine list, but if you are after a change of scenery, walk up the street to Vault 244 and take a seat at the bar. The restaurant is cozy, cocktails are amazing and it’s Happy Hour from 9pm to close. They even have a few specialty mocktails for your designated driver.
“Vault” by Lance Gross,
Did you oversleep and miss breakfast in your comfy bed? No need to worry. Head downtown and grab a coffee at Margin Coffee Roasters. You’ll find a bright, open, and laid-back environment with coffee, tea and pastries. Enjoy some time chatting with your besties on a cushy couch or a corner nook. It’s like hanging out in your living room, but better because everyone gets their favorite drink!
You could also take your drink to go so you can wander the downtown shops. Step inside Emma Downtown and find women’s clothing, jewelry, kitchen items and all the sweet little knickknacks that will make your heart happy. Reds Boutique also carries women’s apparel. The Natty Dresser will help you upgrade your wardrobe with the latest fashion trends. They offer a wide range of men’s clothing options that cater to different styles, sizes, and budgets. They also have alterations available on site so you can get that perfect fit. Oak Creek Collection has an eclectic selection of gifts, handcrafted goods, décor, furniture, clothing and lots more.
Make sure to wander all the way down to the end of 1st Avenue for a ride on the carousel. Albany Historic Carousel & Museum will make you feel like a kid again. Choose one of the whimsical animals and take a spin. The beautifully carved creatures make Instagram-worthy selfie shots!
“Carousel Mighty Dragon” by Kimberly Sylva
You could spend all day in the shops downtown, but you won’t want to miss having a glass of locally brewed beer or a cocktail made with spirits created here in Albany. Stop in at Deluxe Brewing and Sinister Distilling where they also have a food truck for a quick dinner. Calapooia Brewing and Vivacity Spirits (located in the same building) has a full menu of burgers, sandwiches and salads. Check out their websites to see if there will be live music or fun activities like trivia night scheduled during your stay.
“Deluxe Beer Tastes” by Cathy Webb
If wine is your drink of choice, Springhill Cellars Winery is perched atop a hill with views to the west and magnificent sunsets over the Coast Range. They masterfully craft their pinot varietals using the French method of barrel aging. The tasting room is open seasonally, so plan to visit the winery 11:30 am-5:30 pm, Friday-Sunday, May-November.
Be sure to check out the Albany Civic Theater to see if there is a play running. The ambiance of the historic building and the stellar performances by local actors never disappoint. If the ACT is between performances, visit the Pix Theater to watch first run movies in a one-of-a-kind space. Also housed in a historic building, the Pix is decorated with movie memorabilia, and it offers a selection of treats beyond the usual popcorn and soda. Have a glass of wine or a cider along with a hummus and veggie plate. The seats make noshing comfortable with their slide-out tray for your drink and snack.
Sleep in and grab brunch or lunch before you head out. Brick & Mortar Cafe is a great choice, and they feature mimosas and bloody marys! For lunch, Gamberetti’s Italian Restaurant is the locals’ go-to for Italian. Loafer’s Station is a casual restaurant that is locally owned and sourced with a range of food and beverage offerings. Across the river, there is a great lunch spot everyone can agree on. The Barn at Hickory Station taproom has beer, wine and cider. Outside they have a food cart hub that offers all varieties of cuisine.