Three Day Getaway

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.

Day 1

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,

Day 2

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. 

Dragon carving at the Albany Carousel

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. 

Day 3

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. 

Do you love all things old? There are a few antique shops within walking distance of each other downtown. The Albany Antique Mall has 20,000 square feet of unique finds including a huge selection of vintage clothing upstairs. Cronies Vintage & Antique Emporium features unique furniture and collectables, and Stay Awhile Vintage Mercantile has a great variety of vintage toys and so much more. 

You don’t have to “go big” to have an enormously great weekend with your friends. Skip the crowds, and enjoy a jam-packed stay in Albany. We can’t wait to see you!

A September to Remember

The weather has chilled, the leaves are changing and kids are back to school, but we don’t have to be sad that summer is nearly over. In Albany, the weather has cooled down, but the skies are mostly blue and there are plenty of events in town to chase away the back-to-school blues. 

September 9 
1960 Ford car red with whitewall tires
“60 Ford” by Oliver J. Anderson

Antiques in the Streets & Classic Car Show is a yearly event in Albany that you won’t want to miss. There will be over 50 street vendors selling unique treasures, and the Albany Antique Mall will have their sidewalk sale. When you finish shopping, tour over 100 amazing cars. Have lunch at one of downtown Albany’s fabulous restaurants or go organic and visit the Albany Farmers’ Market, which is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Everything is within walking distance! The event takes place all day in Downtown Albany.

The annual .3K Albany Beer “Run” (yup, that’s 0.3K) starts at noon at Calapooia Brewery and ends at Deluxe Brewing. The beer garden opens at 11 a.m. Dedicated to the below-average athlete and weekend warrior in all of us, the “run” features a delicious Calapooia and Deluxe beer before and after, and there’s even a carb-loading station and other refreshments available. Register at

Cider Pressing at Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site is fun for the whole family. It is scheduled for three Saturdays this fall – September 23, October 14 and 28. The site is open free to the public from dawn to dusk every day, with cider pressing from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on these dates. Fresh cider is available (limit one gallon per family) for your donation to Thompson’s Mills Preservation Society. There will be storytelling for the younger ones and mill-themed gifts are available. Docents will be on hand for Mill tours – pack a lunch and make a day of it! Call the Mill for additional information at 541-491-3611.

“Thompson’s Mills” by Lori Norton
September 13

For History Bites at the Albany Regional Museum this month, there will be a Book Signing and Discussion with Jim Lindsay. Jim Lindsay, Corvallis resident and author of “The Sniper,” will be discussing his latest book and signing copies for attendees. History Bites starts at noon and is a free event. To explore the new exhibits, you will need to pay for museum admission, which is $5 for adults and teens, $3 for seniors, and free for members, children under 13, and active military/veterans. Light refreshments will be available.

September 23 

The Willamette Valley Symphony performance starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Albany Performing Arts Center, with a pre-concert talk at 6:45 p.m. This concert will feature Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, “The New World Symphony,” and other pieces. They are continuing their Youth Passport Program, so all youth under 18 get in free, and one adult ticket is free with each youth. They are also introducing the Arts for All Program, where people can buy a $5 ticket if they present their Oregon Trail Card. Regular tickets are $20 for adults and $18 for seniors. See

September 29, 30 and October 1

The Heart of the Valley Fall Home and Garden Show is held at the Linn County Expo Center and has over 70 vendors with products and services for your home and garden needs. Friday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free admission. 

“Downtown Flowers” by Oliver J. Anderson
September 30 and October 1

Also at Linn County Expo Center, the RaSani Fair features independent holistic products and healthcare practitioners. They will hold a raffle benefiting Family Tree Relief Nursery, a nonprofit organization focusing on helping grow happy, healthy and strong families in Linn County. Admission is $5 per person per day. Tickets sold only at the door. Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.-to 5 p.m.

In and Around Albany in August

Forget the “mid-summer doldrums.” There are plenty of fun and exciting things to do during August in and around Albany!

From outdoor movies and concerts to festivals and any number of biking, hiking, camping and canoeing activities, you and your family can fill your days and nights with adventure.

The gem on this summer list is the Northwest Art & Air Festival, which runs Aug. 25-27 at Timber-Linn Memorial Park, with hot air balloons, art vendors, food vendors, a car show, concerts, a family zone with activities for the kids and a beer and wine garden for the grown-ups. The event is free, but parking is $10.

Photo by Kristi Crawford Photography

Get there early at 6:45 a.m. to see the balloons lift off. If you aren’t a morning person, come Friday evening for the Night Glow and watch the brilliantly colored balloons tower over the crowd, lighting up the night sky. For more information, visit Albany Parks & Recreation.

The same weekend, Infinite Air Center will be hosting Young Eagles airplane rides on Saturday. Flights will take off from Albany Municipal Airport. To find out more and register a child, visit

Here’s a few more activities to look forward to during August in Linn County. 

Park Plays by Donald Bacher

August 2 and August 9: Fun in the Park
This summer, visit a different neighborhood park for games and fun for kids of all ages! The program is sponsored by Albany Parks & Recreation and Takena Kiwanis of Albany. All are invited to find a bench or bring a blanket and enjoy some sun and time in our beautiful parks before heading home to work on a cool take-home craft kit. Up next is Doug Killin Park, 4990 Deer Run Ave. SW, on Wednesday, Aug. 2, then Swanson Park, 712 Jackson St. SE, on Wednesday, Aug. 9. Find out more at

Aug. 3 and Aug. 10: River Rhythms 

Due to construction at Monteith Riverpark, the concert series has been temporarily moved to Timber-Linn Memorial Park. Enjoy the country a capella group Home Free on Aug. 3, then get ready to rock to the sounds of Foghat on Aug. 10. Food vendors begin serving at 5 p.m., followed by music at 7. For the full schedule, visit the City of Albany website at There is a suggested donation of $1 to help cover costs, and you can participate in “Rock Out Against Hunger” this year, an effort to help those in need. Bring non-perishable and unopened cans and boxes of food to any of the River Rhythms concerts and put them in the donation barrels located at the front of the park. Collections also will be accepted 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Aug. 12 at the Parks & Recreation counter in City Hall.

Aug. 4-6: Oregon Jamboree

The Oregon Jamboree is an exciting chance to see some fantastic musical acts while mingling with other fans in the beautiful Sankey Park venue. Headliners for this year’s festival include Lynyrd Skynyrd, Cody Johnson and Parker McCollum. This not-to-be-missed musical event boasts two stages and 25 shows over three days. The Jamboree offers a full festival atmosphere in the main venue and a more intimate concert experience on the second stage in Sankey Park. In addition to featured headline entertainment, this event hosts RV and tent camping, merchandise vendors, food booths, beer and wine gardens and a variety of other attractions. For ticket and other information, go to

Aug. 11: Movie by Moonlight

The results are in. And the winner is… The Princess Bride! Albany Downtown Association’s Promotion Committee will screen 1987 classic on Friday, August 11 in Downtown Albany. The movie was selected in a vote to celebrate the 20th season of downtown movies. With Monteith Riverpark under construction, just one movie will be shown this season. For a bit of nostalgia, the movie will be shown on the wall behind the Albany Eagles Lodge, where Movies by Moonlight was held for 11 years before moving to the park. The movie will start at dusk, around 8:55 pm. This year’s movie concessions include Pix Popcorn, ice cream novelties, candy, and sodas. Bring a receipt from a Downtown business for a chance to win a DVD of the movie or another prize. More information at

August 13: Covered Bridge Bicycle Tour

Get your spokes a’ twirling! The Annual Covered Bridge Bicycle Tour is a premier one-day cycling event sponsored by the Mid Valley Bicycle Club and designed for all levels of biking interest and expertise. Explore the rural roads and, depending on which of the route options you choose, you’ll cross up to five historic covered bridges in the Mid-Willamette Valley. Rides vary from 25 to over 100 miles on quiet country roads and through several well-preserved historic covered bridges. For more information or to register, visit

August 17-20: Paddle Oregon 

This year’s trip will wind along 60-plus miles of river, beginning at Peoria Park and ending at Keizer Rapids Park. The tour will camp near Albany on Aug. 18! For more information and to view the full itinerary, visit

August 18-26: Albany Civic Theater Presents “My Son Pinoccio Jr.”

Enjoy the classic tale of toymaker Geppetto’s little wooden puppet, this time from Geppetto’s perspective. The new musical features the classic songs, “When You Wish Upon a Star” and “I’ve Got No Strings,” along with new tunes by Oscar winner and Grammy Award winning songwriter Stephen Schwartz. Evening shows will run August 18, 19, 25 and 26, with matinees Aug. 19 and 26. Visit the ACT website for ticket info at

August 19: Carnival at the Carousel

Step right up for fun as the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum celebrates its sixth anniversary on Saturday, Aug. 19 with this joyful and nostalgic fundraiser! There will be old-fashioned carnival games, crazy characters, face painting, balloon art, and more! This is fun for the whole family. For more information, visit the Carousel website at

Carousel Carnival by Stephanie Low

June Events in Albany

Three big events will shine during the month of June in Albany, with the Albany Regional
Museum reopening offering wonderful new exhibits, Through the Garden Gate Tour featuring
beautiful local gardens, and the inspirational Albany Pride Festival.

Albany Regional Museum

“Children’s Area at the Museum” photo by Alicen Arsenault

Join the Albany Regional Museum staff for the ribbon cutting as they present new exhibits to
the public for the first time, then take a tour and enjoy music and cake to celebrate. The
museum, 136 Lyon St. SW, recently renovated all of their exhibits and the grand reopening is
set for noon to 4 p.m., June 10.

The first exhibit you see as you enter is titled “Hub City,” which is about transportation. “We
got that name (Hub City) because of the importance that we held being a kind of shipping point
for all of Oregon for a while, because we had the railroad coming through…the riverboat
operation, (and the) logging industry,” said Keith Lohse, Executive Director of ARM. “And we
had the only wagon road that went west to east across the mountains.” There are other
exhibits about architecture, mercantiles, schools and more. You can also find some history
particular to the city like Albany’s historic Chinatown, which used to be where the museum now
resides, and the Timber Carnival that was held every year until 2001. “The Timber Carnival had
an impact in terms of being the premier timber event for the world for many, many years,” said
Lohse. Competitors came from as far away as Australia to compete!

Lohse is particularly proud of the new children’s area, which is themed around movement.
“There will be Derby cars that the kids will be able to climb into, a pinewood derby track they
will be able to race cars down, …and a magnet wall where everything can be rearranged,” said

For information, call the museum, 541-967-7122.

Through the Garden Gate Tour

“Monteith Historic District” photo by Jolene Thomson

It’s that time of year again when locals with a green thumb open their unique and artful gardens to inspire the rest of us. OSU Linn County Master Gardener Association is hosting its annual garden tour 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 17.

Tickets are on sale and can be purchased in person at the Albany Visitor Association, 110 3rd
Ave. SE, at Urban Ag Supply, 456 2nd Ave. SW, or Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Center at 350
Hickory St. NW. Money raised from ticket sales supports gardening and pollinator education.

Albany Pride Festival

This photo was taken by attendees and posted publicly.

The Albany Pride Festival with be held in downtown Albany in front of the Linn County
Courthouse from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, June 24. Included in the activities will be a
rally, march, live performances, music, several booths, food, and other activities.

Please try to carpool, as parking will be limited near the event.

For more information about these and other events go the Events Calendar at, or call 541-928-0911.

Welcome to the Mid-Willamette Valley Food Trail

Over the last decade, knowing the source of our food and drink, and the makers who craft our brews (or the chefs who prepare our meals) has become increasingly important to travelers. Since Oregon’s Willamette Valley is central to growing and producing agricultural ingredients used by restaurateurs and other businesses and attractions, Albany Visitors Association partnered with Visit Corvallis and Travel Oregon to create the Mid-Willamette Valley Food Trail.

The Mid-Willamette Valley Food Trail is a way for visitors to connect with the source of our agricultural bounty. Over 40 businesses are represented on the Trail, weaving their origin stories with personal experiences. You can spend several days building your itinerary as you pass through some of the most scenic countryside in Linn and Benton counties. Settle into a cabin at an actual working farm, help bottle feed baby lambs, pluck your own blueberries from the fields or indulge in a scrumptious farm-to-table dinner.

Here is a sampling of the Albany and Linn County Food Trail locations.


Midway Farms: As you approach the farm from Hwy. 20, you might see a milk cow grazing or seasonal flowers blooming near Two female children holding garlic picked at Mid-way Farms in Albany, Oregonthe little red barn that operates as a full-fledged cooperative farm market. What makes Midway unique is that it’s the only “all gluten-free farm” in the region. Buy eggs, baked goods, jams, pickles, meats, poultry and nursery plants straight from the purveyor. Midway operates children’s experience camps during the summer that can include learning how to harvest crops, gather eggs or milk a cow. 6980 NW Hwy 20, 541-740-6141.

Iron Water Ranch: A visit to this working fiber animal farm includes seasonal family-oriented events like bottle feeding baby lambs and educational workshops. The ranch produces beautifully dyed wool and fiber for craft, such as yarn for knitting and raw fiber for spinning or felting. The ranch is open daily by appointment. 35179 Riverside Drive SW, 541-979-5180.

Bryant Family Farm: No trip to Oregon would be complete without a visit to a blueberry farm, and we have the perfect family-friendly spot to experience blueberries fresh from the bush and straight into your mouth. You can pick them yourself or buy fresh plucked or frozen berries to take home. The farm is open Tuesday-Thursday peak season, June through August. There’s a picnic area and a kid’s play area on the farm. 35923 Bryant Dr. SW, 541-704-0677.


Sybaris Bistro: The kitchen at this warm eclectic restaurant is run by Matt Bennet, a James Beard House featured chef. The Photo of the interior of Sybaris Bistro and patrons enjoying dinner in Albany Oregonmenu changes monthly, taking advantage of fresh seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms. Indulge in Oregon truffles, house-made elk sausages, rich chocolate flourless cake or other heavenly offerings. Stroll along First Ave. in the morning and you might catch a glimpse of Chef Matt outside smoking boar’s ribs or sausages on the Traeger. Reservations are highly recommended. 442 First Ave W. in downtown Albany, 541-928-8157.

Springhill Cellars Winery: A short 10-minute drive from downtown Albany, feast your eyes on the rural beauty surrounding Springhill’s perch atop a hill. The tasting room annex is part of a fully restored barn used for events including parties, weddings, Pilates classes, tours and Thanksgiving weekend’s annual Federweisser Festival. Picnic tables, fairy lights and a fire pit dot the grounds with views to the west and magnificent sunsets over the Coastal Mountain Range. The winery is family owned and operated, and uses the French method of barrel aging their Pinot varietals. Tastings can be scheduled by calling ahead or dropping in at the winery May through December, Friday through Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 2920 NW Scenic Drive, 541-928-1009.

Breweries, Distilleries and Spirits

Photo of a craft beer and a taco Deluxe Brewing & Sinister Distilling: Grab a pint or a shot of their latest and enjoy a bite to eat from their food truck. This is a pet-friendly stop with outdoor/indoor informal seating. Take the tour and sample whiskeys, ales and lager. 635 NE Water Ave along the Willamette River, 541-928-7699.

Vivacity Fine Spirits and Calapooia Brewing: Order a fresh burger from the pub, take a tour and sample the vodka, gin, rum and brandy, plus a whole lot of craft brews on tap. The pub is family-friendly and there is an outdoor covered seating area as well. Listen to live music from their scheduled lineup. 140 Hill St NE, 541-928-1931.


Bakeries & Cafes

Natural Sprinkles Co. Bakery: If you’re craving some dessert, downtown Albany’s farm-to-table bakery has unique, homemade baked goods to satisfy your sweet tooth. Natural Sprinkles Co. has everything from scones and  breads to cupcakes and seasonally prepared specials. The bakery offers a myriad of gluten-free and vegan options, creating baked goods for every type of diet. If you loved their homemade, all-natural cupcake sprinkles, or just want to try them, they are available for order off of their website. 202 2nd Ave SW, 541-704-0445.

Artisan Products

Urban Ag Supply: This shop might look small from the street, but step inside and be prepared to wander through an amazing assortment of “rural meets urban” nirvana. Shop for locally crafted jewelry, garden ornaments and art, handmade soaps, lotions, balms, potted plants, ceramic planters, fertilizers and heirloom seeds. And that’s just a partial list of the products they keep in stock. There’s always something new from local artisans. Located just over the bridge at 456 Second Ave SW, 541-497-2988.


Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site: If there is one “must see and do” on our trail, it’s a trip to Thompson’s Mills. Located about 25 minutes from Albany in Shedd, Thompson’s is a unique survivor of times past, chronicling 160 years of Oregon rural life. It is the last water-powered mill in the state, and its turbines can be seen in action on free tours. A water right that predates statehood produces the water flow that still runs the milling machines for demonstrations today.

During fall harvest time, the mill often operates a cider press, where you can participate in the process and take home freshly pressed apple cider. The mill and grounds are open from 9:00 to 4:00 dailyFree guided tours are offered whenever the mill is open — just drop in and check with the rangers. Group tours (10 or more people) are available but please call 541-491-3611 in advance to ensure adequate staffing.

The mill and grounds are open every day of the year except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day.  There are no fees to visit. The main tour of the mill is accessible by ramps. The mill address is 32655 Boston Mill Drive, Shedd, OR 97377.

Farmers’ Market

Albany Farmers’ Market: The Albany Farmers’ Market is a great way to get a taste of all of the local shops, farms, and creators in Albany in one day. Open Saturday in April-November, the market is full of local products such as flowers, produce, meats, poultry, and organic goods. Catch some live music or check out an educational event while you stroll around the vendors’ tents and browse the local products. The market is located at the corner of Ellsworth Street SW and 4th Ave SW, 541-740-1542.

Additional Food Trail Locations

For more information on the Mid-Willamette Valley Food Trail and the full list of businesses included, request a free brochure from us at the AVA, 541-928-0911, or view here: Mid-Willamette Valley Food Trail brochure (PDF). View detailed maps and itineraries at Visit Corvallis, our partner in the Food Trail Development. 

The Best of Fresh and Local

Take Root Summer 2023 cover with green olives on the bush Fresh & Local Cover 2023 man choosing produced from farm stand








Want to buy local? These two publications will shows you how! Take Root and Fresh & Local are great guides for sourcing local foods. Take Root has an associated cost, and you can subscribe to get it delivered twice a year. Visit to subscribe or find out where to buy the magazine. Fresh & Local: Linn-Benton Guide to Sourcing Locally Grown Food is a free guide that provides information about farmers’ markets, farm stands, U-Picks, CSAs, and more. There is also a Guide to Sourcing Local Food in Lane County & Vicinity

You can view these magazines online or pick up FREE hard copies here at the Albany Visitors Association, 110 3rd Ave SE, off of Lyon Street.

Take Root Online Edition

Fresh & Local: Linn-Benton Guide to Sourcing Locally Grown Food

More Places to Eat Farm Fresh

Not all area restaurants, bakeries, shops or coffee houses that use locally produced ingredients are listed in this section. Make sure to check out our restaurant directory or the free Albany Explorer App, available for download on Google Play or at the Apple App Store.

Images used in this post: Feature image at top of page, Lamb petting at Ironwater Ranch in Albany; Girls with garlic at Midway Farms in Albany; Sybaris Bistro truffle feast by AO Films in Albany; Deluxe and Sinister Brewing, in Albany; Honeybrine Market and Catering in Albany; Thompsons Mills State Heritage Site in Shedd; Take Root magazine cover by Debbie Duhn.

Let’s Head Outdoors for More Fun

In addition to the formal Food Trail Program, try a couple of these suggestions as the summer bounty increases. 

Wine Tasting

Albany is home to a region full of vineyards and wine tasting opportunities. Enjoy lunch at Sweet Red Wine Bistro, where you can order from local and international wines and sample great food and cheeses. After lunch, head to Springhill Cellars Winery, where the estate vineyard and winery are on the slopes of Springhill, a gentle hill not far from the banks of the Willamette River.

Just to the north of Albany is Willamette Valley Vineyards, one of the oldest and most prestigious wineries in the mid-valley. Their tasting room is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and closed only on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. If you have more time to explore, try one of the Heart of Willamette Wineries–a collection of boutique wineries within 50 miles of Albany, producing memorable Oregon wines.

Bountiful Berries

Photo of a woman holding out ripe blueberries at a u-pick farmOne of the fabulous things Oregon is known for is our fruitful bounty. And in July, fresh berries are one of the commodities that bring visitors near and far to Albany and Linn County u-pick farms, roadside stands and farmers’ markets. Several area farms grow blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and (known for its humble Willamette Valley origins) the Marionberry.

The following farms could be the start of a great weekend itinerary to satisfy the berry lover in your family:

Midway Farms One of Albany’s agricultural gems, Midway is a bucolic organic farm store (and working farm) on Highway 20. As you drive toward Corvallis, its red barn peeks out from between shade trees and a riot of multi-colored flowers. The store is usually bursting with an eclectic mix of seasonal harvests—from green onions and sweet greens to fall potatoes, tomatoes and garlic.

Midway’s crowning glory of summer are their sweet succulent organic strawberries, blueberries and other seasonal fruit. The farm posts frequently on Facebook, so if you’re planning on making fresh jam, follow their page to find out when there are special sales on bulk berries. Depending on the bounty, Kapple may run a spontaneous jam-making sale.

Midway Farms is located at 6980 NW US Hwy. 20, and the farm store is open daily, including weekends, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can also snag their produce, flowers, fruits, eggs and meats at the Albany or Corvallis Farmers’ Market.

Bryant Family Farm A short five-minute drive into the Albany countryside and you can load up on the biggest juiciest blueberries in Linn County. This family owned venture features 19 different varieties of “no spray” blueberries. You can opt to pick your own or purchase fresh or frozen berries for all your culinary creations.

The farm features a family picnic area and restrooms, so you can bring your favorite hamper packed with goodies and rest between picking. The Bryant family purchased the farm about five years ago, carrying on the u-pick tradition of the former owners, Peter and Millie Romans. The Romans planted their first bushes in 1967.

If you are in hurry and don’t have time to pick yourself, you can order free delivery service of frozen berries (within Albany), any size order over five pounds at $2.25 per pound. Frozen blueberries still pack a nutritional punch and are delicious in muffins, pancakes, ice cream, smoothies, and jams.

The season at the farm runs from mid-June to the second week in August, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., dependent on fruit ripening, weather patterns, and crop availability. It’s usually best to check with the farm at 541-704-0677. Bryant Family Farm is located at 35923 Bryant Drive SW, Albany, Oregon.

Catch Sight of Wildlife

Photo of turtles climbing one on top of another on a log sticking out of the pond at Albany's Talking Water GardensThe Willamette Valley is a wonderful place to explore with a pair of binoculars—or just a keen pair of eyes. The mid-valley’s mild climate makes it the winter home for certain bird species, and the rivers, lakes and forests are teeming with life as well. The Willamette Valley Birding Trail is your best resource for birding in the area. Download the Santiam Loop section for a guide to spotting burrowing owl, Oregon Vesper Sparrow and other species native to the mid-valley area. If you look carefully while walking in grassy meadows in Linn and Benton counties, you might spot a Fender’s Blue Butterfly (PDF), a rare butterfly native only to the Willamette Valley.

The following spots should help you create your own itinerary of nature while you’re here:

  • Talking Water Gardens on the northeast side of Albany is an engineered wetlands that is home to turtles, frogs, mink, beaver, and dozens of species of birds. Trails and viewing platforms are plentiful.
  • Finley Wildlife Refuge, southwest of Albany, has locations on both sides of the Willamette River, in Linn and Benton counties. It is home to one of the area’s largest herds of Roosevelt elk.
  • E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area, west of Albany, is home to everything from beaver to bobcats, and hosts several threatened species, such as the Western pond turtle, sharp-tailed snake, and red-legged frog. The wildlife area also encompasses the remains of a former U.S. military base, and abandoned roads and old buildings are waiting to be explored at E.E. Wilson.

Congratulations winners of the 2022 AVA Photo Contest

Thanks to everyone who entered the Albany Visitors Association 2022 Photo Contest, and we are excited to announce the winners! 

See the video of the winners below (LINK after the list). The video may also be viewed on YouTube and at the Pix Theatre before feature films. The following photographs and many more may also be viewed on the AVA FLICKR site.

Thanks again to all who entered the contest and we hope to see your new photographs next year.

The winners of the 15th Annual Albany Visitors Association Photography Contest are:

  • Champion – “Summer Cousins,” by Hannah Darling
  • Reserve Champion – “Dahlia Field,” Millersburg by Dave Maestas
  • People’s Choice, – “Water, Water, Everywhere,” Koosah Falls by Dave Taube
  • Student – “Icarus Mural” by Mikayla Chaffins


1st Place –  “Can’t Hardly Wait,” by Jolene Thomson

2nd Place –   “Oregon Wine Country,” by Hannah Darling         

3rd Place – “Tet Treats,” by Stephanie Low


1st Place – “Auto Show at Linn Co Expo Center,” by Dave Maestas

2nd Place – “Cumberland on the Move,” by Camron Settlemier

3rd Place – “Always Remember,” by Camron Settlemier

Historic Albany:

1st Place – “Snow at Central School,” by Melinda Martin

2nd Place – “Hoffman Bridge,” by Dave Maestas          

3rd Place – “Tulips,” by Camron Settlemier


1st Place – “Carousel & Museum,” by Dave Maestas

2nd Place – “Only in Albany,” by Stephanie Low

3rd Place – “Porky Departing the Station,” by Camron Settlemier


1st Place – “Splash!” by Stephanie Low

2nd Place – “Hug a Tree,” by Melinda Martin

3rd Place – “Fall in the Park,” by Katrina Wilson                   


1st Place – “Sunrise Over Downtown Albany” by Loretta Robinson

2nd Place – “Timber Linn Park Pond,” by Ron Sanders

3rd Place – “Dapper Duck,” by Dan Bateman


See the video HERE



PURPOSE:    The purpose of this contest is to find images suitable for use in the marketing program for Albany, Linn County and the Willamette Valley.

Photograph Subject

We ask that your work specifically feature Albany and surrounding Linn County. The images we most commonly use in our publications, advertisements and social media feature people enjoying life in our area.

We know visitors want to see images of people relishing fantastic food and drink (micro-breweries, distilleries, winemakers), participating in events (Art & Air, shows at the Expo Center), having a great time outdoors (hiking, biking, and paddling in our parks and around town) and enjoying the beauty and majesty of our city’s historic architecture! PLEASE NOTE: all photos depicting water recreation must be compliant with life jacket laws.

Since it can be hard to get just the right shot with people, consider staging something with people you know.  That way it’s easy to have them complete the model release form. Please be safe and abide by COVID safety guidelines.

Photograph image resolution, size & shape

Photos should be large file sizes (biggest size image setting on your camera, 300 dpi and 1MB minimum in size).  Photos should be standard rectangular portrait or landscape; square, panoramic or custom ratios are more difficult to place within our ads.

Images that have digitally applied effects (such as montages, double exposures or vignettes) cannot be used in AVA publications or national advertising.

Photograph Subject Categories  – sometimes we will recommend that an image be placed in a category different than the one you submit

Culinary: We live in the proverbial bread-basket of culinary delights: farm-to-table special dinners; farmer’s markets; renowned and award-winning chefs; cozy coffee houses and bakeries; wineries and breweries; German and Hungarian restaurants. Our city bubbles over with bounty. Visit a local restaurant or a unique foodie or drink venue and let people know what delicious rewards await them. Attend the farmer’s market and capture the bounty.

Events: Remember you can use photos from 2020, 2021, or 2022.

Historic Albany: If you live in Albany, you know that we have deep historical roots. Our city has four nationally recognized historic districts. Albany’s architectural styles vary from the mid- 1800s to the 1950s. Grab a copy of “Seems Like Old Times” and document your personal visual tour or join us on one of the seasonal guided tours. We need images from all seasons so consider revisiting your favorite place at different times of the year!

Landmarks: What is your landmark when you tell friends to meet you in Albany? Is it the Historic Carousel or maybe the clock tower at the Albany Train Station? A landmark is unique to Albany and lends itself to the quintessential identity of our city. Even an old building with a Victorian painted advertisement on a brick wall or a statue could be a landmark.

People: Visitors love to see people enjoying themselves, but we know it can be hard to get the shot right and get strangers to sign release forms. Consider enlisting your family and friends at a picnic in your favorite Albany park or enjoying a meal from your favorite restaurant.

Scenic: Visit our parks, the Willamette River, hiking trails, vineyards and surrounding rural vistas and urban hideaways. Find something you think will make someone want to come visit us and represents the unique charm of our region. Rustic barns, farm stands, bountiful gardens, wildflowers and wildlife, the Willamette Valley with distant snow-capped mountains. This category includes last year’s “Life in the Community” category.

Student: For young photographers ages 18 and under.


A committee of judges will (anonymously) assess photos for subject and composition. Judges will consider some of the following criteria: is the subject appropriate for the category, is it a really good/unusual example of that subject, is the composition in focus, does it draw you in, is it original? Judges will determine Champion and Reserve Champion winners and People’s Choice will be judged on the AVA Flickr site (if you sign in) or on Facebook.

Winners will be announced in March 2022. Winning photographs will be showcased in a professional video shown at the Pix Theatre before feature films following the contest, on the AVA website and YouTube and displayed at the Albany Amtrak Station. There will not be an in-person awards presentation this year.


Champion, Reserve Champion, and People’s Choice awards will be $225, $150 and $75, respectively.  All first-place through third-place winners will receive a certificate and a gift card to the Pix Theatre to see their photos on the big screen.

Who can enter?

The contest is open to all ages, all levels: from amateur to professional or hobbyist.

How to Enter:

Email and we will send you the online entry form through Survey Monkey – you do not need a subscription to use the survey. You do need the following rules and forms:


View 2020 and 2021 winners and get ideas

Our Top Ten Picks for A Safe and Festive Holiday

Historic home decorated for the holidays

Enjoy the holiday season in Albany this year with bountiful shopping ideas, dining adventures and playful activities geared to get you into the spirit.

Be sure to observe all Covid-19 restrictions when out and about at events or in businesses, including physical distancing and wearing a mask. Some businesses may have schedule changes based on a recent surge in the virus and subsequent “freeze,” so check here or at the individual business websites or Facebook pages for updated information.

Play find & seek and keep your traditions alive and well in Historic Albany, Oregon

Find your Favorite Porch and Seek Simpler Days gone by during the 2020 Annual Christmas Parlour Porch Tour: 2 to 7 p.m., Dec. 13 – A dozen historic homes around Albany will have their porches decorated and lights glowing for the annual tour. Drive or walk past the homes, many of which will be participating in the Night Time Magic Holiday Light Contest (vote for your favorite!), and soak up the holiday spirit. While touring, also take part in a raffle for prizes. Details on tickets and the contest will be available in this posting on the AVA website prior to the tour, so stay tuned. There will be no cost for the event, but participants are encouraged to make donations. The tour is a fundraiser for the Monteith Historical Society, which uses the money for maintenance and operation of the Monteith House, the oldest frame home in Albany.

Seek Holiday Scene window displays for a great family photo opp. Storybook Land is scattered around 6 downtown windows this year which are also serving as a food-drive event for Fish of Albany food pantry. Bring non-perishable, commercially packaged food items for Fish, and stroll through downtown for window after window of beautiful holiday scenes. Find all 6 Storybook Land scenes and post on their FB page to enter a drawing for fun prizes.

Find Your Spirits cider and craft brews. Albany is bursting with quality beverages to cozy up to on a cold winter night or share with your household to bring much delight. Sinister Distilling, Vivacity Spirits, Calapooia Brewing Co., Deluxe Brewing, No Rails Ale House and Growler Garage & Tap House are ready to pour-yours-to-go and send you on your merry way. Springhill Cellars Winery offers carry out for a perfect pairing with any meal.

Seek a shining star and consider supporting your local theaters and buying gift cards from the Pix Theatre or tickets to Albany Civic Theater, during this season of giving. We rely on them to bring us the entertainment we crave and one of these days we’ll be back in the seats of our favorite venues.

Find your Farmer at Albany Farmers’ Holiday Market: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dec. 12, 4th Avenue and Ellsworth Street – More than 20 vendors will be selling locally grown agricultural products for your holiday table! Midway Farms on Hwy 20 is open all year long with a cooperative collection of locally grown produce, cheese, eggs, meats, plants, jellies, pickles and sauces. Supporting your farmer in the off season is sure to bring you good cheer and a bigger bounty in the new year.

Seek Locally Crafted at markets and bazaars following guidelines for safety.

Peoria Road Farm Market Holiday Craft Bazaar: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 21, 33269 Peoria Rd, Corvallis, 541-207-3327 – Shop for holiday decor, candles, jewelry, and more at the 7th Annual Peoria Road Farm Market Holiday Bazaar. They will be taking every precaution to keep visitors safe while enjoying a great day of shopping. Masks will be required.

Albany Holiday Gift Vendor Bender: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 28, Best Western Prairie Inn, 1100 Price Rd. SE, Albany; Contact: – Find handmade crafts and merchandise from local direct sales businesses at this new holiday event at the lovely Best Western Prairie Inn. COVID-19 safety protocols will be observed. Shop safe and local.

Christmas at the Roost/Vintage Roost: 935 Scenic Dr. NW. This vintage barn is filled with antiques, collectibles, handmade gifts with a vintage charm by local crafters, baked goods and more! Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 4-5; 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 6 and Dec. 11-12; and 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 13. Due to Covid restrictions, capacity of the shop is 10 persons at any one time, and masks are required. There will be several areas outside to shelter while waiting to enter. Warm refreshments will be served as you wait, including The Roost’s famous hot cranberry tea. Dress for the weather. Parking is available on Scenic Drive.

Ropp Family Farm Christmas Barn: 35746 Eicher Rd SE. preview night this Thursday, November 19th from 5-7pm for shopping, snacks & giveaways, and only for a $10 entry. Doors will open for regular shopping Friday & Saturday from 9am to 4pm. No entry fee required. Open for business each weekend thru Saturday December 5th.

Find your Tree  at Toland Tree Farm  (closed for the season) following guidelines, trees will all be PRE-CUT fresh weekly and ready to choose from -No You Cut. Limited number of cars will be allowed in the parking lot and the number of customers on the farm at one time. So please be patient and remember, Santa is watching. Check revised hours and consider making a weekday appointment by connecting directly.

From Doug Firs, Noble Firs, Nordman Firs and even Grand Firs, Vollstedt Farms has trees of all shapes and sizes available. Opening day is November 21st with face masks and physical distancing required. Extended hours are in place. The front patch will be open for u-cut. Trees from the back patch will be brought up as pre-cut. Please limit the family group to 3-4 people. Unfortunately wagon rides, places where people congregate, and dogs are out and no foot traffic is allowed on the road. The good news is tree prices will be down.

Christmas tree permits for the Willamette National Forest are available for the Sweet Home, Middle Fork, and parts of the Detroit and McKenzie River Ranger Districts. Permits are available online  and by calling the respective ranger district offices. Tree permits will not be sold in person at any ranger districts or offices. Please check closure maps before entering the forest and remain outside any of the closed areas. Permits are $5.00 each. They allow the holder to cut one tree in designated areas; each household can purchase up to a maximum of five permits. This year, trees can be as tall as 15 feet.

Seek your Ornament during the Third Annual Ornament Hunt on non-wilderness trails of the Willamette National Forest launched on November 13, 2020. The hunt encourages locals and travelers to connect with public lands and increase outdoor recreation activities. One hundred and fifty ornaments have been hidden along non-wilderness trails that have not been affected by wildfires for lucky adventurers to find. Three different wooden ornaments, each featuring a fun-loving forest creature, are spread across trails in the Willamette National Forest and the Umpqua National Forest. Each one found includes a Willamette Valley leather patch and instructions on how to register to win a prize. Find and register all three and you will be eligible to win an adventure and overnight stay in the Willamette Valley. For more information visit their website.

Find the Perfect Gift on Small Business Saturday and all the way through Christmas, Shop Small & Dine Small kicks off Saturday, Nov. 28 but why stop then? Shop small and save big on unique gifts over the Thanksgiving weekend and beyond. This may mean locally online – see your favorite store’s Website or Facebook page for their most up to date offerings you can find them listed here. Local businesses are pulling out all the stops with amazing specials and deals designed to help you get just the right gift for friends and family. Remember to support your local artist on Artist Sunday and all year long with places like Crow’s Foot, Gallery Calapooia and the Carousel Gift Shop, or find your inner artist at Surefire Design and Splatterbox.

While working up an appetite shopping, downtown restaurants will be ready to offer a wonderful selection of food and drink to keep you going. For an updated list of restaurants, who is offering take out and delivery and what kind of menu to expect, click here.

Seek your Favorite Holiday Lights during the Night Time Magic Holiday Light Contest: The 33rd annual event kicks off Dec. 7. Perhaps more than ever, people need a little more light to brighten their lives and lift their spirits. So, put your best lighted foot forward and enter the contest or visit all of the entries to enjoy how creative and beautiful the houses are and then vote for your favorite.

Contestants will be judged on the best use of lights in decorating the exterior of their homes. The winners will enjoy bragging rights for the entire year and will receive some great prizes, including a Party Room Rental provided by the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum, a night at Comfort Suites-Albany, Pizza from Southpaws and gift certificates from local stores.

This year’s theme is “Cherished Traditions in a New Light” and participants are asked to share the source for their inspiration, such as: a family tradition, favorite holiday book, movie or special, music, dance, art or a special collection using lights, lights and more lights.

The contest will be judged by the public this year through online voting, and lights need to be on 5 to 10 p.m. Dec. 7 through Jan. 1.

Go here for contest rules and entry information and how to vote.

People wishing to drive the route to look at the participating locations can pick up a list of participants and a map at the Albany Visitors Association beginning Dec. 10 or download the Albany Explorer app.

Keeping Traditions alive in 2020 can be more difficult for many facing hardships and loss. Please consider sharing your good fortune and cheer with others to lift them up along with your own holiday spirits and you will in turn help bring about a brighter new year for all. Here’s to ringing in 2021 with Peace, Love and Hope for a better tomorrow.

Cherished Traditions in a New Light

A historic home in Albany Oregon lit with Christmas lights and decorations on the exterior

33rd Annual Night Time Magic Holiday Light Contest

And the winners are …

“Santa’s Beat Shop” – 4195 Madrona Pl. SE, Albany, OR 97322

“The Tree of Lights” – 4203 Winners Circle Ave. SE, Albany, OR 97322

“Bringing Joy For All to See” – 3849 Oakmont Loop NE, Albany, OR 97322

“Historic Elegance” – 914 5th Ave SW, Albany, OR 97321

 The 1st Place winning prize package includes a night stay at the Phoenix Hotel, Carousel party room reservation, dinner at Sybaris as well as gift certificates for Bodhi Bakery, Urban Ag Supply, Midway Farms and Southpaws/Shortstops.

Winners will be entitled to bragging rights for the entire year and will receive an Award Certificate and various gift cards that may include the following local businesses: Phoenix Inn, Historic Carousel & Museum, Sybaris Bistro, The Natty Dresser, Novak’s Hungarian Restaurant, The Pix Theatre, Bodhi Bakery, Urban Ag Supply, Midway Farms, and Shortstop/Southpaws Perfect Pizza.

Thank you to all the homeowners who participate in this program. Without your efforts, this wonderful community tradition would not be possible.

Thank you also to our sponsors Burcham’s Metals, Robyn vanRossmann, Broker from Town & Country Realty, and Hospitality Vision for helping to light up Albany!

How YOU can vote for your favorite: 

The 2020 Night Time Magic Holiday Light Contest is ON! 26 houses and businesses throughout Albany are decked out in holiday themes honoring “Cherished Traditions in a New Light.” You can marvel at the abundance of lights, the heights achieved and yes, a meme for this oh-so-special year 2020.  YOU can help choose the winners!  You can get a list of participants three ways:

  1. Download the Albany Explorer App for the addresses and a mapApple iOs: Download the free app at the Apple Store for iPhone or iPadAndroid OSDownload the free app at Google Play for Android.
  2. Download and print the list 2020 NTM List
  3. or email
  4. THEN – Drive by and vote for your favorite. Like the Albany Visitors Facebook page and then scroll through the album and vote ONCE for your favorite at – Facebook Night Time Magic or email your favorite to

Enjoy the lights and Happy Holidays!

The Albany Visitors Association is helping to make the season bright by coordinating the 33rd Annual Night Time Magic Holiday Light Contest, which kicks off December 7. Burcham’s Metals, Robyn vanRossmann, Broker from Town & Country Realty, and Hospitality Vision are proud to be the premier sponsors agreeing that this year, perhaps more than ever, people are in need of a little more light to brighten the dark days of winter and lift their spirits. Residents are encouraged to enter the contest for the best use of lights in decorating the exterior of their homes for everyone to enjoy. The winners will be entitled to bragging rights for the entire year and will receive some great prizes.

This year’s theme is “Cherished Traditions in a New Light” and participants are encouraged to share the source for their inspiration, such as: a family tradition, favorite holiday book, movie or special, music, dance, art or a special collection using lights, lights and more lights.

Judging this year will be open to our community. Pictures of entries will be posted on the AVA Facebook page and addresses will be included for people to drive by. A holiday light drive will be posted on the Albany Explorer App via Google Map and community members can vote for their favorites via Facebook or by contacting the Albany Visitors Association. Voting will open on December 10 and continue through December 20, 2020. Prizes will include a Party Room Rental provided by the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum, A night stay at a local hotel, pizza from Southpaws Pizza & Sports bar, and gift certificates from local businesses like Midway Farms and Bodhi Bakery.


  1. Entries must be within the City limits of Albany.
  2. To enter, email a picture of your completed lights to, by 5pm Monday, December 7th, (photo not required for entry but greatly increases the chances of winning based on FB likes)
  3. Entries must include:  Participants name, Commercial or Residential, Full street address, Title (inspiration for your light creation is encouraged), Email and Phone number
  4. Lights need to be on from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. December 7– January 1. (or longer!)

That’s all it will take to be a part of Albany’s “Magic” this year!

Winners will be announced by December 22nd.

People wishing to drive the route to look at the participating locations can pick up a list of participants at beginning December 10 or download the Albany Explorer App.

Thank you to all the homeowners who participate in this program. Without your efforts this wonderful community tradition would not be possible

Photo of Albany Oregon lit with multi-colored Christmas lights in the shape of Santa Claus

Christmas In Albany by Dina Ratzlaff

Entry forms

Entry forms can be downloaded here or you can email or call us and we will email you a form. The deadline for the 2020 submissions is  5 p.m. Monday, December 7th*The contest is open to Albany city-limits residents only. Telephone us if you have any questions: 541-928-0911.

*Large photo at top of page by Cathy Webb.

Come explore our great outdoors

Getting outdoors with your family is a great way to stay local and stay safe, and Albany has a lot of areas to explore: Sneak up on sun-basking turtles at Talking Water Gardens, spend an afternoon fishing at one of our area lakes, or just bike or hike over miles of trails the city has to offer.

Here are a few suggestions to get you safely out and about for a day of hiking, biking, fishing and birdwatching:

Hiking and Biking

Photo of cyclists in front of the Linn County Courthouse in Albany ORIf you just want to hit the trails, Albany has miles of them, and chances are there’s one near your neighborhood. Check out the list at the City of Albany’s website and download the trail map and plan.

Two of the most scenic trails follow the Willamette River: The Dave Clark Trail on the eastern bank and Takena Landing Trail on the west, both running about 3 miles round trip.

If you want to add a little length to the Dave Clark Trail, exit Monteith Riverpark at the west end, travel up Calapooia Street to Third Avenue, then head down into Bryant Park, where you loop around near the confluence of the Willamette and Calapooia Rivers. A nice diversion on a sunny day.

Talking Water Gardens

Photo of Talking Water Garden and DuckHead east on Front Street past the Albany/Millersburg Water Reclamation Facility and you will find this gem. Created for cooling treated wastewater before it is discharged into the Willamette River, this 50-acre manufactured wetland is home to more than 200 species of birds and several species of amphibians, mammals and native plants. Some critters can be seen all day long but start your day early and maybe catch a glimpse of a mink or marten, turtles and other creatures as you hike the 2 miles of path around the area. Bring your bird identification book and see how many birds you can identify in an hour. If you brought a lunch, take a break and sit by one of the many refreshing waterfalls built into the area to help cool the water.

If you have time, head into adjacent Simpson Park with its 168 woody acres that include miles of trails and a lake you can fish for crappie, bass and bluegill.

Waverly Lake, Timber-Linn Lake, Freeway Lakes

Photo of sunset over Waverly Lake in Albany OregonIf you want to continue fishing, head over to nearby Waverly Lake, a former rock pit that now forms an oasis at the entrance to Albany’s eastern gate. This 5-acre lake — home to Waverly Duck, a giant decoy that greets visitors every summer — is stocked every year with trout, including some rather large brood trout, a few tipping the scales at over 10 pounds. The lake is ringed by a path that makes it very accessible.

Waverly Lake is one of three Albany-area lakes stocked yearly by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife. Timber-Linn Lake at Timber-Linn Park is 11 acres and very accessible, making it a perfect spot for a day out with the family. Best access is to take Price Road from Highway 20.

Freeway Lakes is three small lakes along Interstate 5 south of Albany. They are accessible by Three Lakes Road, which runs along the east side of I-5. The lakes are stocked with trout early in the season but are also home to warmwater species, including crappie and bluegill.

Fishing licenses are required for any person 14 years of age or older and can be purchased at most sporting goods stores in the area.

Outside Albany

Photo of McDowell Creek Park If you are planning a day outside of Albany in the Willamette National Forest and other areas, be sure to “know before you go” and start by checking these websites to make sure what areas are open and what to expect when you get there. Many sites are only partially open, and some do not have restrooms or waste collection.


What is open and closed:

Oregon State Parks by status:

Limited day-use open at some State Parks/Covid FAQ:

Some State Parks offer limited day-use access:

Image credits on this page: Heron feature image, by Dina Ratzliff; Female mallard duck at Talking Waters Garden by Kimberly Silva; Waverly Lake Sunset by David Maestes; Cyclists at the Linn County Courthouse by Cathy Webb; McDowell Creek Park by Phillip Marks.

Summer Historic Home Tour

Photo of a historic home porch looking out to antique trolley and American flag during the Albany Sumer Historic Home Tour

Note: For winners of the Scavenger Hunt, scroll down to the contest form download portion of this blog.

The 2020 Summer Historic Home Tour will look a lot different this year in order to respect the Covid-19 guidelines. To start with: no interiors. But those interested in our beautiful homes and historic buildings can still take a self-guided exterior tour on Saturday, July 25 (with a virtual peek inside a few of them!) and take part in a contest for prizes, including free tickets to the 2020 Christmas Parlour Tour. This 2020 Summer tour is free but if you would like to make a donation to help maintain the Monteith House Museum, please see the donation options at the bottom of this page.

The details

This year, rather than allow visitors physically inside five or six homes, the tour will consist of a self-guided event that will feature a walk-by of eight homes with the help of a map, the publication Seems Like Old Times and/or the use of our app, Explore Albany, which is sponsored by the Albany Visitors Association.

In addition, while taking the tour visitors can be on the lookout for architectural details that will be included in a scavenger hunt. Find the required items, such as beautiful woodwork detail or an interesting door, and mark it on the ballot. Return the completed ballot and place it in the mail slot at the AVA office, 110 3rd Ave. SE, at the end of the day and be entered in a drawing for prizes, including tickets to the Christmas Parlour Tour on Sunday, Dec. 13. Five pairs of tickets will be given away.

We ask that all visitors observe all social distancing guidelines, including the wearing of masks where 6-foot separation is not possible.

The date and hours

Photo of historic home.Here’s how it will work. The tour is still scheduled for Saturday, July 25, 2020, and will run 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors can download a map and scavenger hunt ballot from the AVA website the day of the event, or pick them up outside the front door of the AVA or Monteith House along with a copy of Seems Like Old Times, which provides guided tours, details about the homes and some fun and interesting information about Albany and its historic districts.

*Image of Ralston House by Stephanie Low.

For those of you who are tech savvy, download the Albany Explorer app at Apple Store for iPhone or iPad or Google Play for Android. It includes maps to three of Albany’s historic districts, where to dine, spend the night and other details about Albany and the surrounding area. And since visitors won’t be allowed inside the houses, a few homeowners have graciously agreed to let us to create short video tours of the inside of their homes for people to enjoy. They will be available the day of the tour on this page,

In addition, a few homeowners have agreed to allow visitors into their yards to take in their beautiful landscaping. When visiting these yards, please observe social distancing guidelines and wear a face covering over your nose and mouth.

If all of that exploring works up an appetite, take the time to enjoy a take-out lunch from one of the many fine restaurants Albany has to offer. Click here for dining details, inside or curbside.

Download Scavenger Hunt here(PDF)

Scavenger Hunt Winners: Part of the 2020 Summer Tour was a scavenger hunt. A Grand Prize gift basket and five pairs of tickets to the 2020 Christmas Parlour Tour were given away. The contest concluded July 31. Here are the winners: Grand prize Gift Basket: Dianne Bass. Christmas Parlour Tour tickets: Nancy Messman, Sue Roberts, Roxanne Winston, Cindy Fellows and Gail Gerdemann.

Image of Scavenger Hunt questions




Saturday, July 25 – Link to Home Photo Gallery here

2020 Historic Homes Tour Photo Gallery

See a few photos of the Keyhole House, which will be available the day of the tour.

See the inside of two homes on this year’s tour and a poster

Two homeowners have made videos showing off the interior of their homes. Click the Montanye House and the Rohrbough/Callister House to see them. Also take a look at a poster full of information about the Montanye House. MontayneHouseTourPoster (1)

Help preserve the tour and Monteith House Museum for the future:

The tour and scavenger hunt contest are all free of charge. Normally, tour tickets cost $15 each, with the money going to the restoration and upkeep of the Monteith House. Donations, though not required, will be greatly appreciated since Monteith House income has been seriously diminished due to the Covid shutdown.

Contact-free donations can be made with your credit or debit card using our online payment option here:
( Please note: you don’t have to have your own Paypal account to use this)

Enter the dollar amount you wish to donate:




if you prefer, checks can be made payable to the “Monteith Historical Society” and mailed to the AVA, PO Box 965, Albany, Oregon 97321, or other donation arrangements can be made by emailing us.

While this won’t be a traditional homes tour, we hope all who have enjoyed the event in the past will come and spend a lovely and safe afternoon with us in Albany’s beautiful neighborhoods. Thank you to our gracious homeowners who are willing to share their homes today and to all of you who have come to enjoy them.