If you plan a vacation and want to have a great time, we have prepared a list of the best things to do in Albany, Oregon. Most of the tourists say Albany is an underrated tourist destination and that they would certainly return.
Oregon is the 9th largest state in the United States and the 28th largest in the United States. It is located in the northwestern part of the country and borders the Pacific Ocean in the West, Washington in the North, Idaho in the East, and in the South, California, and Nevada.
Geographically, Oregon is one of the most interesting states in North America. It is known for dense forests of rare species that reach dizzying heights. Oregon is also known for its coastal regions of the Pacific Ocean.
Albany is the 11th largest city in Oregon and part of the Linn County. The city is located at the junction of the Willamette and Calapooia rivers, in the Willamette Valley, south of Salem. It was founded in 1848 by settlers whose main activities were farming and manufacturing. At present, there are over 55,000 people living in Albany, according to an estimate by the Portland Research Center from 2019.
Albany is considered a green city, providing its population with a lot of green space spread among the 30 parks. It is also a great place to be entertained, Albany hosting various festivals and events such as Northwest Art & Air Festival or Rhythms and Movies at Monteith.
Its economy is primarily based on farming, production, and manufacturing, but also on retail trade. Nowadays, the city has brought back life into the downtown shopping area.
Things to do in Albany Oregon
If you are planning to visit Albany, then you are in for a treat. I have prepared a list of the best things to do in Albany Oregon. There many other tourist attractions and activities that you can do, but I selected my favorite ones.
Image source: Albany Historic Carousel & Museum
The Historic Carousel and Museum
Next on my list of things to do in Albany Oregon is The Historic Carousel and Museum.
If you are walking through downtown Albany, you should definitely visit the Historic Carousel and Museum. It was founded in 2004 and the carousel was open to the public on August 15th, 2017. The tours are free and the carousel ride is $2.00.
The ride consists of various animals such as dogs, cats, dragons, lions, unicorns, zebras, tigers, bears, and a seven-foot-tall giraffe. In total, there are 52 animals, arranged in three rows. The exterior row, with the large animals, the middle row is for the medium animals and the inside row is for the smaller animals. There are also replacement and seasonal animals that bring the total animals available on the carousel to 63.
The mechanism behind the carousel is a 1909 Dentzel Carousel that was donated to the museum. The restoration took over 10 years in which the mechanical part and motors were tweaked, the wooden gears were restored and the mirrors were polished. All the restoration was done by Carl Baker and his team of volunteers.
Hoffman Bridge in Albany
Hoffman Bridge was built in 1936, about 1 mile from Crabtree, Linn County, Oregon. It is 27 meters long and crosses Crabtree Creek as part of Hungry Hill Drive.
The bridge is named after its builder, Lee Hoffman. The community and the stream it passes are named after John Crabtree, who settled here in 1845.
In 1987, the bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places, under the name Crabtree Creek – Hoffman Covered Bridge.
Image source: Downtown Albany, Oregon, by Edfallere
Downtown Historic District
The Downtown Historic District is one of the four historic districts of the city and covers the industrial area of the southeast of the city, as well as the traditional central area, also known as Central Albany. The Central Albany Revitalization Area aims to attract funds and investments, both private and public, in the central area.
The historic center includes old buildings, such as restaurants, shops, and a theater, from the 1860s. The area was designed to encourage the use of bicycles and wide sidewalks, preserving the history of the city center, while revitalizing the entire district.
Image: Waverly Park, Albany
Waverly Lake Park
If you are passionate about nature, you should not miss a walk through Waverly Park. This is the 4th largest park in Albany, the city of over 20 parks and green spaces.
Waverly Park has an area of 20 acres, about 81,000 square meters, being mostly occupied by Waverly Lake. In addition to the specially designed barbecue and picnic areas, the park offers many facilities such as bike paths, paddle boat activities, restrooms, green spaces, and a wide variety of trees.
It is certainly one of the best parks to visit if you are visiting Albany.
Image: Monteith House Museum
If you are passionate about history and culture then you can not miss this tourist attraction. The Monteith House is a memorial home dedicated to ancestors and pioneers who settled in Oregon.
The history of this house begins with the Monteith brothers, Walter and Thomas, who were traveling with a herd of oxen in 1847 on the Oregon Trail. At the intersection of the Willamette and Calapooia rivers, they discovered a meadow, wide and open. From the moment they saw this meadow, they realized that it was the perfect place to found the city they dreamed of.
Without thinking, they bought 320 acres along the Willamette River from Hiram Smead. All land purchased costs approximately $400.
The name of this settlement, Albany, was given by them after Albany, New York, the capital of the state where they were born. The construction of the first house was completed with the help of a friend, named Samuel Althouse, in 1849 and is still called Monteith House.
Image: Springhill Cellars Winery
Springhill Cellars Winery
Albany has an undeniable offer even for wine lovers. Springhill Cellars Winery was founded by Mike and Karen McLain and her father, Merv Anthony.
The fruits are carefully selected from their own vineyard on the estate. They were planted from 1978 to 1990. The second vineyard, McLain Vineyard, with an area of 12 acres, was planted from 1997 to 2000.
The McLain philosophy is “that great wines are grown, not made”. This ideology is also guided in the case of Springhill Cellars, where efforts are focused on the production of the highest quality fruit.
Depending on the weather, they produce between 1,000 and 1,200 cases of wine annually. Their wines include various varieties of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.
So, if you are a wine lover, or you want to try something new, do not hesitate to visit the vineyard where, depending on the season, you can also take part in a wine tasting.
Image: Albany Regional Museum
Albany Regional Museum
Last but not least on my list of things to do in Albany Oregon is another museum. If you visit Albany don’t forget to visit the Albany Regional Museum. It was born in 1980 and was located in the Carnegie Library. The year 1999 came with a surprise for the museum, Bill and Doris Scharpf donating the building to the Albany Regional Museum.
The building where the museum is today was completed in 1887 and was located at the intersection of 1st and Broadalbin streets. 25 years later, it was moved to an area known as Chinatown.
Other things to do in Oregon
To sum things up, if you are visiting Albany, Oregon, don’t forget to check my list of things to do in Albany Oregon, and visit the best tourist attractions that the city has to offer. There are also plenty of trips, and tours that you can book in Oregon. Don’t forget to have a great time, relax, and enjoy the outdoor experience that Albany has to offer.
If you know anyone that is planning a trip to Albany, share my list of things to do in Albany Oregon, so that they can start their trip on the right foot. Don’t forget to check our section of Travel Tips to find out more about great travel destinations.