Although a good chunk of the town’s real estate is taken up by the OSU campus, Corvallis has a thriving downtown with a splendid path along the Willamette River. A number of restaurants face onto the riverfront.
The Benton County Courthouse (120 NW 4th St., 541/766-6756), near 4th and 5th Streets and Monroe Avenue, dates from 1888 and is the oldest functioning courthouse in the lower Willamette Valley. You can’t miss its large white clock tower, but go inside to get the old-fashioned feel of the place. (Be sure to check out the basement bathrooms.)
Also downtown is the Corvallis Art Center (7th St. and Madison Ave., 541/754-1551, noon–5 p.m. Tues.–Sun.), located in the renovated 1889 Episcopal church near Central Park. It sells local crafts and hosts weekly lunchtime concerts.
A large concentration of historic homes can be found in Corvallis, including many in neighborhoods close to downtown. Download walking-tour maps of various neighborhoods from www.visitcorvallis.com; one interesting tour visits ranch houses from the 1950s.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel