Albany Visitors Association

In a state known to offer diverse attractions – from Oregon’s rugged coast to Crater Lake to Mt. Hood – Linn County, with Albany as its seat, can hold its own.

In this friendly town, nestled where two rivers meet, you can wander by lovingly-restored historic homes or visit an antique carousel with animals hand-crafted over 12 years by volunteers and artists. Hungry? Visit Albany’s unique restaurants, where chefs transform the bounty of the Willamette Valley into fresh, authentic, local cuisine. Thirsty? Savor a craft beer, locally-made cider or a glass of award-winning Oregon wine.

The fertile Willamette Valley was the “Promised Land” that brought many of the settlers over the Oregon Trail.  Albany and Linn County are at the center of that valley. There are several museums in the area — one good one is the Linn County Historical Museum in Brownsville, where various vignettes depict settlers’ cabins and pioneer homes as well as native American life in various vignettes.

Albany from early on was a prosperous community and today is known for its many historic buildings. More than 700 buildings date from the 1840s to the 1920s in four Historic Districts. Downtown walking tours — both self-guided and guided — help visitors explore these architectural treasures.

Albany’s Historic Carousel and Museum has been a years-long labor of love by volunteers who spent 12 years carving, sanding and painting animals while raising money to build it a home. The 1909 restored Dentzel carousel mechanism, with over 50 newly hand-carved animals, is the showpiece of Albany’s downtown and is now open (Wednesday through Sunday).

Nearby in the Linn County countryside, a short drive or biking ride from Albany, you can visit eight covered bridges. The bridges have been carefully maintained and most are open to pedestrians and vehicles.

And then there are festivals, parks and gardens – Signature events like the Northwest Art and Air Festival featuring dozens of colorful hot air balloons, live entertainment and an art show and sale, happen throughout the year. Albany has 32 community parks with miles of trails for walking or bike riding. A favorite park is Talking Water Gardens, a reclaimed mill site that became an award-winning water treatment wetland facility.

The best place to start your exploration is at the Albany Visitors Association located at 110 3rd Ave SE in the heart of historic downtown Albany. Call 541-928-0911 or email [email protected] and a friendly local expert will happily help you plan your visit.

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