Albany is the 11th-largest city in the state of Oregon. Nicknamed the "Hub of the Valley", it is 69 miles (111 km) south of Portland and 44 miles (71 km) north of Eugene. The town sits at the confluence of the Willamette River and Calapooia River. Albany's streets are lined with historic homes and a carousel museum. Its location in the Willamette Valley, known for its wine, allows the town to offer locally made wine, as well as cider and beer.
Historically, Albany was populated by the Kalapuya people. Albany was called Takenah by the Kalapuya, which describes a deep pool at the confluence of the Calapoola and Willamette rivers. The population, which totaled upwards of 20,000 before European contact, suffered the effects of smallpox brought by the Europeans in 1782-83. Additional damage was done to the community by malaria, which arrived in the area between 1830-33. The majority of the populations of the Kalapuya was killed in the epidemics. By the 1850s, treaties opened the door for Europeans to have complete control of the land that would become Albany.
Abner Hackleman was the first European to settle in the area, in 1845. Eventually, more Europeans came to the area via the Oregon Trail, including the Monteith Brothers. These two families, the Monteith and Hackleman's would develop two opposing communities in the area. For example, the Hackleman's identified as Democrats, when the Monteith's were Republicans. The community came at odds during the American Civil War, with the Hacklemans supporting the Confederacy and the Monteiths, the Union. Historic homes today represent the memory of these families. Albany is split into two sides, East and West, represented by the legacy of these families. The Monteiths are identified as the founding family of Albany, however.
In the 1850s the California Gold Rush brought economic prosperity to the area, and in 1852 the first steamboat arrived at Albany. The town was named Albany in the late 1840s, then New Albany in 1850, and back to Albany in 1853. Trains passed through Albany starting in 1871, and the world's largest wooden railroad drawbridge was built in Albany in 1888. A canal, which still exists, runs 18 miles through the south side of Albany, it was built in 1872. Albany used to host the Albany World Championship Timber Carnival, but alas, small crowds and the failing timber economy had it end in 2001.
Today, Albany is called the "rare metals capital of the world," producing lots of metals with a specific focus on zirconium. The area also produces fruit and is also known for it's grass seed production. Oregon Freeze Dry is the main employer in the region, launching the green tech industry in the area. Albany hosts the annual Northwest Air and Art Festival, wine walks, and other local celebrations. The town is also known for its historic architecture, representing periods ranging from Second Empire to Colonial Revival. The area has been featured on the program This Old House and has one of the oldest Carnegie Libraries still in use in the country. Albany's sister city is Albany, Australia.
- 1 Albany Visitors Association, 110 3rd Ave SE (Corner of 3rd and Lyon in downtown Albany), ☎ , ✉ email@example.com. M–F 9AM–5PM. The visitor's center is in the heart of historic Albany. They can help you book hotels, tours, restaurants, and help you discover the history and heritage of Albany. Free.
Albany is located at Exit 233, 234B, and shortly after the city limits at 228 off the I-5 Interstate. The city can also be accessed from U.S. Route 20, Oregon Route 99E or Oregon Route 34 that provide access from the nearby regions. In real time however - driving from Portland to Albany takes about an hour and a half. If traffic is heavy it could be longer than two hours. Traffic usually bottlenecks around Tigard or Lake Oswego and is slow going from there to Portland.
- Amtrak (110 10th Avenue SW) runs daily between Bellingham and Eugene via the Cascades and daily from Seattle and Los Angeles via the Coast Starlight. The train offers the prettiest commute, complete with food and drink. Coast Starlight offers overnight accommodations.
- 2 Albany Municipal Airport, 310 Waverly Dr NE, ☎ . Small, publicly owned airport. The longest operating airport in the state and the first airport in Oregon to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Corvallis Municipal Airport (CVO IATA) in Corvallis is a publicly owned airport in Corvallis, about 15 miles south of Albany.
- Portland International Airport (PDX IATA) 7000 NE Airport Way, Portland. +1 503-460-4234. The closest international airport, this is where you'll most likely fly into if you are not flying a private plane into the smaller public airports above. It is 80.6 miles north of Albany. You can take a train, bus, or rent a car to get to Albany. You can also hire a shared shuttle via Hut Shuttle.
- BoltBus serves Albany from Eugene, Portland, and Seattle. The bus stop is in the parking lot of the Amtrak station.
A car is helpful, but getting around historic downtown Albany can easily be done by foot.
- Bike n Hike, 424 W 1st Ave., ☎ . Offers bicycle rentals, sales and service. Stop by and rent a bike to cruise around Albany or ride on the scenic bikeway.
- Albany Transit provides bus service to major streets throughout the city. All bus stops have signs, and the main bus stop is located at Albany Station, which is downtown. Single ride tickets are $1 for adults, 50 cents for seniors (60+) and children under the age of 6 ride for free. Albany City Hall and Albany Station sell monthly bus passes. Buses do not run on major holidays.
- Linn-Benton Loop is a bus service that travels between Albany and Corvallis. It runs at shorter intervals, but is great if you're heading to Oregon State University. Tickets are $1.50 for adults (18+), and 75 cents for seniors and youth. If you have an OSU, Linn-Benton Community College, Samaritan Health Services or Hewlett-Packard ID card, you ride for free! They do have bicycle racks.
Enterprise, Hertz, and Budget all offer car rental in Albany.
- Willamette Taxi II Service, +1 541 928-8288
- 1 Albany Historical Carousel and Museum, 503 1st Ave W (At the west end of First Street in downtown, across from the post office.), ☎ , ✉ Albanycarousel@gmail.com. M-Tu Th-Sa 10AM-4PM, W 10AM-9PM. Features a historic carousel and related memorabilia. There is a carving studio, where you can watch carousel animals get carved by craftspeople. There is also a collection of carousel memorabilia and animals, donated by the Dentzel family, a German carousel-making family. Tours can be arranged. Photos welcome. Free.
- 2 Monteith House, 518 2nd SW, ☎ .
- 3 Thompson's Mills State Heritage Site, 32655 Boston Mill Dr, Shedd, OR, ☎ . Daily 9AM-4PM. Free.
Festivals and events
- 1 Linn County Fair, 3700 Knox Butte Rd E (Just to the east of I-5, next to the airport), ☎ . W 4PM-11PM, Th-Sa 11AM-11PM. Mid-July. The region's largest summer event. Get your junk food on, hear live music, and take in the rodeo and more. Oh, and amusement rides, of course!
- 2 Albany Civic Theater, 111 1st Ave W (Between the bridges in downtown Albany.), ☎ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. One of the oldest community theater troupes in the state, performances range from musicals such as Spamalot to classics such as The Glass Menagerie. Ticket prices are reasonable, and shows are often in the evening on weekends. Check out the website for details.
- 3 Pix Theatre, 321 SW 2nd Ave (Located downtown), ☎ . Historic single screen movie theatre showing indie and major films. After 6PM shows are for the 21+ crowd, where the theater serves wine and beer. Join their weekly mailing list online for a free small popcorn. $7 (21+) after 6PM, $5 all ages before 6PM.
- Russell Tripp Performance Center, 6500 Pacific Blvd SW (in Takena Hall on the campus of Linn-Benton Community College), ☎ , ✉ email@example.com. 7:30PM. Linn-Benson Community College's primary entertainment space. The center features theater, children's theater, music, vocal arts, films, lectures, dance and more. $10-20.
Outdoors and sports
- Ride your bike along the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway. One of the first scenic bikeways in the country, the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway passes right through Albany. You can ride north from Albany to just south of Wilsonville, or south to Eugene, it's very scenic! Free.
- Golf anyone? Albany has two golf courses, both 18-hole and open year round:
- 6 Have some old fashioned fun at Lake Shore Lanes, 5432 Pacific Blvd SW, ☎ . Albany's only bowling alley, mini-golf center, and arcade. They also have cosmic bowling where a DJ plays pop music and the bowling alley becomes more like a dance club. $4-30.
- Take a walk at Talking Water Gardens, ☎ . The first public-private partnership related to engineered wetlands in the region. Consisting of approximately 50 acres, the public can hike and view wildlife for free from sunrise to sunset. Free.
- Fred Meyer, 2500 Santiam Hwy. SE
- Fred Meyer.
- Burgerville USA, 2310 Santiam Hwy SE. This is a great fast food restaurant that is native to the northwest. All of its cheese, meat, and other products come from Oregon. For example, Burgerville's cheese comes fresh from the Tillamook cheese factory; its beef comes from northwest cows and is never frozen. They also feature a secret fry and burger sauce and great fresh milkshakes.
- Lum Yuen Restaurant, 1236 Price Rd SE.
- Ciddici's Pizza, 133 5th Ave SE (Corner of 5th and Lyon), ☎ . This is a must visit if you live in or visit Albany. The pizza parlor is in the old electric railway building and features a unique great tasting pizza. The owners name is Tim and he always makes you feel welcome. Go to the website if you would like to print coupons because this is on the higher end of Albany's mid-range price scale. Even so, its worth a try.
- Los Dos Amigos, 2133 Santiam Hwy SE, ☎ . Albany's most popular Mexican restaurant. Two locations. Serves reasonably priced, great tasting food.
- Elmer's Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner, 2802 Santiam Hwy SE. Great breakfasts.
- Izzy's Pizza Restaurant, 2115 Pacific Blvd SW.
- Riley's, 124 Broadalbin St SW, ☎ . This restaurant is in historic downtown and shares its walls with a pool hall. Its a great atmosphere and a place where you can eat and play pool or just sit in the dining room and enjoy each others company.
- Valentino's Pizza, North Albany Village, Ray's Shopping Center. The atmosphere is great and the local owners are wonderful. Their food is so fresh and their pizza, pastas and calzone delicious. They have only been around about a year, but don't let that fool you, their food is excellent.
- Depot Restaurant, 822 Lyon St. A small, comfortable seafood restaurant downtown.
- Sybaris Restaurant, 442 W 1st Ave. A bistro with a relaxing atmosphere and a seasonal menu.
- Alleyoop Lounge, 1245 Clay St SE (Corner Santiam and Clay).
- Bailey’s, 831 Elm St.
- Calapooia Brewing Co, 140 Hill St SE (Corner Front and Hill).
- Fog Horn, 435 2nd Ave.
- JP's Lounge, 220 2nd Ave SW (Corner 2nd and Ellsworth St SW).
- Linger Longer, 145 Main St.
- Lucky Larrys Lounge, 1295 Commercial Way SE (Corner Santiam and Commercial Way).
- Ma's Dary Farm, 3411 Pacific Blvd.
- Vault 244 Bistro/Lounge, 244 1st Ave SW, ☎ . closed Su. Trendy bistro/lounge.
- Wilhelm’s Spirits and Eatery, 1520 SE Pacific Blvd, ☎ . An upscale pub and brewery.
Albany isn't known for its remarkable accommodations. You'll most likely get stuck at a chain motel, or, try your hand at camping.
- 1 Edelweiss Manor Bed and Breakfast, 1708 Springhill Dr NW, ☎ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Located in North Albany, Edelweiss Manor is a bed and breakfast located in a historic home from 1908. It's a Four Square Farm House and is on the historic register. There is only one room at the inn. The property has 2.68 acres. Guests can wander the gardens and grounds, and retreat to the Guest Suite. Good for couples, you'll most likely need a car to get to and fro the inn. Organic breakfast is served and they also offer spa services. It's located close to local golf courses. A single night is $150, with an additional night costing $100. Special holiday rates are $250 with additional nights costing $200 each. $150-250.
- 2 Comfort Suites Linn County Fairground and Expo, 100 Opal Ct NE (next to the Linn County Fairgrounds and airport), ☎ . Rooms are large, clean and have the standard hotel necessities such as a coffee maker, shower and bathtub, TV with cable, etc. Pets welcome for an extra charge. There is also a heated pool, laundry facilities, and a workout gym. Breakfast is additional, and Wi-Fi is free. They also have a shuttle that will pick you up at the airport and bring you back in Portland! Be sure to check for AAA, senior, and military discounts. $99-129.
- 3 Holiday Inn Express & Suites Albany, http://www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/en/albany/alnkb/hoteldetail (Located next to the fairgrounds just off I-5), toll-free: . Well maintained standard Holiday Inn Express just off of I-5 and next to the fairgrounds. Free breakfast, free wifi, and all the standard hotel room basics (tv, shower, bathtub, coffee machine). Free newspaper in the morning delivered to your door and suites are offered if you need something bigger. There is an indoor heated pool with a hot tub, a business center for computer and tech needs, a fitness center, and ADA rooms. Be sure to check for AAA, senior, and military discounts. $101-120.
- 4 Albany/Corvallis KOA, 33775 Oakville Rd S, ☎ , toll-free: , ✉ email@example.com. Halfway between Albany and Corvallis, this KOA offers parking for RV's, rental cabins, and tent camping. Guests can enjoy the outdoors in this clean and well maintained environment, including a pool, playground, snack bar, mini golf, TVs and free Wi-Fi. Don't forget to sign up for a value card to get special deals and perks each time you stay KOA grounds. $25-100.
|Routes through Albany|
|Portland ← Salem ←||N S||→ Eugene → Medford|
|Newport ← Corvallis ←||W E||→ Sweet Home → Bend|
|Portland ← Salem ←||N S||→ merges into → Eugene|
|Portland ← Salem ←||N S||→ Eugene|