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Check out dog-friendly downtown Corvallis

Marci Sischo | 10/23/2018 | Art Galleries, Arts and Culture, Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Gardens, Restaurants, Shop & Pamper

Here at the visitors center we get a lot of folks asking for ideas to fill a few hours or an afternoon. Marys Peak and the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge are two of my usual suggestions, but if they've got a dog in tow, or are looking for some shopping and a good meal, I send them to our lovely little downtown.

Aggie making otterly adorable friends in downtown Corvallis, Oregon - Riverfront Commemorative ParkDowntown Corvallis is my go-to for something fun to do for a couple of hours any afternoon - especially if you've got a little doggo to entertain. I happen to have a little doggo who needs a lot of entertaining, and downtown is a great place for a good, long walk where little miss Aggie will get to say "Hi!" to plenty of people, explore fun places, romp about and jump on things, and try to drag me into every restaurant we pass.

Riverfront Commemorative Park in Downtown Corvallis

The first place we head is the Riverfront Commemorative Park, a long strip of a park between First Street and the Willamette River. It offers a paved walking path, a splash fountain, spots for kids to play and climb, green spaces, sculpture, and more. If you head for a walk through here you'll be sharing the space with locals walking, picnicking, riding their bikes, or studying. If you bring your dog, you can expect smiles and folks stopping to say hello to your four-footed friend. They'll be happy to chat with you, too - although in my experience, Aggie steals the show every time.

Even without a dog along, the Riverfront Commemorative Park is a good stop. I like to pick up a take-out lunch from somewhere nearby, like Alley Gyro or the Little Lunch Box, both on 2nd Street, and take it over to the park to eat. You get a pretty view of the Willamette River, some people watching, and a chance to relax outdoors for a bit. Plus, tasty lunch.

Shopping & Art Galleries in Downtown Corvallis

If you're dog-free, you can find cool stores and art galleries to check out. Art in the Valley is right downtown, as is Azure Fine Art Gallery, and the Arts Center is right near our downtown, too. That's just for starters - there's at least a half-dozen art galleries in downtown Corvallis. (Pencil in a stroll in downtown Corvallis on the third Thursday of the month. We do an art walk where you can tour downtown art studios and galleries.)

You can browse book stores and find lots of great boutiques to visit. A couple of my favorite stops include Grass Roots Books and Music, a locally-owned bookstore with titles from area authors, and the Book Bin, so I can shop the used books and say howdy to the store kitty, Tess. If you've got kids along, be sure to stop in to the Toy Factory.

There are some nifty retail shops downtown, too. Mod Pod and Sibling Revelry have fun clothes, decor and accessories, and Many Hands Trading is a hodge-podge of fair trade clothes, novelties, accessories and knick-knacks from artisans all over the world. 

Don't forget to stop in to Burst's Chocolates while you're downtown. If there's a better way to cap off an afternoon downtown than with gourmet chocolates from Burst's, I haven't found it yet.

Good Eats in Downtown Corvallis

Aggie at DeMaggio's New York Pizza on First Street in Corvallis, OregonYou'll find plenty of restaurants, and a whole bunch of them have dog-friendly outdoor seating. If the weather's nice you'll have no problem finding a spot for lunch. Two of my favorites are Flat Tail Brewing on First St. and Madison Ave., and, just a bit up Madison from First, Bellhop. Don't feel like those are your only choices, though. There's Block 15 Brewing, DeMaggio's New York Pizza (a favorite of Aggie's - she likes their outdoor benches), Caves Bier & Kitchen, and several more restaurants dotted around downtown Corvallis that offer dog-friendly outdoor seating.

Dog Park in Downtown Corvallis

At the end of Second Street you'll find Corvallis' dog park, which is Aggie's very favorite place in the whole world. It's a big, well-maintained fenced dog park (with a smaller enclosed area for small or timid dogs). There's running water for thirsty doggos, plenty of room to run and play, and you can almost guarantee the park will be full of friendly dogs and people.

With or without your furry best friend, you can find plenty to do and see to keep you busy for a few hours in downtown Corvallis, then wrap the whole thing up with an excellent meal. That's a recipe for a pretty awesome afternoon, and you don't have to take my word for it. Downtown Corvallis has Aggie's seal of approval, too!

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Other Things to Do in Downtown Corvallis

1. Exploring Downtown Corvallis' Craft Brew Scene
Craft Beer in Corvallis, Oregon
How had one of the oldest libations ever produced by humans — dating back to the BC era, recorded on the palimpsests of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia — escaped us? We decided to learn all we could about craft beer; there was no better locale than Corvallis.
2. Public Art in Corvallis, Oregon
Corvallis is full of public art, with more being added all the time. Art lovers could spend a whole day exploring Corvallis' art and still not find all of it - and while they were at it, we'd probably add a couple more pieces!
3. Corvallis Farmers Market
The Corvallis Farmers Market happens Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 9am to 1pm, April through November, on First Street between Jackson Avenue and Monroe Avenue, in downtown Corvallis, Oregon.
4. 24 Hours in Culinary Corvallis
Culinary Corvallis
Since my college days in Corvallis, Oregon, over a decade ago, I’d heard the city had blossomed into an incredible culinary destination, brimming with delicious, locally sourced and sustainable food and drink. We set out to eat and sip our way around Corvallis, ready to taste this town’s revitalized flavor.
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113 SW 3rd Street, Alley Suite 101
Corvallis, OR 97333
(Entrance facing 2nd St public parking lot)
800-334-8118 | 541-757-1544
Monday - Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Closed Saturdays and Sundays