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Guest Author | 08/27/2021 | Downtown Corvallis, History, Nature Walks/Trails, Parks and Gardens, Restaurants, Shop & Pamper

Stops Along the Marys Peak to Pacific Coast Scenic Byway: Corvallis, Oregon

Need to stretch your legs or grab a bite to eat as you explore the Marys Peak to Pacific Coast Scenic Byway? Then be sure to take the downtown Corvallis exit and visit Corvallis, Oregon.

View from behind the splash fountain at the Riverfront Commemorative Park in Corvallis, Oregon, with the Saturday Corvallis Farmers Market in view along First Street.Downtown Corvallis, Oregon

You can take a stroll along the Riverfront Commemorative Park or explore the many art displays and murals hidden in alleys and on the sides of buildings throughout downtown.

From mid-April to mid-November on Wednesdays and Saturdays you can visit the Corvallis Farmers Market at First Street and Monroe Avenue to taste local produce and products from the Willamette Valley.

Grab a bite to eat or shop at any of our one-of-a-kind restaurants and shops.

Corvallis Museum, Corvallis, Oregon, Benton County Historical SocietyCorvallis Museum, Corvallis, Oregon

If you're interested in a deeper dive into the region’s history and stories, take a tour of the Corvallis Museum located downtown at 411 SW Second Street, or the Benton County Courthouse. You can get a glimpse of the Benton County Courthouse along the Business Route of Highway 34. It's the white stone building clad with a red tile roof, rising above the street with its famous clock tower.

Benton County was established by the Oregon Provisional Legislature in 1847, one year before Oregon became a territory and twelve years before it became a state. The first county courthouse was erected in 1854. The second courthouse, which you can still see today, was built in 1889. The Courthouse building custodian climbed inside the clock tower twice a week to wind up the 650 pounds of weights that kept the clock ticking. In 1953 a small electric motor was installed to replace the manual bi-weekly winding. The Benton County Courthouse is the oldest in Oregon that is still used for its original purpose.

Weatherford Hall, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OregonWeatherford Hall, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon

Nearby to the Benton County Courthouse is Oregon State University (OSU).

Oregon State is a comprehensive, research-intensive public land-grant university. OSU is one of only two universities in the country with all four land-, sea-, space- and sun-grant distinctions. Oregon State programs and faculty are located in every county of the state and investigate the state's greatest challenges.

OSU’s 420-acre main campus is here in Corvallis. The National Register of Historic Places designated much of the campus as the Oregon State University Historic District. On the northwestern corner of SW 15th Street and SW Jefferson Way, you can find a placard with a map outlining the District and language about its significance.

While you're on campus, don't forget to pick up some Beaver gear from the OSU Beaver Store on the corner of 26th Street and SW Washington Way, located in close proximity to downtown.

Philomath Museum, Philomath, Oregon, operated by the Benton County Historical Society. Formerly the Philomath College, this historic building is now home to a museum.Philomath Museum, Philomath, Oregon

An early professor in Corvallis was John B. Horner (1856-1933). Horner was one of the first graduates of Philomath College, the building that now houses the Philomath Museum in nearby Philomath. In 1925, Horner established a museum on campus that combined donations from citizens and several campus collections into what he called the "Museum of the Oregon Country." Horner wanted to bring the world to Corvallis by collecting things of educational value from all over, and its quite the eclectic collection! The museum attracted tens of thousands of visitors every year.

The beloved museum closed in 1995, but the collection lives on through the Benton County Historical Society. The Benton County Historical Society operates two museum facilities for the preservation of history and culture - the historic Philomath Museum and the new Corvallis Museum. The Corvallis Museum is a luminescent building designed by Allied Works of Portland and New York.

Stop by both institutions for a visit, as it was always Horner’s intent for visitors to be able to "See the world without leaving Corvallis!"

We encourage you to take your time and explore Corvallis. As in Horner’s day, there's a lot to see in this town.

Marys Peak to Pacific Coast Scenic Byway Driving Tour App

A Driving Tour from City to Sea: Willamette Valley, Alsea River Valley & More

Come with us on a driving tour of one of Oregon’s newest scenic and historic byways. From the highest point in the Coast Range to the broad, sandy beaches of the Central Coast, follow the Alsea River on a delightfully meandering 72-mile driving tour from Corvallis to Waldport.

Get the app.

Article via TravelStorys.com. Featured Photo: Benton County Courthouse, by Reed Lane Photography. Keep up with Corvallis news, events and happening by signing up for our email newsletter.

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Please Note: All Oregonians and visitors over the age of five, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear masks in indoor public settings and in outdoor settings in which individuals from different households are unable to consistently maintain physical distance. Click here to learn more.
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