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Starker Forests, Philomath, OR, courtesy Starker Forests.
Guest Author | 12/22/2023 | Breweries, Wineries & Distilleries, Outdoor Recreation, Tours & Tour Guides

Wine, Wildlife, and Wonder: Customized Tours for Corvallis and Beyond

Corvallis, nestled in the heart of the Willamette Valley, has so many adventures within the city or offers a base for exploring the wonder-filled surrounding areas. Choosing the right experiences for the best memories can be overwhelming, but fear not! Connect with one of our expert guides, who can curate a customized tour tailored to your preferences. Whether you, your small or large group, is interested in wine, wildlife (from birding, fishing, whale watching, or horse riding), or wonder (local history, gardens, forests, or the coast), find a local to guide you to a trip filled with fun!

While you could purchase the Heart of Willamette Wineries Wine Passport and venture into the vineyards on your own, why not let someone else take the wheel? These local guides not only know the wineries and their hours but also have captivating stories to share.

Best Oregon Tours: Clem Ogilby offers more than wineries on his tours. “You’ll get a smorgasbord - wine, covered bridges, lighthouse, waterfall hikes, Oregon Trail wagons, or other art, nature and culture.” The day tours are “not rushed” because Clem wants you and your group (2-12 people) to “experience the many wonders of Oregon together.”

Wine’n with Murray (aka Willamette Valley Wine Tours): Murray Stewart goes beyond being a tour guide – he's your wine enthusiast companion, having seen the region’s viticulture growth over the years. He crafts a great route once you’ve chatted based on your preferences. Whether it’s just you or you and three others in your group, Murray ensures a delightful escapade filled with the aromas of Pinot Noir, the notes of Chardonnay, and the essence of the lush vineyards that define Willamette Valley's wine culture.

For the Love of Scenic Wine Tours: Sarah Wheatley’s tours unveil what she considers the "best-kept secrets" of local wineries, inviting you to savor not just the wines but also the enchanting "territorial views." Your intimate group (up to four people) embarks on a vinous journey, exploring the wineries dotting the landscape along Highway 99 between Corvallis and Eugene. Sarah offers three preferred routes, each carefully selected to showcase not only the exceptional wine tastings but also the breathtaking vistas.

As the heart of the Willamette Valley, Corvallis and the surrounding area offers an incredible array of opportunities to explore the outdoors and local wildlife. Whether your group is large or more intimate, local experts can take you to the top ten scenic spots or off the beaten path to explore the incredible beauty of Oregon.

Adventure Day Touring: Jeff Pietka and his team are the perfect guides for your large groups (20+ people). They’ll pick you up at the Portland airport and start on the way to share a variety of Oregon adventures as you head to Corvallis. While in Corvallis, they can create custom tours taking you and your pals, family, or fellow alums to outdoor experiences such as the Coast. Jeff suggests a Newport trip with whale watching, visiting the aquarium, traveling to Heceta Lighthouse, and the Sea Lion Caves. If part of your group wants to go deep sea fishing or horseback riding, he’ll work with you to coordinate everyone having fun!

Watershed Fly Shop: Co-Owners Troy Haselip, Eli Bjorklund, and Mark Putz know all the good places to fish- away from the crowds, and which fish are biting during each season. While their website offers information on half-day and full-day trips, Mark says to start with a call to hook your best day of fishing with knowledgeable local guides.

Scenic Jet Boat Tours: Captain Mike grew up along the Willamette River and invites you (and up to 5 other passengers) to relax and take in the scenic river views in “Kimmy Jo,” his 21.5’ North River Sled. Along with sharing information about the river’s environment and stopping to fish if you want, he has many tales to tell - some taller than others! The roundtrip adventure starts in Harrisburg, 15 miles south of Corvallis. Tours are now available year-round, all week - perfect to fit your schedules.

Nature In Flight Tours: Spencer Mair started his avid fascination with birding when he was 11- years-old. Do you have a birding bucket list? Or enjoy photographing, categorizing, recognizing patterns and colors, or watch for avian friends so you can be further connected to nature when outdoors? Spencer’s expertise guides you whether you are a beginner or expert, have school-age kids, or looking for a leisurely stroll, or want to explore birds and brews!

Feel the magic and wonder of Corvallis by exploring with residents who are passionate about this town. Get a strong sense of the heart of Willamette Valley by touring with and like a local!

Engage Corvallis: Jema Patterson has a passion for Corvallis - its history, social justice, ecosystems, architecture, and ghosts! If you’re here for the first Friday of the month, check our Events page to reserve your spot for her free tours. Halloween is her usual time for ghost tours - and Corvallis has more than most people suspect! Jema loves sharing her wealth of knowledge and is open to arranging custom tours that match your interests.

Edible Garden Tours: Every summer, the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition’s Food Action Team offers a free Edible Garden Tour featuring five residential gardens located within walking distance of each other. During the event, you can meet docents at each garden to learn about the variety of edibles they are growing. Since you have a map, you can choose the direction or how many you visit. Can’t make the date but are still interested in seeing local gardens? The Coalition offers the map and addresses on their website. During your visit, if you want to volunteer for other sustainable action events, they often post opportunities on their Facebook page.

Starker Forests Tours or Corvallis Forest Tour: Corvallis demonstrates its love for trees through its tree-lined streets and has held the designation of "Tree City USA" since 2008! Surrounded by forest, Corvallis offers the opportunity to learn about forest management during summer walking tours conducted by Starker Forest (a family business!) or to participate as one of the 75 lucky attendees in the annual city-run tour of forests around the base of Marys Peak. For the Starker Tours, call Visit Corvallis at 541-757-1544. The city announces the date for their tour in the spring.

Neighborhood Naturalist: Don Boucher and Lisa Millbank, Corvallis residents, are amateur naturalists offering a slow-paced exploration of nature in the Mid-Willamette Valley. The free monthly guided field trips focus on all things natural, including birds, plants, mammals, bugs, mushrooms, and more. Tours are limited to 15 and fill up fast. Check their websites for upcoming tours, noting that this is their hobby and, since they have day jobs, aren’t able to give private outings.

Capture your Corvallis experience by taking photos! Share them on social media, tag #VisitCorvallis, and we may feature them on our socials. Let your Corvallis adventure unfold with personalized tours that turn moments into memories!

Article by Stacey Newman Weldon. Keep up with Corvallis news, events and happenings by signing up for our email newsletter.

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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