Discovering Albany’s Rich History and Modern Flair


Rainbow 914 5th Ave SW © Bill Origer | Albany, Oregon

The Willamette Valley is Oregon’s promised land, surrounded by picturesque mountains and filled with clear rivers and streams, lush green forests, and bountiful farms, vineyards, and orchards.

Albany is located in the middle of these wonders and is just a stone’s throw away from award-winning wineries and breweries, trails and scenic bikeways meandering through the countryside, and a long list of other exciting outdoor adventures.

The city has a vibrant downtown commercial district with a broad mix of shops, restaurants, and cultural opportunities. Enjoy Oregon’s tax-free shopping as you walk along clean, well-lit sidewalks and explore locally owned and eclectic shops featuring antiques and collectibles, art, home decor, trinkets, or that perfect gift—there’s something fun for everyone.

One of the town’s most beloved attractions is the Historic Carousel & Museum. A nonprofit volunteer organization spent two decades bringing the traditional carousel to the heart of the downtown area. It currently features 42 hand-carved and hand-painted creatures that include traditional horses and the not-so-traditional dragon, frog, giraffe, and other fun creations. Watch as volunteer carvers shape the animals from blocks of wood and painters bring the creations to life. Each of the animals is colorful and unique, such as a mer-horse with a school of fish around his tail, a bison with a Native American scene playing out on its back, a lion with a peace dove flying past her and a lamb at her feet, and others.

The adjoining museum offers a peek at the history of carousels and some of the antique animals that used to populate them. Many of those, along with the mechanism the carousel runs on, were donated to Albany by the Dentzel Family.

Wander Albany’s historic neighborhoods, and you’ll find delightful architectural treasures around every corner. Settlers arrived in the mid-Willamette Valley in the 1840s. Albany was founded in 1848 and today boasts a collection of historic buildings from a wide variety of eras rarely seen in one place. Visit the oldest frame home in Albany, the Monteith House. Built in 1849, the house is authentically restored to the pioneer era and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Albany Regional Museum will take you back in time with interactive displays and delightful stories of days gone by. Bring a camera and walking shoes, and be prepared to spend a leisurely afternoon immersed in the history of Albany.

Cap your trip to Albany with an unforgettable fine-dining experience of NW cuisine at Sybaris Bistro, prepared by James Beard-nominated chef Matt Bennett. He was trained in the traditional French style and emphasizes fresh, local products. The menu changes with the harvest each month, and his personal partnership with local farmers means that the mixed green salad you start with has locally grown greens, cucumbers, and tomatoes. The Strawberry Extravaganza is offered only during Oregon Strawberry season and is worth the trip alone, as is the Grilled Ancho Rubbed Chinook Salmon or Seafood Tower, which comes to your table the same day the fresh seafood arrives from the Oregon Coast!

Such is the stuff dreams and memories are made of. Come to Albany and make your own story. It’s here waiting for you.

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Albany is a history and architecture lover’s destination. Our four historic districts include styles from the 1840s through the late 1920s. In fact, we have one of the most varied collections in Oregon. Tour them on your own or join us for seasonal celebrations.


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