Holiday Weekend in Corvallis, Oregon

Get to know this college town's great restaurants, fun events, and gorgeous architecture.

picture of a woman walking along the muddy creek boardwalk in the william l. finely wildlife refuge
Just south of Corvallis, the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge is a sanctuary for overwintering geese and other wildfowl. 
Jacob L Stark / Shutterstock

Life in this Willamette River college town flows at a relaxed pace. Come for the lively arts scene, winter waterfowl watching, and holiday shopping.

Sights and Event

For over 55 years, the Arts Center has been the hub of the creative community of Corvallis, with community-centered exhibitions and classes, workshops, and open studios. 

Built as a 300-seat vaudeville hall, the Majestic Theatre is over 100 years old. The Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Corvallis now runs the theater and has established the Majestic as the flagship cultural space for the performing and contemporary arts in downtown Corvallis.

The annual drive-through Pastega Christmas Lights Display delights with motorized vintage cartoon cutouts, festive music, and photo ops with Santa. 

Local art, seasonal food and wine pairings, and cellar tours take place at many Willamette Valley wineries throughout the holiday weekend. Find schedules and details at



Satisfying nesting urges for more than 50 years, the Inkwell Home Store store offers onestop shopping—especially if your list contains a fancy blender or a rustic accent table.

With two locations, one downtown and one in McMinnville, Many Hands Trading sells globally conscious clothing and housewares, handmade jewelry, and fair-trade woven baskets.


Block 15 Restaurant and Brewery's menu of creative pub grub includes pork banh mi sliders and the 185 Mile Salad, which features cranberries, hazelnuts, and aged Gouda from regional producers. Come early for Hoppy Hour and enjoy a pint of house suds served from colorful taps.

At the riverfront Del Alma Restaurant, dishes such as yellowfin crudo with charred jalapeño oil and stewed albóndigas with Manchego cheese display Spanish and Central American influences. After dinner, stop by Dulce del Alma, the dessert and wine bar next door. 

Sports memorabilia, foosball and pool tables, microbrews, and live music have made Squirrel's Tavern a campus institution for four decades. Try the cheeseburger basket or deviled eggs, prepared in a former bank vault.

Find authentic Thai food—think drunken noodles and green curry—in the Woodsman's rural diner decorated with rusty saws and vintage logging photographs.


Neighborhood Walking ToursVisit Corvallis provides maps for fun, self-guided strolls past public art and notable houses. 

Walk along the Willamette and admire the public sculptures or pick up fresh produce and pastries at the farmers’ market, held Wednesday and Saturday mornings through November, at Riverfront Commemorative Park. 

Just south of town, William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge offers sanctuary to overwintering geese and other wildfowl and raptors and stunning paths, including a boardwalk trail to a bird blind overlooking Cabell Marsh.

This article was first published in November 2015 and updated in March 2019.