Corvallis, OR downtown

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 70
Demographics 25
Economy 61
Education 66
Health 70
Housing 61
Infrastructure 52

#11. Corvallis, OR

Corvallis means “heart of the valley,” and it’s a perfect definition of this Oregon community. Residents in this pocket of the Pacific Northwest have a big backyard to play in, with an abundance of trails for hiking, mountain biking and paddling, plus some darn good après-adventure, beer and wine to enjoy. Home to roughly 58,000 highly educated residents, the quality of life you’ll find in Corvallis, OR is unparalleled thanks to the city’s laid-back vibe. Additionally, public transportation here is free, commute times are low and relatively all roads lead to the great outdoors. 

Top Colleges/Universities: Oregon State University

Top Industries & Employers: Oregon State University and Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center are the largest employers. Corvallis also has a lesser-known tech scene with Hewlett-Packard, several software startups and a strong engineering program at OSU providing a talent pipeline. 

Weekend Plans: The newly opened Corvallis Museum showcases art exhibits and themed displays of artifacts. You’ll find some quirk here, including a homemade goat costume that wildlife photographer William L. Finley used so that he could get close to the animals he photographed.

Favorite Place to Feast: The Mid-Willamette Valley Food Trail is a must. Dozens of bakeries, restaurants, farms, growers markets, wineries and distilleries dot this year-round, self-guided trail, which offers different experiences as the seasons change, with berries in the spring and summer and wine harvest in the fall.

Beloved Beverage: Wine, specifically pinot noir. Corvallis is in the heart of Willamette Valley wine country.

Outdoorsy Activity: Hike or bike a stretch of the 62-mile Corvallis-to-the-Sea Trail, linking the Willamette Valley to the Oregon Coast.

Rooftop Bar: Enjoy city views during “Hoppy Hour” at Sky High Brewing

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: Pet-friendly patios are easy to find in Corvallis, so your furry friends can hang with you during happy hour. Afterward, check out Corvallis Dog Park, located downtown at 3rd and B Streets, where your dog can run around in the spacious fenced space. 

Remote Work Perk: Step away from the computer and go for a walk. Corvallis is surrounded by 60 miles of multi-use trails or you can enjoy views of the meadows and forests while paddling along the Willamette River Water Trail. Peak Sports can assist with rentals and logistics.

One More Thing … American Dream Pizza is a local favorite here — even former President Barack Obama agrees!

– Brittany Anas

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