7 Reasons to Move to Corvallis Right Now

From amazing food to endless bike trails, Corvallis is so much more than just a great college town. It's a great place to live.

Claire Hannum
On Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - 11:20
Corvallis OR

Take a minute to dream up your ideal hometown scene. Maybe it involves the sun shining, silhouettes of mountains in the distance, a microbrewery on every corner, or a friendly biker whizzing past you on the way to the farmer’s market. Got it? Good. That postcard-perfect scene actually exists in real life.

Where? Corvallis, Oregon.

Home to Oregon State University, smack dab in the middle of one of the most beautiful regions of the U.S., and boasting fantastic job growth, it’s no surprise that Corvallis is ranked as one of Livability’s Top 100 Best Places to Live. There are a million reasons to love it here, but below, let’s start with just a few reasons why Corvallis is a great place to call home:

1. It’s Like Living In A National Park

Whether you love water, mountains or dense forests, you won’t have to go far in Corvallis to get your nature fix. You’ll see mountain peaks in the distance nearly everywhere you look, and the Willamette River flows nearby.

Just a few minutes outside the city, you’ll find farms, fresh air and more wide open spaces than you’ll ever need. A quick drive from Corvallis will get you to Marys Peak, a gorgeous summit in the Siuslaw National Forest. (The more adventurous among us can even hike to the summit instead of drive.)

There’s even a happy space for bird lovers in Corvallis — the local Audubon Society recognizes plenty of local parks as fantastic spots for bird watching. If the 24/7 breathtaking mountain views just aren’t doing it for you, fret not: Corvallis is about an hour from the Pacific Coast.

Oregon State University

2. Education Takes Center Stage

Corvallis is home to Oregon State University, a public research institution with a vibrant student body. Thanks to OSU, Corvallis will never be short on football, academics, quirky cultural events and innovative young people with big ideas.

3. You’ll Never Be Thirsty

Corvallis has six microbreweries and four distilleries. That’s a whole lot to drink for a town of about 54,000! Each brewery brings its own creative twist to its drink menu, and many are family-owned.

Luckily for wine lovers, Corvallis is tucked into the Willamette Valley, a region known for its top-notch wineries. More than a dozen local vineyards just a stone’s throw from Corvallis provide an endless stream of tasty wine offerings. Every winemaker has a unique story to tell, so wine lovers can expect a dose of inspiration with every glass. The city also balances its craft brews and vintages with some great everyday bar hangouts, because hey, it’s a college town.

4. Pedestrians & Bikers Are Always Welcome

Many Corvallis residents embrace biking and walking over driving whenever possible, which is great for the community’s overall health and carbon footprint. The city makes this easy by providing 60+ miles of hiking and biking trails in the area. (Many of the paths pass through great swimming and nature-gazing spots, because there’s nothing like taking a quick dip on the bike ride home from your errands.) Corvallis’ new annual Open Streets events takes bike-friendliness a step further by closing off the neighborhood to cars and encouraging locals to get out on foot or on their bikes.

5. The Artsy Atmosphere

The wildlife, college scene, and “live and let live” attitude in Corvallis lends itself to a buzzing creative energy. The town is home to a series of gorgeous murals, sculptures, galleries, and art walks. There’s also a whole host of charming cafes and bookshops (and of course, those aforementioned breweries) to get artists’ ideas flowing.

Willamette Valley

Courtesy of Sheila Sund under a CC 4.0 license.

6. The Food Is Fantastic

The Willamette Valley is an agriculture haven, and that equates to some serious bounty at the Corvallis farmer’s market. Many local restaurants, markets and food artisans take great care to use the delicious fresh ingredients they have such easy access to. Around here, the phrase “farm to table” is taken very, very literally – and that’s great news for local taste buds.

7. Locals Love Their City

The “it” factor that really puts Corvallis on the map is the passion of its residents. Many citizens take a lot of pride in being involved in their community, whether that’s through local elections, volunteering or discussing (and enacting) ways to make the city better. 

Corvallis plays host to active local events and festivals year-round for citizens to get involved, meet each other, and simply have fun. That dedication and sense of pride and ownership is what really makes Corvallis a special place to live. No matter who you are or what you’re into, Corvallis will feel like home.


Claire Hannum is a writer and editor based in New York City. Her work has appeared on Self, CNN, The Frisky, Mic, YouBeauty, Racked, and other corners of the internet.