Off-campus considerations for moms, families visiting Oregon State University

Sean Bassinger

So here we are again at Mom’s and Family weekend.

Between the on-campus activities offered, the annual presentation of Sing and other performances, this arguably has to be one of the most entertaining times (especially when we hit after hours at the bars) of the year.

Sure enough, Oregon State University campus will be the place to hang out for a majority of visiting families.

But maybe your family feels a bit adventurous and wants to learn more about the surrounding communities. What other options to do you have?

Naturally, I could list restaurants and local businesses for days, but I’d rather not play favorites.

Instead, here’s a list of multiple options for general activities while your mom and family unwind in (or near) Corvallis.

Marys Peak

Though it’s quite the drive out past Philomath, you won’t find a better get-lost-in-nature viewing spot than Marys Peak. At an elevation of 4,097 feet, Marys Peak stands as the highest point of elevation in Oregon’s Coast Range, which makes it the most “prominent peak to the west of Corvallis,” according to the United States Department of Agriculture. You’ll likely want some sort of hiking gear or clothing If you plan on wandering out into the wilderness, but the near-summit parking lot won’t require much in the way of preparation—just don’t forget your camera, binoculars or other viewing devices.

Bald Hill Park

Another excellent outdoor location on the edge of Corvallis, Bald Hill Park has multiple trails, beautiful trees and (you guessed it) a magnificent hill with an extraordinary view. Bald Hill Park would be an ideal location for taking the edge off and snapping some stunning photos with mom and family. Make sure you’re properly dressed, though—the hike up can get a little muddy at times.

Avery Park

This is by far one of the most classic must-visit locations in Corvallis. Between the flowers, open fields, playgrounds (essential for those of you with super young siblings) and the classic train, Avery Park never disappoints. This is an ideal location for something that’s not too far outside of Corvallis—the park entrance nearest to OSU is just past Reser Stadium and off Western—and for someone who may be less prepared for heavier adventures such as Bald Hill or Marys Peak.

Historic downtown Corvallis

If you’re not huge on hikes or nature walks, downtown Corvallis is an excellent stop for some restaurants, shops, bookstores and beautiful waterfront views. If you’re winding down from other activities, downtown is especially ideal for later night outings—a good portion of the bars and restaurants don’t close until 11 p.m., midnight or 2 a.m.

Regardless of what you choose to do, have a blast and stay safe. Many of you will come to love the town as a home away from home (if it’s your first time here, that is).

Party on, moms.

The opinions expressed in Bassinger’s column do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Barometer staff.

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