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Stephanie Kutcher Orange Media Network
Peak Sports took first in the best of outdoor gear store category. 

The Baro Staff

1st Place Outdoor Gear Store

Peak Sports caters to outdoor lovers

By Geoff Wildish, News Contributor

Peak Sports is an outdoor retailer, and has been serving the Corvallis community since 1971. Their website states what they hope to provide to the public.

“Our mission is to ensure that you have a wonderful experience at Peak Sports. From equipment to expertise, our goal is to provide you with the tools that you need to enjoy the great outdoors, whether you’re on a bicycle, in a boat, or on the snow,” the Peak Sports website states.

Peak Sports has two downtown locations, splitting up their bike and outdoor gear. Their outdoor gear selection is unparalleled in Corvallis offering technical clothing, footwear and more for all your outdoor needs. Peak Sports offers a diverse range of rentals from paddleboards to snowboards.

For students and locals, Peak Sports is a great place to catch a weekly bus ride to Mt. Bachelor during the winter months or rent a kayak in the summer. The friendly staff is what sets Peak Sports apart from large national retailers.

“As a locally owned and operated outdoor retailer, we’re proud to be an excellent resource for the products as well as the knowledge that you need and want to make the most of all of your outdoor adventures,” their website says.

If you are looking to go backpacking for the first time or are a hiking expert, the staff is there to help you enjoy the outdoors. Peak Sports hosts community events throughout the year ranging from demo days to repair clinics aimed to helping you make the most out of your new (or well-seasoned) gear.

1st Place Smoke/Head Shop

Bad Habits offers wide variety of smoking pieces and products

By Tiffani Smith, News Contributor

Bad Habits offers a wide variety of smoking pieces and products that will fit anyone’s needs. They sell everything from lighters, pipes and tobacco, to shisha and hookahs, to Bad Habits memorabilia.

“We’ve got a really big variety of glass and silicon pieces now too,” Kylie Bell, a bud tender at Bad Habits, said. “That’s becoming more popular, so we’re getting in on that market too.”

Bad Habits, along with being a smoke shop, shares a location with the Green Room dispensary that offers marijuana products for both medical and recreational use.

“In the dispensary itself, we’ve got concentrates, edibles, a few topicals and pre-rolled joints,” Bell said. “We’re now carrying seeds and oil cartridges too.”

According to Bell, the most popular product among customers is the basic flower, or a bud of marijuana. Employees at Bad Habits work to provide customers with laid-back vibes while shopping.

“We just like to keep it easygoing and really personal and friendly,” Bell said.

The shop also offers competitive prices with other local smoke shops and even does price matching, according to Bell.

Bad Habits customers have to be 18 years old to enter the smoke shop portion of the store, and 21 to enter the dispensary.

Bad Habits is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. The shop is located at 111 NW 16th St., right off of Monroe Ave.

1st Place Florist

Penguin Flowers a cut above the rest

By Katie Darke, News Contributor

Whether looking for some spring décor to brighten up your desk, or hoping to pamper a loved one with a beautiful bouquet, Penguin Flowers has a wide variety of floral options. Perfect for a special occasion or simply a special someone, Penguin Flowers has high quality arrangements that come with a guarantee, according to Janelle Glass, the store manager.

Customers can choose from the most popular bouquets or look at arrangements organized by flower type, color, occasion, or price range. Penguin Flowers will deliver the selected arrangement along with a customizable message straight to the door of the recipient. Customers can also purchase festive add-ons, such as balloons, stuffed animals and chocolates to be delivered with their gorgeous gift.

The store is located on NW 25th St. and NW Monroe Ave. It is open Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The location close to campus is one reason Penguin Flowers is a student favorite.

Flowers may be fancy, but the shop offers an OSU student discount, making floral arrangements affordable on a tight student budget.

Penguin Flowers has been family-owned for over 25 years and it is a connection to the community that keeps them thriving, according to Glass.

“We love helping people select high quality flowers for their loved ones,” Glass said. “We look forward to serving you in the future.”

2nd Place Hiking Spot

Mary’s Peak a great choice for all

By Katie Darke, News Contributor

Looking for an escape from hectic student life? Just a 50 minute drive from campus, Mary’s Peak offers the perfect scenic getaway with multiple viewing spots and hiking trails. The area is open to mountain biking, day hiking, camping, nature viewing and picnicking, perfect activities to participate in as the weather gets warmer.

Mary’s Peak has several hiking options for all levels of experience with trails ranging from easy to advanced in level of difficulty. Hikes include Meadowedge Trail, a perfect path for beginning hikers or those looking for a relaxed nature walk, and North Ridge Trail, a more difficult option for those who want a challenge.

Whether expert hikers or novices, all visitors should remember to bring their own water as there is no access to it at the trailheads.

According to United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service’s website, Mary’s Peak is 4,097 ft. tall, making it the highest point in Oregon Coast’s Range. This elevation also makes it a great view from the summit.

As a designated Scenic Botanical Area, Mary’s Peak features a variety of plantlife perfect for nature lovers and tree huggers alike. From open meadows speckled with wildflowers to dense woody paths, Mary’s Peak offers beautiful and breathtaking views for all.

Visitors can also bring their furry friends, but must keep dogs on a leash no longer than six feet at all times.

More information on trails, weather conditions and accommodations at Mary’s Peak can be found at the USDA Forest Service website.

1st Place Bookstore

The Corvallis Book Bin offers a unique collection

By Katie Darke, News Contributor

The Corvallis Book Bin is one of two locations owned by the family-run business and is located on SW 4th Street and SW Madison Avenue. The Corvallis location of this new-and-used bookstore is open seven days per week, Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The store has an extensive and unique selection, making it a special business in the Corvallis community, according to store manager John Munster.

“We have the biggest bookstore in town,” Munster said.

Browsing at The Book Bin isn’t a typical bookstore experience. Customers may sight a cat, Tess, wandering the book shelves as they peruse the Corvallis location.

“People love our cats,” said Munster, referring to the two mascots of the Salem and Corvallis stores. “People love coming in to look for (Tess).”

The Corvallis Book Bin started as a tiny store, but has thrived this long due to community support, according to Munster.

“Thank you for over 30 years of support,” Munster said in regard to the Corvallis community.

Customers are welcome to buy or sell books in-store or call The Book Bin at 541-752-0040 with any questions about the store’s collection. Store workers are also able to provide customers with great new suggestions or help them locate a particular title.

1st Place Karaoke

Tom’s Peacock Bar & Grill 

3rd Place Tattoo Parlor 

Sacred Art Tattoo has long history in Corvallis

By Ellie Magnuson, News Contributor

Sacred Art Tattoo is an old-school shop that has been serving the Corvallis community for 22 years. They are a tattoo-only business located on Monroe Street, just off of the Oregon State University campus.

Tattoo artist Joey Taylor grew up in Corvallis, where he developed a passion for the art of tattooing, and is proud to give back to his community. After graduating college and taking an internship in Eugene, he came back to Corvallis and now has 26 years of experience.

“I am fully invested in the community and in the shop and we are happy to be here in Corvallis where I grew up,” Taylor said. “We love doing what we do.”

Sacred Art Tattoo has been serving the Corvallis Community since 1995. They are located at 1425 NW Monroe Ave. and are open seven days a week. Sundays through Thursdays they are open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays they are open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sacred Art Tattoo takes appointments and walk-ins, however, be sure to call 541-752-7463 to check for availability.

 

2nd Place Thrift Shop

Heartland Humane Thrift Shop benefits the Heartland Humane Society

By Madeleine Smith, News Contributor 

In a college town, thrift shopping is both a fun activity, and an important one for students on a tight budget. One of the most popular thrift shops in Corvallis is the Heartland Humane Thrift Shop. Located on SW 3rd Street, right next to Bike N Hike, this thrift shop is easy to stop by on a walk around the waterfront.

Inviting passersby in with a rack of items outside (on sunny days), the store contains a rich variety of used items. Need a new book? How about a chair to sit in while reading the book? Something to wear while reading the book? They’ve got it all. If reading isn’t your thing, they’ve got toys and all sorts of fascinating artifacts to purchase as well. As the weather improves, new (or used) summer clothes are another attractive possibility. The range of donations provides a broad selection.

Beyond just supplying good deals, the Heartland Humane Thrift Shop supports what many consider to be an important cause. The Heartland Humane Thrift Shop is associated with the Heartland Humane Society, and was created to help support the Heartland Humane Society. Completely run by volunteers, this store functions purely on the generosity of the people who work there and the people who donate items. All of the money made in the shop goes directly to support the Heartland Humane Society. This year, the thrift shop generated 28 percent of the Humane Society’s income, almost a third of their budget.

Vanessa Klingensmith, the volunteer outreach coordinator, said, “It’s a great way to support adoption if you can’t adopt.”

 1st Place Music Store

Grass Roots Books & Music

 

 

1st Place Yoga Studio

Live Well Studio