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Whether you have been at OSU for one year or five years, you’re living in this beautiful town called Corvallis. To most, it may seem pretty simple: a college town with approximately 50,000 residents that has a quaint downtown. As a resident of Corvallis since 2004, I’m here to share some insider-tips that may help you become a true Corvallian.

First of all – here’s a fun fact. Many OSU students don’t realize that they make up the 50,000 total residents of Corvallis. So, if you consider that there are just about 26,000 students at OSU, you’ll soon realize how Corvallis might be smaller than you originally thought. For those of you who haven’t been here over the summer, just imagine what this town that’s built for 50,000 people is like when almost half its population is on Summer Break! Speaking of summer in Corvallis, that would be one of my top suggestions. If you’re here taking classes or doing research over the summer, I suggest you wander through the Saturday Farmer’s Market downtown and check out the Red, White, & Blues Festival when Independence Day rolls around.

My next tip about Corvallis would be that, while it is a small community, it’s probably bigger than you realize. In other words, there is more to Corvallis than just campus and downtown. Many of you may walk wherever you need to go, especially if you don’t have your own vehicle. This is a great benefit to living in a closely-knit community, but means you may or may not make the effort to explore outside of these areas. So of course, my biggest suggestion to you all would be to explore a new part (or as much as possible) of Corvallis. This could mean going to a park you haven’t previously visited or maybe exploring a section of one you hadn’t known about before. Check out this list of all the parks in Corvallis and surf around the Corvallis Parks & Recreation website for even more info about other local opportunities. I personally recommend visiting the old train engine and dinosaur bones at Avery Park, just an example of how unique Corvallis is! In addition to these parks, I highly recommend taking a hike on Bald Hill. It’s close, there’s multiple paths and trails, and you can see Corvallis from a completely different view.

So if Corvallis has so much to discover, how can you best explore it? That brings us to one of my most important Corvallis tips: the Corvallis Transit System (CTS). Believe it or not, the public transportation system here in Corvallis is free! Seriously. Granted, it may not always be on time, but even if it’s late…it’s not like you’ve lost anything, and you probably had the chance to stand outside and breath some fresh air while waiting for the bus, right? Basically, I encourage you all to use this service. Whether you find the bus helpful for your commute back and forth between school and home, or for going downtown, or to check out one of those parks, or simply to “get lost” in a new area of Corvallis. If you’re looking for a study break, plan a mini-excursion on one of the bus routes and walk through a new park or part of Corvallis you haven’t visited before!

Lastly, for those looking to know more about downtown and what it has to offer, I definitely suggest visiting the public library, the Majestic Theatre, and the Darkside Cinema. You’ll never have another humdrum weekend when you take advantage of all this local entertainment available to you! Not only does our public library have books, they have a wide selection of DVDs, CDs, and various events throughout the year. Stop by the library to get your library card, and borrow away! In addition, there is often a play or concert showing at the Majestic Theatre. In fact, the Majestic is celebrating its 100th year anniversary! Check out the next event that may interest you, but realize these events are popular. For example, The Sound of Music, which is currently playing this month at the Majestic, is already sold out! Finally, the Darkside is the only independent and locally-owned cinema in Corvallis! It shows many independent films and even has tickets as cheap as $6! Sometimes, the Darkside even teams up with OSU and hosts film festivals that are free!

Hopefully, you’ve discovered something new about Corvallis. And if you already knew all of these tips, then good for you, yet I challenge you to go out there and find your own new thing about Corvallis. There’s a reason this town is so great, and you just have to take advantage of what’s already being offered to you to see why!

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