Things to do in Albany

First published 13 July 2022

What’s awesome about Albany?

Albany, Oregon is a beautiful and historic city located in the Willamette Valley. The Amtrak station is centrally located and makes it easy to explore all that Albany has to offer.

There is a lot to do in Albany - architecture, food, drink, history, art and access to the outdoors, for starters.

Spend a day or even a long weekend in Albany and you can drink negronis in a historic bank building, visit the restored historic carousel, pop between quirky galleries and shops, set the kids free in a splatter paint studio and restore yourself with riverside nature walks. Oh, did we mention paddle boats, fishing, summer concerts and hot air balloons?

Forget about the traffic and parking - Amtrak Cascades gets you there!

Here are some ideas of things to do in Albany if you have just 12 hours to spare...

If you are looking for a weekend getaway, take a look at our suggested itinerary for a great Albany weekender..

Albany Regional Museum

If you love history, then be sure to check out the Albany Regional Museum.

The museum is located in a beautiful Victorian building and has exhibits on the early history of the Willamette Valley, the Oregon Trail, and the Native Americans who lived in the area.

36 Lyon Street S
Albany, OR 97321

For a dose of nature, head to Timber Linn Memorial Park.

This park is perfect for a picnic lunch or a leisurely stroll. There are also a number of hiking trails nearby if you want to explore more of the great outdoors.

Check out all the events.

Historic Downtown Albany

If you're looking for some retail therapy, Albany's downtown area is full of quaint shops and boutiques. Be sure to check out the Oregon State University Bookstore for all your college gear needs. Albany shopping includes antiques, fine women’s and men’s clothing, locally made gifts and more! Albany’s vibrant downtown commercial district is home to dozens of local businesses unlike any you’ll find elsewhere.

And don't forget to grab a bite to eat while you're downtown - there are plenty of great restaurants to choose from.

Need some recommendations? Check out our Albany recommendations.

Albany Historic Carousel

This is no ordinary merry-go-round.

Albany's carousel is a community volunteer-driven project for more than 17 years in the making. Artists and laborers contributed countless hours to hand-carve and decorate the fabulous animals. It’s an attraction you won’t want to miss, no matter what age you are.

Over 50 hand-carved animals on an antique mechanism, plus exhibits of historic carousel artifacts. This antique carousel is located in Washington-Jefferson Park and is perfect for families with young children.

No visit to Albany would be complete without taking a ride on the historic Carousel.


The carousel is located at 503 First Ave. W. in Downtown Albany, across the street from the US Post Office and kitty-corner from Sybaris Bistro.

Hours of Operation, Admission and Ride Tokens

Hours: Please visit the carousel website for the most current information.

Admission and Ride Tokens: Admission is free to the carousel’s building facilities such as the gift shop, snack bar, museum, and workshop area. Ride tokens are $2 each and can be purchased at the snack bar, the gift shop or from a token machine ($1 bills only) next to the concessions counter.

Northwest Art & Air Festival

Plan to bring the family for this all-day event with Balloons, Crafts, Food, and FREE music.

The Northwest Art & Air Festival is a truly unique event. Balloonists from around the country flock to Albany every year in August.

The event this year takes place August 26-28th.

Early each of the three mornings, balloons launch for flights around the Albany area. On Friday & Saturday, ONLY artists fill the grassy meadows of the park with a wide variety of artwork, family zone, food vendors, and music throughout the day. Don’t miss the classic car show Saturday, August 27!

So, there you have it - a 12-hour guide to Albany, Oregon. Whether you're looking to explore the city's history or simply enjoy some time in the great outdoors, Albany has something to offer everyone.

Can't explore everything in one day? Check out our three day weekend post...