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Oregon State University's 500-acre, park-like campus is located in Corvallis, a vibrant, riverfront college town of 60,000 people in the heart of one of the world's most fertile and beautiful valleys.
Just an hour's drive from the sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, and surfing(!) found at the Pacific Ocean, two hours from the snow-capped Cascade mountains and Oregon's high desert to the east, and 90 minutes south of Portland (a nexus of high tech, clean tech, and hip tech), Oregon State University is ideally located for both outdoor adventures and big-city excursions (San Francisco is an 8.5-hour drive due south, and Seattle is five hours north).
More than 100 miles of multi-use trails lace the surrounding hills and are accessible by bicycle or foot right from town. Some 75 miles of bike paths and lanes make it possible to get almost anywhere in Corvallis on two wheels, in less than 15 minutes. With its relatively flat terrain, Corvallis has the highest percentage of bicycle commuters and the second highest percentage of pedestrian commuters of any U.S. city with a population of more than 50,000. It's no wonder that in 2016, SmartAsset named Corvallis the third-most fitness-friendly city in the United States.
Surrounded in part by a scenic greenbelt, Corvallis is the county seat of Benton County, a regional center for higher education, industry, engineering, research, clean technology, commerce, and healthcare. Benton County boasts more than 50 parks and designated preserves, dozens of public and private recreational facilities, four golf courses, and myriad cultural events ranging from music festivals and art fairs to concerts, theatrical productions, lectures, and a wide range of eateries, including brew pubs, distilleries, and wineries.
Corvallis, home to Hewlett-Packard Co., and other high-tech companies, is also a hot-spot for entrepreneurship and startups. In 2013 Forbes Magazine ranked Corvallis the 11th best small place for business and careers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says Corvallis is one of the top five cities for entrepreneurs.
It's also safe here, and the citizens are smart. Corvallis was recently named the most secure small town in the U.S. by the Farmers Insurance Group. In 2008, Forbes ranked Corvallis number five in their list of America's Smartest Cities, and in 2013, Corvallis was named the third best college town in the nation by the American Institute of Economic Research.
In 2008, Country Home magazine ranked Corvallis as the top “green” city in America, and Sunset magazine named Corvallis one of their five favorite eco-friendly small towns, calling the city “beautiful, earnest, and very, very green.” In 2015, College Magazine ranked Corvallis fourth in their top 10 college towns you’ll never want to leave.
Oh, and about the climate. Yes, it rains here, but the average annual precipitation is less than in 32 other states. Sleet and snow are rare (but you can ski two hours to the east), and the summers are sunny, dry, and cool off at night. With one of the mildest climates in the nation, spring, fall, and summer temperatures range from the upper 50s to upper 80s (perfect for gardening) and mid-winter temperatures are typically in the 40s. Corvallis doesn't get tornadoes or hurricanes, and mosquitoes are found mainly in the mountains and only in late spring and early summer.
You might say Corvallis is very close to a perfect college town on just about all fronts. Come check it out!