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Responsible Reopening Guide to Albany and Linn County

By Stacey Gregory

The Willamette Valley continues to reopen, so we've launched the Responsible Reopening commitment to help local businesses do so as safely as possible-and to make your next visit warm, inviting, and relaxing.

And Albany boasts plenty of small-town charm, with self-guided historic tours, bountiful shopping, a vibrant brewery-distillery/wine scene and top-notch restaurants.

So here's a guide to making the most of your next trip-whether trying some of the region's vaunted craft beverages or staying the night for some added fun. We've made sure to shout out businesses that have pledged to create a safe environment for all by signing onto our Responsible Reopening commitment-whether by offering outdoor seating, requiring social-distancing protocols, or taking other protective measures.

Coffee, Beer, Wine and More around Albany

a brick pathway leads to a wooden archway covered in twinkle lights. A red barn lies in the background.
The family-owned Springhill Cellars produces award-winning Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris on an estate vineyard planted in 1978.

Start the day with a hot cup of coffee and pastry at Margin Coffee or Little Wuesten Cafe; for something more robust, sit down for a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs breakfast at Brick & Mortar Cafe.

Properly fueled, step back in time for a self-guided tour of the city's four historic districts. Grab a copy of our free guide, "Seems Like Old Times", at the Albany Visitors Association, 110 3rd Ave. SE.-or download the Albany Explorer mobile app for the same valuable information-plus a lot more. (And if you'd rather stay outside, the Albany Visitors Association hosts an outdoor rack with brochures for exploring area attractions.)

After touring, make time for a tasty beverage and a snack. Springhill Cellars is a family-owned winery that produces award-winning Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris on an estate vineyard planted in 1978. If beer and spirits are more to your liking, stroll into either Calapooia Brewing/Vivacity Spirits or Deluxe Brewery/Sinister Distilling. The businesses are just blocks away from each other and provide award-winning beer and delicious distilled products. Both offer outdoor seating.

Calapooia Brewing is Albany's oldest brewery and has a delicious food menu to complement its eclectic beer selection-like the brewery's unique chili beer. The same goes for Deluxe Brewing, which has gained a loyal following for its German-style lagers. (The same folks behind Deluxe Brewing are also responsible for Sinister Distilling, which uses a whiskey pot still from Portugal to make fine whiskeys, gin and rum. Together, the outfits comprise Albany's first "brewstillery.") Nearby Vivacity Spirits distills everything from vodka to cranberry-flavored rum.

Shopping, Dining and Staying the Night in Historic Albany

Sybaris Bistro in Albany
Sybaris Bistro pairs its fine, farm-to-table cuisine with local wines; Beard-recognized Chef Matt Bennett's menu changes monthly to highlight the freshest local products.

Before dinner, stroll Albany's downtown streets, and browse the many shops for that special item for a special someone. Urban Ag Supply has many useful items for the gardener on your list, while Emma Downtown and The Natty Dresser offer high-quality women's and men's clothing, shoes and other stylish appointments.

To cap the day, snag a table at Sybaris Bistro for some of its fine, farm-to-table cuisine paired with local wines; Beard-recognized Chef Matt Bennett's menu changes monthly to highlight the freshest local products. Sybaris has limited outdoor seating and a socially distanced setup in its main dining room.

If you're spending the night, book a room at Phoenix Inn Suites, which offers comfortable amenities, including a customized grab-and-go breakfast, for a safe experience that minimizes contact points.

And as you plan your trip, call ahead or visit the Albany Visitors Association website for the most recent information about safety, hours, and other details to make your trip as smooth as possible.

Learn more about our businesses' commitment on the official Responsible Reopening website, which includes an interactive map where you can find local businesses-lodgings, restaurants, wineries, and more-that have taken the pledge to reopen with your safety in mind.

Your adventure begins with the official Willamette Valley Travel Guide. Request your complimentary printed guide or download a digital guide today.

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