About Benton County
Perfectly placed in the Willamette Valley, 90 miles south of Portland and 40 miles north of Eugene, Benton County has easy access to urban areas with ample opportunities for cultural activities. Combined with outdoor recreation galore in the Cascade Range 80 miles to the east and the Coastal Range and Pacific Ocean 50 miles west, the county’s 90,000 residents like to say they “have it all.”
Corvallis, Oregon is the county seat and home to Oregon State University. It is a unique college town of approximately 57,000 people and offers cultural enrichment, performing arts and educational opportunities of a large metropolis with a cozy small-town lifestyle. Festivals and fairs take place year round and include community favorites like the Corvallis Farmer’s Market, County Fair and Rodeo and da Vinci Days.
By its nature as an institution of higher learning, Oregon State University provides opportunity for collaborative development and business acceleration in the county. The Regional Accelerator Innovator Network (RAIN) helps local startups in the South Willamette Valley and Mid-Coast region turn ideas into high impact, innovative, traded-sector companies that can grow and thrive locally.
In addition to Oregon State University and local entrepreneurship, Benton County’s economy is driven by the tech and health industries and regional agriculture. Traditionally, county Ag has focused on grass seed, Christmas trees, wine grapes, seed crops, organic produce, lumber, sheep, cattle and dairy, but recent years have seen large upswing in hazelnuts and marijuana. The communities’ passion for supporting a thriving local economy allows the county to boast chefs, restaurateurs, winemakers, brew masters and distilleries committed to locally grown ingredients with a strong focus on sustainability.
The county has a diversity of places to create a home, from rural areas like Monroe and Alsea, to established towns like Corvallis and North Albany. The county is home to several school districts, and located a few miles east of the Willamette River is the Linn-Benton Community College main campus.
The Willamette Valley boasts a temperate climate. Spring sees averages in the 50s with blooming plants and shrubs, and leads to abundant summer sunshine with highs reaching the mid-80s. The rainy season lasts between November and February with temperatures reaching the low 30s and infrequent snow and ice.
Benton County is one of the top three healthiest counties in Oregon, according to the County Health Rankings by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Corvallis is a gold-level Bike Friendly Community with bike lanes on 98 percent of the collector and arterial roadways and eighteen miles of multi-use paths. Corvallis prizes livability and its commitment to being bicycle and pedestrian-friendly contributes significantly to that quality of life.
Whether going out for a day of fishing, hiking trails in our natural areas, planning a family outing to the Corvallis Knights baseball game or shopping at locally-owned businesses in downtown Corvallis — Benton County has something for everyone.