Lebanon is a “small” city in Linn County, Oregon, known for its waterside parks, walking and biking trails, and the annual Strawberry Festival that has been celebrated for more than 100 years.
As of this writing, the city has a population of around 16,800 and lies next to the South Santiam River on the eastern part of the Willamette Valley. Being just under a 30-minute drive to bigger cities like Albany and Corvallis, it is a perfect home for retirees and young families who want to live in a vibrant city with a small-town vibe.
Basic Information About Lebanon
According to recent surveys, the city has posted a 1.4% job growth, while the unemployment rate is around 6.8. Meanwhile, the biggest employers are Lowe’s Regional Distribution Center, Entek International, Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital, Lebanon Schools, Weyerhaeuser, and Wal-Mart.
Compared to the rest of the country, the city’s cost of living is 9.4, which is lower than the national average.
Weather in Lebanon
The city’s climate is generally subtropical, which means it has a humid and mild winter and hot, dry summer, with temperatures ranging between 90 Fahrenheit in July and 50-60 Fahrenheit in January.
What Makes Lebanon Unique
Lebanon is known for its lush landscape and the majestic view of the Cascade Mountains that is just a 30-minute drive from the city. And with its more laid-back vibe and tight-knit communities, it has a particular appeal to retirees and young families.
New residents are also drawn to this small city because of its biking and walking trails and local parks with ball fields and playgrounds that make it easy to live a more active lifestyle. Meanwhile, the local parks have a total of 71.5 acres of open space that includes tennis and basketball courts, picnic tables, and baseball, soccer, and softball fields.
Places You Can Visit in Lebanon, OR
Willamette National Forest
Lebanon is conveniently located near the Willamette National Forest with more than 70 campgrounds that typically include trailer space, tent sites, water and flush toilets. This protected 1,678,00 acres of forest is ideal for hiking, hot spring dipping, scuba diving (in the Clear Lake), stargazing, fishing, and camping.
Clear Lake is arguably the best spot in the National Forest as its calm, pristine water–which sometimes appear like a mirror image of the sky–makes it perfect for fishing, boating/kayaking, and even scuba diving so you can see the 3,000-year-old trees that have been preserved at the bottom of the lake.
Meanwhile, there are campgrounds near the lake where visitors can rent a cabin or set up their tent.
Other must-visits in the Willamette National Forest include the Bigelow Hot Springs on the banks of the Mckenzie River, the Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls, and the Tamolitch Blue Pool.
The National Forest also has multiple hiking trails for all ability levels, such as the Fish Lake Trail, the McKenzie River Trail, and the Fish Lake Trail.
Located in the Willamette Valley, this lake is surrounded by riparian woods and marshes, attracting migratory waterbirds such as terns. It is also the home of western scrub-jay, northern flicker, California quail, common yellowthroat, double-crested cormorant, bewick’s wren, red-winged blackbird, and song sparrow.
There is also a 4-mile double-track trail ideal for mountain bikers.
You can find a selection of shops and cafes along the Main Street (Santiam Highway), including the Pastega Coffee Roasters, known for its high-quality coffee beans. You may also want to check the Mckenzie Station Restaurant, which is along McKenzie Highway.