Where is “The Valley?”

When people living along the northern half of the Oregon Coast mention “going over to the valley” they are generally referring to the Willamette Valley which extends from Portland (Oregon’s largest city) on the north to Eugene (University of Oregon) on the south and includes Salem (Oregon State Capital), Corvallis (Oregon State University), Albany (Linn County Seat), and other important cities, towns and farming areas.

Willamette Valley

There are many reasons that travel between the Coast and the Valley is common. People living on the Coast often go the Valley to shop in larger cities, obtain specialized medical services, attend University sporting events, concerts, theatre presentations, etc., visit Oregon State offices, have a different selection of restaurants, visit wineries, or to simply explore something different.

However, travel is just as common the other way around. People living in the Valley can escape hot summers by coming over here to the Coast where temperatures are nearly always more pleasant. During winter when temperatures are cold in the Valley the Coast is nearly always warmer.

Of course, the attraction is more than temperatures or even breathtaking coastal visitas. If someone wants clams or crabs in the Valley they have to buy them, whereas here in Newport they can be obtained free-of-charge down at Yaquina Bay (well almost free–an inexpensive shellfish license is required). Some people come here instead to fish in the ocean for tuna, halibut or a wide variety of other fish. For others, the big attraction is coastal-river salmon or steelhead fishing. Others don’t care about any of that and come for mostly for peaceful walks down sandy beaches away from the stresses of city living.

Posted in: Oregon Coast

Updated by Doretta Smith,