Trip Planner

Marys Peak, the highest in the Coastal Range, sits above Corvallis, the heart of the valley.

Corvallis Trip Planner

The heart and the brains of the valley written by James Sinks It’s entirely possible that somebody stuffed the ballot box. Corvallis—the home of Oregon State University, with miles of tree-lined bike and walking paths, a scenic Willamette riverfront, a downtown that’s straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting, and smiles on pretty much everybody—was voted the second-friendliest college town in the United States, according to the folks at The winner, allegedly? Ithaca, New York. And, well, as anybody who’s tried to drive a car in New York state will tell you, that survey result sort of stretches credulity. The CollegeDeals folks also include Corvallis in their national ranking of the smartest college towns, thanks to a high rate of locals with degrees. The upshot of it all: The city is livable, nerdy and nice. How nice? The staff is even uncommonly friendly at the Angry Beaver Grill, according…