Pioneers first settled Monmouth in 1853 and quickly established a college in the town. Western Oregon University, or WOU (which has held six other names in its past) still exists today, giving Monmouth a unique spirit for a town of its small size. Monmouth was known for being the last dry town in Oregon until 2002, when alcohol was legalized by referendum. Since then, Monmouth business has thrived with the opening of many new restaurants and stores who rely on alcohol (mostly beer) sales to survive.
Monmouth is a politically mixed city, and people are mostly accepting of different demographics, since many international students attend WOU. Most of the politicians elected in Monmouth and Polk County are relatively moderate, regardless of their party.
Monmouth is recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA.
From Salem, head west on Highway 22 for about nine miles, until you reach the junction with Highway 99 West. Go south on 99 until you reach Monmouth, then turn right onto Main Street to reach the city center.
From Corvallis, simply head North on 99 for about a half hour, then turn left onto Main Street when you reach Monmouth.
There are several bus stops along Main Street in Monmouth. The town is served by the CARTS40 line, which provides service to Dallas, Salem, and Monmouth's neighbor Independence. The buses stop five times a day between about 6:30AM and 6:30PM.
Most of Monmouth is easily accessible on foot. The distance from one side of town to the other is only about 1.5 miles, of which less than a mile is occupied by the business district. There are good quality sidewalks on the main streets.
The main streets of Monmouth are also accessible by bicycle, though many lack assigned bike lanes.
- Western Oregon University (Center of campus is located on Monmouth Avenue north of Main street.). This beautiful campus is ideal for walking. The campus contains many historical buildings, including Campbell Hall, which dates 1871. There are many trees on campus as well, including a Giant Sequoia planted by the graduating class of 1887.
- Polk County Bounty Market-Monmouth (Located in Main Street Park), ☎ +1 503 623-2564. 10AM to 3PM May–September. This farmer's market is an excellent place to buy local produce. It is also one of the best ways to experience the local farming culture of the Willamette Valley.
- Western Days, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Monmouth and Independence's Fourth of July celebration lasts three days and offers many different activities. A parade starts from WOU at 12PM and travels all the way to Riverview Park in Independence. Local vendors of art and other products create a small town atmosphere in Main Street Park, while various bands of diverse styles play in the background. Down by the river in Independence there are carnival concessions and rides, along with locally famous fireworks shows on the fourth and fifth which are attended by over ten thousand people.
- Monmouth Music in the Park Series (Located in Main Street Park). Wednesday nights in July–August. This is an excellent way to discover local bands. Music is very diverse, including many worldwide cultural styles as well as classical American country and jazz music.
Almost all shops and businesses are located on Main Street and Highway 99.
- Petals and Vines, 410 East Main St (Located on Main and Ecols Street, two blocks west of 99), ☎ +1 503 838-1773, toll-free: +1 877 838-1773, fax: +1 503 838-1738. 9AM - 6PM M-S. This local florist shop offers arrangements and gifts.
- Monmouth Hardware, 225 Main Street East (Located on Main and Knox Street.), ☎ +1 503 838-0562. 8AM - 5:30PM M-F, 8AM - 5PM Sat.. This shop carries any basic hardware item you might need, as well as home improvement services.
To find a full grocery store, you will have to drive about five minutes east to Roth's or Winco in Independence. However, Bi-Mart (On 99 entering Monmouth from the south) offers some non-perishable foods as well as hardware and electronics.
There are a few local restaurants of decently pretty good quality on main street, as well as fast food restaurants (mostly on 99) if you're looking for a quicker option.
- Yeasty Beasty, 167 Main Street West (Located next to the City Hall on the block between Warren Street and Monmouth Avenue.), ☎ +1 503 837-1222. 11AM-10PM. This restaurant makes excellent pizza from mostly local ingredients. Yeasty Beasty is also famous for its wide selection of Pacific Northwest microbrews.
- Koyote Tacos, 159 N Monmouth Ave (On Monmouth Avenue a block north of Main Street.), ☎ +1 503 838-1801. Koyote Tacos is a good place to go for pretty good quality food that is served quickly. It is also a good restaurant for people with limited funds, and is by far the best restaurant for its price in Monmouth.
- Main Street Pub and Eatery., 169 Main Street West (Located right next to Yeasty beast, near Monmouth Avenue.), ☎ +1 503 838-4281. This place is the only location of any real night life in Monmouth (outside of the University). It also offers food.
- Crush Wine Bar and Tasting Room, 105 Main Street East (Located at the intersection of Main and Warren.), ☎ +1 503 838-0399. This wine bar is attended by more Monmouth residents than college students. It also serves craft beers
- Courtesy Inn, 270 Pacific Avenue North (Located on 99 North of Main Street.), ☎ +1 503 838-4438, fax: +1 503 838-3761. Decent accommodations and easily accessible.
- Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge is a bird refuge with several short hiking trails and a viewpoint of the valley from Mount Baldy. It is located a few miles north of town via 99 and Coville Road.
- Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge is another refuge popular with birds. Ankeny is located in a natural swamp habitat filled with ash trees and frogs. It is located east of town across the Willamette River.
- Falls City, a small village nestled in the Coast Range west of Monmouth, offers views of the Luckiamute River and its waterfalls. It is also the gateway to a few Coast Range hiking trails.
|Routes through Monmouth|
|Portland ← McMinnville ←||N S||→ Corvallis → Eugene|