Living in Monmouth – Vibrant Small Town in The Heart of Oregon

Is Monmouth, OR worth visiting? In this article, we’ll go a little bit further than this typical Google search question and rather ask – is Monmouth worth moving in? We’ll provide you with a brief insight into the advantages of living in this charming, small-town located in the Salem Metropolitan Area.

Oregon truly is blessed with plenty of places like this and everyone can choose which one suits their needs the best. However, if you consider moving here, search for real estate agencies in Monmouth OR, or simply start your exploration with this article.


The Last Dry Town of Oregon

First, to set the record straight, Monmouth is no longer a dry town. Since the end of national prohibition in 1933, the residents voted many times to keep it. Consequently, Monmouth remained the last dry town on the West Coast for decades. The local prohibition community was so strong that it threatened to turn it into the city’s cultural trademark, claiming the historical significance of such tradition.

Meanwhile, since 2002, Oregon state law prohibits any dry community from existing. It means you can purchase most alcoholic beverages in convenience stores and similar shops. Oregon, however, controls the sale of alcoholic beverages directly and the sale of hard liquor is restricted to the state-controlled liquor stores.

Still, there are enough restaurants, bars, taverns, and pubs in Monmouth not to worry about this issue at all. The bar and restaurant scene is quite alive thanks to the local college and the amount of the student population.


The Location of Monmouth

Monmouth is settled west of the Willamette River, in the Ash Creek watershed where this stream meets the river. It lies halfway between the Willamette Valley and the coast and thanks to such a location, you can easily get from one destination to the other whenever you need.

Thanks to the proximity of Salem, the Monmouth community is close to large-scale events and places. Eugene and Portland are also close by, only 60 miles south and north of the town, which makes nearly all big events in the state easy to reach. However, if you are tired of the crowds and searching for something more peaceful, cozy, and convenient, looking out for houses for sale in Monmouth, OR definitely could be an interesting option for you.


Improving Community

The City of Monmouth has started a long-term job of improving the city’s Downtown Plan. It defined the Urban Renewal District as the collection of the core areas of Monmouth, aimed to redevelop them, through various projects, such as the Facade Improvement Grant.

The 2042 Downtown Plan will center around Main Street, covering the 14-block area, including its residential, commercial, and public space (Main Street Park, Monmouth Library, etc.). Business development, walkability and cycling conditions, signage, tourism, and preservation and improvement of community amenities are among the key topics of the plan.

It aims to modernize the city’s downtown and use its full potential, as well as for residents, business owners, and visitors. Interactive workshops and meetings have already taken place in cooperation with the University of Oregon.

If you want to become part of the community where every resident can get involved and shape their own future, reach out to brokers in Monmouth, OR, and start exploring housing possibilities.


Parks and Outdoor Recreation

If you take a look at the panoramic view of Monmouth, the green color will fill up the most space in the image. There are ten green areas divided into community parks, neighborhood parks, and the so-called mini-parks.

If you want to organize an event and reserve a spot for it, go to one of the community parks that are provided with all amenities needed (shelters, pavilions, washroom facilities, parking). Main Street Park is the largest one and is equipped with an open-air amphitheater, suitable for performances of all kinds. There are also Madrona Park and Gentle Woods Park, offering large areas for recreation.

For a picnic, opt for either Cherry Lane Park, Winegar Park, or Monmouth Recreational Park, where you can enjoy basic recreational activities. The mini-parks can be a good option for a short walk and relaxation in the quiet surroundings.


Arts, Culture, and Education

For a small town, Monmouth does have a reasonable variety of cultural and artistic events. Art galleries, farmer markets, and wineries are among them. In the nearby towns of Independence, Salem, and Dallas, only a few miles away, residents of Monmouth can enjoy several cultural centers.

Ash Creek Art Center was founded ten years ago, with the aim to invite residents of Monmouth Independence to participate in literary, visual, and performing arts. On the second weekend each month, it organizes Saturday Family Art Classes. The lessons are affordable and suitable both for children and adults.

Another cultural place in downtown Independence, within walking distance from Monmouth, is the River Gallery. It has a display of works from the local artists and artisans, including pottery, photography, jewelry, and much more.

In Dallas, there is the Westwood Gallery, an art gallery settled in a natural setting of a large, peaceful forested garden.

Maybe the most important institution for the local community is the Western Oregon University, founded in the 19th century as Monmouth University. It is considered to be among the most affordable public universities in the state. The most popular majors are Education, Business, and Psychology, but it also features a variety of minors, graduate programs, certificates, and pre-professional tracks.

Moreover, in Campbell Hall, the University’s Art Department maintains a gallery featuring exhibitions throughout the year.

The Willamette Valley and its surrounding, including Polk County, are the major winery areas in the state and among the most notorious in the country. Polk County ranks second in planted and harvested acreage, as well as in the production. The major wineries in and around Monmouth include Airlie Winery, Emerson Vineyards, Ankeny Vineyard Winery, Cristorm Vineyards, Elkhorn Ridge Winery, and many more.

If you are a wine lover, there are not much better places in the country you can visit. Moreover, for those who are even interested in making their own winery business, searching for land for sale in Monmouth, OR can be the right decision.



Convenient location, good safety, tight and proactive community, friendly neighbors, green environment, and quiet atmosphere are what make Monmouth a great little town with a warm welcome, both for visitors and newcomers. Check with your real estate agency for housing options.