Who wouldn't be proud of having the world's largest strawberry shortcake? Lebanon, Oregon, proudly claims that title as part of its annual strawberry festival. Bring a fork!
Lebanon, Ore., is a vibrant, growing community, in which there's plenty going on. You'll find all the amenities you need from a town, and maybe a few more. This town is slap bang in the middle of some outstandingly beautiful countryside, so you'll really be spoiled by the views. However, as a resident of Oregon, you'll have to get used to a fair amount of rain.
Renting in Lebanon
As long as you're relatively prepared, renting property in the city should be a breeze. Finding a home for rent in Lebanon should go smoothly just as long as you don't leave everything to the last minute.
When Should I Start Looking?
The amount of owner-occupied homes in Lebanon is well below the national average, as well as the average for the state of Oregon, which means that there are usually plenty of rental houses and apartments on the market. As such, you should only need around four weeks to find yourself a property that you love. However, this can vary, so it could take longer, especially if you have very specific needs and aren't willing to compromise.
What Will I Have to Do?
At first, you'll simply have to throw yourself at the mercy of a realtor, who will be able to help you search for rental properties in the area. Let them know of any specific wants or needs, for instance, if you're looking for townhouses for rent or pet-friendly homes. Once you've found a property, you'll usually need to prove that you're worthy by showing some proof of income, ID, rental history and your credit scores. If you're found to be suitable for the property, you'll generally be asked to sign a tenancy agreement with a minimum term of six or 12 months. However, in some cases you may be allowed to rent on a month-to-month basis, so you're not tied into a contract.
How Much Will it Cost?
The cost of your new property will generally depend on the size, amount of land it comes with and its location. If you're unsure how much rent you'll have to pay, do some research or ask your realtor. Most landlords will want you to pay a month's worth of rent straight off the bat, plus a sizable security deposit, to ensure against any damage you might cause.
Neighborhoods in Lebanon
As with any town, there's a noticeable difference between the neighborhoods in Lebanon. For instance, some have smaller properties and more rental apartments, whereas others may have large houses on big plots. It's important to get a feel for a neighborhood before you move in, to help make sure you'll be happy there.
Cascadia: This neighborhood is mainly filled with houses and some mobile homes. Most properties are on the newer side, built from the 1970s onward. There's a lot of green space and large plots, but it is quite far out from the center of Lebanon.
City Center: Properties in the City Center tend to be on the smaller size, but what you're missing in space, is made up for in convenience, as you'll be near most of the town's amenities, such as shops and restaurants.
South Lebanon: The majority of properties in this area are mid-sized. There are a good mixture of houses and small apartment buildings. Weldwood Park and Christopher Columbus Park are in this neighborhood.
Santiam: Homes in this area are well-established, but not necessarily historic, with many built between the 1940s and 1960s. You'll find quite a few larger properties, as this part of town isn't short on space. Test your accuracy at the Lebanon Indoor Shooting Range in this area.
Living in Lebanon
Living in Lebanon, you can expect to experience a good quality of life. It's not exactly like a scene from a 1950s film, but residents tend to be friendly and care about their neighbors. There's also a fair amount happening on any given day.
Lebanon contains more than 350 acres of public parkland, so it's the ideal place to live if you can't get enough of the great outdoors. Some contain some recreational facilities, such as baseball diamonds, basketball courts and football fields, whereas others are undeveloped and have wide open spaces. Certain parks have barbecue and picnic areas, so that you can enjoy some al fresco eating. There are also roughly 45 miles of public hiking trails around the area. The Cheadle Lake Trail is particularly picturesque, as are the trails around the McDowell Creek Falls. If you're willing to fork out for membership, the Mallard Creek Golf Club has an outstanding course.
The annual Strawberry Festival is without a doubt the highlight of Lebanon's calendar of events. The festival's been happening since 1909, and today involves parades, carnival rides, food, live music and other entertainment. There's also a strawberry court and a strawberry queen is crowned. But, perhaps the star of the show is the (self-professed) world's largest strawberry shortcake, which has appeared each year since 1931 (don't worry, they make a new one every year!), and serves roughly 16,000 people.
The strawberry festival might be the biggest event of the year, but there are plenty more opportunities to get into the community spirit. It seems like there's always something happening in Lebanon, whether it's a big town event or just a club or group getting together. Concerts in the Park events happen throughout the summer, and the 4th of July fireworks at Cheadle Lake are always a big hit. However, even something as simple as the weekly downtown farmers market can become a fun community event in Lebanon.
If you're looking for a way to spend the evening, there are a range of things that might take your fancy. A variety of restaurants can be found in the city, from Ixtapa Mexican Restaurant to Sum Yan, which serves Chinese food. Dinner and a movie is an old classic, so you could then catch a movie at Kuhn Cinema in downtown Lebanon. If there's nothing on that interests you, you could head to one of the town's many bars, such as Merlin's or Artesian's Well Lounge, for some live music or just a quiet drink.