Tucked away within the Willamette Valley, Salem is a nature-lover’s delight. The humble capital of Oregon is a historic city, originally founded as an agricultural community in the first half of the 19th century. It has been the state capital since 1859.
See the dozens of significant buildings in the historic downtown precinct, including the towering State Capitol Building, capped by a “Gold Man.” Green parks line Salem’s streets and walking trails traverse the city.
Check into a downtown hotel to be close to the action or enjoy the serenity provided by the outskirts of town. Explore the historic downtown precinct on foot to get to know the local culture.
Climb to the peak of the State Capitol Building on a sunny day for sweeping views across the valley. Take a photograph of the giant Oregon Pioneer statue, or the “Gold Man,” that sits at the top, as it glistens in the Oregon sun.
The downtown precinct is a great place to purchase fresh produce from Oregon’s farmers. A number of delis and markets can be found in the area, alongside restaurants, cafés and bars. Take a picnic to Bush’s Pasture Park, the large urban park that sprawls southward from State Capitol Plaza. Farther afield, find the walking trails and natural beauty of Willamette Mission State Park.
Venture outside the city limits for more natural beauty. Reach Silver Falls and the Cascade Mountains within an hour by car. Oregon’s picturesque wine country is even closer. Spend a day sampling the state’s renowned pinot noir and pinot gris wines and take a bottle home to have with dinner.
Arrive in the city via Portland, less than an hour to the north, or Eugene, just over an hour south. Both are major transportation hubs with international airports and interstate railway stations. Rent a car during your stay in the city so you can delve into the rich natural beauty of Oregon’s heartland, just a short drive away.