Salem, OR

Travel Guide
Salem featuring a garden

Visit Oregon’s capital to discover its roots and explore its parklands. Climb to the top of the State Capitol Building to see the city from above.

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.

Where to stay in Salem

Doubletree by Hilton Salem
Doubletree by Hilton Salem
4 out of 5
1590 Weston Ct NE, Salem, OR
The price is $95 per night from Jan 28 to Jan 29
Situated in Salem, this hotel is 1.2 mi (2 km) from Oregon State Fairgrounds Pavilion and within 3 mi (5 km) of Salem Riverfront Park and Salem Hospital. Salem ...
3.9/5 Very Good! (842 reviews)
"It was nice"

Reviewed on Jan 9, 2022

Doubletree by Hilton Salem
Hampton Inn and Suites Salem
Hampton Inn and Suites Salem
2.5 out of 5
510 Hawthorne Ave Se, Salem, OR
The price is $104 per night from Jan 27 to Jan 28
Located in Southeast Salem, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Oregon State Capitol, Willamette University, and Salem Hospital. Oregon State Fairgrounds Pavilion ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (664 reviews)
"Enjoyed my stay"

Reviewed on Jan 17, 2022

Hampton Inn and Suites Salem
Best Western Plus Mill Creek Inn
Best Western Plus Mill Creek Inn
2.5 out of 5
3125 Ryan Drive SE, Salem, OR
The price is $102 per night from Jan 27 to Jan 28
Located in Southeast Salem, this hotel is 1.8 mi (2.9 km) from Honeywood Winery and 2.4 mi (3.9 km) from Salem Hospital. Historic Deepwood Estate and Willamette ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (982 reviews)
"One of the nicest best westerns I’ve ever stayed. Friendly & accommodating staff, great location, really nice room set up, clean, and obviously well-managed."

Reviewed on Jan 7, 2022

Best Western Plus Mill Creek Inn
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Salem

Top things to do in Salem

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Salem

Cities near Salem