During the summer months, a one block area about 5 blocks north of the Capital Building is turned into a Sautrday market. This block is one block south of the North Mall Administrative Building. There are quite a number of open booths, and I have been told that 100% of the booths are reserved. However, as many of the booth reservations are held by farmers whose crops may not be ready, there are some no-shows. Thus, some of the participants simply show up and see if there is an open spot.
This situation creates a very eclectic group of artists, food stands, plant sellers, and various other vendors.
This situation also means that the vendors present at the market may change from one week to the next. Come back in a month and there may be a vast difference.
Sometimes, there may be a clown wandering around the market. At other times, members of local musical groups will stand in a corner of the market and play only for donations to some non-profit cause or another.
The open air market can be unpleasant on very hot days and thus sometimes fewer people, or crowded in the very early morning and fewer people than normal later in the day.
What to buy: There are a number of items here that may be of interest. Some artist items, I notice, sell for half the price here as they might sell for in Portland (or at least, the asking price is that way - in Portland such items tend to sit on the shelf in the booth for a longer time!). Some items are truly unique.
Take a look, for example, at the copper fish sculpture or the craft bird houses or many different items.
Several unique clothing vendors come here as well.
What to pay: How much you are going to spend depends entirely on what you are going to buy. One of a kind copper sculptures are going to me more than simple wooden carvings.
Gabriel's Furniture, at the corner of Capitol Street NE and Union Street NE, sells quite a lot of art work. However, by the admission of the people in the store, it is all factory made stuff from Los Angeles.
What to buy: I don't think I would buy anything from here, as none of it is really that special or unique. You are better off at the Salem Saturday Market.
What to pay: Way Too Much: don't buy anything here, unless it is something you really want. You can get more unique stuff elselwhere
A really unique store in one of the oldest buildings in Salem. It is a gift shop full of unique fashion accessories, candles, soaps, decorations, cards, etc. It is set up to be like an old Parisian store and is really unique in a place like Salem.
What to buy: The merchandise is always changing, but they usually have really unique and pretty inexpensive purses!
What to pay: $10-$50