Small city with a few unusual attractions worth visiting. Virtually everything downtown explorable by foot.
Unfortunately, not much going on in this typical town but it's close to everything
Not a little town in the woods!
The problem with attempting to give anyone any sort of guidance about the blooms in the Capitol Mall is that exact seasons are difficult to predict. Sure, we know the daffodils will bloom sometime in early spring, but some years that happens as early as the last week of January - while other years it happens a bit later than this.The cherry...more
Today when someone says "mall" generally the thought is of a large shopping center. However, that was not always the case. The term "mall" may be used to describe pedestrian friendly streets, long sidewalks, or other similar locations."The Mall" in Salem (the one at the capital building, not the one downtown with all the stores!) consists of a...more
Bush's Pasture Park was once one of the early farms that helped turn this area of the Willamette Valley into a center of agriculture. Today, several of the old structures of the old farm still stand: the Bush house is a historical museum in its own right.The Bush Barn has been severely altered and upgraded to serve as a local art museum, gallery...more
This park contains a number of paved trails (for both bike and wheelchair use) that weave their way through an old orchard, farm land that is currently in use, preserved suburban wilderness, and along the Willamette River. There is almost 900 acres to this park, so there is some variance in the terrain. Some of the trails are not paved.The park is...more
Willamette University was established by a Methodist Missionary, and so within due time, the other mainstream Protestant churches, as well as the Catholic church, established themselves as a signficant presence by way of fine architecture just around the capitol buildings. The First United Methodist Church remains the most outstanding steepled...more
The Protestant churches in Salem are as liberal in their theology as is the highly educated citizenry, a fact that is often evident by sermon titles that project peace and goodwill, rather than biblical salvation. The First Presbyterian Church was originally housed on the upper floor of the J. K. Gill Bookstore – just east of the Ladd and Bush Bank...more
As the name implies, Salem's Riverfront Park sits right on the river. The land was originally a paper plant, but has now been remade as a downtown recreation area. The majority of the park exists as wide open grass fields that serve as a good place for picnic or other summer and sun activities. There is a small outdoor ampitheatre, and an extremely...more
Also by the Cascade Lakes scenic byway is a huge obsidian flow. The caldera of Newberry Volcano measures about 7 km across and is filled with pyroclastic rocks, flows, and domes of the Pleistocene and Holocene age. These flows include toolstone quality obsidian glass, which have been quarried throughout the last 11,000 years. The most recent...more
Oregon's current state capitol building is one of the most unique among the state capitols in the USA. After the tragic burning of its traditonally constructed copper dome building in 1935, the current structure was built on the same site, and completed in 1938. Financed in part by WPA money during the Great Depression, the conical art deco style...more
2P/1B = $79.00 - $95.00 2P/2B = $79.00 - $88.00 All rooms come equipped with refrigerator,...more
201 Liberty Street SE, Adjacent to the Salem Conference Center, Salem, Oregon, 97301, United States
Good for: Couples
890 Hawthorne Avenue, SE, I-5 at Exit 253, Salem, Oregon, 97301, United States
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples
For some years this restaurant at Broadway and Gaines has been an eye-popping addition to the landscape on the north side of Salem. The colors sure don't make it easy to miss, that's for certain.The new name on the place now says Yonic's, yet the credit card receipts and part of the literature still say 4 Caminos, so the renaming of the place must...more
There are an awful lot of restaurants that don't last very long in our region, and the reasons for this are myriad. However, if a place lasts as long as Thai Orchid has (it opened in 1992) in a city that at one time wasn't known to have much interest in various ethnic foods, you can bet that it has hit a good price and food quality point.The place...more
While it is a chain restaurant, it is also a chain restaurant with the corporate headquarters in Salem so in some ways this is also a local restaurant. Despite the very good reputation of this restaurant chain and Salem being the home headquarters of the chain, the Salem location is extremely hidden behind a large amount of assorted structure parts...more
This is easily Salem's best Pizza parlor, and has proven so popular that to reduce crowding they have now opened 3 locations - all within a few blocks of eachother, and yet even then there are times when it is hard to find a place to park in the parking lot!Please Note: This review is for the Commercial & Owens location, as I have never been to any...more
The Reed Opera house has a couple of good restaurants, and inside on the Mezzanine with fine views of the interior architecture of this old building is the Macedonia Greek Restaurant. I dined here with an Iranian friend who ordered a mix of dolmas, lamb, and other fine Greek foods. Everything was very tasty, but I found the overall price to be a...more
There are many decent places to eat downtown, and at least two of them are inside the Reed Opera House. La Perla Tapatia Restaurant is a favorite around town because for well under $10 (99 cents per taco) one can get a glass of Horchata and four tacos with soft corn torillas, as well as plenty of chips and salsa. The selection of meat isn't just...more
Located in east salem this is the best place to go if you happen to visit this small simple town. We watched one of the best blues shows I' ve ever seen here at Lefty's and then when we were wanted a little privacy the room in the back was empty. This room is full of leather plush couches, a big screen tv, and doors that close out the rest of the...more
258 Reviews and Opinions
The Cherriots bus system has a state of the art terminal in downtown Salem, and lots of hyrid or natural gas buses. The system goes between Salem and outlying communities. I paid 75 cents for a two mile ride from Salem to Keizer and found the service good, but it doesn't run on Sundays. See the link below for more details about routes, schedules,...more
I get there by air, flying into Portland. A couple times we flew into Eugene.We borrow one of my folks vehicles and double their mileage on it. Another really neat way to travel around (or through) Oregon, is on the Amtrak Coast starlight. We did that a couple times to go from Salem to Seattle and the scenary was fantastic. It's also rather cheap....more
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. 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...more
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...more
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. The merchandise is always changing, but they usually have really unique and pretty inexpensive...more
During the last weekend of June every year, the riverfront in downtown Salem hosts the World Beat Festival, which includes international music, food, dance, and hand-on crafts. Perhaps the most popular part of the festival are the Dragon Boat Races along the Willamette River. I didn't see the races, but I saw a lot of empty hulls, and happy wearers of medals. See the link below for more details.
You'll need to bring warm clothes to Oregon year around! They may have days in the summer when it will get over 100 degrees (and reaches what Oregonians like to complain is a 'high' humidity of about 30%---they should come to the midwest in the summer some time if they want to find out what high humidity really feels like!!!), but the evenings cool off nicely. Most summers we're there the highs are only in the 80's and lows in the 50's.
Photo Equipment: Lots and lots of it! I carry 3 camera with me---a 35 mm with a wide angle zoom lens for scenary and a 300mm zoom for close ups; a digital camera because they're fun to play with ; and my newest addition--a digital camcorder.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Lots of places to camp. We did camp at a place very close to Salem and Silver Falls---Elkhorn ( I think)---and it was nice. But I about froze, even though it was summer!
THis is a picture of the crystal clear stream by the camp sites.
Many years ago, there was a plan to connect Salem to the coast and cross the Cascade Mountains, making Salem part of a transcontinental railroad link.The railroad going west and east from Salem was built, but going west the furthest it got was somewhat past the city of Falls City. While it didn't serve the dreamed transcontinental link, it did...more
The land on which Salem's Waterfront Park sits was originally part of a paper and wood pulp processing plant owned by Boise Cascade. Buildings were cleared from the land, but a few of the chemical tanks remained, including a quite large spherical tank that was once used as part of the acid bath process for paper making.No one was quite sure exactly...more
The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is one of my favorite places in Salem. While it's no British Museum, it is surprisingly impressive and elegantly small-scale. It has a fascinating collection of local Oregonian artists. It even has ancient Egyptian and Greek artifacts. The exhibits are well displayed. The temporary exhibits have exposed me to art I...more
The State Capitol, it is a beautiful marble structure of a contemporary design, There are murals of historic events in Oregon and U.S. history adorn the interior walls. There is a wonderful view of the Willamette Valley from the dome, which is adorned with a golden statue of a pioneer. Murals
Hours are 8 am to 5 pm weekdays from Memorial Day through Labor Day and tours are available every 30 minutes from 9 to 5 except at noon.
There is no charge for admission or for the tours.
Fondest memory: Climbing all those stairs inside the dome of the State Capitol, to an excellent view.