Salem is the capital of Oregon and is also the seat of Marion County. The city has more than 160,600 people, making it the third biggest city in the state.
Salem is located in the heart of the Willamette Valley with the Willamette River running north through the city. It is around an hour away from Portland by car. It is where the Willamette University, Chemeketa Community College and Corban University are all located.
Get on a bus rental in Salem, Oregon and spend a day, a weekend or your entire vacation in the city.
A 24-passenger bus rental in Salem, Oregon can accommodate small groups of travelers who want to have a fun and convenient time touring the city. A bus rental in Salem, Oregon can make sure that everyone in your group is safe and comfortable. No getting lost and no need to rely on public transportation while in the city.
Call BusRental.com at 1-866-569-2012 if you have bigger groups. We can provide you with buses that can easily accommodate up to 60 people.
The Salem Riverfront Carousel still offers rides for everyone, with free rides for those with disabilities, and during Christmas and New Year's Day. You can also visit the gift shop for some of the most unique gifts you could find here, or you can attend a carving exhibit where you can get to see carving demos. Then you can go to the Gilbert House Children's Museum, where the kids can interact, explore and play with the exhibits. Exhibits here include the Imagination Station, the Imagination Playground, the Outdoor Discovery Center, Tinker Tracks, Center Stage Theater, the Playroom, Slovenia Creation Station, the Oregon Room, Village Vet Clinic, Eye Euphoria, Up, Up, and Away, Go Figure!, A Child's Trip to China, Recollections, and the Village Grocery Store. The fact that the museum is housed in three historic houses, the Parrish House, the Rockenfield House, and the Gilbert House, is a bonus.
Then you have Wunderland Electric Castle's, which gives you video arcade games that you can play for nickels. You also have the Nightmare Factory, which has two haunted houses in one location.
Salem welcomes artists and art lovers alike. You have a lot of opportunities to discover art and immerse yourself in cultural attractions in the city. Check out the First Wednesdays where you can enjoy the various art galleries and musical performances. Even the shops close late on First Wednesdays.
The Bush House Museum is an Italianate Victorian affair that was built in the 1870s. The museum currently features Victorian era furnishings and its original wallpapers, as well as an art center that features modern art created by local and international artists. The Focus Gallery is reserved for Oregon artists, while the A.N. Bush Gallery welcomes artists from all over the world. There is a conservatory here that is filled with period plants, as well as trails, playgrounds, picnic areas and groves of oak trees.
The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is Willamette University's art museum, and is the third biggest in the state. The museum covers 27,000 sq. ft. of space and features art and history related artifacts and exhibits. The museum has a diverse holding, including sculptures, basketry, prints, and paintings, among others. You can find European art, Native American art, as well as contemporary art here. Some of the galleries in the museum include:
Willamette Art Center, on the other hand, offers art classes and workshops. You can also catch their displays at the Oregon State Fairgrounds.
You also have the Keizer Art Association, where you can attend art classes, and see artworks on exhibit. Other art galleries here include:
Performance arts. Be sure to check out the Enlightened Theatrics, where you can watch the best of local and national artists perform plays and musicals such as Disney's High School Musical: On Stage, Once on This Island, and the Last Five Years.
Then you have Pentacle Theatre, which is the city's best live theatre group for more than five decades now. Pentacle Theatre gives you the chance to enjoy the best theater performances in the city in a very intimate setting.
Further, check out Theater Outreach, which has been putting up family friendly theater shows or the Willamette University Theatre, where you can watch student products, as well as faculty and guest artist performances.
The Elsinore Theatre was first opened in the 1920s, but has subsequently deteriorated and was restored in the 2000s. The venue is part of the Salem Downtown State Street – Commercial Street Historic District and features late 19th and 20th century revivals and Tudor gothic architecture. You could also enjoy movies and food at the Northern Lights Theatre Pub. Or check out Salem Cinema for a wide selection of art films, indie movies, as well as alternative and foreign films.
If you want a great night of music, Salem delivers as well. You can enjoy the Salem Chamber Orchestra, which is composed of students and faculty at the Williamette University, as well as professional musicians and volunteers. The group performs the years "Gift of Music" concert and a host of other concerts every season.
Meanwhile, the Salem Chamber Orchestra is a professional group that gives outstanding performances for the community. Or check out the Oregon Symphony Association in Salem, the Salem Pops Orchestra, and the Salem Youth Symphony.
Events and festivals. The Oregon State Fair is the state's official fair and is held every August to September at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. Here, you could enjoy various exhibits featuring crops and livestock of Oregon, as well as arts and culture exhibits. It also brings together food vendors and has various competitions, horse races and live musical concerts at the L.B. Day Comcast Amphitheater. There is also a petting farm and amusement rides.
Why not go to the Salem Art Fair & Festival, which has been around for more than six decades. The event is one of the top arts festivals in the United States and brings together 200 artists from all over the country, as well as musical performances, craft beer and wine. You can also check out the Wine & Jazz Festival, Marion County Fair, Oregon Ag Fest, and the World Beat festival, which is known as the biggest multicultural celebration in the state.
Word Of Mouth Neighborhood Bistro is one of the local favorites in Salem that gives you the best traditional American food, as well as filling breakfast and brunch. for great Mexican food, there is Taqueria El Tapatio, Aibertos Mexican Restaurant, Gamberetti's Italian Restaurant, and La Fondita, while the the Crooked House Bistro serves the best French food. You can also check out Davinci's for some of the best Italian food in the city.
If you want Asian flavors, Bibim Bap House for great Japanese and Korean fare, China Gourmet, or Yan Yan Chinese Cuisine for delicious Chinese food. While, Ramen Ichiban, Love Love Teriyaki Lancaster, and Momiji Japanese Crepes and Sushi serves the best Japanese food. Then you have other Asian restaurants such as Yummy Bowl, Tup Tim Thai Cuisine, Super Pho Restaurant, and Saigon Restaurant.
Then you have the delicious pizzas at Straight From New York Pizza, and Christos Pizzeria.
Further, you can unwind at the Coin Jam, where you have delicious American favorites, a great list of alcoholic drinks and arcade games as well as a pinball machine. Maybe you would like a round of mini golf? Then go to Best Little Roadhouse. Or you can check out what's cooking at Maven, Andaluz Tapas Bar, Table Five 08, and Wild Pear.
Other must-try restaurants include:
Shopping. Salem is a premiere shopping destination for the entire Willamette Valley area and has several big name retailers in its vicinity. Salem Center has around 80 shops and restaurants in 650,000 sq. ft. of space, and is anchored by Nordstrom, JC Penney, Macy's, and Kohl's. You also have Lancaster Mall, which occupies a space of 550,000 sq. ft. and has 80 stores. Lancaster Mall is anchored by eight retailers including Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts, Regal Cinemas, Pier 1 Imports, Sears, Burlington Coat Factory, Macy's, Best Buy, and Sports Authority.
You can also try to find the best vintage items at Salem Collectors & Flea Market. Or perhaps you might be looking for some great fashion finds, so head out to the following stores:
If you are looking for the best gifts and souvenirs, check out the Village Toy Store at A. C. Gilbert's Discovery Village, the Tangled Purls, Trader Joe's, the Capitol Gift Shop and the Cooke Stationery Company, as well as the E.Z. Orchards Farm Market, Madrona Hills Ace Hardware, and One Fair World.
There are a handful of golf courses that you can go to in Salem, choose from Auburn Center Golf Club, Meadowlawn Golf Course, Salem Golf Club, Creekside Golf Course, Salemtowne Golf Club, and Illahe Hills Country Club.
Sports. Watch the Salem Stampede play at the Salem Armory. The Stampedes play for the International Basketball League.
Then you have the three Salem teams that are part of the NNFL Tackle Football: the Copperheads, the Pioneers, and the Chargers.
Then you have the Willamette University Bearcats, which plays at:
The Cherry City Derby Girls is a league that contains four different teams: the Rydel Bells, Dolls of Anarchy, Panty Raiders, and the Thrill Kill Kittens are all based in the city as well as the male team, Star City Offense. Meanwhile the Salem Sabres of the American Basketball Association play their games at the Chemeketa Community College.
When it comes to history, you should check out these museums. The Historic Deepwood Estate has a Queen Anne architecture designed by William C. Knighton in the 1890s, and is currently operated as a house museum.
The Willamette Heritage Center is a complex of historic buildings where you can find exhibits of a woolen mill, a water power exhibit, and others. You can find several historic structures on the premises including the Jason Lee House, Methodist Mission Parsonage, John D. Boon House and the Pleasant Grove Presbyterian Church, all of which are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Of course, you should not miss out the Oregon State Capitol. The historic building still houses Oregon's legislature, the offices of the secretary of state, the governor and the treasure of the state. The building was constructed in the 1930s and features several parks on the premises.
You can also go to the Marion County Historical Society Museum, Prewitt-Allen Archaeological Museum, and the Harrison Brunk House.
Other houses on the register include:
There are two cemeteries on the register, Lee Mission Cemetery and Salem Pioneer Cemetery.
If you want to explore a lot of historically and architecturally significant sites in one place, you can go to the Oregon State Hospital Historic District and Salem Downtown State Street – Commercial Street Historic District.
Other sites include the Adolph Block, Boon Brick Store, Capitol Center, Chemawa Indian School, Old West Salem City Hall, Oregon State Forester's Office Building, Pacific Building, Reed Opera House and McCornack Block Addition, Salem First United Methodist Church, and the Union Street Railroad Bridge.
The city takes care of close to four dozen parks and close to five dozen undeveloped and open areas.
Check out the Minto-Brown Island Park, which covers 1,200 acres of space. You get a lot of woods here that have hiking, jogging, roller blading and biking trails. You also have an off-leash dog park here, as well as picnic shelters, play area, and picnic tables. Then you have Bush's Pasture Park, which has around 91 acres of space and has a wide expanse of white oak trees, a rose garden and the historic Bush House. Further, you can go to the Cascade Gateway Park where you have athletic fields, a disc golf course, fishing spots, playgrounds, picnic facilities, horseshoe courts, and trail systems in its 101 acres of space. Then you can go to Riverfront Park where you could find an amphitheater, a covered pavilion, and play equipment. It has a large open spaces for you to enjoy too, as well as the EcoEarth Globe, the Riverfront Carousel, and the A.C. Gilbert Discovery Village.
You can also go to the Marion Square Park. This park is smallish at only 3.2 acres, but it has a skate bowl and ramp, a playground, a basketball court and picnic tables.
Further, you can go to the Wallace Marine Park, where you have more than 114 acres of space housing the city's best sports facilities. The park is host to many tournaments held at the Star Complex. If you love water sports, you can check out the boat ramps and the boat docks here. The park has soccer fields, large ball fields, picnic tables, play equipment and other amenities.
Another notable park in the city is the Waldo Park, which is one of the smallest in the world. Waldo Park only has one sequoia tree.
Meanwhile, the Willamette Mission State Park and Silver Falls State Park both have extensive horseback riding, hiking and biking trails.
Other parks in the city you could visit include the Eastgate Basin Park, Harry and Grace Thorp Park, Royal Oaks Park, Sprague Skyline Park, Clark Creek Park, Wes Bennett Park, Orchard Heights Park, and West Salem High School Park.
Be sure to visit the Willamette Valley Cheese Company, the state's only artisan farmstead that produces cow's milk cheese. They have a tasting room where you could experience world-class cheeses. Then you can check out the breweries here as well, such as the Ram Restaurant & Brewery, Salem Ale Works, and Santiam Brewing. Try out cideries such as E.Z. Orchards Farm Market, and Wandering Aengus Ciderworks.
And if visiting all these attractions wears you down, recharge at one of the city's day spas, including Cascade Bodyworks Massage, Salon 554, Salon Mecca, Today's Hair Salon & Day Spa, Total Medi Spa, and the Healing Den of Salem.
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