Top 10 Best Things To Do in Salem Oregon

Introduction to Salem Oregon

Nestled in the heart of the picturesque Willamette Valley, Salem, Oregon is a city that truly captures the essence of the Pacific Northwest. Known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty, Salem offers a diverse range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or foodie, this local’s guide will help you uncover the best things to do in Salem, Oregon.

Top 10 Things To do In Salem Oregon

The city of Salem, Oregon, should not be mistaken for the Massachusetts town that witnessed the infamous Salem Witch Trials. Situated on the opposite end of the country, Salem is nestled in the picturesque Willamette Valley, between the cities of Eugene and Portland. Although it may not be the largest city in the state, Salem holds the distinction of being the capital, offering an abundance of activities for visitors and residents alike.

Whether you have a penchant for nature, a fascination with history, or a taste for fine wine, this serene city has something to cater to your interests. Notable attractions include vibrant farmer’s markets, a charming flower farm, engaging museums, and scenic state parks. Be sure to check off these must-do activities in Salem from your itinerary.

Immerse yourself in the local culture by exploring the vibrant farmer’s markets in Salem. Sample fresh produce, artisanal products, and delicious street food while mingling with friendly locals. For a tranquil escape, visit the charming flower farm and revel in the beauty of blooming gardens and fragrant blossoms. And don’t forget to delve into the city’s rich history by visiting the engaging museums that offer fascinating insights into Salem’s past.

1.Go To The E.Z. Orchards Farm Market

E.Z. Orchards Farm Market

Immerse yourself in the local agricultural scene by visiting the EZE.Z. Orchards Farm Market, a long-standing Salem tradition since 1929. This vibrant farmers’ market offers fresh local produce, delectable treats like doughnuts and cider, and seasonal festivities like HarvestFest in October.The EZE.Z. Orchards Farm Market is at 5504 Hazelgreen Rd NE, Salem, OR 97305.

2.Visit The Oregon State Capitol Building

Oregon State Capitol Building

No visit to Salem is complete without a trip to the magnificent Oregon State Capitol Building. Admire its beautiful architecture and explore the Capitol History Gateway Exhibits, which showcase the impact of ordinary citizens on Oregon’s legislation. Take a guided historical tour or embark on a self-guided tour using the informative brochure.The Oregon State Capitol is at 900 Court St NE, Salem, OR 97301.

3.See Waterfalls At Silver Falls State Park

Silver Falls State Park

Just a short distance from Salem lies the stunning Silver Falls State Park, Oregon’s largest state park. Explore over 35 miles of backcountry trails, perfect for hiking, horseback riding, or mountain biking. Marvel at the park’s crown jewels, such as the majestic 177-foot South Falls and the cascading Double Falls.Silver Falls State Park is at 20024 Silver Falls Hwy SE, Sublimity, OR 97385.

4.Go To Riverfront City Park

Riverfront City Park

Located along the scenic Willamette River, Riverfront City Park offers a peaceful retreat in the heart of Salem. Enjoy paved walking paths, benches, picnic tables, and water fountains as you soak in the tranquil atmosphere. Don’t miss the iconic carousel, a beloved feature of the park that delights visitors of all ages.Riverfront City Park is at 200 Water St NE, Salem, OR 97301.

5.Spend A Day At The Reed Opera House

The Reed Opera House

Step back in time at the Reed Opera House, a four-story historic building that houses a vibrant marketplace. Browse through a variety of shops, boutiques, and art stores, and indulge in delicious dining options ranging from sushi bars to coffee shops. Take a moment to appreciate the building’s rich history and architectural beauty.The Reed Opera House is at 189 Liberty St NE, Salem, OR 97301.

6.Learn About History At The Willamette Heritage Center

The Willamette Heritage Center

Delve into the captivating history of the Willamette Valley at the Willamette Heritage Center. This center showcases artifacts and exhibits that highlight the stories of early settlers, missionaries, and immigrants who shaped the region. Explore the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill and discover three of the oldest Pacific Northwest frame houses still standing.The Willamette Heritage Center is at 1313 Mill St SE, Salem, OR 97301.

7.Take A Day Trip To Mount Hood

Mount Hood

Embark on an unforgettable day trip from Salem to Mount Hood, Oregon’s tallest mountain. Enjoy year-round skiing and snowboarding at multiple ski resorts, including Mt. Hood Meadows, Timberline Lodge and Ski Area, and Mt. Hood Skibowl. In the summer months, explore hiking trails, mountain biking routes, and adventure parks.

8.Check Out The Flowers At Schreiner’s Iris Gardens

Schreiner’s Iris Gardens

Find serenity amidst the vibrant blooms at Schreiner’s Iris Gardens. Visit in May to witness the spectacular display of over 500 iris variations and other perennial flowers. The gardens offer a peaceful setting with picnic tables, benches, and grass paths, inviting photographers and artists to capture their beauty.Schreiner’s Iris Gardens is at 3625 Quinaby Rd NE, Salem, OR 97303.

9.Fish At Saint Louis Fish Ponds County Park

Saint Louis Fish Ponds County Park

For fishing enthusiasts, Saint Louis Fish Ponds County Park is a must-visit destination. With its network of waterways and over 7 miles of shoreline, this park provides ample opportunities for bass fishing. Enjoy the serene surroundings and try your luck at catching largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and more.Saint Louis Fish Ponds County Park is at 6483 Keene Rd NE, Gervais, OR 97026.

10.Golf At McNary Golf Club

McNary Golf Club

Tee off at McNary Golf Club, a sprawling 150-acre course that offers a picturesque setting for golf enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of meadows, redwoods, walnut trees, and oaks as you navigate the challenging 18-hole championship course. With multiple tee choices, it caters to players of all skill levels.McNary Golf Club is at 155 McNary Estates Dr N, Keizer, OR 97303.

Exploring the Natural Beauty of Salem Oregon

Exploring the Natural Beauty of Salem Oregon offers a range of attractions to history buffs and nature lovers alike. Visitors can delve into the town’s dark past at sites like the Salem Witch Museum and Salem Witch Trials Memorial, which commemorate the infamous witch trials of 1692.

A walking tour through downtown Salem will lead you to the House of the Seven Gables and Peabody Essex Museum, where you can learn more about the witchcraft hysteria that gripped the town. The Essex Street and Maritime areas offer a glimpse into Salem’s seafaring history, with the Salem Maritime National Historic Site and Winter Island Park providing stunning views of Salem Harbor.

Don’t miss the Old Burying Point cemetery, Witch House and Salem Willows Park, which are among the 15 best things to see in Salem.

For a deeper dive into Salem’s history, make sure to visit the Peabody Essex Museum and Old Burying Point Cemetery, Salem’s oldest burial ground.

The Salem Witch Trials Memorial and House of the Seven Gables are also must-see attractions for those interested in the town’s dark past. Explore the Friendship of Salem, a replica of a 171-foot maritime merchant vessel, or take a ride on the Salem Trolley for a guided tour of the town’s most notable sites. Nathaniel Hawthorne fans can visit the Custom House where he worked, and the Witch House, once home to Judge Jonathan Corwin during the 1692 Witch Trials.

With so many classic Salem attractions to explore, it’s no wonder that Salem is one of the top places to see in the northeast.

Salem is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, making it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. One of the must-visit destinations is the beautiful Silver Falls State Park. Home to ten breathtaking waterfalls, this park offers miles of hiking trails, perfect for exploring the lush forests and enjoying the cascading waters.

For a more leisurely experience, the Oregon Garden is a botanical oasis that showcases the region’s diverse flora. Take a stroll through the stunningly manicured gardens and immerse yourself in the serenity of nature.

Fun and Free Things to Do in Salem Oregon

Fun and Free Things to Do in Salem Oregon: When visiting Salem, one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the city’s history is by exploring the many free attractions open to the public. The Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, also known as The House of the Seven Gables, is a historic house that dates back to 1637 and offers tours of the property and a gift shop.

Another notable spot is the Salem Armory, which is the oldest continuously operating armory in the United States. For those interested in Salem’s darker history, ghost tours are available that delve into the city’s witch-hunting past. You can also visit Salem’s oldest cemetery to pay respects to the victims of the Salem witch trials.

One of Salem’s most famous residents, John Hathorne, was a judge during the trials and later became known for his role in the persecution of those accused of witchcraft. The East India Marine is another must-see attraction, as it is one of the largest art museums in the area.

Visitors can learn about the evolving perceptions of Salem history through the museum’s exhibits. Reviews and photos of Salem tourist attractions can be found on TripAdvisor LLC, making it easy to plan your visit to the city.

For budget-conscious travelers, Salem offers plenty of fun and free activities. The Riverfront Park is a popular spot for picnicking, biking, and taking leisurely walks along the Willamette River. The park also hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, providing entertainment for visitors of all ages.

Another free attraction is the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, which houses a remarkable collection of contemporary and historical artworks. Explore the galleries and immerse yourself in the vibrant art scene of Salem.

Unique Attractions and Landmarks in Salem Oregon

Located northeast of downtown Salem, Oregon, the city is home to a number of unique attractions and landmarks that draw visitors from all over. One of the notable Salem attractions is the Oregon State Capitol, which offers guided tours and beautiful views of the city.

Another must-see is the Willamette Heritage Center, which showcases the history of the area through exhibits and events. For something a bit more thrilling, visitors can check out A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village, where they can ride bumper cars and explore hands-on exhibits.

One of the oldest continuously operating museums in the United States, the Bush House Museum was home to three generations of Turners before being sold to the state. The museum is located at the corner of Essex and North streets and is the final resting place for several notable Salem residents.

It is likely to sell out, so advance reservations are required. According to TripAdvisor company, the Bush House Museum was listed as one of the 11 best things to do in Salem, based on traveler reviews and photos.

Salem is home to several unique attractions and landmarks that showcase its rich history and culture. The Historic Deepwood Estate is a must-visit for history buffs. This beautifully preserved Victorian home offers guided tours that provide insight into the city’s past.

Another iconic landmark is the Oregon State Capitol, which features stunning architecture and breathtaking views from its observation deck. Take a guided tour to learn about the state’s political history and admire the beautiful artwork that adorns the building.

Family-Friendly Activities in Salem Oregon

If you’re looking for family-friendly activities in Salem Oregon, Salem Tourism has plenty to offer. One popular experience is visiting the East India Marine Society Museum, where you can explore popular experiences from the events of 1692.

John Turner is another must-see attraction in Salem, with its historical significance and beautiful architecture. For those interested in the witch trials, the Witch Museum might be a bit more intense, but still a fascinating look into the past 30 days.

Families can also enjoy a visit to Yin Yu Tang, a traditional Chinese house that offers a unique cultural experience. Make sure to check out Salem attractions information before you go, as some places may have restrictions or special guidelines. Overall, the consistency of reviews shows that visitors are required to have a great time exploring around Salem.

Salem is a great destination for families, with a range of activities that both kids and adults will enjoy. The Enchanted Forest is a whimsical theme park that offers an enchanting experience for visitors of all ages. From thrilling rides to charming storybook displays, this park is sure to create lasting memories for the whole family. For animal lovers, a visit to the Willamette Valley Wildlife Rescue is a must. Get up close and personal with native wildlife and learn about their conservation efforts.

Fun Things to Do in Salem Oregon

When it comes to fun things to do in Salem, Oregon, the options are endless. The Gilbert House Children’s Museum is a hands-on, interactive museum that offers a wide range of exhibits and activities for kids. From science experiments to art workshops, there is something for every young explorer. For a unique experience, visit the A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village, which features a variety of hands-on exhibits and a historic carousel. Discover the wonders of imagination and creativity in this fun-filled attraction.

If you’re looking to explore the outdoors, Salem boasts a variety of beautiful parks and gardens. The Oregon Garden offers 80 acres of stunning landscapes, winding pathways, and plant displays. Take a leisurely stroll through the gardens, or enjoy a picnic in the picturesque surroundings.

For animal lovers, the nearby Wildlife Safari is a must-visit. This drive-through safari park allows you to get up close and personal with exotic animals from around the world. From lions and giraffes to zebras and elephants, there is no shortage of wildlife to marvel at.

If you’re in the mood for some shopping, head to the Salem Saturday Market. This vibrant outdoor market offers a wide range of goods, including fresh produce, handmade crafts, and delicious food. Browse the stalls, sample some local treats, and soak up the lively atmosphere.

For a taste of history, visit the Willamette Heritage Center at the Mill. This living history museum showcases the rich heritage of the Willamette Valley, with exhibits on early industry, agriculture, and immigration. Explore the historic buildings, including the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill, and learn about the region’s fascinating past.

No trip to Salem would be complete without a visit to the Oregon State Capitol. Take a guided tour of the stunning building, with its beautiful architecture and important historical artifacts. Don’t forget to check out the panoramic views from the observation deck, offering a bird’s eye view of the city.

With so many fun things to do in Salem, Oregon, you’re sure to have an unforgettable trip filled with adventure and excitement. Whether you’re exploring museums, enjoying outdoor activities, or immersing yourself in local culture, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant city.

Fun Things to Do in Salem Oregon for Adults

Salem also offers a vibrant nightlife and entertainment scene for adults. The Willamette Valley Vineyards is a must-visit for wine enthusiasts. Take a tour of the vineyard, indulge in wine tastings, and enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

For those who prefer craft beer, the Salem Ale Works is a local brewery that offers a rotating selection of handcrafted beers. Sit back, relax, and savor the flavors of Salem. Additionally, Salem is home to a variety of restaurants and bars that cater to all tastes and preferences. Whether you’re in the mood for a delicious farm-to-table meal or looking to sample some local seafood, Salem has something for everyone.

For those who enjoy live music and entertainment, there are plenty of venues to choose from, ranging from intimate cafes to lively nightclubs. You can catch a show from local bands and artists, or even attend a performance by the Salem Symphony Orchestra.

If you’re looking for a night out on the town, there are plenty of bars and clubs to choose from, offering a mix of cocktails, craft beers, and specialty drinks. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away or simply relax with a drink in hand, Salem has plenty of options to choose from.

Overall, Salem offers a diverse and exciting nightlife scene that is sure to satisfy even the most discerning of tastes. So whether you’re a wine enthusiast, beer lover, or simply looking for a fun night out, Salem has something for everyone.

Best Places to Eat and Drink in Salem Oregon

Salem is a food lover’s paradise, with a wide range of culinary options to satisfy every palate. For a taste of the Pacific Northwest, visit the Archive Coffee & Bar, which serves locally roasted coffee and delicious brunch options. For a fine dining experience, Bentley’s Grill is a popular choice, offering a menu that showcases the region’s freshest ingredients. Don’t forget to visit the Salem Saturday Market, where you can sample local produce, baked goods, and artisanal products.

Nightlife and Entertainment Options in Salem Oregon

Salem comes alive after dark, with a variety of nightlife and entertainment options. The Elsinore Theatre is a historic landmark that hosts a wide range of performances, including concerts, plays, and musicals. For a unique experience, head to the Capitol City Theater, which offers improv comedy shows that are sure to keep you entertained. If you’re in the mood for live music, the Half Penny Bar & Grill is a popular venue that showcases local talent.

Exploring Salem Oregon in the Winter

Winter in Salem offers its own unique charm. The Riverfront Park transforms into a winter wonderland, with an ice skating rink that is perfect for a family outing or a romantic date night. For a cozy escape, visit the Salem Cinema, which shows a curated selection of independent and foreign films. After a day of exploring, warm up with a cup of hot cocoa from one of the local cafes and embrace the magic of winter in Salem.

Day Trips and Excursions from Salem Oregon

Salem is also an ideal base for day trips and excursions to nearby attractions. The beautiful city of Portland is just an hour’s drive away, offering a vibrant urban experience with its eclectic mix of art, culture, and dining. The picturesque Oregon Coast is also within easy reach, where you can explore charming coastal towns and enjoy breathtaking ocean views. For wine enthusiasts, a visit to the Willamette Valley wine country is a must, where you can indulge in wine tastings and take in the stunning vineyard landscapes.

Should You Rent A Car?

Yes, you should rent a car. especially if you are flying in or really just want to surprise that special someone. Renting a car is an excellent option for getting around the state and exploring its many natural wonders.

Tip: Can be expensive-check out our partners at for the best deals.

Where to find the best deals on flights and hotels

Finding the best deals on flights and hotels can be a challenge. Luckily, we have you covered!

Many travel websites offer discounted rates on flights and hotels, so check out these sites if you’re looking for something specific in Washington state or just want an idea of what’s available. 

Our top two picks are as follow…

  • Expedia: Well known for having good deals
  • WayAway: The option to get cash back, you can learn about the cash back option here.

Conclusion: Embracing the Charm of Salem Oregon

From its natural beauty to its rich history and vibrant culture, Salem, Oregon has something to offer every visitor. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, family-friendly activities, or a taste of the local cuisine, this charming city has it all. Embrace the charm of Salem, Oregon and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

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check out these seven flight airlines here, they are great resources to consider when you’re looking for a flight. You can also book your flight with us through our search tool-it searches countless flights to get you the best deal!

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I’m Nick — a traveler and photographer with a knack for shooting the world’s most beautiful places. Over the last decade, I’ve circled the globe, visiting countless countries, to bring home photos that cross language barriers. With fluency in five tongues, I believe in the power of communication to unlock culture. My travel blog, Traveling Kangaroo (yes, it’s a real animal!), is here to inspire you to take your own leap around this rock. I’ll continue to post about my journeys as I explore everything our world has to offer — one adventure at a time.