Set in the heart of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Salem is the perfect destination to explore history, culture, and the great outdoors during the summer months. Here are some interesting and noteworthy attractions visitors will enjoy in Oregon’s capital city during the summer months.
Tour the Oregon State Capitol and World War II Memorial
Built in 1938, the Oregon State Capitol is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. If possible, make arrangements to go on one of their group tours (free of charge) where you will learn about the building’s history, view the impressive collection of historic and art exhibits, then head to the observation deck for a breathtaking view of Salem and its surrounding area. A visit to the World War II Memorial, just one block from the Capitol, is a special way to honor those who’ve served and learn more about the contributions and sacrifices made by Oregonians in World War II. The center is working to make Oregon the first state in the nation to gather stories and biographies from each of its 152,000 World War II veterans.
Visit the Salem Saturday Market
By all accounts, Salem Saturday Market is the perfect way to experience Salem, Oregon in the summer. Browse through the amazing flowers, art, jewelry, clothing and other handmade goods from talented artisans in our community. Sample produce, cheeses and other local foods from vendors. Grab a cup of fresh coffee and enjoy fantastic people watching in addition to entertainment provided by local musicians. The options are limitless!
Berries at the Salem Saturday Market
Explore Salem’s Riverfront Park
This 26-acre urban park, located on the Willamette River, hosts multiple events throughout the summer like free outdoor movies, festivals, concerts and more. Take a leisurely stroll along Salem’s stunning Willamette River waterfront, watch the stern-wheeler cruises float down the river and grab a photo in front of “Eco Earth,” a huge globe created by local students to reflect the world’s diversity on land and water. You can also access Minto-Brown Island Park by the Peter Courtney Minto Island Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge and Wallace Marine Park by the Union Street Railroad Bridge. Salem’s Riverfront Park is also home to the beautiful Salem Riverfront Carousel. For $1.50 per ride, it’s worth the visit by adults and kids alike!
Eco-Earth Globe at Salem’s Riverfront Park, By Taylor Higgins
Visit Silver Falls State Park
Known for its scenic waterfall hikes, Silver Falls State Park offers lush forest trails for all to enjoy. Oregon’s largest state park offers a day of adventure for hikers and bikers of all levels, as well as breath-taking views to sit down and enjoy while eating a picnic lunch.
Visit the Willamette Heritage Center
Just one visit to the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem, Oregon and you will see why it has been designated an American Treasure by the National Park Service. The center connects generations by bringing visitors on a journey back to the early settlement days of western Oregon. The beautiful five-acre campus is rich with history and the culture of Oregon’s past. Just recently, a Pendleton store has joined the campus along with Taproot – The Old Mill Cafe (an extension of Taproot downtown – a local favorite!)
The Willamette Heritage Center
Visit Local Wineries & Breweries
The Willamette Valley is home to several distinct growing regions that boast unique characteristics in their wine & beer production. With tasting rooms sprinkled all throughout our surrounding area, beer & wine lovers are sure to have their fill of tastes & education. The award-winning Willamette Valley Vineyards is one among many world-renowned tasting rooms & experiences that are available in the Salem Convention Center’s surrounding area. View a list of our favorite, local Wineries.
The Willamette Valley Vineyards
Salem, Oregon offers a diverse array of activities & sites for your event attendees and we would love to help you plan your visit. For more travel ideas in the Salem Oregon and Mid-Willamette Valley region, please visit travelsalem.com or view the Salem Convention Center’s Local Activities page.