Ten Awesome Places to Visit in Salem Oregon this Summer

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Salem’s River Front Park photo: Kristi Reed

Salem Carousel photo via Travel Salem

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Oregon State Capital photo: Kristi Reed

A.C. Gilbert's Discovery Village, via Travel Salem

A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village, via Travel Salem

They say location is everything and guests who stay at The Grand Hotel in Salem have optimal access to some of the best places in our city!

There is always something happening in downtown Salem and we  are a short distance from most of Salem’s top attractions!

Here are 10 local attractions we recommend to our guests:

1. Salem’s River Front Park Located in the heart of downtown Salem, the park features 23 acres of stunning views of the Willamette River, a carousel, open green space, play areas, paved walkways , a picnic pavilion and an 87-foot stern wheeler called the Willamette Queen. As an added bonus there is no charge for parking. There is nowhere better to take in a sunny summer afternoon than Salem Riverfront Park.

2. Salem Carousel This exquisite old-world style carousel features 42 hand-carved, hand-painted horses, 2 “Oregon Trail” wagons, and the music of a classic carousel organ. This unique gem found in Salem’s Riverfront Park was created by local artists who volunteered their time and talents carving, sanding, and painting the majestic creatures. The Salem Carousel is ranked among the nation’s best carousels and appeals to all ages.

3. A.C Gilbert’s Discovery Village A hands on interactive children’s museum where kids can build and play using their imaginations. The Village consists of three distinct and colorful Victorian homes featuring a bubble room, frozen shadow room, and a giant anthill among other exhibits. The museum is located in Riverfront Park and was founded in 1989 by toy maker and an Olympic pole vaulting champion, A.C. Gilbert.

4. Reed Opera House The renovated Reed Opera House is located at the center of downtown Salem Oregon. It was originally built in 1869 and has great historical significance in Salem, Oregon’s history. The building houses numerous offices, retail, and dining establishments. However, the highlight is experiencing a live theatrical production by the Salem Repertory Theatre.

5. Historic Deepwood Historic Deepwood Estate is on the National Register of Historic Homes and is a popular destination for tourists and special events. The 1894 Queen Anne Victorian Home is located on 4 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens in the heart of Salem. The lush gardens are open daily and free of charge.

6. Historic Bush House and Bush’s Pasture Park The Bush House is the home of Asahel Bush, one of Salem’s most predominant citizens and founder of the Oregon Statesman newspaper and Ladd & Bush Bank. The charming Victorian estate was built in 1878 and is centered in Salem’s historic district on 100-acres of public park known as Bush’s Pasture Park. The Bush House is operated by the Salem Art Association and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This beautiful park is loved by Salem locals and is home to numerous festivals and cultural events through out the year.

7. Willamette Heritage Center at The Mill: (Formerly know as Mission Mill Museum).  This great museum is designated an American Treasure by the National Park Service  and hosts outstanding exhibits and events throughout the year attracting thousands of visitors, history buffs, and school groups each year. The museum preserves the history of the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill and represents one of Oregon’s earliest and strongest industries.

8. Oregon State Capitol Tour: Visitors come to our state capitol to learn about the important events in Oregon’s state history, see the magnificent rotunda and where Oregon’s 30 state Senators and 60-member House of Representatives meet. Designated as the State Capitol State Park in 2007, the grounds surrounding the Capitol feature ornamental and native trees and shrubs. It is also the setting for the Walk of the Flags, Waite Fountain, Parade of Animals sculpture, a Liberty Bell replica, and a gazebo constructed in 1982.

9. Enchanted Village: This beloved Oregon attraction/Theme Park located just 5 miles from our hotel. Visitors enjoy the mystical forests and handcrafted feel to this popular attraction. Kids will love the rides, story book lane, a Haunted House, roller coaster and Big Timber Log Ride.
10. Bush’s Pasture Park: Salem Oregon visitors and locals enjoy leisurely strolls though this 90.5 acre park that features 4 playgrounds for children; a Municipal Rose Garden; Historic Bush Museum; plenty of trees and open meadows making this a wonderful stop.

Please visit TravelSalem.com for a complete list of Salem, Oregon attractions! Visit www.grandhotelsalem.com to see more Summer in Salem Packages for a great getaway. Enjoy your visit!