Salem, Oregon – A Wonderful Place To Visit
Fresh air and friendly people make Salem, Oregon a refreshing and peaceful place to visit. Located at the center of the fertile Willamette Valley in Oregon, the city is Oregon’s second largest, boasting a population of a mere 140,000 people. Salem is situated between Portland and Eugene at the junction where Interstate Highway 5 and Oregon Highway 22 converge.
History of Salem, Oregon
Long before the first Westerners showed up on the scene, Native Americans lived in the rich and fertile valley now known as Willamette Valley. The first Western settlers of Salem dubbed it a new Eden. They came on the Oregon Trail beginning in 1843, and there were thousands of them.
During the gold rush, Salem and the rest of the Willamette Valley shipped their wheat, timber, and other goods by steamboat through Portland to California, jumpstarting their long history of being a top agricultural producer in the country. In fact, the Willamette Valley is considered one of the most fertile locales of the country. It’s no surprise that as such, the area is among the most agriculturally active regions on earth. Indeed, Salem, Oregon is a major agricultural processing city.
Salem, Oregon City Facts
Salem is also one of Oregon’s oldest cities, having been incorporated in 1857. In 1864, less than a decade later, the state’s capitol city was shifted from Oregon City to Salem. Twice, in 1961 and 1982, Salem, Oregon has held the honor of being selected as the All-American City by the National Civic League. Unswervingly dedicated to urban forestry, Salem has also garnered the acclaim of being named Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation, a distinction the city has claimed for an amazing thirty consecutive years. The world’s smallest city park, Waldo Park, which consists of a lone tree, is located in Salem, Oregon.
Salem, Oregon is a Capitol City Full of Attractions
Many of Salem, Oregon’s interesting things to see are related to the fact that it’s the capitol city of Oregon. Its impressive capitol building is the city’s third, constructed subsequent to the fires that destroyed the first two. The building is topped with a dome on which perches a gold-plated pioneer statue. Directly in front of the capitol building is a fountain that’s a popular summer destination for kids trying to cool down.
Parks, replete with their own gardens and generous fountains, surround the capitol building. The Saturday Market, held between May and October, goes on every week just north of the capitol. Selling local products such as fresh produce and meat, bakery items, and crafts, the Market is a living tribute to the rich offerings of the Willamette Valley. In addition, Salem, Oregon offers all kinds of festivals, fairs, performing arts, and wine and other agricultural activities that keep visitors entertained for days. Many landmarks, historical homes, museums, covered bridges, and festivals or other cultural events also keep Salem’s history and lore alive.
Salem’s lodging facilities are wide-ranging and plentiful, catering to the visitors that are sure to be attracted by the region’s many charms. In addition to motels, hotels, and quaint bed and breakfasts, Salem, Oregon also offers a nice selection of RV parks and campgrounds where visitors can immerse themselves in the area’s natural beauty.
Related Portland Articles