Posted by: RasmaSandra | September 19, 2022

Exploring Salem

Salem is the capital of the US state of Oregon. It lies alongside the Willamette River, which runs north through the city.

Riverfront City Park used to be a mill and industrial site. It is now a recreational space with hiking trails, playgrounds, boat docks, and amazing views of the Willamette River. The park is one of the most popular open spaces in Salem and is home to the Riverfront Carousel, which is popular with young families. The park hosts some of the city’s largest festivities, among them the annual 4th of July celebration.

The Eco-Earth Globe sculpture draws attention in the park and is near the pedestrian bridge which connects with Minto-Brown Island Park.

Minto-Brown Island Park is the largest recreation space in Salem. It has different environments like wetlands, woodlands, and open prairie. At the northern end of the park is a pedestrian bridge connecting with Riverfront City Park. The best way to explore it is by hiking the nearly 30 miles of trails and bike paths. There are large picnic pavilions available to rent for big gatherings.

The Oregon State Capitol is constructed of white marble. At the top of the central tower is the eye-catching gilded Oregon Pioneer. The capitol is surrounded by the Oregon State Capitol State Park, and the grounds are fun to explore. You can get a guided tour or a self-guided tour of the building.

Within the capitol, there is information, history, and artifacts to see. Between July and September, you can take the “Tower Tour’ up a long set of stairs to visit the Oregon Pioneer and get fantastic views over the city.

Located about seven miles north of downtown, Schreiner’s Iris Gardens are world-renowned for their displays of flowers. You can see many beautiful irises, especially during the blooming period in May.

The Enchanted Forest beckons in the small city of Turner, a 20-minute drive from downtown Salem. It combines the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest with a touch of imagination. This is a family-orientated theme park featuring rides for all ages. There are special areas in the park, like Storybook Lane and Fantasy Fountains. It also hosts a regular comedy theater and live music performances.

Gilbert House Children’s Museum is adjacent to the north end of Riverfront City park. It is a museum for children ages two to ten. It features interactive and educational exhibits and playscapes.

The Elsinore Theater began as a vaudeville theater and silent movie house in 1926. Today it is a performing arts center. The theater hosts live music concerts, theatrical productions, and classic cinema screenings. The theater offers dinner and a show.

Deepwood Estate is an impressive Queen Anne-style Victorian home. Guided tours are available. The estate is surrounded by formal gardens. It hosts Easter egg hunts, jazz festivals, and holiday open houses.

Bush’s Pasture Park covers nearly 100 acres of wooded space. It is a popular place for organized sporting events with four lighted tennis courts and a softball field for rent. Many paved and unpaved hiking trails through the park connect with areas like the Crooked House Playground and the Rhododendron and Rose Gardens.

Willamette University was founded in 1842 and was the first university established in the Western US.

The Willamette Heritage Center has informative displays and unique exhibits. Fourteen historical sites at the center display information relating to past generations who settled in the mid-Willamette Valley, including Oregon Trail travelers and early education pioneers.

The bright red building Thomas Kay Woolen Mill is a centerpiece historic structure at the Heritage Center. It has many authentic pieces of 19th and 20th-century machinery. At the center are also local retailers, including shopping, dining, and specialty retail outlets.

Cascades Gateway is a 100-acre park on the southeast side of the city. It features hiking trails and an 18-hole disc golf course. The highlight of the park is Walter L Wirth Lake for paddle sports and fishing.

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