"Pleasant State Capitol on the Willamette River" Top 5 Page for this destination Salem by atufft
Salem Travel Guide: 95 reviews and 287 photos
The Kalapuyan indians called this spot in the Willamette Valley, along the river, Chemeketa, or "meeting place". This diverse tribal and linguistic group had settled throughout the Williamette and Umpqua River Valleys, and into the coastal and Cascade Mountains, found the central location on the banks of the river appropriate for tribal meetings. The establishment of the mill at Mill Creek, and later the Oregon Institute (1842), the town was variously called Mill or Institute, but the name Salem was chosen when the original downtown grid pattern was designed by David Leslie and William H. Willson. Salem was established as the capitol when Oregon became a state in 1859. Today, Willson's name is given to the landscaped park on the western side of the Capitol grounds, and the old downtown of this third largest city in Oregon sits pleasantly just near the eastern side of the Williamette River. The metro area population of Salem is second in size only to much larger Portland, but this is a quiet city that quickly disssolves into the bucolic valley farms that surround it. Salem is in the center of Oregon.
May Trucking Company, my employer, has its headquarters at Brooks, Oregon, which is just a few miles away from Salem. When unavoidably detained from wandering the 48 states, I often stay in a Keizer hotel. The walk from the hotel in Keizer to downtown Salem is about an hour long, and I have hiked into the core of Salem to wander the capitol grounds and have dinner downtown several times. The downtown is mostly 19th and early 20th century architecture recently restored with seismic retrofit steel and new colorful paint. As is the tradition throughout Oregon, the ubiquitous coffee shop is everywhere, and there is a wide variety of restaurants, bars, and clubs in the downtown area that cater to the government workers and refined tastes of the residents living in central Salem.
Just a few blocks north and east of downtown exists a significant inventory of finely restored residences dating between... more travel advice
The Cherriots bus system has a state of the art terminal in downtown Salem, and lots of hyrid or natural gas buses. The... more travel advice
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