Salem is uniquely situated an hour from the coast and an hour from the Cascade Mountains. Take advantage of the proximity to all of the hikes and places you can visit will at Willamette University. These are just a few of the gems you can explore.
Silver Creek Falls
The Painted Hills
Crater Lake National Park
Mount Saint Helens
Mount Hood at sunset from Hood River
Alvort Desert and Steen Mountains
Salem-Keizer Volcano's Baseball is just off of I-5 in north Keizer. They chartered a new league called the Mavericks as of January 2021.
Bush's Pasture Park is a 90 acre park with open meadows and wooded areas in downtown Salem, next to Willamette University's McCulloch Stadium. In the spring, Camas lilies bloom under the oak trees on the east side of the park. The Salem Art Fair and Festival is held annually in July and draws hundreds of artists throughout the northwest. The autumn foliage of plants and trees throughout the park are amazing. The park features baseball fields, tennis courts, horseshoes, jogging and biking paths, stages, and picnic tables.
Bush's Pasture Park
Mission Mill Museum & Willamette Heritage Center is across 12th Street from Willamette University. They offer tours and periodically demonstrate how the mill operated by water power, and provide historic accounts about the 14 historic structures. Each winter they string out lights in an impressive light display.
Hallie Ford Museum has rotating exhibits from artists all around the northwest. With one of the most significant collections of Northwest art, it is a leader in the research on the art of the Northwest, in addition to diverse collections of Ancient, European, American, and Asian works.
Minto-Brown Park is larger than Central Park in New York City. Explore 1,200 acres of open and wooded areas on foot or with a bike. Observe osprey, blue herons, rabbits, bald eagles, and red-tailed hawks.
The Oregon Gardens are located in nearby Silverton and showcase a stunning 80-acre collection of over 20 specialty gardens, including a "Hobbit House." They also provide an interactive light display during the winter.
Oregon Gardens Lights Display
The Saturday Market is a few blocks away from campus. It features local produce, flowers, meat/dairy, nursery products, plus countless arts and crafts, and handmade/handcrafted products.
Salem Pioneer Cemetery a scenic and peaceful cemetery that have some of Oregon's oldest gravestones from the original pioneers.
Riverfront Park is the premier park in downtown Salem that links Minto Brown park with the Wallace Marine park. It is the home to many of Salem's annual events, including the World Beat Festival, 4th of July Celebration, Summer Movies in the Park, and Holiday Tree Lighting, as well as the Riverfront Carousel, A.C. Gilbert Discovery Village, the Willamette Queen sternwheeler, outdoor amphitheater, splash pad, and even a temporary ice skating rink.
River Front Park in Salem, OR
Martha Springer Botanical Garden is located on Willamette's campus along the Mill Stream (north and east sides of the Sparks gym). There are 12 smaller gardens, including a butterfly garden, herb garden, alpine rock garden, theme borders, and ethnobotany gardens.
Oregon State Capitol Building is across State Street. View the statues of important leaders of Oregon's past, columns from the previous capitol buildings, the Governor's ceremonial office, the Walk of Flags of each state and the nine federally recognized tribes in Oregon, the Golden Pioneer on the Capitol's rotunda, the Grand Entrance and legislative wings, and the famous cherry tree blossoms each spring.
Oregon State Capitol Building