Top Places to Visit after a Move to Salem, OR

Salem has long been one of Oregon's premier cities. Salem was established as capital of the Oregon Territory in 1851, and it serves as the state's capital city to this day. If you decide to relocate to Salem, you will be able to enjoy all the perks that this modern city has to offer. From trendy restaurants to fascinating museums, the city has it all.

Salem has long been one of Oregon's premier cities. Salem was established as capital of the Oregon Territory in 1851, and it serves as the state's capital city to this day. If you decide to relocate to Salem, you will be able to enjoy all the perks that this modern city has to offer. From trendy restaurants to fascinating museums, the city has it all.

Reed Opera House
salem-operaCompleted in 1870, the historic Reed Opera House is now used for a variety of purposes. Shops selling everything from custom jewelry to beauty services and professional photography occupy sections of the building. The Trinity Ballroom can be rented for hosting weddings, holiday parties and other special events. There are even restaurants inside this restored building that serve ethnic foods, all-American classics and tasty desserts. (Photo credit:

Bentley's Grill
If you are in the mood for some fine dining, Bentley's Grill is the place to go in Salem, Oregon. Located inside The Grand Hotel, this restaurant features a full menu that includes dishes made from ingredients grown in the Pacific Northwest. The restaurant has been designed with cozy features to make guests feel welcome while still including high-class amenities that make it an upscale establishment. For starters, you can try the Northwest seafood chowder or prawn cocktail made with Oregon Bay shrimp. The filet mignon, chicken fettuccine and Gorgonzola butternut squash ravioli are excellent choices for entrees. You can even order the famous Bentley's Burger, which is served on a Kaiser roll and includes fresh ground chuck beef, Tillamook cheese and pepper bacon. If you care to stay for dessert, you will have the option of ordering crème brulee or currant bread pudding. Bentley's Grill also serves up fine cocktails, including the raspberry pear sidecar and Bentley's Flirtini.

Oregon Garden
salem-oregonThe Oregon Garden is a family-friendly environment that makes for a great place to spend a day with the kids. Several different gardens can be explored during your time here. The Amazing Water Garden is an award-winning circular water garden that includes a cascading waterfall and picturesque bridge. Seasonal displays of colorful flowers can be found in the Axis Garden. The Conifer Garden boasts the largest collection of dwarf and miniature conifers in the United States. Several different types of roses can be seen in the Rose Garden. If you are curious to learn more about the healing properties of certain plants, the Medicinal Garden can provide you with a wealth of information. Many plants that are indigenous to the area can be found in the Northwest Garden. If you are looking for ideas for your own garden at home, the Home Demonstration Garden has been specifically designed to provide some inspiration. There is even the Pet Friendly Garden that allows you to bring four-legged friends to accompany you on your journey. You can also stop by the Tropical House to check out plants that commonly grow in regions with warmer climates.

Gilbert House Children's Museum
Gilbert House Children's Museum is a great place for children and will also help you get in touch with your own inner child. The exhibit known as the A.C. Gilbert's Legacy of Play pays homage to the museum's founder and features magic kits and other intriguing items on display. Children can test their creative skills by building intricate tracks on the metal walls found inside the Tinker Tracks exhibit. Another great area of the museum where children can build structures using toys is the Imagination Playground. The Global Village consists of replicas of people's homes from around the world and even includes a traditional Aboriginal hut. Children who want to try playing some unique instruments will have a lot of fun at the Musical Ensemble Deck. Young visitors also have the chance to take part in real-life veterinary experiences by spending time in the Vet Clinic. The Discover Campground, which is an outdoor section of the museum, includes a playground that allows kids to participate in some healthy physical activities. Live shows and demonstrations are regularly featured at the Center Stage Theater and Global Games Amphitheater.

Eola Hills Wine Cellars
Bentley's Grill serves fine wines that come directly from the Eola Hills Wine Cellars in Oregon. This winery is known for its award-winning wines that have gained worldwide fame. The Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc are made to arouse the senses and go great with just about any meal. You can also try the Riesling or Pinot Noir for a little more variety. If you're looking for high-class entertainment, ask about wine tastings and tours.

Bethel Heights
salem-bethelEstablished in 1977, this Willamette Valley vineyard consists of geographically complex soils and gnarly old vines that are used to produce some of the most savory wines imaginable. Bethel Heights has even received positive reviews from Forbes Magazine and other esteemed publications. The property has tasting rooms open throughout the week that allow visitors to sample a variety of wines. Some of the notable wines that are made at the vineyard include the Estate and Casteel Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. You can even book a tour to see how some of these wines are made and stay for lunch. There are special events taking place on the vineyard's grounds throughout much of the year.

Deepwood Museum and Gardens
Deepwood Museum and Gardens is the perfect place to spend an afternoon learning more about Salem's vibrant history. The museum is housed inside a classic Queen Anne-style Victorian home that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Inside the house, you will find antique collectibles that have been preserved for present and future generations to behold. You will be able to explore five acres of lush parkland, impeccably manicured gardens and nature trails. The Formal Gardens have been around since the 1930s and were designed by the Pacific Northwest's first female-owned landscape architecture firm. Yew Park is another addition of Deepwood Museum and Gardens that features the Border Garden along with picnic tables and other forms of beautiful plant life. You can also stop by the greenhouse and original carriage house during your visit.

Venti's Café
This popular eatery in Salem has been serving up delicious vegetarian dishes since 1996. Venti's Café prides itself on serving good, clean food and even features a gluten-free menu. Choose from favorites like Greek salad, yellow curry and veggie yakisoba. You can also order a black bean veggie burger or falafel pita. There is even an extensive selection of draft and bottled beers that go great with just about any meal. Live music and other special events are frequently held here throughout the week in order to give diners an even more enjoyable experience, so you're sure to have a great time meeting your new neighbors.

Willamette Pie Company
salem-pieJust about any type of pie you can imagine is available here. Whether you want a whole pie or just a single slice, you will be able to satisfy your pie craving when you stop by for a visit. You also have the option of ordering muffins and scones that are freshly baked and made using wholesome ingredients. Willamette Pie Company even features delicious lunch options that are guaranteed to satisfy your appetite. During the summer, the U-Pick Field, which is only a quarter mile from the Farm Store, is open to people who want to pick their own strawberries, blackberries and raspberries to be used in a variety of baked goods.

Bush House Museum
Another historic home worth visiting in Salem is the Bush House Museum. Antique furnishings and decorative pieces adorn the home's interior. Asahel Bush, who founded the Oregon Statesman Newspaper that later became the Statesman Journal, once lived in the house with his wife Eugenia and their children. The home was built in the 1870s and consists of several rooms that have been remarkably well preserved. You will even be able to see original plumbing and light fixtures when you tour the home. Inside the parlor sits the Aeolian Orchestrelle, which is a player pump organ that was used to provide musical entertainment. The Bush Conservatory, a separate unit that was built in 1882, is also open to visitors and contains an assortment of flowers and plant species. The outdoor garden is an ideal place to take a stroll among the flowers that are in full bloom during the right season.

When you move to Salem, you will be opening the door to a whole new world of possibilities. Whether you enjoy learning about history or nature, you can increase your knowledge by enjoying the many attractions and museums in the city. You will also have the opportunity to visit fine restaurants and sample some of the best beverages in the Northwest when you choose to make Salem your home.

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