Scheduling, Events and Conferences

Top Ten Things to Do/See In The Willamette Valley

  1. Golden Pioneer - On top of the Oregon State Capitol
  2. Salem's Riverfront Park: Carousel, Eco Earth, & Sternwheeler
  3. Silver Falls State Park
  4. Covered Bridges in Marion, Polk and Linn Counties
  5. Deepwood Estate in Salem, Oregon
  6. Reed Opera House in Salem, Oregon
  7. Willamette Valley Wineries in Yamhill, Linn and Marion Counties
  8. Bush Pasture Park in Salem, Oregon
  9. A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village in Salem, Oregon
  10. The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum
  11. Worth Learning More…

1. Golden Pioneer - On top of the Oregon State Capitol

The Oregon Pioneer statue that tops the Oregon State Capitol building is by Ulric Ellerhusen. This heroic figure represents the spirit of Oregon's early settlers. Cast in bronze and finished in gold leaf, it weighs 8.5 tons and is hollow inside. The base of the 23-foot high statue is 140 feet above the ground. The statue is reached by 121 steps spiraling up into the tower from the fourth floor of the building out onto a deck providing a spectacular view of Salem. The gilded landmark is visible from many vantage points on the Willamette University Campus.

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2. Salem's Riverfront Park: Carousel, Eco Earth, & Sternwheeler

Salem’s Riverfront Park has acres of open green space, walking paths, and a beautiful view of the Willamette River. Salem’s downtown event park is available for group use, concerts, and community festivals. Centrally located in the park is Salem's Riverfront Carousel - volunteer project that brought together artists and wood-carvers who designed the Carousel's unique character, with ornately carved and hand-painted horses. Step back in time and enjoy the unchanged natural beauty of the Willamette River aboard The Willamette Queen, a twin paddle-wheeler operates year-round from Riverfront Park. At the south end of park is the volunteer made Eco Earth is a ceramic-tiled sculpture. This former acid ball, used at the local paper mill, was converted into a large mosaic globe.

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3. Silver Falls State Park

Nestled in the lower elevation of Oregon's Cascade Mountains you’ll discover a temperate rain forest. Winding through is The Canyon Trail known as the Trail of Ten Falls this nationally recognized trail system that leads hikers along the banks of the north and south forks of Silver Creek. It takes you to 10 majestic waterfalls, ranging from the grand South Falls (177 feet), to the delicate Drake Falls (27 feet). Four of these falls have an amphitheater-like surrounding where you can walk behind the falls and feel the misty, crisp spray.

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4. Covered Bridges in Marion, Polk and Linn Counties

Rugged pioneers armed with only hand tools, sweat and ambition began building covered bridges in Oregon during the mid-1850's. Wooden bridge were covered to keep the huge truss timbers dry. A covered bridge could last 80 years or more, while an uncovered span would deteriorate in about nine years. In Oregon, legislation was established in 1987 to help fund preservation of these rich links to our past and heritage. Willamette Valley covered bridge tours provide scenery, history, and access to farm fresh goodness.

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5. Deepwood Estate in Salem, Oregon

The 1894 Queen Anne style Victorian Home is a well kept link to Salem’s history. Deepwood provides the public access to unique architectural features and is situated on approximately 4 acres of manicured gardens and nature trails set in the heart of Salem near its downtown core. The home was placed on the National Register of Historic Homes in 1973. The museum is operated by the Friends of Deepwood, a non-profit organization created to disseminate information about the home and document life in Victorian times.

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6. Reed Opera House in Salem, Oregon

The beautiful Reed Opera House is a recently renovated historic building located at the center of downtown Salem Oregon. Built in 1869-70 by Cyrus Adams Reed, the Reed Opera House has played many important roles in the history of Salem. Today Salem visitors can shop at an eclectic mix of locally owed stores, restaurants, and professional services throughout the Reed Opera House.

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7. Willamette Valley Wineries in Yamhill, Linn and Marion Counties

The Willamette Valley, Oregon's leading wine region has two-thirds of the state's wineries and vineyards and is home to more than 200 wineries. It has been recognized as one of the premier Pinot noir producing areas in the world. The Willamette Valley wineries are a popular tourist destination with many bed & breakfasts, motels and fine restaurants available. An additional advantage for the wine tourist is the proximity of the wineries to Portland. From Portland, tourists can visit the Willamette Valley winery of their choice in anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours.

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8. Bush Pasture Park in Salem, Oregon

Salem residents are fortunate to have Bush's Pasture Park, a large urban park, just south of the central business district. The park is enhanced by the natural groves of old oak trees, spacious, green pastoral setting, an orchard with fruit and flowering trees, over 2,000 roses in its rose garden, and over a mile of paved paths for bicyclists, joggers or strollers. During the third weekend of July the park blooms with art and entertainment during the annual Salem Art Fair and Festival, one of the largest and best art fairs in the Northwest.

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9. A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village in Salem, Oregon

Kids & adults alike enjoy year-round fun with indoor & outdoor interactive exhibits that promote learning through play at our three historic houses & 20,000-square-foot Outdoor Discovery Center. The hands-on children’s museum invites families & groups to enjoy a truly unique educational experience in Salem, Oregon’s Riverfront Park.

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10. The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum

Captain Michael King Smith’s fierce dedication and passion for flying led to his dream of an aviation museum unlike any other – a living museum that celebrates aviation’s rich history, honors the patriotic service of our veterans and offers enlightening educational programs in aviation. The centerpiece or "crown jewel" of the Evergreen Aviation Museum is a plane known around the world as the "Spruce Goose"

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11. Worth Learning More…

The Glockenspiel in Mount Angel -  is the tallest glockenspiel in the US and the centerpiece of the German-Swiss style Bavarian village of Mount Angel, Oregon. Home of the celebrated 4 day Oktoberfest the annual northwest tradition held mid-September.

Boon’s Treasury in Salem - This historic building sits on the northern edge of central Salem — Oregon's state capitol. Enjoy McMenamins' pub food and handcrafted ales, wines and spirits in our brick-and-wood interior, or head outdoors to the shady beer garden. Live music at the Treasury runs the gamut, from folk and country, to blues, rock and funk.

Champoeg State Park - situated on the south bank of the scenic Willamette River, Champoeg's acres of forest, fields, and wetlands recreate the landscape of a bygone era. Tour the park's visitor center, Newell House, and Pioneer Mothers Log Cabin museums to discover pioneer life at Champoeg.

For more information visit Travel Salem or call 800-874-7012:

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