Salem is the capital of Oregon and is located in Marion County, the 2nd largest city in Oregon behind Portland. The top colleges are Willamette University, Corban University and Chemeketa Community College. Salem is nicknamed the Cherry City because of the different varieties of cherries invented and exhibited.
Salem is situated on the Willamette River in the Willamette Valley and is rumored to have been inhabited for over 10,000 years. Its original name was Chemeketa, but was changed by settlers with a Christianity perspective. David Leslie, President of the town’s Trustees decided to name the city Salem, based on the last five letters of Jerusalem and because he was from Salem, Massachusetts.
Salem usually experiences mild weather in the summer with an average high temperature of 82°F in July and August and an average low of 50°F. The winter months are a little cooler with an average maximum temperature of 52°F and lows around 32°F for December through February.
Getting Around Salem
The best way to get around Salem is by car, but there is the Cherriots bus services which provides fixed bus routes for the Salem-Keizer area. The bus connects to Grande Ronde, Wilsonville, Polk and Marion Counties. There is also the Amtrak Cascades line which provides service to Vancouver, BC from Seattle and Portland. Salem is only a one-hour drive from Portland. There is also the Chemeketa Area Regional Transportation System (CARTS) that transports residents as far as Dallas, if necessary.
Commuting in Salem
The major highways in Salem are I-5, Oregon Route 99E (for the downtown area) and Oregon Routes-22, 221, 51 and 213. The heaviest congestion periods for traffic occurs when visibility is low due to fog or rain, and when the highways are under construction.
Salem has the Statesman Journal, as its major newspaper, an independent newspaper, the Salem Weekly, and an agricultural newspaper, the Capital Press. There are seven radio stations that broadcast from Salem with KBZY being its most popular one, and three different television stations dedicated to serving the Salem area.
Salem has a beautiful woodsy landscape with a rich history of invention and filming. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” was filmed at the Oregon State Hospital. There are a plethora of wineries and vineyards from which to choose. The 46 parks are lush and inviting and spread over almost 30 miles across the state. Salem has ongoing community events like the Saturday Market, available from May until October, and exhibits baked goods, crafts, produce and meat. There is also the Wednesday Farmers’ Market that takes place downtown in Courthouse Square during the summer months. The Indoor Saturday Public Market is open all year-around.
Since Salem is the State capital of Oregon, one of its biggest landmarks is the Oregon State Capital and nearby Wilson Park. There is also the Mission Mill Museum, the Elsinore Theater and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. And for the children, there is the A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village, an interactive museum that keeps children intrigued for hours.
Things to do in Salem
"Oregon has its own ""7-Wonders"" of Oregon which includes a grand Columbia River Gorge, a beautiful canvas of hills called the Painted Hills, Smith’s Rock towers of volcanic ash, the alpine peaks of the Wallowas, the deepest lake in America, Crater Lake, and of course, Mount Hood, the perpetually snowy peak which is home to six ski areas. And never miss the Oregon Rodeos."
The Oregon State Fair is the grandest event of the year and is held in Salem beginning at the end of August and wraps up around Labor Day. There is the annual World Beat Festival that lasts for 2-days and is held in June. There is also the Rose Festival in nearby Portland and the Salem Art and Fair Festival which occurs during the summer months. And there’s the Mid-Valley Video Festival which hosts independent films in theaters throughout Salem.
Salem Vacation spots
Oregon and the rest of the Pacific Northwest provide fantastic vacation destinations for those who are looking to get out of their Salem apartments for day trips and adventure.
Where to move in Salem
Salem has 18 different established neighborhood associations that are recognized by and receives administrative support from the city. These neighborhoods are Central Area-Downtown, Faye Wright, East Lancaster, Morningside, Lansing, Grant, Northeast, Northeast Salem, North Lancaster, Northgate, Faye Wright, South Central, Southeast Mill Creek, Southeast Salem, South Gateway, Sunnyslope, West Salem and South Salem. The housing costs are very affordable and most apartments range from 1-3 bedroom apartments.