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Things to do in Salem

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Park
“Miles of paved trails on 898 acres in both wooded as well as open areas. You can choose to have a picnic or enjoy the play area. A bridge over the Willamette River will connect you to Riverfront Park.”
  • 24 locals recommend
American Restaurant
$$
“Local spot favorite. Word of advice, arrive early. American restaurant serving hefty sandwiches & classic breakfast fare in a cozy converted house. Creme brulee french toast, cinnamon roll pancakes, vegetarian hash, filet mignon hash and so much more. Everything is mouthwatering. ”
  • 25 locals recommend
Capitol Building
“Free tours including climbing the stairs to the tower for a great view of Salem or the governor's office. Nice gift shop and beautiful capitol mall and park when it's not raining.”
  • 16 locals recommend
Park
“Bush Park is a public and botanical garden situated on 90 + acres located within walking distance of our bungalow. There are trails for jogging, walking, biking, picnic areas and playgrounds.”
  • 20 locals recommend
Park
“Great place to go out and enjoy a beautiful Salem day, or better yet, a sunset. The new bridge connecting Riverfront Park to Minto-Brown lights up at night and is a wonder to see in person. I like to go here to relax, look at stars, or just go for a walk around the paths. Salem has many yearly events and cultural festivals that take place at the park. ”
  • 24 locals recommend
Bar
$$
“This place has a great atmosphere. Just a cool place. I like meeting people here. Personally, I like sweet coffee drinks (read: mostly chocolate milk), and their coffee is not that. So if you like real coffee and a chill place to be, try Archive.”
  • 13 locals recommend
Restaurant
$$
“Fresh, local ingredients served gourmet style in the heart of downtown Salem. I love their coffee and the Butternut Squash Soup as an appetizer.”
  • 13 locals recommend
Shopping Centre
“Salem center offers a variety of boutique shops, Khol's, JcPenney's and Macy's and several restaurants. ”
  • 9 locals recommend
Bistro
$$
“We've only had Gelato here, but it was great! It's a nice place to eat. They have something for everyone. They have food, drinks, and desserts. They have big open windows so even if you just go for coffee, you can sit in there with all the natural light. ”
  • 10 locals recommend
Historic Site
“Also called Mission Mill because of the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill that operated their from 1889 to 1962. Also a nice gift shop and cafe/restaurant.”
  • 12 locals recommend
Café
“This is where the locals go. Excellent food and spirits. Earthy combinations of deliciousness. Easy to eat healthy. The vibe is upbeat and sexy. Many times they have live music on the weekends too!”
  • 10 locals recommend
Theatre
“There is always something going at the Elsinore. A beautifully restored turn of the century theater in the heart of Oregon's capital city. ”
  • 12 locals recommend
University
“Willamette U is the only 4-year school in Salem. The campus features some lovely rose gardens and often hosts live music and plays. 1-1.5 miles away depending on where on campus you're going.”
  • 10 locals recommend
American Restaurant
$$
“Modern, 24-hour tavern offering eclectic comfort grub amid exposed brick walls, plus a bar area.”
  • 10 locals recommend
Café
$$
“Gourmet sweet & savory crepes, espresso drinks, fruit smoothies, panini sandwiches, pastries, in a contemporary space with a cozy fireplace inside and outside patio area. ”
  • 8 locals recommend
Arcade
$$
“Come join us at this 21 and over retro bar and grill for excellent beer and great fresh-made food. Pluck your quarters in the nostalgic games as you relive your youth while meeting new people and entertaining your friends! They sell beer, wine and cider and are always rotating new games onto the floor!”
  • 10 locals recommend

Top restaurants

American Restaurant
“Local spot favorite. Word of advice, arrive early. American restaurant serving hefty sandwiches & classic breakfast fare in a cozy converted house. Creme brulee french toast, cinnamon roll pancakes, vegetarian hash, filet mignon hash and so much more. Everything is mouthwatering. ”
  • 25 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Fresh, local ingredients served gourmet style in the heart of downtown Salem. I love their coffee and the Butternut Squash Soup as an appetizer.”
  • 13 locals recommend
Bistro
“We've only had Gelato here, but it was great! It's a nice place to eat. They have something for everyone. They have food, drinks, and desserts. They have big open windows so even if you just go for coffee, you can sit in there with all the natural light. ”
  • 10 locals recommend
American Restaurant
“Modern, 24-hour tavern offering eclectic comfort grub amid exposed brick walls, plus a bar area.”
  • 10 locals recommend
Café
“Gourmet sweet & savory crepes, espresso drinks, fruit smoothies, panini sandwiches, pastries, in a contemporary space with a cozy fireplace inside and outside patio area. ”
  • 8 locals recommend
Arcade
“Come join us at this 21 and over retro bar and grill for excellent beer and great fresh-made food. Pluck your quarters in the nostalgic games as you relive your youth while meeting new people and entertaining your friends! They sell beer, wine and cider and are always rotating new games onto the floor!”
  • 10 locals recommend
Bar
“Filet mignon or prime rib. Great salads and rolls with sweet butter. My Wednesday night. ”
  • 8 locals recommend
Bar
“McMenamins locations are scattered all over Oregon, but they have good food, brews, and sometimes entertainment.”
  • 6 locals recommend

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