Hotel at a Glance: Red Lion Hotel Salem
Situated just outside Salem’s charming downtown, this hotel affords a comfy place to recharge after a day spent visiting Willamette Valley wineries, the Oregon State Capitol building, or nearby museums. The hotel features an onsite restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner made with organic ingredients from local farms. Guests can also decompress in a dry sauna at the hotel’s fitness center.
- Spacious accommodations: Completely refurbished guest rooms welcome guests with pillow-top mattresses and complimentary WiFi.
- Where to eat the onsite Willamette Valley Grille serves fresh seafood and hand-cut steaks made from locally sourced, grass-fed beef. In the morning, you can sink your teeth into thick slices of French toast.
- Grab a drink in the onsite lounge, The Bar.
- Take a dip in the heated indoor pool, which stays open year-round.
- Distance from downtown Salem: about five minutes
- Nearby attractions include the Enchanted Forest theme park, which features rides inspired by nursery rhymes and the Old West, and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art.
Salem, Oregon: Peaceful Capital City with Wineries and Outdoor Attractions
Oregon’s capital city couldn’t ask for a more peaceful setting than the sprawling Willamette Valley, where the lush hillsides are dotted with small towns, sustainable farms, and hundreds of vineyards that produce the valley’s world-famous pinot noir. The pastoral landscape surrounding Salem hides the fact that the city is one of Oregon’s biggest—second only to Portland. You can spend a lazy day fly fishing on the Willamette River, or hike past nearly a dozen waterfalls on the tree-lined trails of Silver Falls State Park, located just 30 miles from downtown Salem.
The Willamette River runs through downtown Salem, and the city’s 23-acre Riverfront Park is a scenic spot to ride bikes, walk dogs, kayak down the river, or ride the Riverfront Carousel. The historic downtown is home to the 19th-century Salem Capitol building and the University of Willamette, the oldest university in the Western United States. You can browse fine art at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, and follow it up with a glass of pinot at one of the many restaurants that focus on locally sourced, sustainable cuisine made with organic veggies. Those visiting with families can take the kids to the Gilbert House Children’s Museum, where they can play with giant building blocks or frolic in the outdoor discovery center.