Why Salem’s Not So Bad

oregon salem capital


The capital of the beautiful green state of Oregon. Yet, seems to have an unfair rap.

Here are a few pictures of proof to show that good ol’ Salem is really not all that bad.

Heck, we get ALL 4 seasons.

Did I mention A LOT of rain? How else do you think we maintain the most luscious, green state with more trees than people?

oregon road

Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 12.39.04 PM

Salem has yummy places to eat

Gerry Frank’s Konditorei

Gerry Franks Konditorei

Hello… have you tried the Barney’s Blackout cake, the Champagne Raspberry or the Carmel Pecan? Or their cases packed with countless cheesecakes, lemon bars, brownies and sweets? Additionally, their bread bowl soups, salads, quiche and panini’s are mouthwatering as well.

The Gov Cup

gov cup

Best hemp chai latte hands down. It is the perfect place to study, open your laptop, plug in your headphones and get to work. They also have entertaining, talented live performances here, cafe turned into concert venue and a 21+ older crowd, beer and spirits included.

Broadway Cafe is another great place to grab a cup of coffee and spend endless hours reading, working or catching up with a friend.

Word Of Mouth

word of mouth

Biggest cinnamon roll french toast you will ever devour. Covered in brilliant quotes from wall to wall, great service and beautiful food. A must try.

Other great places for Breakfast:

Annette’s in West Salem, Whites Restaurant, French Press (yummy crepes) and the Original House of Pancakes off commercial street… homemade whipped cream on fluffy pancakes or fresh fruit and freshly squeezed pure orange juice, amazing.


You can’t go wrong with these pizzerias



Momiji’s Sushi… The Salem Roll. Enough Said.



Salem offers unique entertainment

Elsinore Theater

elsinore theater



Built in 1926, and restored in the early 2000’s, this theater captures the true essence of the tudor gothic atmosphere. Shows, silent films, plays and dramas take place here, you can never explain the beauty of the building unless you’ve experienced it first hand.

Riverfront Park

river front park

river front park

2009 bridge renovated


Downtown Salem


Reed Opera House

The Reed Opera House has everything from food, handmade soaps, massage therapists, clothing stores and a ballroom. Built in 1870, it has a feel so timeless, you find yourself peeling your eyes away from your iPhone screen to appreciate it all.




Where else can you find a random alley way that looks this cool besides in Salem?


The Salem Center Mall may not be the biggest mall in Oregon, but with a Nordstrom, a Sephora and a Victoria Secret, you can’t complain too much.

Hair by Rylee


Looking to get a cut or color? This gorgeous lady is the one I trust with my long locks in Salem. Not only is she beautiful, but she’s incredibly talented! Click on the link below for more details.

Hair By Rylee McManus

EZ Orchards

Most delicious fruits, fresh veggies and apple cider donuts you’ve ever experienced.


Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm

wooden shoe tulip farm

Every spring since 1974, this tulip farm is in full display of it’s gorgeous colors, over 30 acres of these beautiful flowers.

Willamette Valley Vineyards

Willamette_Valley_Vineyards_entrance home-1

For wine tasting, weddings or private venues, the Willamette Valley Vineyards is a beautiful place to celebrate any special event.

Bush Park



Silver Creek Falls


The simple fact that you can have this view waiting for you when you get off work


You can camp virtually anywhere


And the VERY best part about living in Salem

We are perfectly, centrally located.

50 minutes from this beauty…

Detroit Lake




1 hour from this piece of heaven…

Abiqua Falls


60 minutes from…


eugene oregon football ducks


45 min drive to the city


Shopping, food carts, coffee, books, hipsters, concerts and bikes… Portland has it all. Keep Portland Weird.


Portland (1)



Go Blazers!!

Less than an hour away from this…

Opal Creek




A short drive from anywhere with a trail or a waterfall


A beautiful, relaxing drive away from the ocean

The Oregon Coast




The best cheese factory is close within reach


America’s deepest lake

Beautiful Crater Lake


And when you feel the mountains calling, hear the white river rafting calling your name on the Deschutes, or are craving quality breweries and more hiking… only a few more hours away, passing through beautiful trees and breathtaking views, you find this beautiful city;





One thing Oregon has going for it, arguably better than any other state in America, is it’s hiking. You are wondrously surrounded by nature, green, water and fresh, crisp air.



And last but not least, the Oregon sunsets.


And yes, when you are born and raised in a city where everyone claims to hate, it’s easy to fall into believing your town is the pits. Sure, Salem may not be as glamorous as New York or have the sun year round like California, but what no other city has that Oregon has, is the beauty which we are surrounded by, the safety of raising a family, no sales tax, and yes, we get our gas pumped for us (legally, us and New Jersey are the only ones in the country that still have this law), and we have fresh flowing, beautiful tasting tap water. Oregonians, if you haven’t realized how lucky you are by now, wake up.. spray the clean tap water on your face and realize how fortunate you are. And those that have passed through or have visited briefly, it’s no secret how beautiful this state is!

I know there are tons of things I have missed on the Salem list, feel free to comment and let me know what those are!

Have a beautiful day everyone!


54 Replies to “Why Salem’s Not So Bad”

      1. Be fair! Put the Beavers in there too. They have a Nobel Laureate and an Astronaut and invented the Maraschino cherry.

      2. Moved here in 2001 from Germany with my family ..I myself am Scottish .. And we have lived in beautiful places ..including Norway and Greece ..we love the Salem area and have a lovely home here and have raised our 3 kids here .. Great part of the world to live in…

    1. Graduated from good ol’ UofO! But any school in Oregon is a great school! Had friends there too but I’m clearly quite biased ;) Silverton is a good spot too!

  1. These pics are so awesome – makes me want to move to Salem! Oh Wait…I already live here! Thanks for reminding my why I’m in this beautiful – best kept secret – in the heart of Oregon!

  2. Good article! Having just spent 9 days in Northern California I agree with every point you made about why it’s great to live here — the beauty and the peace here are great. If we just had a few more companies with middles-class non-government jobs for folks it’d really be heaven here. My only complaint with your article is you left out some of my favorite spots, such as Busick Court restaurant — they have wonderful french toast, and Rachel Ray came to town a few years back to have some. Along with Vagabond there are also a lot of great newer places in Salem where you can taste beer, like Venti’s and West Side Tap House. And West Salem has a great coffee house just a few doors down from the Tap House called Urban Grange coffee — it’s nice to not have to go over the bridge if all I want is coffee and a break from the home office.

    1. I definitely agree with you, there was so much more I could’ve added. I have never tried Busik Court or Vagabond! Will have to squeeze that in soon! And Urban Grange? Good to know, thanks for the recommendations!

  3. And did you mention Oregon Gardens? One of the places that really lets the beauty that comes from this climate shine!

    1. I love the Oktoberfest in Mt. Angel! And the Bite and all of the festivals are so much fun, especially the Brewfest in Portland too! Definitely should have added those :)

  4. What about our beautiful summers? No unbearable humidity, cool at night, and gorgeous the next day! And no bugs!!! And what about all our fresh food? I really began appreciating these things after a few trips to the Midwest and Montana. We are spoiled rotten in Oregon.

    1. Oregon summers are one of the main reasons I have so much love for Oregon!! After traveling to Australia for a few years I have a huge appreciate for the LACK of bugs we have here, and no humidity and green trees and water everywhere. We really are spoiled!

    1. It could be more with teenagers/college kids and adults in their mid-20’s that always complain about living in Salem and how it’s “boring, with nothing to do and nowhere to go.” I decided to make a list of things we take for granted at times, even if I couldn’t fit them all in and remind people that Salem really isn’t all that bad :)

  5. Wonderful photographs and some great reminders of why we love this town. Don’t forget the heritage of the Bush House Museum and Salem Art Association’s Bush Barn Art Gallery situated in the amazing Bush’s Pasture Park.
    Another fun thing to do is take in some live theatre at the 60 years and going strong Pentacle Theatre, a few minutes west on 22.

    1. Thank you!! I included Bush Park and meant everything included with it, because it really is a beautiful area to go and see! I completely forgot about the Pentacle Theatre! I haven’t been there in years but is a really neat theatre!!

  6. I love the wonderful people in Salem! Salemites are warm and friendly. That’s not true everywhere – we are visiting Ashland, OR right now and people walk right by you without saying hello. That doesn’t happen in Salem.

    1. I 100% agree with you! I don’t believe I’ve ever visited Ashland before, but growing up in Salem and moving out of the country for a few years was quite the change for me when I realized not everyone was as friendly as most Oregonians are. I love that about Salem too :)

    2. Although I love living here, having come from Walla Walla I find Salem very unfriendly. No one has yet to greet me or strike up conversation like I am used to. I just talk to them anyway. Lol. But you can’t have everything and I’ll keep salem over Walla Walla for a myriad of reasons all positive!!!

  7. What a wonderful piece–thank you so much. I moved to Salem three and a half years ago, and have felt that Salem has what I guess you could call a collective inferiority complex. And I have no idea why: there are so many wonderful things to see and do both in town and nearby–if I listed them, I bet it would be double the length of your post! (But I will put in a plug for the Salem Chamber Orchestra!)

    Thank you again for a delightful article!

    1. I agree with you! I had so many more places and spots on my list, I knew my blog would be far too long if I included them all, I used to be in Orchestra all throughout high school and even traveled to Europe with the Orchestra from Sprague, I’m a huge supporter of the Salem Chamber Orchestra!

      Thanks again for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed it :)

  8. I can tell you’re a native because you still call it Silver CREEK Falls. Love the place. Salem’s best feature is everything around it but its true beauty is the friends and family we have here.

    1. Haha yes, Silver Creek Falls is the way to say it always!! Even with the centrality of Salem and the beauty surrounding it, family and friends are ALWAYS the main source of comfort I find from Salem as well, agree with you on that whole heartedly!

  9. other places I like that no one else has mentioned: gilgamesh brewery, ACME!!!!! IT IS SO AMAZING, and along with that, wild pear… guadalajara grill (on commercial i think) is a mexican food gem (coming from someone from arizona) that has nice big margaritas for happy hour and other good happy hour deals. and i would have included silver falls for being only a half hour away, and so beautiful! i too agree that salem is not so bad. and you mentioned the mall, but i will say that i think it is literally THE BEST system for a mall I have ever seen, so nicely integrated into the downtown shops, feels cozy, the overhead walkways are really nice, I think, the centrality encourages people to shop locally still at the little shops, too, i think.

  10. My husband and I moved here a year ago from Walla Walla the friendliest small town in America. What Salem lacks in friendliness (and it lacks a lot) it makes up for in beauty and a myriad of things to do and places to see. We love it here and are having the time of our lives exploring the entire area!!!

  11. Hi blogger, i found this post on 13 spot in google’s search results.
    I’m sure that your low rankings are caused by hi bounce rate.

    This is very important ranking factor. One of the biggest
    reason for high bounce rate is due to visitors hitting
    the back button. The higher your bounce rate the further down the search
    results your posts and pages will end up, so having reasonably low bounce rate
    is important for increasing your rankings naturally.
    There is very useful wordpress plugin which can help
    you. Just search in google for:
    Seyiny’s Bounce Plugin

  12. Good stuff Brittany- where to put it in perspective for those who hate Salem. It’s not the most fun city to be in as a young adult but there is a lot more to Salem than being fun. Thumbs up.

    1. Hahaha definitely for me… would be family and location. My main point is that it’s so centrally located and has some great places to offer as well :)

  13. You literally listed 10 things about Salem and then covered the entire state. Just admit Salem is a little lame.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s