5 ways to warm up on a fall day

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The air is cool, fog rolls in, and the leaves begin dressing in fantastic colors. It's that time of year again when we slow down and wander in search of warm places to settle into. Travel Salem wants to help you up your coziness quotient this time of year, so here's a few ideas to help you do just that.

  1. Sip Soup. Try one of the fresh stewed soups at Willamette Noodle Co., including tomato basil, sausage and red pepper or creamy carrot. Or, if you're in a mood to socialize, order a bowl from the bar at Wild Pear Restaurant, where you're sure to strike up a conversation with another happy soup sipper. Try anything with chicken broth and spice or their signature coconut curry squash accompanied soup with bread baked fresh daily from dough ordered from a famous San Francisco bakery.
  2. Gaze at Art. Next, walk to bug heaven, Pheromone Gallery, to see wonders of the natural world fashioned in artistic ways by artist Christopher Marley. Check out Solar Ellipse, Southern American butterflies arranged in a winged circle that resemble a lemon and apricot-colored flower in bloom. Or create your own artwork. Paint a ceramic platter or fuse color and heat together by making a vibrant glass trivet or lamp shade at the Create a Memory studio. Or stop in at Greenbaum's Quilted Forest to buy fabric to quilt or sew with; just walking into the store is a feel-good experience, you'll be enveloped in quilts that hang from the ceiling and walls.
  3. Indulge in wine and chocolate. On Friday nights, head over to Grand Vines to listen to sultry jazz and sip Oregon port between sampling chocolates in exotic flavors such as currant and East African spices, salty caramel, black cherry pinot, chili, coconut, toasted hazelnut and guinness. On a cold day, try the truffle-flavored hot buttered rum. Swing by Travel Salem's Travel Café for a wine tasting and to view the framed pastel artwork that inspired the upcoming Oregon Wine Country License Plate. Buy a raffle ticket for $5 and enter to win the work of art.
  4. Swig cider. Take a toasty seat beside the coffee bean roaster inside The Governor's Cup Coffee Roasters. Order a whipped cream-covered latte with pumpkin spice or a steaming cup of fresh-pressed hot cider from E.Z. Orchards, available in caramel through Christmas.
  5. Get pampered. Slip into a robe that's as soft as a cloud, warm up in a sauna then finish with a deep-tissue massage from Today's Hair Salon and Spa in West Salem. Or for a quick relaxation treatment, spend 10 minutes in an Aqua Massage machine at Hydro Zen, a new business on Court Street where you lay face down and feel water pressure massage you from head to toe (and stay dry and clothed in the process).

To see images from Travel Salem's cool weather, warm-up stops in Salem, go to Travel Salem's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TravelSalem.

~ Angie Morris, president and CEO of Travel Salem
*Originally printed in Statesman Journal, 10/23/11