Farms, breweries and historical attractions
There’s a lot to experience near Salem, Oregon. If you’re not sure where to start, guided tours are a great way to navigate the area’s can’t-miss spots.
1. Aurora Walking Tour
See the town of Aurora, Oregon, through the eyes of Emma Wagner Giesy, a 19th century resident. The self-guided “Walk With Emma” tour covers approximately four square blocks of the Aurora Colony National Historic District. You’ll visit 28 stops along the way, including Emma’s home, the old post office and the site of the Aurora Pioneer Hotel.
Grab a copy of the free walking tour map at the Old Aurora Colony Museum, where you can also schedule a tour to see the inside of four colony buildings.
2. Marion Farm Loop
Take a scenic, 120-mile drive to 25 farm stops near Salem, Oregon. The Marion Farm Loop will have you apple picking at Beilke Family Farm, indulging in homemade donuts at E.Z. Orchards, exploring 10 acres of flowers at Schreiner’s Iris Garden and visiting several boutique-style wineries.
A farm loop guide can be picked up at all participating locations or the Travel Salem Visitors Center.
READ MORE | 7 must-do experiences on Oregon’s Marion Farm Loop
3. North Santiam River Tours
Take a family-friendly, scenic float or a thrilling whitewater adventure down the pristine North Santiam River with eNRG Kayaking. Starting near Detroit, Oregon, paddlers can choose to use a raft or inflatable kayak. The scenic portion of the river is a great introduction to river paddling, while the whitewater route takes you down four class III rapids.
4. Northwest Vintage and Antique Trail – Salem
Shop at Salem’s largest and oldest antique mall, Engelberg Antiks, or find a vintage treasure at Main Street Emporium, in Dallas, Oregon, on the Northwest Vintage and Antique Trail. The trail takes you to more than a dozen vintage and antique stores, boutiques and malls in Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties.
A map can be found at any location on the trail, the Travel Salem Visitors Center or online.
5. Oregon State Capitol Tours
One of Salem’s most iconic buildings – the Oregon State Capitol – is open for tours throughout the week. Take a guided tour to learn about the history of the state, the Capitol building and the legislative process. In warmer months, visitors can climb 121 steps to view the 23-foot pioneer statue that stands atop of the building.
Afterwards, take a self-guided tour of the Capitol grounds, which has been designated as a state park and features dozens of statues and monuments.
READ MORE | 15 historical spots to visit in Salem, Oregon
6. Silverton Mural Tour
With around 30 outdoor murals, art can be found on almost every corner in the quaint town of Silverton, Oregon. The brightly-colored paintings depict everything from a beloved Scotch Collie to a Norman Rockwell replica, with each telling a story of the town’s history, well-known residents or national events.
Download an app to your iPhone to take a tour of the murals or view the mural locations online.
7. Salem Ale and Cider Trail
If you love craft beer and cider, you’ll want to check out the Salem Ale and Cider Trail. Follow the trail to 12 of the Salem-area’s finest breweries and cideries, including 1859 Cider, Salem Ale Works and Silver Falls Brewery.
An ale trail passport can be purchased at any stop on the trail for $5. Have your passport stamped at each brewery and cidery to receive a free drinking glass.
8. Tri-County Charm Trail
Experience the picturesque beauty, award-winning wineries and historical treasures of the Mid-Willamette Valley on the Tri-County Charm Trail. This trail will take you to 38 wineries and attractions, such as Firesteed Cellars, The Hallie Ford Museum of Art and Flying Bee Ranch, where you can collect a unique wine glass charm at each location.
Get started by picking up a trail brochure at any participating location.
READ MORE | Oregon’s Mid-Willamette Valley launches Charm Trail
9. Winery and Vineyard Tours
Located in the heart of wine country, Salem is surrounded by vineyards and tasting rooms. Many area wineries offer tours to give visitors a behind-the-scenes look, the opportunity to learn how wine is made and sometimes a chance to meet the winemaker!
Willamette Valley Vineyards, in Turner, Oregon, has a free tour every day at 2 p.m. and the option to book a private tour and tasting. Brooks Wines and Keeler Estate Vineyard, both located in Amity, Oregon, offer RTV tours. These tours give visitors the unique opportunity to explore the different blocks of vineyards and learn the history of the vines while riding on an all-terrain vehicle.
READ MORE | 10 wineries where you can do more than drink wine
10. Personalized Tours
If what you’re looking for is not on this list, you may want to consider a personalized tour. Several local tour operators, including Starlight Limousine, Prestige Wine Tours, Drive Me to Drink…Wine and Embrace Oregon, give prearranged and private tours. From wineries and waterfalls to gardens and antiques, book a trip that is perfect for you and your group.