Century House Bed & Breakfast sits in the heart of Salem—a quick walk from downtown, close to Willamette University, and right along the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway. But even so, a stay at the decade-old B&B feels like a retreat from the bustling world around you.
For starters, the lot on which Century House sits is home to what owner Jean Brougher calls “a miniature forest.” Nearly 50 trees cover the backyard, including Douglas fir, cedar, maple, hemlock, and even black walnut trees. Brougher says all that shade keeps the backyard cool in summer, with plenty of places to sit and even a garden house if you’d like a nap.
And befitting its location along the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway, Century House hosts a garage stocked with spare tubes, extra water bottles, pumps, and tools for avid cyclists—along with secure bike storage throughout. Brougher even offers a pair of loaner bikes for guests who’d like to pedal into downtown or explore the city.
Finally, Century House is family-friendly in every sense of the word; Brougher keeps a spare bassinet on-hand for infants, can rent two rooms as a suite for families with older children, and hosts a spare room that’s stocked with a dollhouse, toys, books, games, and other fun attractions. (And no matter how picky the young eaters in your family, Brougher can accommodate nearly two dozen diets when preparing breakfast—and has even taken cooking classes to boost her skills with trickier diets.)
What to do nearby: Hop on your bike and pedal the flat 1.5 miles into downtown, where you can enjoy the city’s creativity, arts, culture, and culinary offerings. Willamette University's Hallie Ford Museum of Art, for instance, spotlights work from around the world—with an especially large collection of baskets, miniatures, and ceremonial regalia by Native American artists from the Willamette Valley and throughout Oregon. And when you get hungry, downtown is rife with appetizing eateries, such as Taproot Lounge & Café (serving bowls, salads, and other healthful takes on pub fare), Venti's Cafe (dishing internationally inspired cuisine with plenty of vegetarian choices), and Bo & Vine Burger Bar (known for creative burgers and house-made tater tots).