Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge, Photo courtesy of Polk County Tourism Alliance
Immerse Yourself in Gorgeous Gardens & Fascinating History in the Salem Region
Catch wonderful spectacles of nature in flight at Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge, where an extensive network of trails meanders through wetlands, upland prairies and forest. Notable birds found here include the black-necked stilt, western sandpiper, great horned owl and a host of migrating wonders like the regal American white pelican. Enjoy lunch at West Salem’s Latin-American Xicha Brewing where you can pair crisp ales and lagers with empanadas and tacos.
Tour the Bush House grounds and immerse yourself in 19th-century life. The 1882 conservatory is the second oldest in the West, and the stunning rose garden explodes with color every June and July. Check out the impeccable garden of Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver at Gaiety Hollow, who founded the first women-owned landscape architecture firm in the Pacific Northwest in 1929. From May through September, the garden blooms with an ever-changing array of color, from azaleas to zinnias. Walk the nature trails at Deepwood Museum & Gardens, discover the exotic plants in the greenhouse, and marvel at the Lord & Schryver-designed formal gardens.
Discover Southern-style comfort food at Noble Wave for dinner in downtown Salem. Browse the menu and you’ll find gumbo, shrimp and grits and their famous hot bird sandwich. To finish the day, visit Salem’s first craft distillery, Divine Distillers. The distillery specializes in brandies and rums made from local ingredients.