The history of the city is also tucked into the architectural beauty of the Elsinore Theatre and the Grand Theater, home of Enlightened Theatrics. Salem’s theater scene includes community theater at Pentacle Theater to musical theater and entertainment from nationally renowned performers.
The walkable core of downtown Salem offers easy access to both the Willamette River and the 22-acre Salem Riverfront Park which is home to a variety of interesting and unique points of interest and culturally relevant events. Salem is an innovative city and an example of that innovation can be seen in the south end of the park where an old, industrial metal container has been adorned with thousands of hand painted tiles to replicate the world – a huge Globe known as Eco Earth.
Another innovation is the Peter Courtney Minto Brown Island Pedestrian Bridge that was constructed to connect Riverfront park to 1,200 acres of natural area - Minto Brown Island Park. Toward the middle of Riverfront park rests the whimsical Salem Riverfront Carousel decorated with spectacular hand-carved horses and carvings that illustrate cherries, iris’ and other iconic symbols that Salem is known for.
The north end of park is anchored by the Union Street Railroad Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge. The community converted the historic Southern Pacific railroad bridge into a through-way for pedestrians to cross the Willamette River and access Wallace Marine Park on the west side of Salem.
The Union Street Bridge is adorned in colored lights throughout the year, representing the seasons, and the bridge grants access for great urban strolls between both parks. Nestled in the north end of Riverfront Park is the Gilbert House Children’s Museum that inspires learning through creative play. The museum’s outdoor discovery area is a paradise for kids as well as energetic adults.