East of Salem located less than 30 minutes from downtown Salem you’ll find the picturesque town of Silverton. With well-maintained homes, a historic downtown area with local, one-of-a-kind businesses and dozens of hand-painted murals, Silverton is brimming with small-town charm. The nearby Gallon House Covered Bridge, named for the “white lightening” whiskey that was sold to Silverton residents during prohibition, spans Abiqua Creek and is a fan-favorite stop for photos
The 80-acre Oregon Garden features themed plantings, outdoor sculpture and even a pint-size Children’s Garden; stroll or hop the tram for a narrated tour. The Oregon Garden offers more than a garden with the Gordon House, the only house in Oregon designed by the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. For something a bit wilder, check out the waterfalls and old-growth forests at Silver Falls State Park. The dizzying 177-foot South Falls are the highlight of the Trail of Ten Falls, winding through a canyon of Douglas fir, hemlock, cedar, ferns, and native plants. East Marion County is also home to a handful of small wineries, including Pudding River Wine Cellars, where you’ll find boutique-style wines. Detour to the Stayton-Jordan Covered Bridge in Stayton’s Pioneer Park, a storied landmark that’s a favorite of local photographers. Fill a picnic basket with locally grown goodness to enjoy in the park. The Sublimity Harvest Festival, held the weekend after Labor Day, celebrates the end of the farm season with a fun run, monster trucks and live entertainment. Head up the Santiam River Canyon, along Highway 22, to Detroit Lake State Park that is a water wonderland for recreational boating, fishing, or lounging in the shadow of Mount Jefferson. Crockers Guide Service guides fishing trips to chase summer steelhead, rainbow trout and chinook salmon. Each guide has a specialty. For a more restful retreat, rejuvenate body and soul at Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat & Conference Center. Nestled into the Willamette National Forest near Detroit, the center has natural hot springs (that visitors may partake of au naturel), a steam sauna and wellness programs.