Things to Do in Salem and Beyond

With the leaves changing color and the weather cooling down, Salem is lovely and lively in the fall with lots to do and see. Paths lead through amazing vistas and river parks. Among them and close to the Grand Hotel and Convention Center are the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, the Riverfront Carousel and Bush’s Pasture Park. The Oregon State Capitol is surrounded by park gardens and inside contains a collection of art by Oregon artists. Trish McKinney’s workshop will be held at the Willamette Heritage Center, which holds a Victorian wool mill plus 19th century homes with period furnishings. Bush’s Pasture Park, in the city, offers 90.5 acres of inspiration for sketching and plein air painting, or for respite. Along the walkways of Riverfront Park you’ll find the Peter Courtney Minto Island bicycle and pedestrian bridge. The countryside surrounding Salem is dotted with some of the best wineries in the state, offering wine tastings, wine pairings and vistas reminiscent of Tuscany. We are excited to be inviting you to Salem in October, truly a perfect time of year to enjoy the beautiful Willamette Valley!

Visit a Park

  • Oregon State Capitol, elegantly landscaped with floral beds, over 30 species of trees and shrubs and fountains too. Download a Walking Tour Guide and a Capitol Visitor’s Guide
  • Visit Bush’s Pasture Park, a 90.5 acre park in the heart of the city with formal gardens, nature trails, native plantings, museums
  • Bush House Museum
  • Salem Art Association Park-Bush Barn Art Center
  • Deepwood Museum and Gardens, renowned for its gardens designed by Elizabeth Lord & Edith Schryver, the first women in the Pacific Northwest to own and operate their own landscape architecture firm, designing over 200 landscapes and gardens in the region between 1929 and 1969.
  • Willamette Heritage Center, situated on five park-like acres, has a Victorian woolen mill, early 1800s settlement homes and permanent exhibits exploring the experiences of Native Americans in the Willamette Valley and early European settlement of Oregon. Trish McKinney’s workshop will take place at the Willamette Heritage House.

Find Art

Enjoy Wineries

The fall colors await you in the central Willamette Valley. You just might want to extend your stay beyond the convention. Perhaps you will try out painting with new techniques learned in a break-out session. Or perhaps touring as a Leaf-Peeper. However long you will be in the area, we believe you will be inspired.