Salem, Oregon's third-largest city, is a treasure trove of historic buildings, fascinating museums, vast expanses of picturesque open space, and recreational parks. Salem offers a calm setting and a more laid-back vibe, whether in the city's central business district or the Willamette Valley countryside.
This agricultural city is an excellent spot to think about relocating to because of its relaxed way of life. Are you considering relocating to this beautiful city in the Pacific Northwest? Here is what you need to know about Salem, Oregon.
1. Prime location
Salem is one of the oldest settlements in Oregon, and its original name was Chemeketa, which comes from an Indigenous word meaning "meeting or resting place." In 2019, Salem was home to 174,365 people making it Oregon's third-most populous city behind Portland and Eugene.
2. Salem weather & climate
Salem is located in the Marine West Coast climatic zone. The region experiences temperate weather, with temperatures rarely falling below freezing or going above 90 degrees.
During winter, snowfall is unusual, and even when it happens, it typically does not last for more than a day or two. The daytime temperatures during the warm summer months in the Willamette Valley often range between the 70s and 80s. With a lot of sunshine, you can enjoy activities such as:
Kayaking on the Santiam River's North Fork
Visiting one of Salem's 48 parks
A tour down Willamette Valley Vineyards for a stunning vista and a bottle of Pinot Noir
3. Neighborhoods in Salem
When moving to a new city, finding a place to live can be one of the most challenging parts. Salem is divided into many distinct neighborhoods, each with something unique for its residents. Different types of communities appeal to different kinds of individuals, and the best neighborhood is one that makes you feel most at home. Here are some of the communities in Salem:
This part of the city has a lot of historic houses because it contains a section of the Historic District. There is an older neighborhood for every budget, from Grant and Highland in the north to Englewood in the east and Richmond in the south.
West Salem, on the outskirts of wine country, is a diverse community of houses. There is an older section of West Salem, but most homes for sale in West Salem OR are either mid-century or brand new. There are several affluent communities in the western part of the city, including West Hills Estates, The Heights, and West Meadows Estates.
The northernmost neighbor of Salem features a wide range of Keizer homes for sale, from largely mid-century to modern construction, including golf course communities, lakefront mansions, spacious Clear Lake area houses, and more.
Down south, homebuyers can find whatever type of houses for sale in Salem they desire, from gated communities to affluent neighborhoods to golf course communities with HOAs to condos and townhomes.
4. Registering your car in Salem
Your vehicle must be registered and titled within 30 days of moving into your new residence in Oregon. You'll be required to submit an application, take and pass an admissions/safety test, and show proof of your legal right to be here.
Submitting an application
Taking a photo of yourself
Paying the applicable fees
Bringing in the previous license
Providing your Social Security number
Presenting proof of birth and residence
Passing an eye exam
Taking a written exam
5. Salem's economy
Salem is home to various businesses and private companies thanks to its business-friendly tax and fee structures and established competitive advantages in several key export markets. The Mid-Willamette Valley is Oregon's most productive agricultural region due to its abundant natural resources.
6. Salem schools
The Salem-Keizer School District is responsible for the provision of public education within the city. The school district is the second largest in the state and is responsible for the operation of about 40,000 students.
7. Transportation in Salem
The major highways serving Salem include Oregon Route 221, Oregon Route 51, Oregon Route 213, Oregon Route 22, Interstate 5, and Oregon Route 99E. Route 22 connects West Salem to the other side of the Willamette River through Center Street and Marion Street bridges.
8. Culture and the way of life in Salem city
Salem may have a small-town vibe, but it doesn't lack amenities. Salem's historic sites and museums include the Reed Opera House, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, the Mission Hill Museum, and the Elsinore Theatre.
The Salem Art Fair and Festival — This is a three-day outdoor festival of the visual and performing arts. The event's primary focus is a juried display of excellent fine art and fine craft.
The Bite & Brew of Salem — This is a three-day festival that celebrates the summer season in the Pacific Northwest by providing attendees with a variety of beers, foods, and outdoor live performances
The World Beat Festival — This is a two-day event filled with music, dancing, ethnic dishes, and crafts from around the world. The festival takes place on the final weekend of June and is organized by the Salem Multicultural Institute, a nonprofit organization.
9. Bars and eateries in Salem
Oregon's Mid-Willamette Valley has long been known for its vibrant restaurant and bar culture. There are a wide variety of unique restaurants, vineyards, and breweries in the neighborhood, as well as a diverse selection of food trucks and bakeries.
A few popular bars and restaurants to try in Salem include:
10. Recreational facilities
Like many other Pacific Northwest cities, Salem is a hotspot for outdoor activities. The city's park system is substantial, containing 90 parks and miles of trails for hiking, camping, bicycling, fishing, boating, and other outdoor sports.
Find your home in Salem, Oregon, through Rebecca Donaldson
One of Oregon's most successful real estate agents, Rebecca Donaldson, is passionate about finding her clients their dream homes. She is rated the Best Real Estate Broker in Willamette Valley for 2 years in a row. Throughout her career in Salem real estate and the Willamette Valley, Rebecca has prioritized building a solid network of contacts and resources. Are you looking for a home in Salem, Oregon? Contact Rebecca today to help you find the perfect property for you.