Located in the western region of Oregon, Salem is the state capital and the county seat of Marion County. The city has a population around 154,000 and is the third-largest city in Oregon. Salem is less than an hour's drive from Oregon's largest city, Portland. Interstate 5 runs through the east side of the city, while the Willamette River runs through the west side. The city has a mix of beautiful scenery and bustling business.
Salem has a diverse economy. The largest employment sector in the city is the state government. Other industries that employ Salem residents include trade, transportation, utilities, education and health, manufacturing and leisure and hospitality. The unemployment rate for the city is comparable to that of the state as a whole.
There are several large private employers in the Salem area:
Almost half of the buildings in Salem were built before 1970. However, due to the city's population growth, newer houses and apartments are being built. About 60 percent of housing units in Salem are single-family homes. The median home value and average rental rates are low when compared with the rest of the state. The cost of living in Salem is slightly lower than the national average.
Public parks are scattered around the city to enhance visual appeal and provide recreation for residents. Community centers also provide free and low-cost activities, such as sports leagues, swimming, and youth programs.
Salem is a large city; thus, the area has been subdivided into quite a few distinct districts:
Many Salem neighborhoods have chosen to form associations to enhance community involvement. This lets residents partake in the decision-making processes that will directly impact them. It also lets residents keep up with what's going on in their immediate area.
The local school district is comprised of 67 public schools, including charter schools. The city is also home to the Oregon School for the Blind and the Oregon School for the Deaf, which are both public schools.
Salem has a selection of post-secondary schools:
There are also several vocational schools offering programs in cosmetology, real estate, and insurance.
Oregon State Fair: Every year, a variety of festivals are held at the Oregon State Fairgrounds, but the biggest one of all is the Oregon State Fair. There are livestock shows, parades, cooking competitions, sports matches, dancing shows, educational exhibits, and performances by major musical artists. This event lasts a week and a half in August and September.
Elsinor Theatre: This theater was built in 1926 and has since been restored. During the restoration process, care was taken to preserve the theater's original architecture and ambiance. The theater now shows films and puts on plays and musical performances; it is also available for event rentals.
Oregon State Capitol: Guests can tour this landmark from Memorial Day through Labor Day. An observation deck high atop the building offers panoramic views of the city.
Deepwood Estate: This Queen Anne-style home was built in 1894. The estate and its gardens are available for tours year-round.