The capital of Oregon, the city of Salem has been around since it was founded in 1842. Located in Marion and Polk Counties, Salem is about an hour’s drive from Oregon’s largest city, Portland. Salem is the next largest city in the state, with a population of 169,800 according to the last census.
Salem is known as “The Cherry City” because of the local cherry-growing industry and the importance of it to the city’s economy and culture. Salem even had a cherry festival until post World War I. Now the major city has many different sources of employment, one of the main job sources being in the state government. The Oregon State government actually employs the highest number of people in Salem. The city also has major agricultural facilities, and is a huge food processing center. Even with its size, its residents and focus on big business and government, the city has managed to maintain its long history of and reliance on agriculture. Just outside of the densely populated capital are vast landscapes and farmlands. This means that there are housing options for every kind of buyer. Acreage, suburban neighborhood or high-rise condo, Salem has something for you.
Salem is part of the Salem-Keizur School District, which is the second largest district in the state. Besides the k-12 public schools there are many other varieties of schooling available including private, boarding, alternative and international. There are also a few extended education 2 year and 4 year schools in the area.
Salem is home to many diverse activities throughout the year, including:
- The annual World Beat Festival
- Dragon Boat races
- Salem Art Fair and Festival
- The Bite of Salem
- Oregon State Fair
- Oregon Food and Wine Festival
- Capital Pride (the annual Gay Pride Festival)
Salem also has opera houses, museums and many other landmarks. There really is something for every lifestyle.