Out-of-town visitors to Salem will have plenty of sight-seeing opportunities while they’re in the Capital City.
According to Travel Salem, Oregon’s Capital City is steeped in history.
Three historic properties can be visited without leaving downtown: the Bush House Museum, Deepwood Museum and Garden, and the Willamette Heritage Center.
The Bush House Museum is an elegant 1878 Italianate mansion built by pioneer businessman Asahel Bush II. It is set in the 100-acre Bush’s Pasture Park. The museum offers guided tours of its exhibits of textiles, photos and historic artifacts. The Bush House is at 600 Mission St. SE.
Adjacent to Bush’s Pasture Park, Deepwood Museum and Garden is a gabled Queen Anne-style structure with an enchanting garden designed by the Northwest’s first female landscape architecture firm, Lord and Schryver. Built in the 1890s, it was designed by noted Northwest architect W.C. Knighton. Deepwood Museum and Garden is at 1116 Mission St. SE.
The Willamette Heritage Center brings to life the lives of early settlers, as well as what was once a prominent local textile industry. On a 5-acre campus, the 14 historic structures include the 1889 Thomas Kay Woolen Mill, a well-preserved factory that includes period equipment and detailed exhibits, such as a woolen dye shop, machine shop and a water turbine. The Willamette Heritage Center is at 1313 Mill St. SE.
Then there is the Oregon Capitol. Among the sight-seeing options, visitors can enjoy a self-guided tour of the state’s art collection, which was recently reinstalled and features more than 150 of some of Oregon’s best-regarded artists.
Across the Capitol grounds, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University also offers an excellent opportunity to view artistic works of Pacific Northwest and Native American artists, as well as a diverse collection of traditional European, American and Asian art. The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is at 700 State St.