Salem, the capital city of Oregon and its third largest city, lies in the center of the lush Willamette River valley, 47 miles from Portland. Salem is a city of over 47 square miles, located an hour from the Cascade mountains to the east and an hour from the ocean beaches to the west. Thriving businesses abound in Salem and benefit from economic diversity. The downtown has been recognized as one of the region's most vital retail centers for a community of its size. Not only has downtown Salem retained its vital retail core, but it continues to be supported by strong and vibrant historic neighborhoods at its periphery, the campus-like Capitol Mall, Salem Regional Hospital and Willamette University. Salem offers a wide array of restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions, ranging from historic sites and museums to events that appeal to a wide variety of interests - from sports tournaments to Arts Fairs, theater and music. From our vibrant downtown, several parks and our historic district are within walking distance. 1,869 acres of park land invite residents and visitors alike to enjoy the outdoors. Surrounded by green pastures, fields of flowers, gardens, vegetables, orchards and vineyards, Salem's year-around and summer farmer's markets overflow with locally raised produce and hand-crafted products. Salem is the perfect base for a tour of Oregon's wine country or a visit to any or all of the many extraordinary gardens in the city and the surrounding area. The Willamette (Will-am-it) River, the largest river in Oregon, runs through Salem and Marion & Polk Counties. Many species of fish and wildlife make the river their home and provide a great sightseeing experience.