Day Trips, Salem Oregon Attractions, Travel Tips

Feb 24, 2014

5 Beautiful Gardens to Visit this Spring in and Around Salem, Oregon

Photo @ The Oregon Garden

Photo @ The Oregon Garden

It will soon be spring and local gardens in will be in bloom! Salem Oregon has an abundance of gardens for you to enjoy throughout the year.

Rose, iris, tulip, peony and dahlia gardens, perennial and mixed borders, garden rooms, formal boxwood gardens, a Japanese garden, flowering trees and shrubs, bulbs, herb gardens, open spaces and numerous other specialty gardens can be found within Salem and Marion and Polk counties.

In this post, we will tell you about few to add to your list of gardens worth the drive on your next visit:

Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm Photo @Kristi Reed

Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm Photo @Kristi Reed

1. Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm

Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn, OR is home to the increasingly popular Annual Tulip Fest featuring acres of tulip beauty! Wander the fields, visit the Gift Shop, Country Store, and Tulip Café. Purchase fresh cut flowers and order bulbs for fall planting. The gardens are 30 minutes north of Salem and completely worth the drive! Don’t miss this year’s Annual Tulip Festival March 28th – May 4th, 2014! Visit for information.

2. The Oregon Garden

This beautiful 80-acre botanical garden includes a diverse variety of plant species and habitats and the only Frank Lloyd Wright home in Oregon. Visitors will certainly appreciate the natural beauty of forests and woodlands, wetlands and lake in addition to stunning formal landscaped gardens throughout the property. Depending on the season, gardens feature brilliant displays of colorful annuals and perennials along with carefully selected and arranged collections of conifers and sparkling waterfalls. Located 17 miles east of Salem in Silverton.

3. Schreiner’s Iris Gardens

The public is invited to stroll around the 10-acre display gardens during Bloom Season early May to early June. The gardens, family owned since 1925, have become quite popular with our local community and visitors during Bloom Season earning them Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence 2013. One visitor even describes Schreiner’s Iris Gardens as “Spectacular”.

“When we visited this garden, it was a huge vista of irises, most in bloom, some not. The variety of flowers was truly amazing….” he went on to say. To see more reviews, visit  

Special events for Bloom Season include a gift shop, live music, wine tasting, cut Iris stems, warm food, plant sale and more. Bloom Season hours: Daily, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. FREE admission, FREE parking.Directions and more information can be found at

4. Historic Deepwood Estate’s Lord and Schryver Garden

The gardens on Historic Deepwood Estate contain boxwood gardens, an English tea house garden, covered arches and gazebos, ornamental gates and fences as well at The Rita Steiner Nature Trail weaving its way through the western border of the property towards Bush Park. The garden’s origins go back to 1930 when Alice Bretherton Brown Powell, the longest resident of Deepwood, hired the landscape design team of Elizabeth Lord & Edith Schryver to design the formal gardens for Deepwood. Today, the beloved gardens are maintained by Deepwood’s dedicated volunteers and the Lord and Schryver Conservancy. Whether one sees Deepwood for the first time or visits again and again, it never fails to amaze and delight the senses.

The grounds are open 365 days a year from dawn until dusk unless booked for a private event which occurs primarily from July-September. Private events begin at 1:00 p.m. Please check calendar for private event closures or call (503) 363-1825.

5. Bush’s Pasture Park

This city park is home to an amazing collection of plants and designed landscapes, both historic and contemporary. The 90.5 acre park is blanketed with Oregon White Oak trees, cherry and apple orchards, and a rose garden with over 2,000 roses and open meadows, a greenhouse and stunning gardens with perennial, annual, tulip beds and more.

Don’t stop there! There are many gorgeous gardens in Salem, too many to list in one post! Visit to see even more places to visit this spring.

Apr 25, 2013

Traveling with Kids? We Got You Covered!

Kids in Salem Oregon

Planning a trip to Salem, Oregon this year?  Bring the family with you!

Our historical family friendly city features appealing attractions that range from historical museums, outdoor play areas, festivals, performing arts, and children’s activities.  Let us be your guide to planning a trip the whole family will love! Here are some local travel tips for the young and the young at heart:

KID TRAVEL TIP #1:  Book a hotel room with plenty of space!
You will want to begin by finding a hotel room that accommodates a family traveling with children, and we have the perfect solution.  The spacious Grand Family Suite contains two queen-sized beds located in the main portion of the room and another private bedroom with a king-sized bed and a second television so you can unwind in comfort.  
Covered parking, fast Internet access and a delicious hot breakfast are always complimentary at the Grand Hotel.

The Grand Family Suite

KID TRAVEL TIP #2: Prepare and plan for the unexpected!
You know that Churchill saying “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Keep that in mind when you travel with your children. Be patient, allow enough time to handle any delays or obstacles that may come up.  Pack plenty of snacks and activities for the kids to do, learn some creative games to play with the children.   These articles offer some helpful suggestions on how to travel with children of all ages:

KID TRAVEL TIP #3: Search for kid friendly local attractions that will appeal to the whole family.  
Luckily, there is no shortage of this in Salem, Oregon!  Here is a list of places we recommend to families who stay in our hotel, some are within walking distance while most are a short drive away:

  •  Riverfront ParkTake a morning walk along the Willamette River in this 23-acre park, and you will see why we love it. This park has everything one would want in a park- plenty of lush green space, lovely fountains, views of the river, a children’s play area, an amphitheater, play equipment, a covered Pavilion and Salem’s Riverfront Carousel (one of our big attractions!). This park is the place for gatherings and events throughout the year.
  • A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village: Children of all ages come here and let their imaginations run wild with indoor & outdoor interactive activities. Not to mention, the museum is located in three very cool historic houses and has 20,000-square-foot Outdoor Discovery Center.
  • Enchanted Village: This beloved Oregon attraction/Theme Park located just 5 miles from our hotel. Visitors enjoy the mystical forests and handcrafted feel to this popular attraction. Kids will love the rides, story book lane, a Haunted House, roller coaster and Big Timber Log Ride.
  • Bush’s Pasture Park: Salem Oregon visitors and locals enjoy leisurely strolls though this 90.5 acre park that features 4 playgrounds for children; a Municipal Rose Garden; Historic Bush Museum; plenty of trees and open meadows making this a wonderful stop.
  • Willamette Heritage Center at The Mill: (Formerly know as Mission Mill Museum). This great museum is designated an American Treasure by the National Park Service and hosts outstanding exhibits and events throughout the year attracting thousands of visitors, history buffs, and school groups each year. The museum preserves the history of the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill and represents one of Oregon’s earliest and strongest industries.
  • Oregon State Capitol Tour: Visitors come to our state capitol to learn about the important events in Oregon’s state history, see the magnificent rotunda and where Oregon’s 30 state Senators and 60-member House of Representatives meet. Designated as the State Capitol State Park in 2007, the grounds surrounding the Capitol feature ornamental and native trees and shrubs. It is also the setting for the Walk of the Flags, Waite Fountain, Parade of Animals sculpture, a Liberty Bell replica, and a gazebo constructed in 1982.
  • Salem-Keizer Volcanoes- Come root for the home team! The Volcanoes are our local minor league baseball team and 7 Time Northwest League Western Division Champions! 6700 Field of Dreams Way NE, Keizer Oregon.
  • Willamette Queen Sternwheeler is an 87-foot twin paddle-wheeler that departs year-round from Salem’s Riverfront Park and a fun way to see the river and various parts of Salem, Oregon.
  • Salem’s Riverfront Carousel is ranked among the nation’s best carousels and includes 42 hand-carved & hand-painted wooden horses and two “Oregon Trail” wagons.

Need more info? Visit Travel Salem or our local Attractions section to get recommendations on places to enjoy during your next visit!

Aug 15, 2012

Featured Adventure: North Santiam River Trips

Photo Credit: North Santiam River Trips

The North Santiam River is one of our most treasured local destinations where vistors can unwind, hike, camp, picnic, fish and enjoy the thrill of rafting. Only half an hour east of Salem, Oregon, North Santiam River is a scenic whitewater river where you will find some of the most beautiful riverfront views in the area.

If an outdoor adventure is what you have in mind, look no further than local river guide Bill Sanderson of North Santiam River Trips. Bill Sanderson and friends have been running the Santiam River for over 30 years and knows the geography and history of the area.

When you book a North Santiam River Trips Package, Bill or one of his experienced guides will take your groups (large or small) of on an adventure of a life time! Make reservations at the hotel and plan to stay the night after a great day on the river! Special rates for all groups booking trips with North Santiam.

Four different trips are designed for team work, individual challenges and good group fun! Each trip is unique and will work with you and what your goals are for the day.

Aug 09, 2012

Local Labor Day Weekend Wine Tasting Events

How do you plan to spend Labor Day weekend?  It is a Willamette Valley tradition to tour and sample some of the Valley’s most ecological treasures over Labor Day weekend.

Many of our finest wineries hold festive open house events with tastings, tours, entertainment and more. Here is some info that should help you make the most of your Labor Day Wine Tour!

Be sure to ask about the Grand Hotel in Salem Oregon Wine Lover’s Package that features:

  • Complimentary bottle of Willamette Valley Vineyards wine and an Oregon Wine Guide in your room of choice
  • Complimentary wine tasting at Willamette Valley Vineyards
  • Hot breakfast buffet
  • Late check out of 1 pm

For a guided tour of the Willamette Valley, we recommend contacting Grand Cru Wine Tours for more information.

Here are some featured local Willamette Valley Labor Day weekend events:

Photo Credit: Cubanisimo Vineyards

Labor Day Weekend at Cubanisimo Vineyards (Salem)
Celebrate Labor Day “Cuban Style” with salsa dancing, live dance bands, salsa dance lessons, Cuban tapas and great wine.

Redhawk Winery Wine Festival (Salem)
Enjoy wine tasting, take in a breathtaking view of the Valley, or picnic in the park.

Cherry Hill Winery Labor Day Weekend Open House (Rickreall)
Tasting room open with special hors d’oeuvres.

Labor Day Open House at Arborbrook Vineyards (Newberg)
Bid adieu to summer with Arborbrook Vineyards annual Labor Day Open House Saturday through Monday, 11 – 5.

For more info on Labor Day Events and Willamette Valley Wine Tours visit the following wine & travel resources:


Apr 10, 2012

Featured Event Package: 8th Annual Oregon Garden Brewfest April 27-28, 2012

The 8th Annual Oregon Garden Brewfest is coming up and features the finest beers around, music & entertainment, beer tasting lessons, Homebrew Competition,  Brewer’s Tasting Dinner and so much more.

Brewfest is on Friday and Saturday April 27th and 28th from Noon-11PM In the Grand Hall at The Oregon Garden (a fabulous 80 acre botanical garden and resort) in Silverton, OR.

Grand Hotel Salem Brewfest Package!

Why drive?  Be safe and make a weekend of it and book The Grand Hotel in Salem 2012 Oregon Brewfest Package which includes:

  • Overnight accommodations for two in a King Deluxe Room;
  • Early check in of 1pm;
  • Hot breakfast buffet served in the morning;
  • Two tickets to the Brewfest with tasting glass and five tasting tickets;
  • Shuttle to and from the event; and, to top it off…
  • A late check out of 1pm.

For more Brewfest information and schedules visit  and visit the Grand Hotel Salem Brewfest Package page for accomodations.


Mar 27, 2012

2012 Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival Will be More Beautiful than Ever

Image Credit: Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival

If are visiting Salem area this spring and seeking a unique  experience, we recommend you make a stop in Woodburn, Oregon (approximately 30 minute from our hotel) and visit the spectacular fields of tulips and daffodils at the 27th Annual Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival.   Don’t forget your camera!

The event will take place March 30-April 30th, 2012 and features 40+ acres of tulips and daffodils and activities that include a crafters market place, pony rides, children’s play area, gift shop, tulip market, food, entertainment, wooden shoe making, and so much more.

Be sure to visit their events schedule so you can take full advantage of this wonderful annual event and download directions to their fields.

Stay up to date by visiting their Facebook page for more photos and festival information.

History of the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival
The Iverson family began growing tulips in 1974 and bought a few acres of bulbs in the late 70s. By the early 1980′s they had over 15 acres and needed to broaden the market base so in 1983 they started the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm.

In 1985, the farm opened its fields for Easter weekend to grow the business, and the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival and their business has expanded ever since.

Aug 04, 2011

Day Trip!

South Falls, Silver Falls, Day Trip, hiking

The trail behind South Falls at Silver Falls

Silver Falls

Distance from the Grand Hotel: 27 miles

Recommended transportation: Car

What to bring: Water, camera, comfortable shoes, picnic
lunch, and a swim suit for the day use area.

What not to bring: Pets (Sad Face)

Silver Falls is a mecca for waterfalls and a special
destination that many local Salem residents hold very dear. It offers lots of options
for hiking and sightseeing the various falls, as well as provides an expansive
Day use area for group gatherings and wading in the river. Just getting there is
itself a breathtaking experience, as the drive on North Santiam Highway weaves through
a scenic countryside of expansive wheat fields, vineyards and Christmas tree

When you arrive, enter the Day Use area and pay the $5 per
car fee. This will give you access not only to the many picnic areas and the
swimming area, but is also a good starting point for the hike around South

The long walk – You have the choice to take a long (7 miles)
hike to visit each of the 10 waterfalls in the park. It features a “moderate”
climb of 700 feet, but coupled with the distance it is not a hike recommended for
the faint of foot.

The not-so-long walk – By skipping North and Twin Falls you
can shave 2 mile off of this hike and end up back at the starting point after about
5 miles.

For less experienced hikers and children, the quick (0.7
mile) loop around Lower South Falls is perfect. It takes you down and behind
the waterfall itself, providing a unique point of view for photo ops.

After you have experienced the park and you are still up for
more adventure, you can choose to take the long way back via Highway 214 and
visit the quaint town of Silverton.  You can even rest your feet while taking a tour of the town on the Silver trolley!

How to get there:

Take Highway 22E east to Highway 214 and follow signs to the

The long way back – Take Highway 214 to Silverton, then take
Highway 213 (Silverton Rd NE) back to Salem.

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