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Trip Planner USA  /  Oregon  /  Salem

Salem

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Salem is the capital of the U.S. state of Oregon, and the county seat of Marion County. It is located in the center of the Willamette Valley alongside the Willamette River, which runs north through the city. The river forms the boundary between Marion and Polk counties, and the city neighborhood of West Salem is in Polk County. Salem was founded in 1842, became the capital of the Oregon Territory in 1851, and was incorporated in 1857.Salem had a population of 154,637 at the 2010 census, making it the third largest city in the state after Portland and Eugene. Salem is a little more than an hour driving distance away from Portland. Salem is the principal city of the Salem Metropolitan Statistical Area, a metropolitan area that covers Marion and Polk counties and had a combined population of 390,738 at the 2010 census. A 2013 estimate placed the metropolitan population at 400,408, the state's second largest.The city is home to Willamette University, Corban University, and Chemeketa Community College. The State of Oregon is the largest public employer in the city, and Salem Health is the largest private employer. Transportation includes public transit from Salem-Keizer Transit which operates under the name Cherriots, Amtrak service and non-commercial air travel at McNary Field. Major roads include Interstate 5, Oregon Route 99E, and Oregon Route 22, which connects West Salem across the Willamette River via the Marion Street and Center Street bridges.
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Where to stay in Salem

Catering to travelers stopping overnight en route to other destinations, a cluster of accommodations lines Route 5, which runs through the eastern suburbs of the city. These options consist mainly of chain motels and inns, which offer comfortable rooms and a free breakfast, but not much in the way of character. Accommodations in central Salem are few and far between, although you can find a mid-range hotel and a handful of bed and breakfasts along State Street.
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Places to visit with Salem

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