14 Things to Know Before Moving to Salem

First Wednesday

1. Star power

Jon Heder

John Heder, the star of Napoleon Dynamite grew up in Salem. He graduated from South Salem High School in 1996, where he was on the swim team and was a member of the Drama Association. We can only hope he learned his tetherball skills there as well.

2. Ma and Pa Kettle

Kettle Chips

Salem is the home of Kettle Foods, Inc., making those dangerously addictive potato chips since 1982. The Kettle Brand began out of the back of a beat-up van and has been thriving in Salem ever since.

3. City of Loraxes

Tree City USA

Salem has been awarded "Tree City USA" status by the National Arbor Day Foundation for 30 consecutive years for its dedication to urban forestry. Sticking with the city’s nickname "Cherry City", blooming cherry trees line many of Salem streets as well as the Capitol Mall across from the Capitol, which is well worth a visit with the flowers in full bloom.

4. Cuckoo

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Oregon_State_Hospital_1920

The award-winning film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was filmed at the Oregon State Hospital. Ken Kesey’s novel, which the movie was based off of, was also set in Salem.

5. Location, location, location

45th_Parallel_N

Salem sits on the 45th Parallel. This means it's the center point between the North Pole and the equator. Whether you’re driving through for a visit or coming to stay you can see the sign announcing this distinction on I-5.

6. Roller Derby

Cherry City Derby Girls

Salem’s Cherry City Derby Girls were founded in 2009, and accepted into the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association as a full member league in 2012. CCDG is home to four home teams, the Rydel Bells, Thrill Kill Kittens, Dolls of Anarchy, and Panty Raiders, as well as a travel team the 8 Wheel Assassins.

7. Scholarly chops

Willamette University

Willamette University is the oldest in the American West. It has a 69-acre campus, just south of the capitol giving students access to a variety of government internships. The campus also has a stream running through its center.

8. Cracking down on crime

Oregon Department of Corrections

Salem is the headquarters of the Oregon Department of Corrections. It is home to four state correctional facilities, including the Oregon State Penitentiary, Oregon's only maximum-security prison. Somewhat surprisingly, Salem also has the fourth highest crime rate of Oregon’s 20 biggest cities. But, unlike the city's namesake, this Salem has few alleged witches.

9. Hit the road

Salem, Oregon commute

Salem has the eighth shortest commute of Oregon’s 20 biggest cities. With an average commute of 20.9 minutes, commuters save 48 hours each year compared to Gresham’s commuters whose commute is an average of 6 minutes longer. What will you do with your extra two days? Salem is also more bikeable than walkable. According to WalkScore the city is mostly car dependent.

10. Root for the home team

Salem-Keizer Volcanoes

The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes are the city's minor league baseball team, affiliates of the San Francisco Giants. They have their own stadium in nearby Keizer with a video board, sky boxes and a children’s play area. And tickets are affordable for the whole family.

11. Living’s easy

Salem housing market

The average earner in Salem can afford 24% of homes on the market. Salem’s median income is $45,564, meaning they can afford a home costing $204,282 or less. Salem has one of the lowest costs of living of Oregon’s 20 biggest cities.

12. Want some wine with that?

Willamette Valley, Oregon’s wine country

Salem, located in the Willamette Valley aka Oregon’s wine country, has no shortage of food and wine festivals. The Pinot Noir and Chocolate Celebration pairs decadent chocolates with classic Oregon Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley Vineyard’s new Tasting Room and candle-lit barrel cellar. There’s also First Taste Oregon, the Annual Mo’s Crab and Chowder Festival, pairing seafood with Pinot Gris, Chef’s Nite Out and the Oregon Wine & Food Festival, among others. One thing’s for sure, Salem knows how to live.

13. One for the kids

A.C. Gilbert's Discovery Village

The A.C. Gilbert's Discovery Village interactive children's museum includes 3 giant slides, a maze, a simulated archeological dig site, climbing wall and some of the inventions of Alfred Carlton Gilbert. There’s also The Enchanted Forest located just south of Salem on I-5. The amusement park includes attractions inspired by Alice in Wonderland, Mother Goose, and Grimms' Fairy Tales and roller coasters like the Big Timber Log Ride, the largest of its kind in the Pacific Northwest.

14. Laughter is the best medicine

Capitol City Theater

Capitol City Theater, in the heart of downtown Salem, offers a chance to laugh until it hurts with their 90-minute family-friendly comedy improv shows. Their performances will have you happily splitting your sides and getting in a nice abs workout in the process.

Salem Real Estate & Homes for Sale

Salem Real Estate & Homes for Sale

to
to
More Options
1 Photo
1025 NW ORCHARD HEIGHTS DR
$189,900
House
3 beds
1.1 baths
1,760 sqft
15,682 lot sqft
0 days on site
 Courtesy of Prudential Real Estate Professionals
16 Photos
440 MYERS ST
$325,000
House
3 beds
2 baths
- sqft
5,227 lot sqft
0 days on site
 Courtesy of The Salem Real Estate Group
8 Photos
2387 S EQUESTRIAN LOOP
$229,900
House
3 beds
2 baths
1,405 sqft
6,534 lot sqft
0 days on site
 Courtesy of John L. Scott
16 Photos
2767 NW FILLMORE AVE
$265,000
House
4 beds
2.1 baths
2,471 sqft
6,098 lot sqft
4 days on site
 Courtesy of John L. Scott Salem
16 Photos
956 NW REAGAN AVE
$399,900
House
3 beds
2.1 baths
3,211 sqft
7,841 lot sqft
0 days on site
 Courtesy of HomeStar Brokers
10 Photos
Open House
1408 BROWNING AVE
$250,000
Open House

Sun Oct 19th 12pm-3pm

House
3 beds
2 baths
1,540 sqft
~1/2 acre
0 days on site
 Courtesy of John L. Scott Salem
12 Photos
3025 EDGEWOOD AVE
$135,000
House
3 beds
1.1 baths
1,418 sqft
6,970 lot sqft
7 days on site
 Courtesy of Re/Max Integrity
16 Photos
2620 ALVARADO TER
$450,000
House
5 beds
3.1 baths
5,194 sqft
10,019 lot sqft
2 days on site
 Courtesy of Prudential Real Estate Professionals
16 Photos
3368 HUCKLEBERRY CT
$299,000
House
3 beds
2 baths
2,217 sqft
8,276 lot sqft
3 days on site
 Courtesy of RE/MAX Integrity
16 Photos
1743 NW CHAPMAN HILL DR
$380,000
House
3 beds
2.1 baths
2,693 sqft
11,761 lot sqft
7 days on site
 Courtesy of Re/Max Integrity
16 Photos
5381 14TH PL
$230,000
House
3 beds
2.1 baths
1,604 sqft
5,663 lot sqft
12 days on site
 Courtesy of John L. Scott Salem
16 Photos
4174 SUNRAY AVE S
$325,000
House
5 beds
3 baths
3,486 sqft
6,970 lot sqft
14 days on site
 Courtesy of Blum Real Estate
16 Photos
2664 KRISTIN CT
$185,000
$5,000 Price drop Oct, 20
House
3 beds
2 baths
1,590 sqft
5,663 lot sqft
14 days on site
 Courtesy of Supreme Service Realty, LLC
16 Photos
3542 HALIFAX SQ SE 10
$94,900
Townhouse
2 beds
1.1 baths
1,007 sqft
- lot sqft
1 days on site
 Courtesy of DAT Real Estate Solutions, PC
15 Photos
774 NW BURLEY HILL DR
$235,000
House
3 beds
2 baths
2,153 sqft
6,098 lot sqft
16 days on site
 Courtesy of Real Pro NW.com
2 Photos
4060 EARLE AVE
$160,000
House
2 beds
1.1 baths
1,005 sqft
7,405 lot sqft
19 days on site
 Courtesy of Prudential Real Estate Professionals
16 Photos
569 NW EAGLE FEATHER ST
$345,000
House
6 beds
2.1 baths
3,233 sqft
5,663 lot sqft
3 days on site
 Courtesy of The Salem Real Estate Group
16 Photos
1595 MOUSEBIRD AVE NW
$325,000
House
4 beds
2.1 baths
2,562 sqft
9,148 lot sqft
0 days on site
 Courtesy of Blum Real Estate
16 Photos
1710 NORWAY ST NE
$130,000
House
2 beds
1 baths
1,026 sqft
4,792 lot sqft
17 days on site
 Courtesy of ERA/NW Professional Realty
16 Photos
1923 NW MOUSEBIRD AVE
$199,900
House
3 beds
2 baths
1,655 sqft
7,405 lot sqft
14 days on site
 Courtesy of Prudential Real Estate Professionals
16 Photos
4361 JONES RD SE
$199,999
House
4 beds
2 baths
1,619 sqft
8,712 lot sqft
1 days on site
 Courtesy of The Rian Group Real Estate
16 Photos
1944 MOUSEBIRD AVE NW
$159,500
$5,000 Price drop Oct, 20
House
3 beds
1.1 baths
1,180 sqft
6,534 lot sqft
20 days on site
 Courtesy of Premiere Property Group, LLC
16 Photos
Open House
1135 E ST
$259,900
$10,000 Price drop Oct, 15
Open House

Sat Oct 18th 11am-3pm

House
3 beds
2 baths
2,744 sqft
8,712 lot sqft
13 days on site
 Courtesy of Equity Builders Realty
11 Photos
1960 CENTER ST
$315,000
House
6 beds
3 baths
4,222 sqft
14,810 lot sqft
0 days on site
 Courtesy of HomeStar Brokers
16 Photos
1173 NATALIE AVE SE
$369,500
House
4 beds
3.1 baths
3,428 sqft
~1/2 acre
21 days on site
 Courtesy of Blum Real Estate