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Oregon, U.S.A.
Welcome to Salem, Oregon.
Salem is the capital of Oregon and the seat of Marlon County, and is home to around 155,000 people. The city is located in the heart of the Willamette Valley, alongside the flowing Willamette River; less than an hour away from Portland. The city was founded in 1842 and incorporated in 1857, six years after becoming the capital of the Oregon Territory. The name Salem may derive from the Biblical word Shalom, meaning peace. Salem boasts a number of terrific institutions for higher learning, including Willamette University, Corban University and Chemeketa Community College. The city also features an abundance of cultural attractions and events, including the annual World Beat Festival in June, which is held at the Riverfront Park. During the festival, attendees can explore international crafts, music, dance, food and folklore from every continent. For those who enjoy fine art, the Salem Art Association sponsors an annual Salem Art Festival in the Bush's Pasture Park in summer. Foodies should take part in the Bite of Salem in the Riverfront Park, where you can try cuisine from hundreds of local restaurants in a festive atmosphere with live music. Other popular events regarding food and drinks are the Chef's Night Out and the Oregon Wine & Food Festival at the state's fairgrounds. The biggest event however, is the Oregon State Fair at the end of August through Labor Day, where visitors can take part in a plethora of activities including competitions and carnival rides. Thespians should head over to the Salem Repertory Theatre in West Salem with its man excellent plays and performances, and the historic Elsinore Theatre, which features recitals, concerts, films and plays. If you head downtown you'll find an abundance of more cultural venues, including the Mission Mill Museum, Hallie Ford Museum of Art and the interactive children's museum A.C. Gilbert's Discovery Village. When you're done exploring the many exquisite destinations mentioned above, head to the Reed Opera House in downtown Salem, where you'll also find a plethora of great little local shops and fine dining establishments. Wine connoisseurs, don't miss a visit to the many fantastic wineries and vineyards in Salem, like the Honeywood Winery; Oregon's oldest, and perhaps finest, winery. Nature lovers, don't despair, because Salem's central location provides access to a large array of recreational activities with the Coast Range and the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Santiam Canyon area, and the Western Cascades to the east, you'll have more than ample opportunity to enjoy the great natural wonders of Oregon.
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