Flights to Salem
Salem is the capital city of the state of Oregon is the western United States. It is the third largest city in the state after Portland and Eugene and features a range of historical attractions, museums, and parks.
Salem does have its own airport, Salem Municipal Airport, also known as McNary Field (airport code: SLE) however this is only a small airport and handles mainly private aviation. The closest airport for international flights to Salem is therefore the Portland International Airport (airport code: PDX) in Portland, located 70 kilometres (44 miles) to the north of Salem. Although a fair distance away Portland International Airport is linked to Salem via the HUT Airport Shuttle. Flights to Salem from South Africa will be indirect with one or two connections. Choose from United Airlines and Lufthansa to fly to Salem from South Africa via one connection. Alternatively Continental Airlines, American Airlines, BMI, British Airways, and US Airways offer flights from South Africa via two stops.
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The Tourist Attractions in Salem:
Salem Capitol Building
Although Salem is a relatively young city it has already been home to three state capitol buildings. The first two were both destroyed by fire and the one that now stands in downtown Salem was constructed on the same site as the first two and completed in 1938. The present Capitol Building could be argued as the most impressive of the three with its pioneer statue, named the Oregon Pioneer, sitting on top of the dome. Tours are available of the Observation Deck during the summer months, when you can also enjoy all of the surrounding gardens, with popular fountains.
Mission Hill Museum
Salem’s Mission Hill Museum consists of five buildings which all date back to the 1800’s. This historic museum features some interesting exhibits, and the buildings are an attraction in themselves, such as the Thomas Kay Woollen Mill.
Other Salem Museums
Salem is also home to several other museums including the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Bush House, AC Gilbert’s Discovery Village, and Western Antique Powerland. Bush House is a historic homestead that is now home to one of the city’s popular artists, whilst Western Antique Powerland is one of the world’s largest museums of tractors, farm equipment, steam engines and more. AC Gilbert’s Discovery Village will appeal more to the kids with its hands-on learning centre set inside buildings from the turn of the last century.
Oregon State Hospital
A psychiatric hospital would not usually be on visitor’s lists of places to visit but this Salem hospital has a history worth noting. Established in 1862, the hospital is best known as being the site from the filming of the Academy Award winning film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Although the hospital is still in use to this day it has had some of its own controversies and as a working hospital visitors should not expect to gain entrance. However, there are some buildings that have been added to the National Register of Historic Places and can be observed from the outside.
When Should You Visit?:
Visitors will find a marine west coast climate here in Salem. This gives mild to warm temperatures throughout the year, with August just winning out as the hottest month when the average high is 27.7C (82F). Between late June and early September the weather is usually quite dry, but rainfall can be expected at any time of the year, though late autumn and winter are usually the wettest times.