"The thing about Salem is that there is more to ..."

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About Me
My name is Kendra, and I am a youth development coordinator. I love living in Salem, Oregon because it's a hidden gem among the big cities in Oregon. It's not only beautiful, but it's really community- oriented and there are a lot of cool places to go and hang out, more/less
You have to go to
The pedestrian bridge connecting Riverfront Park to Wallace Marine Park. At dusk, it lights up with a kaleidoscope of colors, which makes it incredibly picturesque over the Willamette River.
Here's one fun activity you can do
Go bar hopping! A handful of new, fun establishments have popped up over the last few years. You get a taste of all types of atmospheres: from the low key, nature vibe at Taproot Lounge and Cafe; the hipster Portland scene at Archive; the Night Deposit and its dance floor; Union Barrel and its 200+ choices of whiskey; the Governor's Cup on Friday nights offers local music; Vagabond Brewery, Salem Ale Works, Santiam Brewery, and Gilgamesh: all four local breweries in Salem have their own unique qualities; CoinJam, the barcade right downtown; F-Stop, the house-turned bar off a quiet side street in North Salem. The choices are endless, and you can find something different at each place you go.
Don't forget to check out one of my favorite places
Minto Brown Park. If you're looking for a place to be outside, this park is perfect. Miles of trails where you can run, bike, hike, walk and skateboard. The dog park is the perfect place to meet furry friends and to let your pets run free. You can follow the main trails and stick near civilization, or you can brave side trails that might get you lost. Either way, it's perfect for spending the day outside. This fall there's a bridge that will connect Minto Brown to Riverfront Park, which will lead to Salem having one of the longest connecting pedestrian pathways in the United States (it's supposedly as long as the trails around New York's Central Park).
Enjoy a meal at my favorite restaurant
Venti's. There are two locations, one downtown and one in South Salem off Commercial Street. Family friendly, there is something there that most anyone would like. Anything from teriyaki rice bowls to fresh salads, lemonades, fountain drinks to beer, cider and mixed drinks. Perfect for lunch with the family or a night out on the town. I highly recommend the sweet potato fries and spicy tots.
Here's a doable bucket list for you to do in one day
CoinJam- arcade games galore.
Riverfront Park: walk along the river and ride the Carousel.
The Book Bin: lose yourself in shelves of books and cuddle with the bookstore cat.
The Little Cannoli Bakery: Freshly baked pastries and fabulous lattes.
Sushi at Tiga: if you are not in the mood for a full meal but want a little substance.
IKE Box: coffee shop run by a nonprofit that helps divested youth build the capacity to rise to the challenges of life. Best chai in town.
Marco's Taqueria: Authentic Mexican food for super affordable prices.
Minto Island Brown Park: a local natural reserve where you can lose yourself in the outdoors for a few hours.
F-stop Bar: Small, homey bar with a really awesome fire pit you can sit and enjoy the company of friends.
Gerry Frank's Konditerei: Huge slices of delicious cake if you are looking for dessert.
Taproot Lounge and Cafe: locally owned bar with some of the friendliest bartenders in town. Come to have good tapas, beer, a good game of shuffleboard, or just to enjoy the low key atmosphere. There is always something happening here.
Vagabond Brewery: a little out of the way, but definitely worth the visit as it has some of the best beer in town.

I could keep listing places, but I will leave it at that. If you are interested in finding out more, come visit and I will take you on a tour myself :)
My extra insider tip for you is
The thing about Salem is that there is more to it than meets the eye. Brave the small town vibe and pay attention to your surroundings. This is a town full of awesome hole-in-the-walls and great people. If you don't take the time to look past the surface, you'll miss everything.
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