With its rich soil and temperate climate, the Salem area is home to a number of stunning gardens whose jaw-dropping displays of color draw visitors from far and wide. Combine these garden gems with the more than 30 award-winning wineries in the region, and you’ve got the makings for a perfect wine and gardens getaway to the Mid-Willamette Valley.
Just north of Salem, enjoy the ultimate garden experience by visiting the twelve farms and stores that make up the Gardening 263 Trail. Pick your perfect peony at Adelman’s Peony Gardens or Brooks Gardens; take in the sea of color at Schreiner’s Iris Gardens; and meander through the lush display of hostas and other shade-loving plants at Sebright Gardens.
After enjoying the stops on the Gardening 263 trail, head west to visit some of the wineries and vineyards in the beautiful Eola-Amity Hills AVA. At Stangeland Vineyards & Winery, savor beautiful hilltop views as you sample their award-winning, estate grown wines. Named for an ancient oak tree that was used as a surveyor’s landmark in 1854, nearby Witness Tree Vineyards produces first-rate Pinot noir, Chardonnay, Pinot blanc and Viognier. Finish your wine wanderings with a stop at Cristom Vineyards – recently named one of Oregon’s best wineries to visit by Food & Wine Magazine.
In the city of Salem, take a step back in time with a visit to Deepwood Gardens, a 4.5-acre English-style garden created by renowned landscape architects Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver. The gardens at Deepwood feature covered arches, gazebos and a nature trail that weaves its way along the western border of the property. Also in Salem, enjoy a full line of vinifera wines plus an extensive menu of fruit and specialty wines at Oregon’s oldest producing winery – Honeywood Winery, established in 1933 by Ron Honeyman and John Wood.
Of course, no Mid-Willamette Valley garden tour is complete without a trip to the region’s crown jewel: The Oregon Garden. The 80-acre botanical wonderland features 20 specialty gardens. Stay on-site at the Oregon Garden Resort―the perfect home base from which explore the charming town of Silverton. Be sure to stop at Howard Hinsdale Cellars & Bistro, a cozy bistro featuring a wide array of local and regional wines expertly paired with food. In the surrounding area, you’ll find friendly faces and boutique-style wines at family-owned wineries including Piluso Vineyard & Winery and Pudding River Wine Cellars.
For more trip planning ideas or to book your trip to the Salem area this spring, visit the Official Salem Area website, www.TravelSalem.com.