Originally from Oregon’s Rogue River Valley, Debbie McCune, director of sales for Travel Salem, relocated to her new hometown when her son was young. In fact, the city’s kid-friendliness is one of the things that attracted her.

“I love that Salem is a family-friendly place to raise your kids, and there are a ton of things to do. Some of my favorite kid-friendly spots are the Gilbert House Children’s Museum, Salem’s Riverfront Carousel, The Kroc Center, Enchanted Forest and The Oregon Garden,” says McCune. “Not to mention we have the Willamette River, which runs straight through our city. With Wallace Marine Park Sports Complex on one side of the river, Riverfront Park on the other (blending into the Minto-Brown Island Park) and walking bridges unifying the two sides, there’s an abundance of beautiful public space.”

One of her favorite things to do in the city is to explore its dining options. “There is something for anyone’s taste, from the collective of food trucks at The Yard Food Park to the Northwest-inspired cuisine at Bentley’s Grill or an extravagant dessert from Sweet Smith, Salem’s list of great eateries is always growing,” notes McCune. All the better to sate the appetites of delegates, hungry after a day of meetings spent in some of the city’s 450,000 square feet of meeting space, which includes the 30,000-square-foot award-winning, EarthWISE-certified Salem Oregon Convention Center. Salem also offers 2,140 hotel rooms, with another 1,000 within 30 minutes of the city.

Here are McCune’s top three things meeting and event planners should know about Salem:
» Salem is centrally located in the beautiful Willamette Valley in the heart of wine country. In 2016, Wine Enthusiast magazine named Willamette Valley its “Wine Region of the Year.”
» Oregon has no sales tax (shopping spree, anyone?).
» Parking at the Salem Convention Center is free.

Ask Liz Perry, president and CEO of Travel Juneau, what she loves most about her adopted hometown and she points to the city’s three most alluring features: its natural beauty, walkability and recreational opportunities. 

Good choices. 

 

Meeting and event planners can set their sails for this nautical town.

 

Just a 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle can transport you to a totally different world, says Mickey Molnaire, director of marketing and tourism for the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce. You can leave the big-city stresses behind, and you’ll find a vibrant, welcoming community. “I love the way people who live or work here get active and involved,” she says, “and just the friendliness and slower pace of life.”