Where to Take Your Parents Near Willamette University

Just because your parents have dropped you off at Willamette University doesn't mean that they won't come for a visit. Whether it's a surprise stop by, a school event or just picking you up to go home for a school break, you'll need some things to do and definitely a break from cafeteria food. Salem isn't exactly a bustling capital city, but it does have a few charms of its own.

Places to See
Riverfront Park is surprisingly large. Relive your childhood by taking a ride on the historic carousel or just stroll around the park grounds. Many locals and students enjoy jogging or running on the trail that goes alongside the river and you can even take a quick ride on The Willamette Queen, a steamboat reproduction.

Tour the Capitol Building and learn about the unusual story behind the architecture that is unlikely any other in the States.

Willamette Valley Vineyards is a great spot if you're old enough to drink. If you're not, then still take your parents up for an amazing view of the surrounding wine country and a wood-fired pizza. Chocolate truffles and other menu items are treats that everyone can enjoy.

Where to Eat

Word of Mouth is Salem's claim to fame. Even though Portland is filled with brunch spots to wait in line for, Word of Mouth draws people from all over the state willing to wait in line for its famous French toast renditions. Limited hours and select days make it a hard place to get into, but definitely worth the wait if you're a fan of the most important meal of the day—just check the open hours before you go.

The Kitchen on Court St. is one of the few "hip" spots in Salem. Reasonably priced, the spot is now open 24/7, making it perfect for coming in after a long flight or any other odd time you find yourself in need of a bite to eat. The menu is pretty eclectic with specials that change on a regular basis so everyone can find something to eat.

The Governor's Cup is the ultimate coffee hangout in downtown Salem. Show your parents where you get your caffeine fix for all that studying they think you're doing.

Carly Zinderman is a freelance writer from Los Angeles that currently spends her time exploring Portland. She has written for many websites on topics including travel, food and drink.