Stayton is a rural Western Oregon town, population around 8000, lost in time in the central Willamette Valley. It is well-located, authentic, and remarkably unchanged in many years.
Incorporated in 1891, the town sits along the skirts of the Santiam River east of Salem, off Highway 22 E.
Locally-owned businesses, including the historic Star movie theater, credit unions, Snow Peak brewery, North Third Bar & Restaurant, a pizza restaurant, gift shops, coffee, the Lovin’ Oven bakery, barbers and more, as well as the city offices and police department, are all to be found in the Old Downtown district. (Santiam Hospital is just a few blocks from this area.)
Below is the city library, set by a stream and adjacent to a city park and the public swimming pool, about two blocks out from the old town center.
Stayton’s parks are close-in and characterized by forests, waterways and trails. Below is an image taken in Wilderness Park, where there are 22+ acres with a system of trails through woods and along water.
The Santiam River flows through the 52-acre Riverfront Park, a short walk from downtown.
There are also 5+ acres in Pioneer Park (next image below), with its huge playground, lawns and trees. It’s where the weddings happen.
Stayton is about 12 miles east of Salem (capital city of Oregon, pop. over 160.000), off Highway 22. Salem has its own diverse and rich downtown core; it is also home to Willamette University.
If you continue east from Stayton, the road climbs over the Cascade Mountains to Central Oregon, where you find skiing/hiking/biking at Mt. Bachelor, and the city of Bend— which is growing like mad and has every urban amenity yet created.
And if you drive west on Highway 22 from Stayton through Salem, in about 75 miles you arrive at the breathtaking beaches of the Oregon coast, all of which are public.
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