Summer is officially here, bringing with it countless activities, events, and family fun to explore in Independence. The only catch is many of these activities fill up quickly, so we recommend reserving your spot to stay with us (along with any other activities you’d like to try) as soon as you can. The total number of events here this summer is countless, but to help get you started, we have listed our top 10 summer event recommendations for 2023, happening from July-September. So read below and then mark your calendars because the sunniest season in the Valley is approaching and we can’t wait to host you here!
This gorgeous view awaits! Nearly every room is situated to make the most of the idyillic river front location.
Salsa nights at The Independence
We are bringing the heat with Salsa Dancing on the rooftop! We are excited to present to you for the first time at The Independence: Salsa Nights! Have you always wanted to try to dance? Or perhaps you danced years ago and are hoping to get back into the swing of things now? Maybe you’re a professional salsa dancer and this is a chance to show off your moves, or perhaps you’ve never danced in your life and you just want to learn how to not step on someone’s feet. Whatever your reason for coming to Salsa night, the only rule is have fun! Enjoy the music and get your body moving in this welcoming, judgment-free space.
Plan on August 19th and September 16th, with a lesson by experienced instructor, Debra Seeck and music by DJ Dos Latino. Enjoy a lesson at 7:30, then dance the night away from 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm.
Bailar (salsa vocabulary for dance) your way to a thrilling night!
Saturday Live Music on the Rooftop
Saturdays this summer through September, we have live music on the rooftop from 6 pm – 8 pm. Enjoy a glass of wine or cocktail while listening to local musicians as we enjoy longer days and beautiful skies. We’re expecting picture perfect sunny weather, but if it does start to drizzle, have no fear! Drinks and music will be moved to the covered solarium where you can still watch the river change colors with the sunset and listen to the raindrops drum all around while you stay dry inside. Looking for more information on the schedule, check out Territory’s Instagram, or call the hotel 503-837-0200.
Soak up the last sunrays of the day while unwinding with some great local music.
Enjoy wine, drinks, and Territory’s full menu up on the rooftop.
Yoga on the Rooftop
Every other Saturday morning from July-August, The Independence Hotel will be offering an 8am Yoga class on the rooftop through Salem’s Common People Yoga. Next classes are July 22nd, August 5th, and August 19th. Take in the sun while the air is still crisp and start your day by centering your body and mind for whatever fun you have planned. The class is accessible for all levels, and you’ll be in good hands with expert, certified, local instructors. It’ll be the ultimate Nama-stay here at the hotel! Questions about dates? Call the hotel 503-704-6776.
Yogis of all skill levels are invited to participate.
It’s all about balance!
The river in the backdrop showing us how to flow.
Uncorked Music Series at Eola Hills
Eola Hill’s beloved concert series, Summer Uncorked, is not to be missed! Set amongst the hillside vines next to Legacy Lake, enjoy live performances with multiple rotating local food trucks all summer long. Bring your own chairs or blanket and stake out a spot on the lawn and experience the very best of Willamette Valley wine country,
Doors and food trucks open at 5:00PM and music kicks off at 6:00PM.
General Admission : $20 per person online ($25 per person at the door) Children 12 and under are free!
Wine Club Members & Eola Hills Shareholders: $10 per person ($15 at the door)
These musicians will get you dancing in the vines!
In a setting that highlights the best of Willamette Valley Wine Country.
Sunset Series at Eola Hills Legacy Estate
Bask in the beauty of summer while enjoying live music and wine specials from the Eola Hills Legacy Estate’s patio. Enjoy a “midweek unwind” Wednesday night from 6-9pm with their late night Sunset Sessions. Great music, with stunning views of the valley and coastal range in the distance, with charcuterie to complement their excellent wine selection. Their portfolio of reserve wines will be available by the glass or bottle. Feel free to bring outside food if you’re craving something a little more substantial.
Gather your friends and family and come experience the magic of wine country in the golden hours at this picturesque vineyard estate.
Get a pre, or post parade bite on the Territory patio.
Get an unbeatable view of the fireworks from the rooftop terrace!
“The Summer of 69”
There’s a reason Bryan Adams chose the summer season when writing his hit, “Summer of 69.” There’s perhaps no better time of year to be outside and listen to the tunes that shaped us. Luckily, the Gerry Frank Amphitheater is showcasing that famous era of music in Salem with a “Summer of 69” music festival this September. Costumes are encouraged (I know you’ve all been waiting for the chance to bust out your bell bottoms) because it’s time to embrace the camp and nostalgia of the 1960’s and 70’s. Food, beverages, and goods from local vendors will all be available for purchase at the festival, and you can choose between a spot in seated reserved zone, or a general-admission ticket. (Don’t worry though, you still get to sit, you just need to bring your own blankets and chairs, etc.). Buy tickets here.
Situated in the Riverfront Park, the ampitheater features a unique covered stage.
River’s Edge Summer Series
One of our most beloved local series, no summer trip to Independence would be complete without checking out the River’s Edge Summer Series. From July 7th-August 19th, enjoy local movies, concerts, and other local performances right by the waterfront. Local vendors, food trucks, and artisans gather to sell goods, and show off all of the immense talent that surrounds this community. Movies play on Thursday nights at the Independence Amphitheater, and start at 9pm (when the sun sets enough to actually see the screen). And if you’re craving an earlier evening, concerts take place on Friday nights, starting at 6:30. Both are free! Check out the website for all updated information and need-to-know details. Plan on dinner at Territory, catch the show and stay with us for a fun Summer date night, or night out with the family!
With a range of movies and musical artists the Summer Series has something for everyone.
Rock out to some of the state’s best live entertainment!
Summer Wine Time
Wineries hold events throughout the year in Oregon wine country, but summer is when those activities embrace the ability to go outside. As a result, there is perhaps no season with a wider array of activities to choose from when considering all 700+ wineries in the Willamette Valley. Chris James Cellars holds various game nights in the summer, while Brooks offers classes on medicinal plants (amongst many other festivities). Airlie Winery is a tasting haven for those traveling with their dogs, with a large pond on the property that dogs are encouraged to swim in and cool off. Soter Vineyards allows you to sip while taking Pilates on the property, and less than an hour away, Branch Point Distillery offers both hands on cocktail-making classes and cigar pairing nights. Dozens of wineries hold local food and wine pairing courses, holiday events, new release parties, picnic tastings, and farm-to-table dinners. So whatever you hope to try at a vineyard this summer, chances are, there’s a winery perfect for you! With that said, if you prefer more low-key informal tastings, there’s no rule that says you have to attend an event. Book a wine tasting, bask in the warmth of the sun, and breathe in the Daphne and other local flora that grows amongst the vines. Or bring a picnic blanket, pack a lunch, and purchase a bottle to enjoy on the property, away from the crowds. Then come stay with us at The Independence Hotel and sip from whatever wine you purchased during the day up on our rooftop deck!
(Check out the full list of winery events)
Soak in the sights on the enormous deck at Chris James Cellars.
In addition to fantastic wine, Brooks is serving up delights from a wood-fired oven.
There may be no better place for your pup than Airlie Winery.
Needing a wine break? Check out Branch Point for a whiskey tasting!
Soter Vineyards is located on a 240 acre biodynamic farm.
Northwest Art and Air Festival
Maybe you have read options 1-8 and thought, “I don’t know, I’m looking for something a little different.” Well, fear not, because the Northwest Art and Air Festival might be right up your alley. From August 25th-27th, check out the work of local artists while watching hot air balloons soar through the sky. The festival will include local vendors, a car show, a “night glow” event, and of course, more balloon rides than you can count. Just make sure to reserve your spot as early as possible if you want to ride the hot air balloons as spots fill up quickly and the balloons depart each morning at 6:45am. Take in the beauty of the Willamette Valley from a one-of-a-kind bird’s eye view as you fly through the sky and watch the land change colors as the sun rises overhead. The festival is held in nearby Albany and you can find all the details you’re looking for on their website.
Paint the car is one of the many kid friendly activities in the Family Zone.
Sign up early for a balloon ride!
Float the Willamette
Last, but certainly not least, we have a less official event to attend this summer. This one doesn’t involve any sponsors, vendors, crowds or tickets, it’s simply our favorite summer activity to try when staying here at The Independence Hotel: getting onto the river and enjoying the day on a leisurely float. Bring an inner tube, or rent a kayak, and put into the river at one of many nearby spots (including directly in front of the hotel). Make sure to wear sunscreen, bring lots of water and snacks, and take your time as you learn why our local river has gained the nickname, “The lazy Willamette.” Listen to the sound of local birds, and close your eyes, feeling the sunrays dance on your face as you float effortlessly, without a care in the world. And if you’re in need of a kayak, check out Independence Kayak Rentals, a superb local organization that will pick you up, drop you off, and provide you with kayaks, sunscreen, and water!
Grab your favorite flotation device and jump in!
The Independence is perfectly located near several spots to start (or end) your adventure.
No better way to cool off on a hot Pacific Northwest day!
You have reached the end of our top ten summer activity list, but know that this list only represents the very tip of the iceberg. So book your rooms at The Independence, and come see for yourself what summer in wine country is all about!