Visiting Mt. Angel, Oregon


As the crow flies, Mt. Angel, Oregon is 18 miles northeast of Salem. A rural community of about 4,000, Mt. Angel is perhaps best known for its German heritage and Catholic influence.

Visiting Mt. Angel, Oregon View

Mt. Angel Abbey

Tucked among the rolling, fertile hills of Marion County, Mt. Angel is a wonderful destination for a Sunday drive. In fact, we arrived at the Mt. Angel Abbey on a Sunday and just in time for the 11:55 ringing of the bells for noon prayer.

Visiting Mt. Angel, Oregon Abbey

Heard for miles around, the Bell Tower houses eight cast-bronze bells that call the monks to prayer six times each day. Each bell has a different musical note and is named after a saint (according to the Abbey website, the largest bell weighs more than four tons and the set is considered the largest free-swinging bells on the West Coast).

Where to Stay

Find family-friendly accommodations in Mt.Angel, Oregon from traditional hotels to private vacation rentals through Stay22.com:

Visiting Mt. Angel, Oregon Courtyard

Beyond delighting visitors with music, Mt. Angel Abbey welcomes visitors of all denominations and interest to enjoy a hilltop tour of the campus. Key stops include a bookstore and cafe, a library, and natural history museum (scheduled to re-open on October 16, 2016 after a complete redesign). Mt. Abbey monks even brew their own beer!

Visiting Mt. Angel, Oregon Abbey Walking Path

As you travel along Abbey Drive, you will notice white statuaries representing the Fourteen Stations of the Cross. The stations recall the suffering and death of Jesus Christ and date back to 1889. Many people walk the paved path in prayer, ending at the Grotto of Mary at the top of the hill.

Downtown Mt. Angel

Back in the town of Mt. Angel, you will notice a heavy German influence with a decorative maypole, bavarian architecture, and pubs named The Drunken German and Frank-N-Steins. We enjoyed an authentic meal at the Glockenspiel Restaurant at the intersection of North Main and East Charles Streets.

Visiting Mt. Angel, Oregon Abbey Walking Path glockenspiel

You can’t miss the building, as it is perhaps the largest and tallest in the downtown business district. The interior matches the exterior in decorum; we loved the massive beer steins and Oom-pah-pah statue of a tuba-playing man in green lederhosen.

Visiting Mt. Angel, Oregon Abbey Walking Path glockenspiel bar

Bursting with Wienerschnitzel¬†and potato cakes, we set out on a walk of the town’s antique shopping district. Some of the shops were closed on Sunday, but many were open, including The White Corner Store and an antique mall housed in the building adjacent to the tall, white grain elevator.

Visiting Mt. Angel, Oregon View Thrift Store

If you have the full day, consider a drive into Silverton to explore The Oregon Garden or the beautiful Silver Falls State Park. We also found a bunch of family-friendly activities and attractions in Salem.

Happy trails!

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About the Author

Julie Henning
Julie Henning is a freelance writer and journalist based out of Eugene, Oregon. She is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and owner of the family-travel website RoadTripsForFamilies.com. She is a recent past member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association and the Association for Great Lakes Outdoor Writers. Julie is the Oregon Coast destination specialist for Bindu Media, an itinerary-focused website launching in Spring 2016 and featuring the work of 200+ professional, indie travel writers. Julie has been published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin State Journal, The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Illinois), the Rochester Post Bulletin, Wisconsin Natural Resources (DNR) Magazine, Sustainable Chicago Magazine, Group Tour Magazine, Student Group Tour Magazine, Silent Sports Magazine, Intercom Magazine, Roadtrippers.com, and FTF Geocacher Magazine. Julie has appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio, Ohio Public Radio, and KCBX FM Central Coast Radio and is an affiliate producer with the Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, a National Public Radio travel podcast. She has blogged for TravelWisconsin.com, Travel Oregon, and VISIT Milwaukee. Julie travels with her three kids and black lab as much as possible and lives by the motto, "Not all who wander are lost." Check out some of her best work at www.juliehenning.com.