Global Greeters program is first in Oregon and offers personal, low-key walking tours.

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Visitors to Salem, Ore., now can sign up for a free, informal walk with local volunteers to see the sights as part of the new Salem Greeters Program.

Travel Salem says this is the first Greeters Program in the state. It’s part of the Global Greeters Network, which began in New York City, where local volunteers are known as Big Apple Greeters.

In Salem, volunteers will be taking individual tourists and small groups of six or fewer to see the city’s downtown core, home to interesting shops, cafes, galleries and other cultural and historic sites. Visitors with special interests can also ask for a customized itinerary. The greets will last an hour or two.

The greeters are not professional tour guides, but are more like destination ambassadors who share a personal perspective on their cities while offering advice on what to see and do.

To sign up for a greet in Salem, fill out a request form at least seven days before your visit at

More than 90 cities worldwide participate in the Global Greeters Network: see (So far it’s not active in any Washington cities.)