Marion County is located south of the Portland Metro area and stretches from the Willamette River to the Cascade Mountains encompassing nearly 1,200 square miles. Most of its population of 315,900 can reach the Pacific beaches in under two hours. Marion County has 20 cities, including the State Capitol, Salem, and is home to both Willamette University and Corban University. Cities in Marion County include Aurora, Hubbard, Keizer, Mt. Angel, Salem, Silverton, Stayton, and Woodburn.