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A Perfect Blue Ridge Getaway in Salem, Virginia

Everywhere you go in the welcoming City of Salem, Virginia, you will have a view of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. Whether you’re strolling through historic downtown or cheering for the Salem Red Sox, the mountain scenery is a part of Salem’s charm. The mountains provide more than beauty to this city, they beckon visitors to venture out for some serious fun.

Downtown Salem, VA

Lunch on the Trail

The outdoor adventures are limitless in and around Salem. There are hundreds of miles of trails within a 20 mile radius, including some world-class opportunities. The granddaddy of long-distance trails — the Appalachian Trail — is nearby. Hikers will definitely want to see McAfee Knob, the AT’s most photographed vista. More trails can be found at both Carvins Cove and Explore Park. Both have extensive networks of trails for hiking, trail running and mountain biking.

McAfee Knob

There are less strenuous, yet equally as scenic options, like the Hanging Rock Battlefield Trail, which includes historical markers commemorating the Civil War skirmish at Hanging Rock. Salem and neighboring Roanoke are home to the Roanoke River Greenway, a peaceful trail that runs parallel to the Roanoke River for nearly 20 miles. The greenway is a great spot for bird and wildlife viewing.

Upper James River Paddling

Spending time hiking and biking the mountain trails is always fun, but sometimes you just want to go with the flow. The Upper James River Water Trail and Roanoke River Blueway both offer kayaking and tubing, not to mention great fishing. Float on either river and you’ll be amazed that a river adventure just minutes from the city can feel like a remote wilderness trek.

Dinner and Lodging in Downtown

After a day of exploring the trails, you’ll be ready for some refreshment. Raise a glass at Olde Salem Brewing and Parkway Brewing Company . These locally-owned breweries serve great IPAs, pilsners, lagers and some of their own creative concoctions all in a fun, friendly atmosphere.

Olde Salem Brewing, Salem VA

The dining scene in Salem is just as diverse as the outdoor options. Stroll down Main Street in Salem’s lovely downtown and you’ll find dozens of great dining choices. Sample tacos and tequila at El Jefe; Dine in style at Frankie Rowlands Steakhouse; Savor great sandwiches and salads at Macado’s; And experience the wings and famous calzones at Mac and Bobs, an institution in Salem for more than 40 years. That’s just a few examples. There are plenty more options for comfort food, pizza, seafood, and leave room for dessert.

Mac and Bobs Restaurant, Salem, VA

The key to being in the center of all the activity is booking accommodations at one of the boutique hotels in downtown. The Rowland Hotel , located directly across from the Roanoke College campus, is home to the upscale Frankie Rowlands Steakhouse. A few blocks away is The Lofts at Downtown Salem, which offers stylish one-bedroom loft style accommodations in a restored 1924 building that once housed an automobile dealership.

Plan a Mountain Getaway

Salem is located in Virginia’s Blue Ridge and easily accessible from I-81 and Route 460. It’s perfectly situated for a long weekend getaway from Richmond, Washington, Knoxville and Raleigh. If you’re looking for a destination that offers endless fun in the great outdoors combined with great après-adventure dining and entertainment, plan a visit at

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