WanderLove is about reconnecting with what you love. Experience the Blue Ridge Mountains, a charming downtown, and all of the winding roads in between when you road trip through Salem, Va.
In this national historic district, you’ll find a relaxing getaway with an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities. Discover the best spots to play, eat, and stay in this guide to Salem.
Go Outside and Play
Bordered by the mountains with the Roanoke River running through town, there’s an adventure waiting for you around every corner of Salem. Hike the Triple Crown, a section of the Appalachian Trail, for the best views of the Roanoke Valley. Along the way, you’ll find challenging terrain, overlooks where you can see for miles, and unique rock formations for bouldering.
With nearly 60 miles of trails, Carvins Cove is one of the best places on the East Coast for mountain biking. Whether you prefer cross country singletrack, downhill, or fire roads, there’s something for riders of all abilities. Cool off with a paddle on the 630-acre reservoir. Located less than ten miles from Salem, Carvins Cove is close enough to easily bike back into town for a meal or a drink.
If you prefer to get outside and paddle, the Roanoke River Blueway provides a variety of adventures on the water. With multiple public access points, customize your trip through urban centers and backcountry spots. Canoe, kayak, fish, tube, or wade into the river as you take in the sights and sounds of the region. The Roanoke River Greenway provides a paved path along the river for walkers, runners, and bikers alike.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with a treat from a few Salem favorites. Corbin’s Confections offers nut and gluten-free baked goods, like pies, bread, and cake pops. The Dilly Dally has something for every season, from ice cream and cupcakes to Virginia produced products and nightcrawlers for fishermen.
Swing by the Salem Farmers Market on Saturdays for local produce and delicious sweets. Outside of the pandemic, the market is a local hub for concerts, craft fairs, and other public events, including the lighting of the city Christmas tree.
Find a place downtown for lunch and dinner. For casual family dining, Mac and Bob’s serves everything from 100 craft beers to the largest calzones around. Enjoy the “beachy vibes” meets “sports bar” atmosphere at Awful Arthurs, a local restaurant specializing in seafood. Stocked with 85 different tequilas, El Jefe Taqueria Garaje is an eclectic taqueria serving simple, fresh tacos and signature drinks.
Take a photo with the LOVE sign as it travels around the community. You can currently find the sign at the Salem Public Library. The peace sign in the “O” represents Salem, which is derived from the Hebrew word Shalom meaning peace, wholeness, harmony, and tranquility.
Relax and Unwind
End your day at one of the breweries in Salem for a brew crafted in the mountains. From pilsners and sours to IPAs and hard seltzers, Olde Salem Brewing Company has a drink for everyone. Buy a craft beer by the pint or growler from Parkway Brewery Company, and keep an eye out for future events featuring live music and food trucks.
Spend the night, the week, or the month at The Lofts at Downtown Salem. These historically renovated one-bedroom apartments are fully furnished, tastefully decorated, and just a short walk to all the amenities the downtown has to offer.
Experience WanderLove for yourself when you visit Salem, Va.
Please check local guidelines and regulations before making plans to get outside. Remember to practice social distancing guidelines, wear a mask, and respect others’ health when outside.