We all need a little getaway every once in a while! And there are plenty of things to do in Virginia. So many quaint towns are perfect for a staycation, and downtown Salem VA is one of the best. From locally-owned shops to Salem, Virginia hotels, here are recommendations for a fabulous stay.
Why Downtown Salem VA?
Downtown Salem VA is located in southwest Virginia, right outside of Roanoke. The main street is filled with many things to do that are all within walking distance. Having a staycation on Main Street means that you don’t have to go far when you want to explore.
There is a vast variety of Salem, Virginia restaurants along with some of the cutest local shops. The map of Virginia shows where Salem is in relation to other popular cities, such as Roanoke, Danville, and Lynchburg. It’s also close to Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
Map of Virginia, Showing Salem
Downtown Salem VA is located in SW Virginia within driving distance to many other cities.
Salem, Virginia Map of Main Street
Pay close attention to the Salem, Virginia map below. There are so many locally-owned businesses and Salem restaurants (more on that later!). It’s fabulous to get a taste of the city while being able to walk to it all.
When you’re on a staycation, you should be able to relax and not feel stressed about making plans. Low-stress Salem, Virginia things to do aren’t lacking at all. From breweries and coffee shops to antique stores and healthy eateries, it’s a fun place to go!
Salem, Virginia things to do are located all along this map of Virginia’s Main Street.
Things to Do in Salem, VA This Weekend
If you’re close enough to make an impromptu trip, there’s a helpful calendar. Knowing things to do in Salem, VA this weekend (or any time you plan on visiting) is really helpful!
Make plans around a festival, or avoid Roanoke College graduation weekend. It’s all up to you when you decide to go. However, a quick glance at the calendar can help you make the best choice. Be sure to peek at the Salem, Virginia events before you plan a trip.
Where to Stay – Salem, Virginia Hotels
When it comes to hotels in Salem off of I-81 there are a few choices. However, if you’re not just passing through looking for a quick overnight stay, other Salem, Virginia hotels pale in comparison to The Lofts at Downtown Salem.
Marked in the downtown Salem VA map above, the red arrow points to The Lofts. Equipped with roomy closets, full kitchens, and a laundry room, the rooms are ultra-cozy and clean.
The building was built in 1924 and once housed a motor company. The remnants, such as the wall covering, still remain, which adds character to the common areas. It also served as a car dealership and a body shop. By staying at The Lofts, you can be a part of Salem, Virginia history in a unique way.
Of all the Salem, Virginia hotels, The Lofts certainly have an interesting story. After it served many vehicle-centric purposes, the building was in disrepair until 2017. Now it sees now life by housing two restaurants and a boutique hotel.
A Peek into The Lofts at Downtown Salem VA
Finding the Entry
If you look at the map above, you’ll see a “P” below the arrow, which is the best place to park. The entrances to The Lofts at Downtown Salem are located on the side of the building towards Wells Fargo.
The hotel is on Main Street, and here’s what the outside looks like so that you can find it easily.
Skip the hotels in Salem off I-81 and head to downtown Salem, VA to The Lofts.
A Peek Into the Rooms
Each room at The Lofts at Downtown Salem is unique. The building has many beams and structures that are part of its Salem, Virginia history. Therefore it was a great decision of the owners to work around the existing architecture.
The accommodation below is just one of their many gorgeous rooms. You’ll see the full kitchen, lounge area, work station, bathroom, and bedroom. Such a lovely space!
P.S. If you’re a toiletry snob, you’ll love their choice of Roam products!
The Lofts at Downtown Salem is one of the quaintest Salem, Virginia hotels.
Things to Do in Virginia – Main Street Salem
When it comes to downtown Salem, VA there are many things to do. Plus, you can fit it all into one, relaxing weekend. The Lofts are close to many cute shops—especially if you like handmade and vintage.
Walking to Salem, Virginia restaurants is also a highlight. Although you can order in and have your meals delivered if you want to get cozy in your space.
As a reminder, these are suggestions for things to do on a relaxing staycation. However, if you are looking for a full list of things to do in downtown Salem, VA be sure to peek at Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge’s site.
Salem, Virginia Things to Do – Shopping
Blue Moon Vintage Merchantile
Blue Moon Vintage Merchantile is a delightful shop that is almost directly across from The Lofts at Downtown Salem. Virginia handicrafts, farmhouse decor, and antiques are all throughout the shop. You never know what you’ll find!
Their curated collection of artisans makes handmade jewelry, lovely pottery, upcycled decor, and other one-of-a-kind wares are made locally. However, they also have new items, such as tea towels and home decor items along with fabulous vintage finds.
Stop in if you’re looking for a locally made souvenir to remember your staycation. It’s a great way to support the local economy during your staycation.
Blue Moon Vintage Merchantile has a fun selection of antique and handmade items.
Wonderous Books & More
Are you a book shop lover? If so, then Wonderous Books & More is the place to go! It’s next to Blue Moon and super close to The Lofts. Go in and grab a book to read during your staycation.
The store is owned by an ambitious–and sweet—college student who adores reading and writing. She has created a lovely space for taking in your favorite novel for a few hours.
Be sure to notice the scrabble tiles used to mark sections and her logo recreated on the wall. The book took a while to fold, but it looks super cute. We say it was worth the time invested!
Shop locally in downtown Salem, VA while supporting an independent bookshop. So cute!
Charlotte’s Web Antique Mall
Those that adore decorating their homes with found, thrifted, and vintage items will adore Charlotte’s Web Antique Mall! Filled with a plethora of dealers with a variety of items, there truly is something for everyone.
Be sure not to miss the outside, too! The outdoor space has patio furniture and salvaged items. If you are a DIY aficionado or just need pieces for your yard or porch, you’ll enjoy taking a peek around.
Due to the fact that they have many vendors, their stock is constantly rotating. How fun!
Antique lovers will enjoy shopping at Charlotte’s Web Antique Mall in downtown Salem VA.
Things to Do in Salem, Virginia – History
Downtown Salem, VA Highlights
If you have time and weather permits, take a walk along Main Street. Although be sure to head down the side streets, too. Take notice of the LOVE sign and the historic buildings.
You can also walk the grounds of Roanoke College. The school has a lovely campus that has gorgeous foliage set against the backdrop of brick buildings. Walking is great exercise after staying in and relaxing a bit.
Roanoke College and Salem’s LOVE sign make fabulous stops on a morning walk downtown.
City of Salem Farmers Market
The Farmers Market has been in the heart of downtown Salem VA since 1992 and offers a variety of vendors. Produce, flowers, and homemade goods—such as bread and Lebanese fare—are constant at this outdoor event.
Visiting the market is one of the things to do in Salem, VA this weekend that happens each weekend. If you’re there on a Saturday, be sure to check it out.
The flowers alone are worth the trip—they ended up on the windowsill in my room. What a gorgeous selection!
Spend a Saturday morning at the City of Salem’s Farmers Market.
Salem, Virginia Restaurants
There is a whole host of restaurants, eateries, and beverage-centric locations—including Italian restaurants—in Salem, VA. Not only is there a variety of cuisines, but the price points and formality varies.
Head out for a fancy dinner, or order a pizza to have in your room. The choice is yours, but flavors abound in these Salem restaurants.
Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea – Downtown Salem VA Location
Good news! If you adore local coffee, this is the place. However, your room at The Lofts at Downtown Salem also includes mini bags of coffee from Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea. What a delight!
However, if you prefer a cider, hot chocolate, or a fancier coffee drink, just walk down the street. The coffee shop also has pastries and other food items for a quick grab and go.
Local beans from Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea is already in the rooms at The Lofts. Yay!
As the name says, they have delicious pizza. Although this is one of the true Italian restaurants in Salem, VA. Beyond pizza, they have pasta dishes, make calzones, and have a plethora of other menu items.
But, if you want to order in and watch a movie, Frank’s Pizza is a terrific option. Walk to get your meal, or have it delivered. Either option is ok—it’s just a few doors down.
Frank’s Pizza is one of the Italian restaurants in Salem, VA that’s close by.
Blue Apron Restaurant & Red Rooster Bar
Sometimes staycations call for a relaxed, upscale dinner out. If you love eating out and want to sample unique, delicious cuisine, you can walk to Blue Apron Restaurant & Red Rooster Bar.
It’s one of the Salem, Virginia restaurants that takes pride in creating culinary delights for their patrons. It’s the perfect excuse to put on something a bit nicer and linger over dinner and drinks.
Blue Apron is one of the Salem restaurants that is perfect for a date night during your staycation.
Elderberry’s – Downtown Salem VA Location
Smoothie lovers, unite! Although smoothies are a specialty, Elderberry’s is a fabulous place to order a sandwich, wrap, or even a dessert item.
Their downtown Salem VA location is really close to The Lofts. Therefore, you can walk to pick up a sandwich for lunch so that you can relax in your room. Fresh ingredients and creative combinations are their specialties!
The vegan Superfood Slaw Wrap from Elderberry’s is so delicious and healthy.
Olde Salem Brewing Company
If you adore drinks made with hops, then sample a flight of beers from Olde Salem Brewing Company. It’s a fabulous place to hang out, chat, and even catch a game on one of the big screens.
You can also grab some brews to take back to your loft. After all, it is perfect to go along with pizza or another type of takeout. Stay in and enjoy time in your room as you taste beer that’s brewed locally.
Olde Salem Brewing Company is located downtown within walking distance of The Lofts.
El Jefe Taqueria Garaje
Whether you’re in the mood for Mexican or are feeling a bit lazy, head to El Jefe Taqueria Garaje. Why on the lazy part? Well, El Jefe is one of two Salem, Virginia restaurants located in the same building as The Lofts.
Take advantage of the close proximity and grab some chips and guac, and sample their freshly made tacos. They also deliver and do carryout, so this is another fabulous option for a night of staying in.
Although, with the decor and spaces they have—a partially covered patio, indoors, or on the porch—you may want to dine in. Their outdoor space also includes a stunning fireplace for those chilly nights.
El Jefe Taqueria Garaje is located in the rear of the building that houses The Lofts at Downtown Salem.
Planning a Workcation in Downtown Salem VA
Of course, it’s fun to get away as a couple! You need that time to focus on each other and relax. Sleeping in and eating local cuisine makes for a relaxing few days.
However, you may need to get out of your normal surroundings for a workcation. It’s not quite as fun as just relaxing. However, heading somewhere new can be just what you need to focus on your work.
The Lofts at Downtown Salem are perfect for a quiet few days away so that you can work in a lovely space.
Your workcation can be a combination of relaxing, exploring, and—of course—working.
Will you visit downtown Salem VA?
Hopefully, you will get there someday! Whether you only have an overnight or can spend a few days, it’s a delightful little town. It’s located close to I-81. Therefore, it’s a fabulous stop if you are passing through and can spend a bit of time.
No matter what takes you to southwest Virginia, plan to visit. Stop and smell the roses—ok, the Farmers Market flowers—while you’re there. Enjoy!
HelenOkayyy hi Salem!!! I went to Roanoke College and gosh, I miss this town so much! What a great place to spend 4 years… I loved your review, great job and thank you for the walk down memory lane! 🙂
JenniferOh, that is amazing!! The campus of RC is gorgeous. and the town is so fun. I love that you went there!! 🙂
NeelyLooks like such a cute town! I’ve only briefly been in VA but I loved it.
StephanieGoodness – I haven’t been to Salem since I was probably 7 years old! My family lived in Roanoke for about 6 months when I was little, but all I remember of it were the beautiful views and Mill Mountain coffee (iconic)! I’ll have to take a weekend trip up there soon to see some of these other spots in person. That used bookstore is calling my name!
VenusI need a place where I can unwind. It looks so calming and peaceful. By the way, I wasn’t expecting the rooms to look so modern. 🙂
AgnesIt’s such a great guide to Salem. Perfectly, you gave recommendations on where to stay because I always have a problem choosing a place overnight. You also provide hints on where to eat and drink, which I really like. Salem seems like an interesting place with fascinating architecture. Blue Moon Vintage Merchantile looks fabulous. I love handicrafts, farmhouse decor, and antiques, so I will definitely visit this shop. I’m also a huge fan of bookshops, so I add Wonderous Books & More to my list. The outdoor space with patio furniture and salvaged items in Charlotte’s Web Antique Mall is fantastic!
JamieThe area around the Blue Ridge Mountains is some of the most beautiful in the world – love the idea of a staycation here! The recommendation of staying downtown in the lofts is so perfect for a relaxing staycation and puts you into the heart of the town – and with such a tremendous vibe (love the timber beam accents and all the little details shown). The small town shops really look so quaint to draw you in; I’d love a chance to relax while exploring Wonderous Books & more for an hour or two or three.
CaitlinThese are my favorite kinds of travel posts – the ones where you are taken on a tour of a small but amazing location! I’ve never been to VA but if I find myself there I’ll have to visit Salem!
DeborahI’ve never heard of this town but it looks so charming! I think a mini trip over there may be in my near future!
CeciliaWe were just in Roanoke 2 weekends ago! Didn’t realize we were so close to Salem! It looks like such a cute area. Much more of a small-town vibe in comparison to Roanoke. Those lofts look right up our alley in terms of style and we probably would have spent every morning at Mill Mountain Cafe!
Bhushavali NI’m new to the term ‘workcation’, but is sounds totally legit, esp., now in the midst of Covid and tele-working! I should really plan one. The Lofts in Downtown Salem look adorable. Definitely a much better choice than mainstream chain hotels. I’d fine a gazillion things that I’d want to buy at Blue Moon Vintage Merchantile & Charlotte’s Web Antiques Mall!
ClariceThese lofts are really cozy and adequate and we would love to stay there in the future. I did not realize there is so much to see and do in Salem. I would love to visit Blue Moon. I feel this is the best place to find unique gifts since you mentioned that are locally made. Thank you for sharing this. We will surely consider this during our future staycations.
taylorThe Lofts at Downtown Salem look amazing!! I love how they’re decorated!
Adele GeeWhen I visited the US, I realized there were many Salems, each in different states. The Salem in Virginia looks very cozy from its lofts to the quaint bookstore. The map you included is very helpful to get bearings. I do wish to have a staycation in Salem right about now.
Yukti AgrawalDowntown Salem looks interesting place to visit due to many locally owned shops and restaurants. Good to know everything here is in walking distance as I love to explore the town on foot. Workacation at The Lofts too is an interesting option to change our work location from home to something different.
SherianneI bet it is gorgeous in Salem right now with the fall colors. The Lofts look like the perfect accommodation, love the décor and the washer/dryer is a bonus. I love to browse farmers markets and buy fresh fruit, it always tastes better!
MonicaWhat a quaint little town. Historical towns with magnificent architecture are always my choice to stay over modern buildings. The patios, bookshops, antique gift shops all look soothing. The lofts in downtown are gorgeous. Blue Moon Vintage Merchantile & Charlotte’s Web Antiques Mall are surely going to absorb most of the time for anyone. Salem is such a good choice!