Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Salem, AR

  • Published 2022/09/22

If you want to try living a quiet suburban life, you should consider Salem, Arkansas, as your next destination.

Families or people seeking to escape the hustle of daily life should visit this city.

Besides offering many activities and sights, Salem has a certain rural charm.

Along with the adjacent Strawberry River, the fork of the Spring River flows through the northeastern Salem borders and offers outdoor entertainment options, including fishing and boating.

The numerous tourists that travel to the Salem neighborhood each year can enjoy beautiful views of the hills and waterways.

The White and Southfork Rivers and Norfork Lake are all within a 30-minute drive of Salem, which is in North Central Arkansas.

Salem is a beautiful area to start a family or spend your golden years because it is a hunter and fisherman’s paradise.

Here are the best things to do in Salem, Arkansas:

Discover the Fulton County Courthouse

Front view of Fulton County Courthouse's exterior

Brandonrush, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Fulton County Courthouse is in the middle of the town square in Salem, which features streets and stores on all outer walls.

In 1842, its previous owner donated the property to construct the Fulton County Courthouse.

Construction of the existing structure finished in 1890.

In 1973, the town rebuilt the courthouse.

The Fulton County Courthouse has two stories featuring red painted bricks.

Exterior of Fulton County Courthouse

Brandonrush, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There are no decorations of any kind, as the Fulton County Courthouse appears solid and functional.

The “Fulton County Master Gardeners,” a local organization, beautified the Fulton County Courthouse’s yard.

On the grass, the Fulton County Master Gardeners maintain more than a handful of flowerpots that contain blooming flowers.

Once inside the courthouse, you’ll find professional photos of remarkably stunning rural county scenery surrounding the courthouse’s first-floor hallway.

Join the Annual Fulton County Homecoming Festival

The Annual Fulton County Homecoming Festival is one of the most popular events in Salem.

The festival takes place every year in the last week of May.

The Annual Fulton County Homecoming Festival features a variety of activities, including live music, food vendors, Squirt Race, and more.

Some of the festival’s main events occur in Salem; the Fish Fry, for instance, takes place at Salem Senior Life Center.

If you are on the sporty side, why not try and win the Bank of Salem Mark Thomas Memorial Apple Pie 5K Race?

The festivities also include a Street Market in Salem Senior Life Center.

Enjoy a Night Cap at the Ozark Mountain Music Makers

The Ozark Mountain Music Makers is a great place to enjoy a nightcap in Salem.

These favorite local features live music and tasty drinks.

Established in 1964, the Ozark Mountain Music Makers aid in conserving the Ozark Mountains’ mountain music.

The Ozark Mountain Music Makers also organize benefit shows, such as the Jerry Trasher Benefit, where you can join a live auction and enjoy live music.

You can also sing with the locals at the live music jam sessions.

Sing your heart out!

The Ozark Mountains Music Makers is the place for you.

Book Your Stay at the Cottonwood Inn

The Cottonwood Inn is a great place to stay in Salem.

This bed and breakfast offers amenities, including complimentary breakfast and wifi, access to kitchen facilities, and 24-hour service.

The Cottonwood Inn also has a beautiful garden where you can stroll through or relax.

The friendly staff at the Cottonwood Inn will make you feel at home.

You can bring pets to the Cottonwood Inn, so you don’t have to worry about leaving your furry friend behind while you have a good time.

Spend a Late Night at Hillbilly U Pump

Hillbilly U Pump is a great place to spend a late night in Salem.

This gas station and convenience store in one opens 24 hours, so you can always get your late-night snacks here.

Kids will mainly have a grand time at the Hillbilly U Pump because they provide iPads and Xboxes for the kids to use while their parents stock up on supplies.

There is space for 10-12 semi-trailers or RVs behind the building, while you can park on both sides of the Hillbilly U Pump.

There is also a wide variety of food, from breakfast sandwiches to pizzas, as well as hot and cold drinks.

The Hillbilly U Pump is a great place to stop for a late-night bite or stock up on snacks for your road trip.

Explore Salem City Park

Salem City Park is a great place to spend the day, especially meditating on the grounds.

This park has a walking trail for those who want to exercise, a playground for the kids, and a pavilion for picnics.

There is a stunning pond where you can go fishing in winter.

Salem City Park becomes a winter wonderland with a blanket of snow.

Ducks are also a common sight in the park, so you might even be able to feed them.

Salem City Park is a great place to relax and enjoy nature’s beauty.

Explore the Outdoors at the Salem RV Park

The Salem RV Park has a wide variety of activities for you to do.

There are picnic tables and grills scattered around the park for a barbecue.

Likewise, the Salem RV Park has a swimming pool and shower for a more comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Organized events like bingo, chili cooking contests, and art fairs create a comfortable social ambiance.

The Salem RV Park is an excellent place for a weekend getaway or an extended vacation to escape the stress of modern life and enjoy the outdoors.

You can also bring your pets with you, so you don’t have to worry about leaving them behind while you enjoy yourself.

Wander Salem’s Main Street

Buildings along Main Street Salem

Brandonrush, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can explore the shops and other businesses on Salem’s Main Street.

The first stop is the historic Fulton County Courthouse, in the middle of the town square.

Admire the beautiful flowers in the courtyard and have a couple of snaps for posterity.

If you want to eat breakfast or lunch, you can try the Swingler Family Diner, which offers food such as bacon with eggs, burgers, clubhouse sandwiches, and salad.

Swingler Family Diner will also feel like taking a step toward the past with the rustic decorations.

After eating, you can try a new hairstyle at Trendy Tresses, a hair salon that offers haircuts, perms, and color services.

The charming Salem United Methodist Church is opposite the town square, and it is also worth visiting.

Get Healthy at the Thalweg Peak Nutrition Hub

The Thalweg Peak Nutrition Hub is a great place to start a healthy lifestyle and learn about nutrition.

This is where you can learn about the benefits of a healthy diet and how to make healthier choices regarding food.

Thalweg Peak Nutrition Hub serves the towns of Salem and Viola with nutritious shakes and smoothies made with natural fruit and vegetables.

You can try out Juju’s Oasis, made of white grapes and watermelon.

They also celebrate events such as Friday Eve with iced coffees and Yellowstone teas.

If you are a coffee lover, they also have a wide array of choices, such as mocha pumpkin, vanilla almond, Reeses Peanut Butter Cup, salted caramel mocha, and caramel pecan.

Watch a Baseball Game at the Preacher Roe Park

Preacher Roe Park, the community baseball field, is a half-mile from the Salem town square, used for Little League and pony league games.

The Park gets its name from the famous baseball pitcher, Elwin Charles Roe, born in Ash Flat, Arkansas, in 1916.

Roe grew up in the neighboring town of Viola.

As a baseball player, he made his career in Major League Baseball, playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, and St. Louis Cardinals.

According to a historical marker beside Preacher Roe Park, Preacher Roe volunteered his time to help generate money for the park’s lighting.

Roe traveled to Salem to play exhibition matches with some of his famous buddies, including Pittsburgh Pirate Bill Virdon.

They raised the money after only a few tournaments.

Revisit baseball history at Preacher Roe Park!

Bond with the Seniors at the Salem Senior Life Center

Salem Senior Life Center is where senior community members can bond and participate in activities.

Some activities at Salem Senior Life Center include arts and crafts, bingo, exercise classes, and game nights.

Senior citizens in Salem compete in the Bean Bag Baseball Match, a friendly event that everyone looks forward to.

Likewise, the Salem Senior Life Center organizes fundraising events, such as Funnel Cake Fundraiser, to help ensure the continuation of the Center’s services.

You can also visit their Rift Raft Room for vintage clothes shopping.

Take Your Photo by the Castleberry Building

The highest existing structure in Salem is the two-story Castleberry Building, a limestone commercial building constructed in 1904 in traditional Romanesque architecture.

Feast your eyes on the Castleberry Building’s numerous bay windows and doors, uniformly distributed in rows over its three levels.

The building’s expansive arched windows on the front and north sides let in a great deal of natural light, seemingly lighting the interior all day.

The outside stone masonry is immaculate, given when the building was constructed.

While modifying the building, its new owners removed the metal canopy attached to the Castleberry Building for more than 90 years between the 1990s and 2000s.

They replaced it with a stunning iron balcony.

The Castleberry Building’s first floor served as a home furnishings store, and its second floor served as a place to store retail goods.

Leslie Scribner’s embroidery clothing business, formerly known as Scribblez Creations, is in the Castleberry Building.

Shop Till You Drop at Whatever

As an eclectic and one-stop-shop store, Whatever is the place to find bags, towels, home decor, and outdoor pots.

The store also offers a great selection of gifts, such as shirts, shawls, caps, shoes, and candles.

Whatever also organizes events where you can sell your junk or old items.

Every season, the store comes up with a new and exciting collection.

For instance, you can order customized flowers during the Memorial Day Celebration.

They also sold gifts for your partners, parents, or even your kids for Valentine’s Day.

Check Out the Fulton County Fairgrounds Flea Market

Every 2nd Saturday of April, Fulton County Fairgrounds Flea Market opens with great deals on clothes, books, furniture, and other items.

You can also find food vendors in the area, so you won’t have to worry about getting hungry while bargain hunting.

The flea market is at Fulton County Fairgrounds, the site of the Fulton County Fair.

Visitors can wander the venue while at least four to six vendors set up stalls outside the perimeter.

Watch out for the Wide Yard Sale under the Salem Chamber of Commerce, which sometimes happens on the same day as the Fulton County Fairgrounds Flea Market.

You can shop to your hearts’ content and explore other attractions in Salem.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Fall in Love at Southfork Resort

If you want a restful and comfortable stay near Salem, bring your family to the Southfork Resort, a family-run business in Mammoth Spring, Arkansas.

Enjoy an unforgettable weekend adventure as you paddle aboard a rented raft or kayak down the river.

Likewise, the best spot to relax with your loved ones amid the serenity of the river is the primitive camping site that can fit four people.

This site has a picnic table, fire pit, and grill.

Level up your experience at their RV site with water and electric hookups.

Try fishing and canoeing, among other activities, at Southfork Resort, 23 minutes from Salem.

Escape the busyness of the city at this peaceful resort!

Final Thoughts

The town of Salem, Arkansas, is full of history that will add to your knowledge and impart a sense of wonder.

Likewise, its people are friendly and welcoming, so you’ll feel at home while visiting.

Plan your trip today and discover the best things to do in Salem!

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