Things to Do in Salem, Missouri

Salem, Missouri, nestled in the heartland of the United States, offers a wealth of activities for both locals and visitors alike. From natural wonders to historical sites, this charming town has something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll take you through a curated list of the top attractions and activities that make Salem a must-visit destination.

Embracing Nature’s Bounty

1. Mark Twain National Forest: A Verdant Oasis

Nestled on the outskirts of Salem, the Mark Twain National Forest is a sprawling expanse of lush greenery. Visitors can explore miles of hiking trails, encounter diverse wildlife, and immerse themselves in the tranquil beauty of the Ozarks.

2. Montauk State Park: A Paradise for Anglers

Montauk State Park is a haven for fishing enthusiasts. The pristine Current River, stocked regularly with rainbow and brown trout, provides an idyllic setting for a day of angling. Picnic areas and scenic trails add to the park’s allure.

3. Echo Bluff State Park: Where Adventure Meets Serenity

For those seeking adventure, Echo Bluff State Park offers a range of activities, including rock climbing, rappelling, and canoeing. If you’re in the mood for a more tranquil experience, take a leisurely hike to marvel at the park’s namesake: the stunning Echo Bluff.

Unearthing History

4. Salem Courthouse Square Historic District: A Stroll Through Time

Step back in time as you wander through the Salem Courthouse Square Historic District. Impeccably preserved buildings and informative plaques offer a glimpse into Salem’s rich history. Don’t miss the charming local shops that dot the district.

5. Dent County Historical Society: Preserving the Past

Dedicated to preserving the heritage of Dent County, the Historical Society’s museum is a treasure trove of artifacts and exhibits. Engage with the past through interactive displays and gain a deeper understanding of the region’s cultural evolution.

6. The Old Salem Jail: A Glimpse into Law and Order

Explore the intriguing history of law enforcement at the Old Salem Jail. This well-preserved relic provides a fascinating look at the justice system of yesteryears. Guided tours offer captivating anecdotes of infamous inmates and daring escapes.

Indulging in Local Flavors

7. Ozark Cafe: A Culinary Journey

Savor the flavors of the Ozarks at the renowned Ozark Cafe. From hearty country breakfasts to delectable pies, this eatery is a local favorite. The warm ambiance and friendly staff make it a must-visit spot for food enthusiasts.

8. Missouri Hick Bar-B-Q: A Meat Lover’s Paradise

For a taste of authentic, slow-cooked barbecue, look no further than Missouri Hick Bar-B-Q. Sink your teeth into succulent ribs and savory pulled pork, all expertly prepared with time-honored techniques.


Salem, Missouri, invites you to embark on a journey of exploration and discovery. Whether you’re drawn to its natural beauty, captivated by its history, or enticed by its culinary offerings, this town promises an unforgettable experience.


Q1: Are there camping facilities available in Mark Twain National Forest?

Yes, Mark Twain National Forest offers various campgrounds for those looking to immerse themselves in nature.

Q2: What are the operating hours of Montauk State Park?

Montauk State Park is open from sunrise to sunset, year-round.

Q3: Is there an admission fee for Echo Bluff State Park?

Yes, there is a nominal admission fee for Echo Bluff State Park, which helps support its maintenance and conservation efforts.

Q4: Are guided tours available at the Dent County Historical Society museum?

Yes, the museum offers guided tours led by knowledgeable docents.

Q5: Can I make reservations at the Ozark Cafe?

While reservations are not required, they are recommended during peak hours to ensure seating availability.

Luke Beasley

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