Destination Vacation heads to Salem, South Carolina

Destination Vacation

SALEM, S.C. (WSPA) – Visitors to Oconee County have numerous options for local food, beverages, unique places to stay, and a ton of things to do. In Salem, South Carolina there are definitely some must-see and must-experience things.

Nature lovers will thoroughly enjoy heading out to Devil’s Fork State Park and getting out on Lake Jocassee. The lake has four major waterfalls and several smaller falls that are easily accessed by boat.

Visitors can also rent or bring their own kayaks and paddle boards, or just swim. This is all in addition to mountain biking or hiking trails at the park.

After a day out and about, head less than a mile from the lake and stay overnight at The Lost Treehouse of Lake Jocassee.

Who says treehouses are for kids? Not the Maalouf family. Owners Daniel and Lola Maalouf said the house was originally built for their wedding about four years ago.

Maalouf Wedding Party

“We wanted a place to do it out in nature at Lake Jocassee. So, we built the treehouse and had all our friends and family help. It was a great time building it and the wedding was great,” Daniel Maalouf explained.

After the wedding, word about the treehouse spread, so the couple decided to start renting it out.

The treehouse is fully suspended in the trees. Its spiral stair case, banister, and other pieces in and around the home were built from trees in the area. Lola Maalouf said they wanted to construction to be sustainable.

“It’s great to be able to get away and find some piece and quiet. You know, the wild life is beautiful and it always seems to be five or 10 degrees cooler up here by the lake,” Daniel Maalouf explained.

The one room house sleeps two and has a deck, kitchenette, sitting area, air conditioning, and two televisions. Just a few feet from the house is a bath house, with all your indoor plumbing needs. There’s also a fire pit, sitting area, and grill available.

While you’ll easily find amazing views of nature, Lola Maalouf laughed that nature could find you amazing. She recalled a very friendly Elk wouldn’t leave her alone.

“My leg was broken at the time. So, I was in crutches and he came up to me and was like nestling me.  I was like,’No, I’m trying to get away from you right now actually. I don’t really want this’,” Lola Mallouf giggled.

The coupled added that they’ve seen deer, coyotes, and bears walk by.

Before the birth of their newborn son Oliver, Lola and Daniel said they’d spend at least one weekend a month at the treehouse. After Lola became pregnant, they eventually had to stop coming. But, their shift is your gain, leaving more weekends open to rent.

If you’re looking for more space, the Three Pines View Boutique Bed & Breakfast is also not far from Lake Jocassee.

Once you’ve had your fill of being one with nature, less than 10 minutes down the road is Jocassee Valley Brewery.

Owners Eddie and Lynn Martin, who opened the brewery May 2017, said visitors should come catch a local band, grab a beers or sodas, and some food.

“It’s beer and music, food and family fun is what we try to promote,” Eddie Martin said.

Open mic nights and concerts are performed on an outside stage on Friday and Saturday nights. Additionally, holiday events like Octoberfest and Labor Day weekend are planned as well.

Lynn Martin said Thursday, September 3, will kick off Labor Day Weekend with songs in a round, outside in a socially distanced ring, where anyone can come and participate. Then Friday, September 4, a former member of the Silver Tongue Devils will perform. On Saturday, September 5, Conservation Theory and Little Lesley & The Bloodshots will perform.

Eddie Martin added, also on September 4 and 5, there will be a barbecue fundraiser for the Bart Garrison Agricultural Museum of South Carolina. He said funds will be used to relocate the museum to Pendelton, South Carolina, across from Tri County Technical College.

The brewery rotates their local brewers, as well as, several food truck options: JD Hoggs BBQ, Iron Pig BBQ, and Lobster Dogs.

“We have a wide spectrum of brews that we try to do because we like a variety. There’s not one thing that we hold to,” Eddie Martin said. Although, he did admit to being a sucker for more German Beers.

While the couple owns a brewery, they explained they are a family friendly establishment.

“Yeah we have outside areas. We have corn hole. We have some other things for the kids to do. We have a lot of books,” Eddie Martin listed.


Although, Conservation Theory is actually the Eddie and Lynn’s band, they said varying music tastes can enjoy themselves at any of their musical events.

“We kind of want to stand out from that musical genre aspect and give a wide spectrum of things you might not hear in other places. That’s what we’re pushing to do. We want everybody to feel welcome here, and people tell us that. They say ‘You know we step in here and it kind of just feels like home’,” Eddie Martin said.

So, no matter what you do, Salem, South Carolina is all about having fun, rest and relaxation. For more information on Salem and Oconee County, click here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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