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For other places with the same name, see Salem (disambiguation).

A charming New England seaside destination, Salem offers visitors the requisite bevy of enthralling elements: a world-class museum, compelling oceanfront and maritime history, quirky shops and tempting restaurants. They're all here and vying for your attention. However, one event in Salem's 400-year history looms above all else—the Salem witch trials. One of the most notorious cases of mass hysteria, the trials saw over 200 people charged with witchcraft, 25 of whom died as a direct result. Try as they might, the city was never able to memory hole the events of 1692. So eventually they changed tack, leaning into the lore of witches and magic. Today the "Witch City" plasters its civic institutions with witch silhouettes, they even built a baseball diamond atop Gallows Hill Park. The plan seems to have worked, tourists have responded and business is up. You know what they say, "time heals all wounds".


House of Seven Gables with a Salem harbor backdrop

For thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans, the Naumkeag people enjoyed life on this rocky peninsula. Contact with early explorers was calamitous, and disease would shatter their society. Throughout the 17th century, a series of wars and pogroms pushed them to the brink of extinction. In 1686, Naumkeag survivors pressed their claim in court, and were given £20 (roughly $5,000 today) in payment for their land.

Salem is perhaps best known for the Salem witch trials, which began during the winter of 1692. Two little girls began behaving erratically, acts which town elders quickly deemed "witchcraft". A flurry of accusations and trials would play out over the course of the following year. By the time the outrage subsided, over 200 villagers stood accused of witchcraft. 19 were hanged, 5 died in jail, and one was pressed to death. In hindsight, the major political upheaval of the day combined with neighborly quarrels likely sparked the mass hysteria. The accused were overwhelmingly women (78%), and were often impoverished, having little means to speak of.

During the American Revolution, hundreds of large privateers arrived in Salem to assist the patriot cause. These vessels and their crews saw a great deal of action, scuttling somewhere around 600 British ships. Post-war, sea captains turned their attention to distant lands; the East Indies, China, and Zanzibar to name but a few. Warships were modified to support commerce, and bold Captain-entrepreneurs imported pepper, silks and other luxuries with windfall profits. Today, the legacy of these riches remains on full display throughout the many overlapping historic districts of this city of 44,000 people (2020).


Wilson House, Chestnut Street District

Derby Street is of primary concern to any visitor. Running roughly east to west, it passes through the Maritime District on its way to the ferry terminal. Equally as important is Essex Street, roughly paralleling Derby one block behind the harbor. The vast majority of tourist attractions are found between these two streets. At their western boundaries, you'll encounter Washington Street. This north-south thoroughfare holds the train station at its northern end. Cross Washington to find Summer Street, where your walking tour of the Chestnut Street District begins. The architecture here is stunning, but the shops and restaurants mostly drop away.

For those venturing further afield; Salem Willows and Winter Park can be found to the northeast. Follow Derby until it becomes Fort Ave. To the south, Pioneer Village and Salem University can be reached by following Washington until it merges with Lafayette Street. The more modern areas of Salem (the hospital, the Target, et al) can be found to the southwest, after Essex turns into Highland Ave.

Read and watch

  • The Witch (2015 film) — Set about 60 years before the witch trials, watch this darkly atmospheric film to sample some of the deepest fears held by Puritanical New Englanders. Exactingly detailed in its period sets and themes; you've never seen a goat or a forest with peculiarities like these.
  • Hidden History of Salem (2010 book) — While not widely distributed, this quick read by Susanne Saville is a collection of short stories—mostly focusing on topics other than the witch trials. Worth exploring for those interested in lesser-known facts about the town.
  • The Crucible (1996 film) — Based on Arthur Miller's groundbreaking 1953 play; this is a faithful adaptation of Miller's dramatized story of the Salem witch trials. While the film doesn't go quite as hard delving into the political allegories that made the play so forceful; it does feature "spectacular" performances by Daniel Day-Lewis, Joan Allen, and Winona Ryder.
  • I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem (1986 book) — This French Grand Prix award winning novel by Maryse Condé was translated into English in 1992. Traumatic and compelling, the life of Tituba is reconstructed from historical records and skillfully blended with fantasy. Gives a voice to one of the accusees least heard from during the witch trials.
  • The House of the Seven Gables (1851 book) — A gothic romance novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Set in the titular home, it weaves together an array of human emotions with a supernatural flair. The book was quite influential on H.P. Lovecraft, if you're into that sort of thing. Sections can feel dated, with some contemporary readers finding it a slog to get through.

Visitor information

Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches
See Salem's 7 day forecast Data
Metric conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm

The climate in Salem is roughly identical to nearby Boston. Summers are typically warm and humid, while winters are cold and stormy and feature the occasional bout of snow. Spring and fall tend to be cool to mild, with a commensurate uptick in tourism during the annual autumnal fireworks.

  • 1 Salem Armory Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty St, +1 978-740-1650. W-Su 10AM-4PM. This is the primary visitor center for the Salem Maritime National Historic Site. Located back and away from the waterfront, the Armory is staffed with Park Rangers who can help you make the most of your limited time. Don't forget to check the upcoming events board and grab any printed maps or brochures you might need. You'll also find a variety of interpretive information and tactile exhibits to explore. Children can be sworn in to the Junior Ranger program, and pick up their booklets and badges. Head for the amphitheater to view a short film recounting the history of the witch trials and early New England. Gift shop and restrooms are available during business hours. Free. Salem Maritime National Historic Site (Q2214191) on Wikidata Salem Maritime National Historic Site on Wikipedia
  • 2 Waite & Peirce, 193 Derby St, +1 978-744-4319. Daily 10AM-5PM. Also controlled by the NPS, consider Waite & Peirce the official park store. Found right down by the docks, this building is small but storied. The products offered today hearken back to Salem's maritime history of global trade. Explore the exclusive line of Waite & Peirce apparel, jewelry, home goods, historical reproductions, collectibles, toys and gifts. You can also find a variety of printed park information, snacks, and a public restroom. This also functions as the ticket office for the Friendship of Salem, parked just outside.

Get in


If you're day tripping from Boston and just concentrating on the core downtown area, your best bet could be the train. It's affordable, takes a ½ hour, and runs somewhat often. The ferry provides outstanding views, but it takes an hour and is more expensive and infrequent. A car can be a good idea if you're visiting other north shore locations, but high season parking can be challenging. The trip might take 30 minutes to an hour or more depending on traffic.

By train

  • 1 Salem Station, 252 Bridge St (MBTA Newburyport/Rockport). 5AM-midnight. Open since 1838, Salem Station has been rebuilt four times; most recently in 2014. Its accessible platforms and secure bike parking are just a few blocks north of the town center. Trains departing from Boston's North Station take about 30 minutes to arrive. Trains run roughly once an hour, and every 30 minutes M-F during rush hours. Fares cannot be purchased at the station, please use the MBTA mTicket app. $8 from Boston one way. Salem station (Q7404023) on Wikidata Salem station on Wikipedia

By boat

The Salem Ferry docked off Blaney Street
  • 2 Salem Ferry, 10 Blaney St, +1 978-741-0220. 4-5 ferries daily May 26 - Oct 31. Hop aboard the Nathaniel Bowditch, a 92-foot catamaran with a top speed of 30 knots which makes the trip between Salem and Boston's Long Wharf in 50 minutes to an hour. A bit pricier than the train, but the views of Nahant, Marblehead, and minor islands more than make up for it. Light snacks and cash bar on board. No extra charge for bicycles. $25, $23 senior, $19 children 3-11.
  • 3 Pickering Wharf Marina, 68 Wharf St, +1 978-210-4584. M-Th Su 8AM-6PM, F Sa 8AM-9PM. On the off chance you're lucky enough to pilot your own private vessel to Salem, this is the place to weigh anchor. Additionally, some tour companies offering a day out on the water will depart from this location. Accommodations for sail and power boats up to 120 feet in length during both the summer and winter seasons. Some amenities include: WiFi, restrooms, showers and laundry facilities. $4/foot.

By car


From Boston and points south, take Route 1 north, then merge onto MA-128 north, which is also labelled as Yankee Division Highway on some maps (although no-one calls it that). Next you'll take exit 40A and merge onto MA-114 east. From points north, take Interstate 95 south to Route 1 south, and follow signs for MA-114 east, Peabody and Salem. Continue on 114, pass under Route 128, and a few miles after that you'll cross the North River. You're in downtown Salem! Drop your vehicle off as soon as possible. Parking is quite challenging during most of the summer, and is especially tricky during the month of October. Driving in Salem on Halloween—or the closest weekends—is the stuff nightmares are made of.

By bus


A few infrequent and slow MBTA buses provide service to Salem. They are the cheapest option ($2.40 from Logan Airport in 2023), but tend to be more useful as a means of escape. The 450 and 455 bus routes travel to Lynn, the 435 to Peabody, and during weekday rush hours the 451 goes to Beverly. There is no Sunday service to Salem on the 435 bus. The 455 always runs out from the Wonderland MBTA station, but the 450 is a bit wacky; running from Haymarket weekdays, and from Wonderland station on weekends.

By bicycle


Salem finds itself well positioned along several cycling routes. The East Coast Greenway passes through the center of town, making good use of both the Salem Bike Path and Marblehead Rail Trail. The former will run you into the heart of town; while the latter is unpaved, but well traveled. Almost any bike should make short work of these trails. Many riders choose to add the Northern Strand Trail to their cue sheet, and pedal to Salem from Boston. It's a flat 25 mi (40 km) between the Peabody Essex Museum and the P-town ferry, most of which is hidden away from cars. Along the way you'll pass miles of protected marshes, historical markers, and oceanfront vistas – it's really quite a remarkable route.

Get around

Map of Salem (Massachusetts)

By foot


Salem remains a small town, and as such the tourist attractions here fall within a tightly packed area. A stretch of Essex Street, from Washington St to Hawthorne Blvd, is closed to cars and is a delight to walk. Walking across the city; say from the ferry dock to the Witch House, is barely over a mile. Most folks should be able to cover this distance in about 20-25 minutes. The sites you'll pass along the way are packed with more than enough curios to hold anyone's attention.

The Salem Harborwalk is a short walkway along the South River basin, extending from Derby to Congress streets. It's a nice way to escape the crowds on Derby, and there are even a few picnic tables squeezed in-between the parking lots.

By bicycle

  • Bluebikes, toll-free: +1-855-948-2929. 24 hours daily. The same Bluebike system running in Boston runs here as well. There are 8 stations total, and bikes can be returned to any rack. There's a rack by the ferry terminal, one by the train station, one up by Salem Willows, and the rest are scattered around downtown. You'll need to install an app on your smartphone to use the system. $3 every 30 minutes until you return the bike.

By car


The downtown area is often congested, and becomes all but impassable to cars during October. Do not drive to Salem on Halloween. On street parking is generally good for about 2-4 hours and costs a dollar or two per hour. The city also owns a few garages and off-street lots if you're in need of some longer-term parking. Your best bet is going to be in one of the lots off of Church Street. There's a few surface lots there as well as the Museum Place Garage. Your other option is the MBTA parking lot and the adjacent Crescent lot. The Town of Salem has a great map showing all the gory parking details.



If you've only got one day, take a brisk walk through the Peabody Essex Museum, then maybe try to squeeze in a tour of the House of Seven Gables. Spend the rest of the day investigating whatever piques your interest along Derby street in the Maritime National Historic Site.

With extra time, it's easy to tailor an itinerary to your interests. There's plenty more to see at the PEM, architecture buffs will head for the Chestnut Street District, and nature lovers have a variety of options beyond the city center to explore. Parents might try Forest River Park or perhaps some of the kitschy stuff with older children. If you're open to it, the Satanic Temple is a true "only in Salem" experience.


The Peabody Essex Museum's main entrance
  • 1 Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), 161 Essex St, toll-free: +1-866-745-1876. Tu-Su 10AM-5M. Open 3rd Th of the month until 9PM. The Peabody Essex Museum is a leading museum of Asian art and culture and early American maritime trade and whaling; its collections of Indian, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese art, and in particular Chinese export porcelain, are among the finest in the country. Founded in 1799, it is the oldest continuously operating museum in the United States. The museum owns and exhibits a number of historic houses in downtown Salem. In 2003, it completed a massive $100-million renovation and expansion, designed by architect Moshe Safdie, and moved a 200-year-old 16-room Chinese home from Xiuning County in southeastern China to the grounds of the museum. Gift shop available in person and online. Adults $20, seniors $18, students $12, youth (16 and under) and Salem residents admitted free; $6 plus the basic admission price for the 200-year-old Yin Yu Tang Chinese merchant's house. Peabody Essex Museum (Q3373790) on Wikidata Peabody Essex Museum on Wikipedia
  • 2 House of the Seven Gables (Turner-Ingersoll Mansion), 115 Derby St, +1 978-744-0991. 10AM-4PM daily. One of the oldest surviving 17th-century wooden mansions in New England. Made famous by the eponymous 1851 Nathaniel Hawthorne novel. The oldest sections of the home date to 1668, when it was built for Captain John Turner and his family. The home has been altered and modified countless times over the centuries as family fortunes ebbed and flowed. Eventually; in 1908, wealthy philanthropist Caroline Emmerton purchased the home and set about effecting its restoration. Supervised by Boston's city architect; they restored the home to its former glory, making only the occasional sacrifice to historical accuracy. Visitors today will discover low ceilings, extensive Georgian paneling, and hidden staircases among hundreds of period curios. Walking the grounds is always a charming activity. The fresh ocean breezes are sure to invigorate. Also on site is the home where Nathaniel Hawthorne was born. It was moved here in 1958 and is worth a few minutes of your time. $20, $12 children 5-12, $5 grounds pass. House of the Seven Gables (Q3297920) on Wikidata House of the Seven Gables on Wikipedia
  • 3 The Witch House (Jonathan Corwin House), 310 Essex St, +1 978-744-8815. The Witch House is the last extant building with direct ties to the 1692 Salem witch trials. An excellent example of 17th-century architecture, it was probably built sometime between 1620 and 1642. Bought by Judge Jonathan Corwin in 1675, he would go on to live here for over forty years. As a local magistrate and civic leader, Corwin was called upon to investigate the claims of diabolical activity when a surge of witchcraft accusations arose in and around Salem. Eventually, he would send 19 people to the gallows, all of whom maintained their innocence and refused to admit to witchcraft. No interrogations or trials were conducted within the Witch House, nor were any of the accused brought here. The house remained in the Corwin family until the 1940s. At this time the Witch House was moved about 35 ft (11 m) to its current location and was restored to its 17th century origins. Today it basically looks as it would have in Corwin's time, although the gambrel roof was altered. The Witch House (Q7775277) on Wikidata The Witch House on Wikipedia


Baphomet awaits your arrival at the Satanic Temple
  • 4 Old Town Hall (Salem Museum), 32 Derby Square, +1 978-744-0007. Built in 1816, this is the earliest surviving municipal building in Salem. First floor used as a space for public art. Museum closed until further notice.
  • 5 Punto Urban Art Museum, 96 Lafayette St, +1 978-745-8071. 24 hours daily. The Punto Urban Art Museum was founded as a social justice art program. Designed to promote and feature Dominican artists in an effort to reduce stigma against those who reside there. Over 75 large scale murals featuring a variety of global and New England-based artists. If your group has 15 or more people, sign up for an educational tour. Tours last about 90 minutes and cover topics like: the immigrant experience, street art, and local cultural highlights. Free.
  • 6 Salem Art Gallery (The Satanic Temple), 64 Bridge St, +1 857-523-2200. W-Sa 11AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. Opened in 2016 in the former Dubiel Funeral Parlor. This art space doubles as the world headquarters for the Satanic Temple. Offering a rotating selection of events, screenings, and artworks by local practitioners. The giant statue of Baphomet is always quite popular. Other permanent exhibits are dedicated to Satanism, witch hunts, and moral panics. Stop by the gift shop for t-shirts and merch you just can't get anywhere else. Varies, free to $25. The Satanic Temple (Q22080033) on Wikidata The Satanic Temple on Wikipedia
  • 7 Salem Arts Association, 159 Derby St, +1 978-745-4850. Sa Su noon-6PM. Housed in a historic building dating to the 1650s, the Salem Arts Association features over 180 new and upcoming North Shore artists specializing in all media and disciplines. Pieces on display are constantly rotating and available for purchase. The association is an all volunteer run non-profit. Check their calendar for a variety of events that take place throughout the year. Free.


Fort Pickering Light, Winter Island
  • 8 Collins Cove Park, 32 Collins St. 24 hours daily. Great combination park, sandy beach, and playground with encircling walking path. Provides excellent harbor views, and it's a perfect spot to let your kids get the wiggles out. Pretty, but check for broken glass in the sand before you decide to go for a dip. Free.
  • 9 Dead Horse Beach, 90 Memorial Drive. 24 hours daily. The views are significantly better than the name. Offers an escape from nearby crowds. You'll often have the place to yourself, as the beach has little sand to speak of. It's mostly rocks with a little harbor detritus mixed in. Open to the public, but not to dogs. Free.
  • 10 Forest River Park, 32 Clifton Ave. 8AM-8PM daily. Great option for meeting some locals, or for those visiting with children. You'll find plenty of swings, slides, and games scattered throughout these 30 acres. The stunning outdoor community pool opened in 2022 and provides sweeping vistas of the harbor. A 1930s era concrete slide remains ensconced in a hillside, perfect for those who really want to dislocate something. Parking for Pioneer Village is found here, see Do section for more. Free, parking $0.50/hour.
  • 11 Proctor’s Ledge, 7 Pope St. 24 hours daily. This memorial is the execution site for those "convicted" during the Salem Witch Trials. Here, nineteen souls were hung about the neck until dead during the closing months of 1692. For many years the site was assumed to be nearby Gallows Hill, until extensive research by the history department at Salem State University discovered the true location in 2016. This small park features a stone wall with each of the deceased's names etched in stone. Quiet and somber, the ledge was dedicated in 2017, 325 years after the executions. Free.
  • 12 Salem Common, N Washington Square. 24 hours daily. On this field in 1637 the East Regiment militia performed various drills and exercises. This day of training became known as "the first muster"—eventually leading to the birth of the US National Guard. 30 years later, in 1667, villagers decided the park should be held as common land where their livestock could graze. As the town grew and the park could no longer fulfill its purpose, it was closed in. The current handsome wrought iron fence dates from 1850. Visit in April, when the Second Corps of Cadets arrive to pay respects to their founder, Stephen Abbott; interred nearby. During the ceremony the cadets lay a wreath, play taps, and fire a 21-gun salute. Free. Salem Common Historic District (Q7404077) on Wikidata Salem Common Historic District (Salem, Massachusetts) on Wikipedia
  • 13 Winter Island Park (Fort Pickering and Waikiki Beach), 50 Winter Island Rd, +1 978 745-9430. 24 hours daliy. This park and historic district spans about 18 acres and is home to Fort Pickering and Waikiki beach. Used for defensive purposes since at least the 17th century, most of the remaining buildings date from World War II, when the U.S. Coast Guard monitored these waters for German U-boat activity. Pickering Light has been guiding sailors safely home since 1871, although the city of Salem has been responsible for keeping the beacon lit since 1983. Urban explorers may enjoy picking through the abandoned seaplane hangar. See the Sleep section for campsite information. Free. Winter Island (Q8026265) on Wikidata Winter Island on Wikipedia


Expect to find jump scares and wax figures galore at these attractions
  • 14 Count Orlok's Nightmare Gallery, 217 Essex St, +1 978-740-0500. F-Su 10AM-5PM. Salem's only monster/sci-fi/fantasy museum. Haunted house every October.
  • 15 New England Pirate Museum, 274 Derby St, +1 978-741-2800. 10AM-5PM with extended hours in October. The museum includes a walking tour that consists an artifacts room, a recreation of life down by the docks where the pirates did their recruiting, and reenactments and representations of such famous pirates as Sam Bellamy, Captain Kidd, and Blackbeard. You can get $5 off tickets when you buy with Witch Dungeon Museum and Witch History Museum. Adults $8, children 4-13yr $6, seniors $7.
  • 16 Salem Wax Museum, 282-288 Derby St, +1 978-740-2929. 10AM-6PM daily. Not great. Same owners as Salem Witch Village, just next door.
  • 17 Salem Witch Museum, 19½ Washington Square North, +1 978-744-1692. Daily 10AM-5PM (until 7PM July, August). The museum includes a narrative on the history of the trials in 1692 and also an exhibit on witchcraft through the ages. $16.50, under 14 $14.50.
  • 18 Witch Dungeon Museum, 16 Lynde St, +1 978-741-3570. 10AM-5PM with extended hours in October. Has witch trial reenactments. You can get $5 off tickets when you buy with New England Pirate Museum and Witch History Museum. Adults $8, children 4-13 yr $6, seniors $7.
  • 19 Witch History Museum, 197-201 Essex St, +1 978-741-7770. 10AM-5PM with extended hours in October. The Salem Witch Museum is dedicated to the Salem witch trials. You can get $5 off tickets when you buy with New England Pirate Museum and Witch Dungeon Museum. Adults $8, children 4-13yr $6, seniors $7. Witch History Museum (Q18159327) on Wikidata Witch History Museum on Wikipedia

Chestnut Street District

Opulence on display, the power of the Old China Trade remains visible along Chestnut street
The Pickering House—oldest in Salem—has had a few updates over the years

Perhaps the perfect spot for a stroll. The Chestnut Street District calls out to architecture buffs, budding photographers, and anyone seeking a brief respite from the crowds. Many grand mansions line these boulevards, serving to showcase the enormous wealth created by the Old China Trade. Although demolished, Samuel McIntire's home and workshop at 31 Summer Street still anchors this historic area. Roughly bounded by Bridge, Summer, Beckford, and Broad Streets and referred to locally as the McIntire Historic District, it was created in 1973 and contains some 407 notable buildings.

  • 20 Hamilton Hall, 9 Chestnut St, +1 978-744-0805. M-F 10AM-2PM. One of the finest examples of Federal style building, Hamilton Hall was completed in 1807 by Samuel McIntire. Upon opening the townsfolk held many celebrations and banquets here, feting high status guests. That tradition continues today; hosting concerts, lectures, weddings, and other joyful events in the lives of Salem's residents. The hall is owned by a non-profit, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. Free. Hamilton Hall (Q1869673) on Wikidata Hamilton Hall (Salem, Massachusetts) on Wikipedia
  • 21 Peirce-Nichols House, 80 Federal St. Irregular tours offered by PEM. One of McIntire's earlier commissions, this home was built in the Georgian style for Jerathmiel Peirce and completed around 1784. It was later transformed by the architect into a Federal masterpiece, celebrating the marriage of daughter Sarah Peirce to George Nichols. The home has been owned by Peabody Essex Museum since 1917, and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1968. Peirce-Nichols House (Q14715811) on Wikidata Peirce–Nichols House on Wikipedia
  • 22 Phillips House, 34 Chestnut St, +1 978 744-0440. Jun-Oct: Th-Su 11AM-4PM, tours on the hour. Grandiose in design, its construction began with the death of Elias Derby, one of America's first millionaires. After some squabbling over the inheritance, heir Nathaniel West completed the mansion in 1821. Four rooms from Elias' earlier home were moved to fashionable Chestnut Street to make up the core of the house. Purchased and restored in 1911 by Anna Phillips and her husband, they lived here until their deaths in 1955. Today the mansion is owned by Historic New England and showcases an eclectic collection of family heirlooms and historic technologies. $15, $13 seniors, $7 children. Stephen Phillips House (Q7610246) on Wikidata Stephen Phillips House on Wikipedia
  • 23 Pickering House, 18 Broad St, +1 978-744-4777. Su 10AM-3PM. Built in 1664 by John Pickering, a carpenter from Coventry; this is the oldest house in Salem. It's also the oldest home in America continuously owned by the same family. For over 330 years, each new generation of Pickering would alter the home to suit the times and their changing needs. Ceiling heights were raised, extra wings were constructed, and plenty of gothic detailing added for good measure. It's a great place to spend an hour if you're interested in discovering the details of lives lived long ago. $10, residents $5, children free. Pickering House (Q7190815) on Wikidata Pickering House (Salem, Massachusetts) on Wikipedia
  • 24 Ropes Mansion, 318 Essex St, +1 978-745-9500. Sa Su noon-4PM; gardens sunrise-sunset daily. Built from 1727–1729 in the Georgian style, major restorations were done in 1894, and the handsome back garden was added in 1912. Three generations of Ropes called this mansion home, until it was given to a trust in 1907. The building has seen many renovations and restorations over its life, but generally maintains its original form. Today the mansion is open to the public and controlled by the Peabody Essex Museum. Ropes Mansion (Q7366750) on Wikidata Ropes Mansion on Wikipedia

Salem Maritime National Historic Site

The Friendship of Salem docks along Derby Wharf in the Maritime National Historic Site

Spend an afternoon along Salem's historic nine acre waterfront, where a dozen remarkable buildings span over 600 years of maritime history. The park was established in 1938 as America's first historic site. Plaques throughout the area offer interpretive explanations of the infamous triangular trade (rum, molasses, slaves), privateering during the revolutionary war, and the Old China Trade in the post-war period. Most visitors simply walk down Derby street and explore whatever strikes them. If you're into it, however; begin your visit along the tiny walkway adjacent to the Narbonne House on Essex street. This short path is part of the NPS and takes you past a formal garden and several historic views.

  • 25 Custom House, 176 Derby St, +1 978-740-1650. 10AM-noon, 1-4PM daily. Salem's 13th customs house, this one dates from 1819 and was built to represent the power of the federal government. Pay a visit to reveal exhibits on the tools of the Custom Service, the work of the Customs inspectors, and the office of Nathaniel Hawthorne, the famous American author whose three-year stint in the Salem Custom House inspired his classic novel, The Scarlet Letter. Free.
  • 26 Derby Wharf (Derby Wharf Light). 24 hours daily. Reaching nearly half a mile by 1806, this wharf is Salem's longest. At the height of its power, over 20 buildings here stored goods imported from around the globe. Today it provides beautiful, if windy, views of the harbor and park itself. Visitors who make it to the end are rewarded with up close views of Derby Wharf Lighthouse, built 1871. Free. Derby Wharf Light (Q5261523) on Wikidata Derby Wharf Light on Wikipedia
  • 27 Friendship of Salem. Irregular dockside tours via Waite & Peirce. This replica ship usually functions as a floating museum; however, the vessel is fully functional and Coast Guard certified. She was designed after a model of the original (on display at PEM), and is occasionally taken out under full sail for crew trainings and tall ship events. The original was a three-masted trading ship built in Salem in 1797. After circumnavigating the world over a dozen times, she would eventually be taken by British forces during the War of 1812, then stripped and sold for parts. Free. Friendship of Salem (Q5504426) on Wikidata Friendship of Salem on Wikipedia
  • 28 Narbonne House, 71 Essex St. Irregular tours via Salem Armory Visitor Center. Built in 1675, this home wouldn't be added to the park until 1964. Acting as a counterpoint to some of the more grandiose structures, this is a remarkable example of a 17th century middle-class family home. Exhibits within the house showcase rare early ephemera and artifacts discovered during archeological digs on-site. The taller bits belong to the original structure, which remains (mostly) as it was when absorbed in the 1960s. The small adjacent sidewalk is a "hidden gem" entrance to the larger Salem Maritime National Historic Site. Free.


Dusk at Salem Willows

Unless it's calling to you, most items on this list are skippable if pressed for time. Although parents (and children at heart) should make note of the options available at Salem Willows.

  • 1 Fort Lee, Fort Ave. 24 hours daily. These 5 point irregular star fort is what remains of earthworks constructed in 1776, during the Revolutionary War. Some original bits remain, although it has been modified dozens of times over the years. Granted to the Federal Government in 1867, it was returned to Salem in 1922. Some trails and interpretive signs were added at the nation's bicentennial, but they were removed and the site is today overgrown. The paths are well trod today, and it's certainly worth a visit to any history buff. Free. Fort Lee (Q5471499) on Wikidata Fort Lee (Salem, Massachusetts) on Wikipedia
  • 2 Misery Islands (Float a ½ mile across Salem Sound by private boat, dinghy, canoe, or kayak.), +1 978 526-8687. Sunrise-sunset daily. In the past Great Misery Island played host to a golf club and manicured course with over two dozen permanent cottages. However; a fire in 1926 destroyed pretty much everything, and an 87-acre nature reserve was established here in 1935. Today the islands are uninhabited and managed by The Trustees. The peculiar name originates with shipbuilder Robert Moulton. After being stranded on the islands during a winter storm in the 1620s, he described his experience as "three miserable days". Nearby, Little Misery Island can be reached from Great Misery on foot by wading across at low tide. If you lack a private vessel, Essex Heritage Tours offers occasional day trips here in summer. Free. Misery Islands (Q6875367) on Wikidata Misery Islands on Wikipedia
  • 3 Pioneer Village, 98 West Ave, +1 978-744-8815. Sa Su noon-4PM. Created in 1930, this is America's first living-history museum. Based around a recreated Puritan village, it gives visitors the opportunity to observe how the lives of Salem's earliest English settlers might have been lived. Holds space for the Naumkeag and other Massachusett peoples. You'll get some amazing pictures, but overall it's quite small, you'd be hard pressed to spend 30 minutes here. $5. Pioneer Village (Q7196831) on Wikidata Pioneer Village (Salem, Massachusetts) on Wikipedia
  • 4 Salem Willows Arcade and Park, 165 Fort Ave, +1 978-745-0251. 11AM-9PM daily. An oceanfront neighborhood and amusement park with a bit of a carnival atmosphere. It's quite good fun, if you're looking for something slightly kitschy and definitely well loved. You'll find a merry-go-round and other rides for smaller children, and an arcade for the older ones. The arcade features video games, pinball, skiball, tickets & prizes, air-hockey tables, and so on. Unfortunately, the only real food options are low quality pizza and Chinese, which you may have to wait over 30 minutes for! The exception to this rule is E.W. Hobbs, well known for quality popcorn and ice cream. Feel free to bring your own eats, the grassy parks and beaches make perfect picnic spots. Parking is ample, and public restrooms are available. Historically, Salem Willows is named for the European white willow trees planted here in 1801. The trees created a shaded canopy for patients convalescing at a nearby smallpox hospital. The area became a public park in 1858, and in the 20th century it became a North Shore summer destination. The beaches here are a great spot to watch 4th of July fireworks; as you can see the shows put on by Salem, Beverly, and Marblehead. Free. Salem Willows (Q7404241) on Wikidata Salem Willows on Wikipedia


Full-scale replica of the famous schooner Fame sails in Salem Harbor

You can also find a couple dozen walking tours in the area. They all have some theme like: ghosts, cuisine, history, architecture, witchcraft, photography, maritime events, and so on. A few are flash in the pan, but many are good quality and passionate about their subject matter. Do a quick search and read reviews before booking your tour. Many are accredited with the city's tourist office, inquire within the main visitors center at 2 New Liberty St.

  • 5 Bakers Island Light (Essex Heritage Tours), 2 New Liberty St (Salem Armory Visitor Center), +1 978-224-2036. W-Su 10AM-4PM. While this tour group offers several interesting walking tours, the real highlight is the excursions offered on their 32 foot vessel, Naumkeag. During the high season they offer trips to see Bakers Island Light and ​Misery Island. The trip is slightly adventurous, and visitors must be at least 4 years old and be able to withstand some light exposure to the elements. Most visit the island for 2.5 hours; but it is possible to camp overnight. Those with deep pockets may stay at the assistant keeper's house. Boat tours depart from the Salem Ferry dock. $35, children $25. Bakers Island Light (Q4849264) on Wikidata Bakers Island Light on Wikipedia
  • 6 Fame of Salem, 86 Wharf St (Pickering Wharf Marina), +1 978-729-7600. Take a tour of Salem harbor on a full-scale replica of the famous schooner. Framed and planked of white oak and trunnel-fastened in the traditional manner, this replica was launched in 2003. The original Fame was a fast Chebacco fishing schooner reborn as a privateer when war broke out in the summer of 1812. She was arguably the first American privateer to bring home a prize, and she made 20 more captures before being wrecked in the Bay of Fundy in 1814. From $39.
  • Mahi Harbor Cruises, 24 Congress St (Pickering Wharf Marina), +1 978-825-0001. May-Oct 1-7PM daily. Fun, low-key harbor cruising around the harbor, channel, and sound. Brings more of an island vibe with a "bare feet welcome" mindset. $25-30.
  • Salem Trolley, 2 New Liberty St, +1 978-744-5469. Apr-Oct 10AM-5PM daily. Your standard issue tourist trolley bus. Offers one hour narrated historical tours of Salem, stopping at all the main sites in town. Not a hop-on, hop-off service. Museum admission not included. Heated cars. Buy tickets in person day of at the National Park Service Visitor Center. $22.


  • Halloween, +1 978-741-3252. October 31. Halloween is the absolute zenith of Salem's tourist season, when about half a million visitors descend upon the town. Prices are higher, and all restaurants, events, and hotels will have sold out months in advance of the holiday. More kid-friendly events take place during daylight hours, and things get more wild as the night progresses. If you'd like to avoid the worst of the crowds, the presence of Halloween vibes (and porta-potties) remains strong throughout the entire month of October. Do not drive into town, it can take hours in traffic from Boston, and some streets close to cars. The ferry continues to operate and the MBTA runs extra trains to accommodate revelers. Prepare yourself for an experience, wear a costume, bring snacks, and get ready to party!


The chaos is all part of the fun at Wicked Good Books


  • 1 Harrisons Comics, 252 Essex St, +1 978-741-0786. 10AM-8PM daily. Comics & collectables.
  • 2 Wicked Good Books, 215 Essex St, +1 978-594-1938. 11AM-6PM daily. A beautiful old-style bookstore, with nearly wall to ceiling high piles of books. Try not to knock anything over when maneuvering around the small shop. There are stacks upon stacks of books, some of which seem so old that you definitely cannot find them at your local Barnes and Noble. It is run by an elderly man who seems to have a knack for finding the correct book despite the disorder. The store constantly has 50% off sale off of the price of every book inside.


  • 3 A Beautiful Corset, 10 Derby Square, +1 978-740-2922. noon-5PM daily. Authentic steel-boned Vollers corsets. Custom and stock for all sizes. Private fittings by appointment.
  • 4 J. Mode, 17 Front St, +1 978-744-7007. 11AM-5PM daily. Contemporary clothing boutique. Brands include: Vince, Trina, Turk, Nicole Miller, Three Dot, Velvet, Joe Jeans, and XCVI. Testament. A little basic for Salem.
  • 5 Sage, 318 Derby St, +1 978-594-5174. W-Sa 11AM-5PM, Su noon-4PM. Women's apparel and accessories including dresses, jeans,sweaters, hats, scarves, eclectic jewelry, bats, wallets, candles, perfumes and local made honey.


Biss, for all your houseplant and textile needs
  • 6 Harbor Sweets, 85 Leavitt St, +1 978-745-7648. M-Sa 9AM-5PM. Handmade chocolates & candies from sweet sloops to delicious gourmet truffles. Valentine gifts, sugar-free chocolates, wedding, party favors & chocolates in bulk. Enjoy a free sample when you visit the factory and shop. Watch chocolates being handmade.
  • 7 Magic Parlor, 213 Essex St, +1 978-740-3866. 11AM-6PM daily. Books on magic, paranormal, spirits, psychic readings, costume wigs, masks, makeup, gadgets, jokes, gags, bumper stickers, funny stuff, and some very nice jewelry and figurines.
  • 8 Roost and Company, 40 Front St, +1 978-744-4663. 10AM-6PM daily. Home accessories, books, bath & body, jewelry, baby, cards, and gifts.
  • 9 Salemdipity, 86 Wharf St, +1 978-745-5556. 11AM-7PM daily. Salem tees, sweats & souvenirs. Halloween collectibles, witch hats, books on Salem’s history & modern day witchcraft, Salem charms & pentacles, Amy Brown fairy figures, prints, & notecards.
  • 10 Ye Olde Pepper Companie, 122 Derby St, +1 978-745-2744, . Noon-5PM daily. Visit the oldest candy company in America. Fudge, saltwater taffy, chocolates, the works really. This flagship store was established in 1806. Very close to the House of Seven Gables. $4-40.


  • 11 Bewitched In Salem, 180 Essex St, +1 978-744-9904. Su-Tu noon-5PM, Th-Sa 11AM-6PM. Crystals and other gifts.
  • 12 Crow Haven Corner, 125 Essex St, +1 978-745-8763. 10AM-9PM daily. The first Salem Witch store in town. Salem's first witch shop is home to Lorelei and her staff of talented witches and psychics offering readings using tarot, palmistry and mediumship. Classes also available. Nightly Witch Walk Tours every October.
  • 13 The Coven's Cottage, 190 Essex St, +1 978-498-4939. 11AM-6PM daily. Herbs, crystals, and other spellcasting requirements.
  • 14 Hex (Old World Witchery), 246 Essex St, +1 978-666-0765. 11AM-7PM daily. Authentic witchcraft for everyone from curious visitors to experienced practitioners, including candles, incense, jewelry, Voodoo dolls, potions, broomsticks, and spell kits.
  • 15 White Light Pentacles (Sacred Spirit Products), 2 Margin St, toll-free: +1-800-627-8379. 24 hours daily. A safe, welcoming, light-filled boutique & occult haven dedicated to the Holy Arts of Magick & the Craft of the Wise. Supplies, presentations, special events, readings and wholesale. Although the brick and mortar location closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are still the real deal and still based in Salem.


This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget Under $15
Mid-range $15–30
Splurge Over $30

Visitors should expect to find a wide range of elevated fare, often rubbing shoulders alongside classic dining experiences. Many tourists descend on the area for the first class seafood options, which are in no short supply. Unsurprisingly, many are found along the looping Wharf Street, fronting the harbor. The highest concentration of restaurants can be found on Washington street from Derby to Essex streets. Lappin Park in particular has a few worthy mid-range options along its borders. As with all tourist zones, local gems await your discovery just a short walk from the center of the action. These eateries remain open throughout the winter months, when usually the only changes you'll see are to the menu.


Somewhere between the pubs and Punto Urban Art
  • 1 Melt Ice Cream, 60 Washington St, +1 978-826-5703. M 3-7PM, W-Th 1-9PM, F 1-10PM, Sa noon-10PM, Su noon-9PM, Tu Closed. Boasting about 20 rotating flavors, stop in to one of the finest purveyors of ice cream in town. Sustainable and organic ingredients used wherever possible, and locally owned. Two converted parking spaces provide outdoor seating. $5-8.
  • 2 A&J King Artisan Bakers, 48 Central St, +1 978-744-4881. 8AM-3PM daily. Opened in 2006, this bakery won a Best of Boston award from Boston Magazine in 2009 & 2012. Serves fresh breads & pastry, coffee & tea in a traditional cafe setting. Plenty of sammie options for breakfast and lunch. PB&J and Fluffernutters for the kids. $4-15.
  • 3 Boston Hot Dog Co., 60 Washington St, +1 978-744-4168. M-Sa 11AM-4PM, Su noon-4PM. This family business run by the chef and owner churns out a wide selection of tubed meats. Get the basic, or go for something more artisanal like the Cubano. Shares additional reclaimed parking-spot outdoor space with Melt, just next door. $6-12.
  • 4 Front Street Coffeehouse, 20 Front St, +1 978-740-6697. M-F 7AM-4PM, Sa Su 8AM-2PM. Serving bagels, coffee & tea. Fresh soups and a variety of sandwich specials. No wi-fi, but great people watching location. On cold days they offer a hot pear apple ginger juice. The art exhibits adorning the walls rotate each month, and on some evenings you might catch a live music performance. $5-15.
  • 5 Coffee Time Bake Shop, 96 Bridge St, +1 978-744-0995. 5AM-11PM. Visit this well loved bakery just outside the prime tourist area for sandwiches, doughnuts, and some Polish selections. The few house specialties on offer change with the seasons. Locals come though all day long looking to find their next fix of caffeine and sugar. $4-18.


  • 6 Red's Sandwich Shop, 15 Central St, +1 978-745-3527. M-Sa 7AM-3PM; Su 7AM-2PM. This popular downtown eatery established in 1945, resides in the London Coffee House, established 1698. You can't go wrong ordering a Red’s Steak Bomb Omelet and washing it down with a fresh cup of coffee. The huge 17th century fireplace remains, where Patriots once argued in favor of revolution. Reservations not accepted, so be prepared for a bit of a wait. $8-16.
  • 7 The Tin Whistle, 241 Jefferson Ave, +1 978-741-1912. Th-Su noon-1AM, M-W 3PM-midnight. Get off the main drag and visit the Tin Whistle. A fun little hole in the wall with great family feel, food, and service. Typical pub offerings like a juke box, pool table, and dart board; with food specials most nights. They often host events and giveaways, and occasionally run charity fundraisers. $12-18.
  • 8 Gulu-Gulu Café, 247 Essex St, +1 978-740-8882. Su-W 8AM-8PM, Th-Sa 8AM-midnight. A European-style café that features live music and local art. Outdoor seating on Lappin Park and a warm interior environment. High quality curated beer list featuring offerings from near and far. $10-20.
  • 9 Flying Saucer Pizza Company, 118 Washington St, +1 978-594-8189. M-Th 3-9PM, F Sa noon-10PM, Su noon-9PM. Pizzas and craft beers, with a classic sci-fi movie and TV show theme. Voted Bons best of north shore 2021. Some outdoor seating in Lapin Park. $10-30.
  • 10 Howling Wolf Taqueria, 76 Lafayette St, +1 978-744-9653. 11:30AM-9PM daily. California-style taqueria featuring cuisine inspired by the Southwest. What started as a simple take-out taco joint evolved into much more, as owners Patrick Schultz and Matthew Gaughan brought in a chef from Guadalajara, and decked out the dining room with wood floors, a fun bar, and colorful artwork. $12-25.


The patio at Daniel Low & Co. now Rockafellas, is the perfect spot for people watching
  • 11 Adriatic Restaurant, 155 Washington St, +1 978-594-1832. M-F 4-10PM, Sa Su noon-9PM. Upscale Mediterranean and Italian offerings with outdoor seating. The dishes look as good as they taste. Any of the seafood options are great, but the Faroe Island Salmon is quite popular. The house-made pizzas offer tasty alternatives at a lower price point. Take advantage of the full bar and extensive wine list. $15-30.
  • 12 Rockafellas, 231 Essex St, +1 978-745-2491. Su-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F Sa 11:30AM-1AM. You can enjoy outside dining here in mild weather. At night, Rockafellas is a usual hot spot with local bands. A fun atmosphere with classy taste. $20-30.
  • 13 Dube's Seafood, 317 Jefferson Ave, +1 978-744-9531. Tu-Sa 11AM-9PM. Seafood stuff in a simple setting since the swinging sixties. $15-35.
  • 14 Bella Verona, 107 Essex St, +1 978-825-9911. 4-10PM daily. This little trattoria has been serving quality Italian cuisine since 1996. One popular house specialty, the Linguini Capesante e Gamberi, features shrimp and scallops in a slightly spicy tomato sauce. If you're thinking about dessert, the cannoli are made in-house. $25-45.
  • 15 Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall, 43 Church St, +1 978-745-7665. Tu-Th 4-9PM, F-Su noon-9PM. Classic New England seafood dining combining a lively oyster bar with Salem's first, fresh, locally-sourced seafood market. The lobster pie might be absurdly priced, but it never fails to delight. Built in the historic Lyceum Hall downtown, featuring brick walls and high tin-covered ceilings. Sister locations in Gloucester and Melrose. $20-50.
  • 16 Finz, 86 Wharf St, +1 978-744-8485. 11:30AM-9PM daily. Somewhat fancy seafood spot overlooking Derby Wharf. Nice, but quite touristic. $22-45.
  • 17 Nathaniel's Restaurant, 18 Washington Square West (Hawthorne Hotel), +1 978-825-4311. 8-11AM, 5-9PM daily. Traditional New England fare in a 1920s atmosphere. Serving breakfast, brunch, and dinner. Often offers live entertainment on weekends 6-9PM in the tavern. No cover charge or reservations. Breakfast $20-30, dinner $40-70.


The Lobster Shanty resplendent in summer
  • 1 All Soul's Lounge, 282 Derby St, +1 978-306-7906. M-Th 5PM-1AM, F-Su 11:30AM-1AM. A neighborhood bar with an old-school tiki-esque–but not–kind of vibe. Friendly people and one of the best jukeboxes on the north shore. Kitchen bangs out custom hotdogs and grilled cheeses until 11PM, and it's 21+ after 9. First come, first serve; with limited outdoor seating options in nicer weather. Food $8-12, beer & wine $8, cocktails $12.
  • 2 Bit Bar, 278 Derby St, +1 978-594-4838. W Th 4PM-midnight, F 4PM-1AM, Sa noon-1AM, Su noon-midnight. Classic arcade games in a pub atmosphere. All the fan favorites from air hockey and skee-ball, to Donkey Kong, Tron, and Mortal Kombat II. Their pinball machines even work! More craft brews and classic cocktails than you can shake a stick at. Full menu, outdoor seating. $10-20.
  • 3 The Derby, 189 Washington St, +1 978-740-2337. Su-Th 11:30AM-midnight, F Sa 11:30AM-1AM. Over 30 flat screen TVs - the biggest sports bar in downtown - open very late - full bar & huge patio. $20-40.
  • 4 The Lobster Shanty, 25 Front St, +1 978-745-5449. M-Th 5PM-midnight, F Sa noon-midnight. Once a dive bar, now a classy dive bar. Serving the good people of Salem circa 1980. Offering cocktails, BBQ, and of course lobster rolls. Puppers are welcome on the patio. No reservations, first come first served. $20-30.
  • 5 Notch Brewing, 283R Derby St, +1 978-412-7674. M-W 4-10PM, Th noon-10PM, F Sa noon-11PM, Su noon-8PM. Notch focuses on central European style "sessionable" beers, rarely exceeding 5% alcohol. The brewers are quite talented and often win awards. There are a few noshables here like pretzels and Bavarian style brats, but feel free to bring whatever food you want in. Non-alcoholic sodas and coffee also available. The Biergarten is open year-round with a 200 person capacity. Dogs allowed, children allowed, snow allowed. No reservations, first come first served.



Due to its small size, pretty much everything in Salem is going to be "right in the heart of it all". The high season here runs from Memorial Day until Halloween. Book well in advance to ensure your bunk! Sleeping here on Halloween night? Make your reservations by Thanksgiving. For real. Most accommodations are basically the same price, around $300 once you factor in taxes, fees, and surcharges. Same story for AirBnB and similar services. If you're looking to save money, there is a campsite on Winter Island. If roughing it's not your thing, there are more affordable options along the Route 1 & I-95 corridor in Peabody and Danvers, but then you'll have to deal with driving here.

"More weight"

One of the few men to be executed during the witch trials, Giles Corey was pressed to death in September of 1692.

After being accused of witchcraft, he refused to enter a plea of either guilty or innocent. According to the law of that era, one could not be tried in court without first entering a plea. While rarely put into practice, a form of torture—pressing—was used as a threat to coerce pleas from the accused. In this case; however, it was in Corey's financial interest not to enter a plea. He was 80 years old and could see clearly which way the winds were blowing. A guilty verdict would forfeit his right to pass his estate down to his children.

After some months in prison, Giles was stripped naked, tied down, and heavy planks were laid across his body. Weighty stones were placed atop the planks while Sheriff George Corwin asked how he pleaded. For three days Corey's only reply would be "More weight." After his death, his wife Martha (also accused of witchcraft) would be hung just a few days later.

The public and gruesome nature of Corey's execution could have been the event that caused the colonists to "wake up" from their witch-related hysteria. His estate was transferred in accordance with his will, although his heirs would be harangued for years to come. Eventually Giles and Martha had their excommunications from the church reversed. But only Giles had the charges of witchcraft formally withdrawn.

  • 1 Amelia Payson House (Bed & Breakfast), 16 Winter St, +1 978-744-8304. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. This bed and breakfast was built for Amelia and Edward Payson in 1845. Today the home features three guest rooms, each with private bathrooms. Each offers on-site parking, cable TV, A/C and the hotel received an editor’s choice award from Yankee Magazine. The most recent renovations took place in 2022. Children under 12 not allowed. From $200-325. Minimum 2-3 night stay in the high season.
  • 2 The Daniels House (Bed & Breakfast), 1 Daniels St, +1 978-594-8757. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Purportedly the oldest bed and breakfast in America, this home dates from 1667. This place is a must stay, if you're into first-period early colonial history (the ceilings are low and you may have to share a bathroom). The large fireplaces, exposed beams and detailed wall panelings have surfed the centuries mostly undisturbed. Each of the four rooms offers cable TV, air conditioners, and free parking. The most recent round of updates and upgrades was completed in 2019. From $250 in the high season. Two night minimum.
  • 3 Hawthorne Hotel (3 star hotel), 18 Washington Square West, +1 978-744-4080. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Number one hotel in Salem according to US News & World reports in 2021. One of the "most haunted" places in Massachusetts, rooms 325 and 612 are the ones to request or avoid. Eighty-nine rooms and six suites. Ask about the four period appropriate rooms offered in the Fidelia Bridges Guest House if that's your thing. From $159. Hawthorne Hotel (Q109558112) on Wikidata Hawthorne Hotel on Wikipedia
  • 4 Morning Glory (Bed & Breakfast), 22 Hardy St, +1 978-741-1703. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. This bed and breakfast is found in a beautifully restored home dating from 1808. The location is quite good, just across the street from the waterfront and the House of Seven Gables. In 2018 TripAdvisor listed this B&B as the 13th best in the United States. Each of the three rooms comes with off-street parking, A/C, cable TV and ocean views from the roof deck. Fresh homemade breakfast prepared daily. From $230.
  • 5 The Salem Inn (3 star hotel), 7 Summer St, +1 978-741-0680. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. On the National Register of Historic Places, the inn is comprised of three separate houses. The 1834 home of Captain Nathaniel West was the first to turn into a B&B, followed by the Peabody and Curwen houses. Combined they offer 40 unique guest rooms. Room #17 is famously haunted. Pet friendly rooms, family suites, child-free rooms and complimentary breakfasts are on offer; in addition to all the standard conveniences. Two night minimum. $169-600.
  • 6 Salem Waterfront Hotel and Suites (3 star hotel), 225 Derby St, +1 978-740-8788. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. One of the few Salem accommodations in a modern building. Offers both rooms and suites, with some having views of Derby Wharf. All mod-cons plus a heated indoor pool in the fitness center. Regatta Pub is downstairs and offers room service. From $300 in the high season.
  • Winter Island Park (Campsite), 50 Winter Island Road, +1 978-741-7461. Check-in: 1PM, check-out: 11AM. Offering campsites for 22 tents and 28 RVs, space fills up fast at this waterfront campground. Well situated on Salem Neck, you're near the shops and amusements at the Willows, and all the action downtown is about 2½ miles away. Store and office hours are open from 8AM to 4PM, restrooms open 24 hours. No fires. Park gate is locked from 10PM until 6-7AM the following morning. Please see the parks section for more details. Peak season: $35-50 tent sites, $50-100 RV sites.

Stay safe


As in the rest of the country, dial 911 in an emergency for help. Overall, Salem is a very safe city with a crime rate far below the US average. Take the same standard precautions you would anywhere else. Keep valuables out of sight, don't flash wads of cash, take your headphones off, and so on. Many visitors come to Salem to blow off steam, so don't be surprised to see increasingly drunken behavior as the night wears on. Bars tend to close around midnight-1AM. Finally, don't let any black cats cross your path, and if you find a monkey's paw leave it alone!


Just your average 1855 brick mansion turned public library
  • 3 Essex Law Library, 56 Federal St, +1 978-741-0674. M-F 9AM-noon, 1-3:30PM. If you need a break from all that history, head over to this palace of glass and have all of your legal research needs fulfilled. Free.
  • 4 Frederick E. Berry Library (Salem State), 4 College Dr, +1 978-542-6230. M-Th 8AM-9PM, F 9AM-5PM, Sa noon-5PM, Su noon-7PM. Opened in 2013, this library is primarily for those affiliated with Salem State. It is open to the wider community; however, and it's worth checking out for the eye-catching red staircase and environmentally friendly designs. Free.
  • 5 Salem Athenaeum, 337 Essex St, +1 978-744-2540. Tu-F 1-6PM, Sa 10AM-2PM. The Salem Athenaeum was founded in 1810 and is one of the oldest private libraries in the United States. Its first home was built in the 1850s with a generous gift from Caroline Plummer. In 1905 the Athenaeum sold "Plummer Hall" to the Peabody Essex Museum. The proceeds were then plowed into the current building, which opened in 1907. The collections today include over 50,000 volumes on a wide range of topics. Free. Salem Athenaeum (Q2214167) on Wikidata Salem Athenaeum on Wikipedia
  • 6 Salem Public Library, 370 Essex St, +1 978-744-0860. M-Th 9AM-9PM, F Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 1-5PM. Built as a private home for a wealthy sea captain in 1855, it was donated to the City in 1887 and has been open to the public since 1889. Free. Salem Public Library (Q39069597) on Wikidata Salem Public Library (Massachusetts) on Wikipedia

Go next

Motif #1 in Rockport is "the most often-painted building in America"
  • Nature lovers might enjoy exploring almost 2,000 acres in Topsfield's Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary. The views are great by foot, but exploring by paddle can really shape your sense of the land, and afford some truly unique wildlife encounters. The famous Topsfield Fair is also well worth your time if you're visiting in late September.
  • For a taste of the English countryside, look no further than Crane Estate in Ipswich. Featuring the ostentatious mansion Castle Hill, acres of gardens replete with hiking trails, as well as the breathtaking Crane Beach.
  • Popular resort town just to the south, Nahant boasts some fantastic beaches and superlative ocean views.
  • Head north-east to Singing Beach in Manchester-by-the-Sea. If it's dry, the sands may seem to "sing" as you walk along.
  • Further north-east takes you to Rockport, and the end of the line. Stroll Bearskin Neck where densely packed studios, shops, and restaurants wind along a narrow road backed by the Atlantic Ocean. Don't forget to snap a photo of Motif #1 before you leave.
  • Did you enjoy Salem's historical appeal, but were hoping for less tourists? Check out one time whaling capital New Bedford, filled with great museums, history, and Pastel de Nata to boot. About a 1½- to 2-hour drive to the south depending on traffic.
Routes through Salem
NewburyportBeverly  N  S  LynnBoston
DanversPeabody  W  E  MarbleheadEnds at
BostonLynn  SW  NE  BeverlyNewburyport/Rockport

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