5 Ways to Stay Fit in Salem, MA

Is staying fit part of your New Year’s resolution? A true walking city filled with fresh local food and a variety of ways to get moving, Salem is a great place to stay fit in the new year:

Cycling at any speed. You’ll find lycra-clad cyclists racing around Salem Common reaching speeds of 35-45 mph at the Witches Cup Criterium Race each August. During the rest of the year, however, we take a slightly slower pace. A bike-friendly community, “sharrows” are painted on many Salem streets to encourage the sharing of roads by automobile and cycle traffic.

Eat local. Pick up locally grown produce, local eggs, and fresh baked goods at the Salem Farmers’ Market, Thursday afternoons June through October and Salem’s Winter Market on select dates in November and December. During the warmer months you’ll find the Salem Farmers’ Market in Derby Square, and during the Winter Market events you’ll need to head indoors to the Museum Place Mall. Milk and Honey Green Grocer, located on Church Street, is another great place to shop for locally sourced foods to keep you healthy all year long. Looking for more local options? Consider visiting even more shops and restaurants (while also learning about Salem’s spice trade history) with Salem Food Tours.

Run it out. In 2012, the Road Runners Club of America, the oldest and largest distance running organization in the United States, designated Salem as a Runner-Friendly Community. This designation means that Salem is an environment in which organizations and businesses work together to promote running as healthy exercise and sport. Salem hosts a number of races annually. Check out the Wicked Frosty Four, a four mile race that takes place annually on New Year’s Day and benefits scholarship funds for local high school students. In October, Salem hosts the Devil’s Chase 6.66 Miler event which brings out thousands of pitchfork carrying runners each year.

Salem, MA, Ropes MansionS-T-R-E-T-C-H out your muscles doing yoga, which during the warmer months is offered outdoors in the garden by the Ropes Mansion, or get in a work out at the Salem YMCA. The YMCA is also close to opening an all-new yoga studio, perfect for getting in some exercise, stress relief, and relaxation after a busy day around town. Day passes and drop-in rates are available through the YMCA to keep you moving all year regardless of the weather.

Take a walk. Salem prides itself on being a walkable city. Not quite sure where to walk? Go for a stroll down Derby Wharf. This scenic walk winds past the Friendship of Salem, the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, and the Derby Wharf Light Station. For a shorter walk, wander through the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall and Artists’ Row, which offers free public workshops from Memorial Day Weekend to Halloween. You’ll also pass by Old Town Hall, which houses Cry Innocent and the Spirit of Salem Film, and Derby Square which is home to the seasonal Farmers’ Market. Whether you find yourself speed-walking around Salem Common, strolling Chestnut Street, or walking the trails of Salem Woods, we hope you will get out there and explore. (And if you need help getting started, check out this Salem guide from WalkBoston.org!)

Great Stories Begin Here

Bewitched Statue

Monopoly was made here

George, Edward, and Charles Parker built the Parker Brothers factory in the late nineteenth century, producing games including Monopoly, Clue, Risk, the Ouija Board, and Rook. Their games were based on current events and are recognized around the world. George Parker died in 1952, and his brothers kept the company going until it was purchased in 1968 by General Mills. George Parker’s home still stands on Essex Street today.

“Hocus Pocus” was filmed here

Scenes from “Hocus Pocus” were filmed on Essex Street and around Salem Common. The Sanderson Sisters are legendary around Salem, and the film is shown – for free – on Salem Common each year during Salem Haunted Happenings. You can get up close with Bette Midler’s Winifred Sanderson at Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery.

 

 

Bewitched StatueBewitched was filmed here

Often credited with Salem’s modern “Witch Tourism,” several episodes of the television show Bewitched were filmed in Salem in 1970. After the show’s Hollywood studio was damaged by a fire, the show came to Salem and Gloucester to film the “Salem Saga” episodes. The cast and crew stayed at the Hawthorne Hotel, where you can see articles from the show’s experience in the lobby. In 2005 the TV Land network installed a statue of Samantha Stevens in Lapin Park (corner of Essex and Washington Streets) which is one of the most photographed spots in Salem today.

 

 

The first long distance telephone call was made here

“Mr. Watson can you hear me?” In 1877 the first public demonstration of a long distance phone conversation was held in the Lyceum Hall on Church Street. Alexander Graham Bell called his assistant Thomas Watson, who was from Salem but received the call in Cambridge. The plaque at the Lyceum (or the building that houses Turner’s Seafood) explains that the first news dispatch sent by telephone originated at the Lyceum, was received by the Boston Globe, and published the following day. Watson, by the way, could hear Bell, and in response he sang a song for the audience in Salem.

House of the Seven GablesLiterary icons reside here

Nathaniel Hawthorne began Salem’s trend of literary greatness in 1850 with the publication of The Scarlett Letter, which although quite popular in Hawthorne’s time was generally disliked by the people of Salem. 19th century Salem residents may not have been fans of The Scarlett Letter, but today the story creates connections to Salem with readers from all over the world. Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables (1851) helped the Turner-Ingersoll mansion become one of the most beloved historic homes in America. In more recent years, authors like Brunonia Barry, Kathleen Kent, Katherine Howe, and Adriana Mather all contribute to Salem’s thriving literary scene.

The National Guard was born here

In 2013, President Obama signed into law a bill that designated Salem as the birthplace of the National Guard. Though the specific date is unknown, historians have confirmed that the first muster of the North, South, and East Regiments of the Massachusetts Bay Colony took place on Salem Common in 1636. In recognition of this moment in history, a muster with the Massachusetts National Guard takes place on Salem Common each April.

Salem.org