Ride Around Salem Haunted Happenings with Zagster’s “Wicked Bikes”

Salem’s bike share program is getting a wicked twist during this year’s month-long Haunted Happenings Festival! Zagster and the City of Salem are working to expand the program with additional stations and bikes, which will include four “Wicked Bikes” that have been designed exclusively for October in Salem.

The Wicked Bikes include design features like a cauldron in place of the typical basket, a broomstick at the rear rack, wood grain graphics, spooky spokes, and motion-activated lights set to work while the wheels are turning. Visit downtown Salem during the Annual Haunted Happenings Grand Parade this Thursday, October 5 to see the bikes make their first appearance.

Riders who use the bikes during October have the opportunity to receive an additional $3 in ride credits by taking photos with them and using #wickedbikes. Double credits go to riders who are in costume! Each rider using the hashtag will also be entered into a drawing to win prizes like a bike accessory package from Salem Cycle (valued at more than $50), and $50 restaurant gift certificates to Kokeshi or Bambolina. The photo that has the most likes by the end of the month will also receive a Zagster t-shirt and candy-filled water bottle.

The temporary stations available during October will be located at the intersection of North and Orne Streets in North Salem, at the Salem State University School of Social Work Building at 287 Lafayette Street, and downtown by the Hawthorne Hotel and Visitor Center.

Start trick-or-treating early! Visit the Salem Ferry terminal on Blaney Street between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm on October 21 and 28, to trick-or-treat with Zagster representatives and learn more about Salem’s newest bike share program.

Zagster launched in Salem in May 2017, and since then the program has added stations to Salem State University’s Central Campus, Congress Street, and the Salem Willows. So far about 750 members have taken over 1,300 rides which have helped to replace hundreds of car rides from Salem’s roads.

The Salem Zagster Bike Share is funded by the City of Salem and sponsors Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Salem State University.

For contest rules and more information about the Wicked Bikes, visit bike.zagster.com/wickedbike.

Take a Self-Guided Audio Tour and Learn about Salem’s African American History

A brand new, self-guided audio tour focusing on Salem’s African American history is now available for download on your mobile device. Sponsored by the Salem Award Foundation for Human Rights and Social Justice, the tour makes up one achievement of Salem’s taskforce for confronting racism, who support initiatives towards making the narratives of remarkable African Americans from Salem’s history more accessible to both visitors and locals.

The tour features 24 stops based on the legacies of African Americans throughout history from Tituba during the Salem Witch Trials in 1692 to the present day with contemporary author Stephen Hemingway. The stops along the tour may be completed in any order and in any amount of time. To access the tour, download the UniGuide smartphone app (it’s free!) and select “Salem’s Black Heritage.” UniGuide provides users with a way to access self-guided tours for free. Consider keeping the app after you finish your tour, as additional Salem materials, as well as over 100 tours from around the country, are also available using the app.

The Salem’s Black Heritage Audio Tour made its debut during this year’s first Trails & Sails Weekend. Trails & Sails, hosted by Essex National Heritage, connects North Shore visitors and residents with over 150 free events celebrating local culture. To learn more about Salem’s African American history during Trails & Sails, take the Remond Family, Salem’s Early Abolitionists Walking Tour. Also sponsored by the Salem Award Foundation, this 90-minute walking tour discusses the lives of the Remond family members and how they became central in Salem’s abolitionist movement. Visit EssexHeritage.org/TS to learn more about both the Salem’s Black Heritage Audio Tour and the Remond Family Walking Tour along with events during Trails & Sails.

Spend Labor Day Weekend in Salem, Massachusetts

Fall may be just around the corner but there is still time to catch up on our favorite summertime activities this Labor Day weekend in Salem.

The Salem Willows Arcade remains open for the season through the end of September. Stop by for some classic boardwalk-style arcade games, show off your pinball skills, or soak up the oceanfront views with an ice cream, popcorn, or the famous chop suey sandwich. The Salem Willows Arcade is open on Labor Day weekend on Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Salem Willows Arcade

Learn about Salem’s literary and maritime history with a guided tour of the House of the Seven Gables, and stick around after the tour to spend some time in the site’s beautiful seaside gardens. These colonial gardens have as much history as the house itself, and information and maps for the gardens specifically are available at the Gables and online.

For another garden escape while in Salem, visit the Ropes Mansion. The mansion is part of the Peabody Essex Museum’s collection, and free self-guided tours are available on Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm through October. The Ropes Mansion’s garden is open year-round and offers a picturesque change of pace from the hustle and bustle of downtown. Planning on visiting the museum too? The Peabody Essex Museum is open regular hours on the weekend, and on Monday for the holiday. Stop by to see Ocean Liners: Glamour, Speed, and Style before it sets sail on October 9.

What better way to send off summer than with a picnic? Pick up a sandwich or salad from Milk and Honey, or a pizza from either Flying Saucer Pizza Company or Essex’s NY Pizza, and find a spot to have lunch outside. Bring a blanket to Salem Common, walk down to Derby Wharf, or ride the Salem Trolley and hop off at Winter Island for a scenic picnic spot.

Immerse yourself in Salem’s history with a daytime or evening walking tour with Black Cat Tours. Daytime historical tours cover various parts of Salem’s history from the Witch Trials in 1692 to the spice trade and more. On the tour, learn about Salem’s famous historical residents and see the architecture that is associated with them today. In the evening, join Black Cat’s Ghostly Night Tour to hear ghost stories from around town and learn about the dark sides of Salem’s past. Bring your camera and see if you can capture any images of paranormal activity yourself.

On Sunday, take to the water during a sail with Mahi Cruises. The last Sunday Funday Brunch Cruise of the season takes place this Sunday, September 3. Each cruise comes complete with live music, a brunch spread, and a tropical mimosa and Bloody Mary Bar. To purchase tickets and view additional cruises that continue through October, visit Mahi’s website.

Want even more to do this Labor Day weekend? Check out our events calendar or create your own adventure to build an itinerary that’s made just for you.

5 Reasons to Take the Salem Harbor Shuttle

Looking for a quick and carefree way to get around Salem? The Salem Harbor Shuttle offers stops near the Salem Ferry landing on Blaney Street, right downtown at Congress Street, and at Winter Island and the Salem Willows. Tickets ($7 for adults or $4 for kids) may be purchased onboard, and special rates are available when transferring from the Salem Ferry or for Salem residents. Take in the coastal views and maybe even a sunset as you cruise to your next destination with the Salem Harbor Shuttle.



Take the 9:30 am shuttle from your campsite at Winter Island to Downtown Salem
Visiting Downtown Salem while camping at Winter Island is can be convenient and scenic aboard the Salem Harbor Shuttle. Hop on the 9:30 am shuttle from Winter Island and plan to disembark at the next stop at Congress Street. Enjoy beautiful views of Salem Harbor as you sail into downtown and prepare for a day full of history, culture, dining, shopping, and more.

Take the 10:00 am shuttle from Congress Street to the Salem Ferry
Getting to Boston with the Salem Ferry has never been easier. With the Salem Harbor Shuttle, you can go from downtown Salem to the ferry landing on Blaney Street in just 20 minutes. By reaching the Salem Ferry landing at 10:20 am, you’ll have plenty of time to purchase ferry tickets, and stock up on brochures and maps to help plan your day-trip to Boston. The ferry transfer rate for the Salem Harbor Shuttle is only $4, and discounts for the ferry are available for both Salem and North Shore residents.

Take the 11:00 am shuttle from Congress Street to the Salem Willows for pinball and a chop suey sandwich
Spend the afternoon at the Willows showing off your pinball or skeeball skills, or wander the grounds and enjoy the coastal views. Grab a chop suey sandwich for lunch or snack on popcorn and ice cream before catching the 5:15 pm shuttle to return downtown.



Take the 2:00 pm shuttle from the Salem Willows to Blaney Street and take the 3:00 pm tour of the House of the Seven Gables.
Head to the Willows first thing in the morning for some fun arcade games, a quick lunch, and maybe even some time at the beach before boarding the 2:00 pm shuttle to Blaney Street. From Blaney Street, walk down to the House of the Seven Gables, and view the exhibit, Life and Labor Over Four Centuries at The Gables, which is on view through September 30. Learn about the various aspects of personal life and work through the lives of former residents of The Gables before embarking on a tour of the historic property.

Take the 4:00 pm shuttle from Blaney Street, and enjoy a harbor tour for just $7!
The 4:00 pm shuttle docks at every stop, allowing you to relax with a 90-minute ride along Salem Harbor for just $7 (or $4 if you transfer from the Salem Ferry or happen to be a Salem resident). Prefer to hop on and off throughout the day? Day passes for the shuttle are also available for $15.

Visit SalemFerry.com to view complete schedules and rates or request more information about the Salem Harbor Shuttle.

It’s Alive! Classic Horror & Sci-Fi Art from the Kirk Hammett Collection at the Peabody Essex Museum

Rock On, 2017. R. Kikuo Johnson. www.rkikuojohnson.com

The Peabody Essex Museum’s latest exhibition, It’s Alive! Classic Horror & Sci-Fi Art from the Kirk Hammett Collection, relates classic 20th-century movie posters and props as objects of fear and forms of creative expression that continue to inspire artists today. The 135-piece collection that makes up the exhibition belongs to Kirk Hammett, who is best known for his role as the lead guitarist in Metallica. While Hammett has been collecting horror art since he was just six years old, It’s Alive! is the first major exhibition of his collection.

The entire exhibit appeals to our interest in fear and the unknown. When designing advertisements for horror films, artists needed to combine their eyes for detail with captivating storytelling in a way that would make audiences want to see more. A walk through the exhibit will reaffirm the strange relationship that we all have with fear, as a feeling that obviously alarms us but still makes us want to continue watching a film or in this case viewing the film’s artwork or listening to music.

Roland Coudon, Frankenstein, about 1931, produced by Universal Pictures, printed by Etabts Delattre, France, lithograph, 63 x 94 in. (160 x 238.8 cm). Courtesy of the Kirk Hammett Horror and Sci-Fi Memorabilia Collection and Universal Studios Licensing, LLC.

Many of the posters from Hammett’s collection were originally created by the hundreds or thousands, though unfortunately little care was taken to preserve them when it was time to replace them with new advertisements. As a result, some of the pieces in the collection are now either the only ones or one of just a handful of the pieces known to exist today.

Some of these posters may be noticeably unlike their respective films, which became a fairly regular occurrence in the mid-20th century. During this time, film studios would often design posters first to see how much interest there would be in the general concept for the piece before actually planning or shooting any of it. As a result, many posters ended up advertising films that were entirely different than what was actually produced.

Themes of the exhibit showcase the different themes within the horror realm and how they can be understood from posters alone. Most familiar are the themes focusing on aspects of The Undead (as in Dracula, The Mummy, or Frankenstein), Classic Tales, and Other Realms, which focuses on subjects like Aliens and The Deep. The exhibit goes on to include motifs on Women and Power in horror, and the use of eyes in horror artwork, Mad Science, Zombies, and even Horror Spoofs.

Nosferatu, about 1931, produced by Prana Film, Germany, printed in Spain, lithograph, 42 1/4 x 29 1/8 in. (107.3 x 74 cm). Courtesy of the Kirk Hammett Horror and Sci-Fi Memorabilia Collection.

Hammett’s music and the inspiration he derives from horror art is laced throughout the exhibition with a display featuring six of his horror art-themed guitars. Daniel Finamore, PEM’s Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History, who led the research and design of the exhibit relates Hammett’s work to the characters in these classic films: “Like the monsters in his posters, Hammett knows what being a cult icon is about. Just as fans of his music follow him, he unabashedly throws himself into the cult fandom through his voracious collecting activity.”

“It’s Alive! Classic Horror & Sci-Fi Art from the Kirk Hammett Collection is on display at the Peabody Essex Museum until November 26, 2017. The exhibition celebration will take place on Saturday, September 23, and will feature a heavy metal yoga class, horror writing workshop, guitar art demonstrations, a film screening of Frankenstein, and more.

A Day in Salem for $50 or Less

A day-trip to Salem doesn’t have to break the bank. From free events and tours to reasonably priced attractions and restaurants, there is so much to see and do even with a tight budget in mind. Continue reading to learn tips for planning your next low-budget visit to Salem, Massachusetts:

Getting here

Parking costs in Salem range from $.25 to $1.00/hour at garages and metered spots. We recommend parking at the Museum Place Garage at 1 New Liberty Street, which is conveniently located across the street from the Salem Regional Visitor Center. Note: Many parking fees increase to $20 per day, cash on entry, during weekends in October. 

Public transportation to Salem is accessible through the MBTA commuter rail’s Newburyport/Rockport line which extends from cities north of Salem to Boston’s North Station. Ticket prices range from $3.25 – $7.50 (one way) depending on where you depart from.

Museums & Attractions

The Visitor Center is home to two films that can give some context for Salem’s history before you head out to explore. Where Past is Present is a free 27-minute film that gives an overview of Salem’s history. Salem Witch Hunt presented by Essex Heritage is a 38-minute film that focuses specifically on the Salem Witch Trials and costs only $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for seniors and kids.

The National Park Service Rangers and volunteers at the Visitor Center can also help the kids complete Junior Ranger Programs, and brochures for various self-guided walking tours of Salem are available all free of charge. Salem’s Heritage Trail offers a free self-guided walk to many local historic sites, and the National Park Service also offers free guided and self-guided tours of the Custom House and Narbonne House on Derby Wharf.

Learn about the Salem Witch Trials by taking a tour of the Witch House. The home of Witch Trials Judge Jonathan Corwin, the Witch House is the only building in Salem today with direct ties to the Witch Trials. Admission ranges from $8.25 for adults and $6.25 for kids for the guided tour and $6.25 for adults and $4.25 for kids for the self-guided tour.

Adjacent to the Witch House is the Ropes Mansion. Currently owned by the Peabody Essex Museum, the Ropes Mansion is open on Saturdays and Sundays for free self-guided tours. The Ropes Mansion (c. 1727) is a beautiful Georgian Colonial that was home to four generations of the Ropes Family. The Mansion contains original furnishing a variety of 18th and 19th-century artifacts including ceramics, glass, textiles, and more.

Moving on to the 20th century, guided tours of Historic New England’s Phillips House are available for just $8.00 for adults, $7.00 for seniors and $4.00 for students. Built in 1821, the Phillips House houses the collection of five generations, while presenting information on the lives of both the Phillips family and their domestic staff during the turn of the century.

Visit the Salem Wax Museum to learn more about the Salem Witch Trials and Salem’s maritime history. View exhibits with London-made wax figures from Salem’s and visit the museum’s interactive area to learn nautical knot-tying and gravestone rubbing. Admission to the Salem Wax Museum is $9.00 for adults and $7.00 for kids, and combination tickets with neighboring attractions are available for select dates.

Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery is moving to a new, central location on Essex Street for Spring 2018! This monster movie museum is home to life-size figures and props all designed by Hollywood special effects artists. Admission to Count Orlok’s is $7.00 for adults and $5.00 for kids.


Salem celebrates with a different festival each month of the year, many of which are free or inexpensive to attend. Spring events include the Salem Arts Festival and the Massachusetts Poetry Festival.

This summer visit the Salem Jazz & Soul Festival which happens at Salem Willows in August. This free event features live performances by local Jazz, Blues, and Soul artists from around the North Shore, local craft and artisan vendors, music education workshops, and more. (While the festival is free, donations or purchases of festival merchandise help support music education causes and additional free concerts on the North Shore).

The Antique & Classic Boat Festival takes place August 25-26, 2018 at the Brewer Hawthorne Cove Marina. For a $5 entry fee (kids 12 and under are free), you’ll be able to spend the day meeting with skippers and crew from rare vintage motor yachts and sailboats. Enjoy boat rides, craft markets, and music, and close out the event with the Blessing of the Fleet.

Flying Saucer Pizza Company

Fall festivals include Trails & Sails in September and Salem Haunted Happenings in October. A full list of annual festivals is available here, and all events may be viewed on our online calendar.


Grab and go lunches in Salem can help save you time and money. To pick up lunch on the run, grab a sandwich or salad from Milk & Honey, or stop for pizza at Essex’s NY Pizza and Deli or Flying Saucer Pizza Company.

Low-budget lunch does not always have to mean eating on the run. Red’s Sandwich Shop serves up all-day breakfast, sandwiches, pasta, salad, and classic entrees like meatloaf and macaroni and cheese many for under $10.00/person. Another great downtown lunch spot is Thai Place, where specials start at $6.95 for adults and $2.95.

You can visit every attraction listed here (and enjoy a $10 lunch) for $50. For more budget-friendly fun, check out our picks for the Top 10 Free Things to Do in Salem or create your own adventure.



The History Buff’s Guide to Salem, Massachusetts

Salem, Massachusetts is a history lover’s paradise. With colonial and maritime history, and the history of the Salem Witch Trials, along with spectacular architecture dating from the 17th to early 20th centuries, Salem offers a host of historical museums, attractions, and even restaurants and shops. Make history during your visit to Salem by checking out all there is to do, eat, and shop, or by following our suggestions below.

Upon arriving in Salem, visit the Salem Regional Visitor Center to get your bearings and catch a short introductory film. The Visitor Center offers two films that provide background information for your visit to Salem: Where Past is Present a 27-minute film covering the general history of Salem, and Salem Witch Hunt, a 35-minute film presented by Essex Heritage that focuses exclusively on the Salem Witch Trials.



Before leaving the Visitor Center, pick up a brochure or two for a free self-guided walking tour on a topic like Architecture in Salem or African American Heritage Sites in Salem. For another way to make your way to Salem’s historical sites on foot, catch the red line on the sidewalk and follow the Salem Heritage Trail. If you do not have time to complete an entire self-guided tour, pull out the guide when you happen to be near relevant sites to learn more on the go or break up the tour across multiple days.

From the Visitor Center, walk down Essex Street towards Washington Street. Pass the statue of Samantha from Bewitched and continue to the next intersection until you come to the Witch House. The building was home to Witch Trials Judge Jonathan Corwin, making it the only remaining structure in Salem today with direct ties to the events in 1692. Take a tour of the house (guided or self-guided) to learn about Judge Corwin and his role in the Witch Trials as well as 17th-century architecture and home life.




Around the corner from the Witch House you will find the Ropes Mansion, which was built in 1727 and renovated in 1894. The architectural style of the building is detailed in the Architecture in Salem guide you may have picked up from the Visitor Center. The mansion is currently owned by the Peabody Essex Museum, which offers free self-guided tours of the interior on Saturdays and Sundays through the fall.

Walk back towards the Witch House to turn right onto Summer Street and take another right onto Chestnut Street going until you find #34, Historic New England’s Phillips House. Built in 1821, by Captain Nathaniel West, the home was later inhabited by the Phillips family, whose collection is on display for guests to view today. Tours of the Phillips House, which begin every half hour, offer insight into what day-to-day life was like in the early 20th-century for both the Phillips family and their staff. The building is designed in the Colonial Revival architectural style and is one another of the stops in the Architecture in Salem guide.



When you’re ready for lunch, continue back down Essex Street crossing the street by the beginning of the Pedestrian Mall and take a left. Continue down Washington Street until you come to Church Street on the right, and visit Turner’s Seafood for lunch. Turner’s location within the Lyceum brings allows guests to dine in the building where in 1877 Alexander Graham Bell completed the first long distance telephone call while enjoying a menu of fresh, locally sourced seafood dishes.

After lunch, return to the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall to visit Bewitched in Salem and pick up the Bewitched Historical Tour. This informative two-hour walking tour brings you to various sites where you will learn about Salem’s colonial history along with the history of the Salem Witch Trials, maritime lore, present-day Salem and more.



Following your walking tour, visit the House of the Seven Gables to learn not only about Nathaniel Hawthorne’s famous novel but also about the site’s architecture and local maritime history. Take a guided tour through the home, and visit the seaside gardens and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birthplace. To take some of Salem’s history home with you, visit the House of the Seven Gables Gift Shop. The shop features literary-themed goods as well as historical treasures to remember your visit to Salem from home.

Do some more shopping for yourself or the history buffs you have waiting at home on your way back to the downtown area by stopping at Waite and Peirce on Derby Street. Waite and Peirce is home to authentic and recreated goods from Salem’s past and the shop is also a great place to pick up some additional information about the Salem Maritime National Historic Site.

Want to make your “History Buff” day trip into an overnight stay? Book a room at one of Salem’s local historic inns, or at the Hawthorne Hotel, which is a Historic Hotel of America constructed in 1925.

For even more to see and do during your next visit to Salem, create your own adventure using the icons on our homepage.

Summertime in Salem Day-Trip for Families

To make the most of your summertime day-trip to Salem, plan to arrive early to park and make your way to your first destination. Information on parking and directions to Salem is available here.

Upon arrival in Salem, visit Waite and Peirce at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site to learn how to become a Junior Ranger. The National Park Service’s Junior Ranger program allows kids to learn about their National Parks while completing fun activities.

Once the kids are officially Junior Rangers, walk down Derby Street until you reach the House of the Seven Gables on your right. Most known for its connections to Nathaniel Hawthorne and his novel named after the mansion, the House of the Seven Gables also has an expansive maritime history. The whole family can learn about the Gables’ fascinating stories by participating in the Family Navigation Game and by visiting Kids’ Cove at the Counting House.

Continue walking down Derby Street in the same direction, until you see Blaney Street on your right. Follow the sidewalk to the Salem Ferry landing, and take a tour aboard Sea Shuttle’s catamaran Endeavor. Sea Shuttle features a water tour and an onboard touch-tank, allowing you to interact with live sea creatures during your trip around the harbor.



Following your cruise, pick up the Salem Trolley, and take it back up to the Salem Regional Visitor Center. (The Salem Trolley features a one-hour tour, and you can hop on and off throughout the day). From the Visitor Center, walk down the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall on your way to lunch. Cross Washington Street and walk past the statue of Samantha from Bewitched (or stop to take a selfie with Samantha!). Stop for lunch at Flying Saucer Pizza Company, which features fresh and locally grown ingredients and offers a variety of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, as well as craft beers for the grown-ups in the family.



After lunch, cross the street returning to the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall in time for a performance of Cry Innocent: The People vs. Bridget Bishop. This live performance begins on Essex Street with the arrest of Bridget Bishop, followed by a reenactment of her trial, where the audience is able to interact with the actors and determine their own outcome for the case. Once you’ve played your part in history, continue back down Essex Street towards the Visitor Center to pick up the trolley.

Hop off the trolley at the Salem Willows, and enjoy spending time in the arcade, kiddie land rides and carousel, or on one of the two beaches. (Be sure to keep track of the time, as the last trolley pickup will be at 4:25 pm).

Return to the Salem Regional Visitor Center via the trolley and do some last minute shopping along Essex Street. Pick up hats, t-shirts, and other souvenirs for the whole family (and maybe the pets you have waiting at home), at Witch Tee’s, Trolley Depot, or Coon’s Card & Gift Shop/Penelope’s Pet Boutique. No summer day-trip is complete without ice cream, so grab a cup or a cone from Maria’s Sweet Somethings before heading back to the car.


Shop for “Christmas in July” in Salem

Partridge in a Bear Tree

Feeling festive knowing that Christmas is just five months away? The summer months are a wonderful time to take advantage of Salem’s maritime attractions and enjoy the outdoors with the warmer weather. Salem has also become a shopper’s paradise featuring a host of shops with everything from accessories and clothing, to witch shops, pet supplies, and even Christmas ornaments and gifts (many sold year-round!)

Located on Pickering Wharf, Partridge in a Bear Tree is celebrating their third year in Salem! The shop carries Christmas ornaments and figures like Jim Shore pieces, Snow Babies, Byers’ Choice Carolers, and other Christmas collectibles year-round. The shop is the perfect place to find themed ornaments for friends and family at home too, as they carry ornaments based on sports, hobbies, military, career, wedding/anniversary, and baby’s first Christmas. Seasonal decorations (that are also sold year-round) include nautical designs for the summer, and Halloween ornaments decoration and the Halloween village sets for the fall.

Trolley Depot

Other summery Christmas shopping opportunities can be found on the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall at either Coon’s Card and Gift Shop/Penelope’s Pet Boutique or the Trolley Depot. A trip to Coon’s will lead you to a collection of Salem-themed pewter ornaments, the perfect souvenirs for remembering your trip to the Witch City. Additional pewter ornaments may be found just down the street at Trolley Depot, which also stocks Halloween-themed ornaments as well as glass ornaments crafted by Old World Christmas Company.

The House of the Seven Gables


If you’re looking for a souvenir to remember some of your favorite Salem attractions, be sure to visit the gift shops at the Salem Witch Museum and the House of the Seven Gables. Shop the Salem Witch Museum for detailed gold and ceramic witch-themed ornaments, as well as pieces with the museum logo, or shop the House of the Seven Gables for ceramic and silver ornaments depicting the site’s historic buildings. Forgot to purchase these ornaments during your trip? Both the Salem Witch Museum and the House of the Seven Gables have online shops.

For the artists and art lovers in your life, visit the shop at the Peabody Essex Museum. The shop features an array of enameled butterfly and hummingbird ornaments year-round both in the museum and online.


Peabody Essex Museum

Salem Witch Museum

For even more ornaments, visit Waite and Peirce, where all purchases (including ornaments!) will help to support the Salem Maritime National Historic Site. And don’t leave Salem without an ornament to remember your stay at the Salem Waterfront Hotel (or the hotel’s Regatta Pub), as the hotel’s ornaments are available for purchase year-round.

Planning a trip to Salem for the holidays? Salem Holiday Happenings begin November 25 and run through January 1. Check the calendar for holiday events during your next visit, like Christmas in Salem and the Launch! New Year’s Eve events.


See Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” at the North Shore Music Theatre

The North Shore Music Theatre is currently presenting its production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, with matinee and evening performances through July 30. With music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, the story of Beauty and the Beast has captivated audiences around the world through both the film and live theatre productions.

A night out for the whole family, Beauty and the Beast offers musical numbers you know and love including Beauty and the Beast, Gaston, and Human Again, along with the fan-favorite song and dance routine of Be Our Guest. You’re sure to find yourself singing along as Lumiere serves the “grey stuff” while an entire dining room of twirling napkins, silverware kick-lines, and champagne dancers make their way around the stage. Gaston and LeFou, and the Silly Girls will have you laughing throughout the entire performance, while Mrs. Potts sets the scene for Belle and the Beast’s dance in the ballroom, featuring exquisite costuming details as Belle’s dress glitters around the stage. Perfect for a family outing or a date night, Beauty and the Beast will continue to thrill audiences through July 30.

Rose Hemingway (Belle) with Tyler Roberts (Fork) and Justin Ronald Mock (Spoon) in North Shore Music Theatre’s production of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST running thru July 30. Photos © Paul Lyden

In celebration of Beauty and the Beast the theatre concessions offer the Enchanted Rose specialty cocktail made with Ilauri Spumante Brut Rose Wine, Monin Rose Syrup, and club soda, available prior to each performance and during intermission. For family-friendly themed dining, visit the theatre on select days to enjoy a meal at the Backstage Bistro with characters from the story like Belle, and the Beast or Gaston. Reservations are required for character dining, and may be made by calling 978-232-7200.

The North Shore Music Theatre’s production is directed by Michael Heitzman (Shrek and Disney’s The Little Mermaid) and features a standout cast of characters including: Belle, played by Rose Hemingway (Sophie, Mamma Mia and Lauren, Kinky Boots), the Beast, played by Stephen Cerf (Jersey Boys, Motown the Musical, Spamalot), Gaston, played by Taylor Crousore (Captain Hook, Peter Pan, and Harold Hill, The Music Man), Lumiere, played by Benjamin Howes (Shrek the Musical and Disney’s Mary Poppins), Cogsworth, played by Phillip Taratula (Tink! and Two Gentlemen of Verona), and Mrs. Potts, played by Christiane Noll (Elf, Chaplin, and Ragtime). Complete casting information is available at NSMT.org.

Taylor Crousore (Gaston) and the cast of North Shore Music Theatre’s production of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST running thru July 30. Photos © Paul Lyden

Future Productions

For a later trip to Salem, be sure to check out the coming productions at the North Shore Music Theatre. Later this summer the theatre hosts a production of Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein, which will run August 15 – 27. For a fall visit, catch a performance of Evita, from September 26 – October 8, and follow your Halloween celebrations with a night out at 42nd Street, October 31 – November 12.

If you’re planning a winter visit to Salem, don’t miss the North Shore Music Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol featuring David Coffee (Maurice in Beauty and the Beast) as he continues his tradition of taking on the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. The theatre also offers concerts and special children’s programming through the rest of the 2017 season, with a full list of performances available at NSMT.org.

Stephen Cerf as Beast in North Shore Music Theatre’s production of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST running thru July 30. Photos © Paul Lyden

About the North Shore Music Theatre

Bill Hanney’s North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Massachusetts is located just five miles north of Salem. The theatre has held a distinction as one of the most attended theatres in New England since its opening production of Kiss Me, Kate in 1955. Since then, the theatre has been the recipient of numerous awards and multiple Independent Reviewers of New England and Best of the North Shore awards, and it continues this legacy today with annual performances of musicals, concerts, children’s productions, and A Christmas Carol.

Directions from Salem

The theatre is located at 62 Dunham Road in Beverly, MA and is best accessed from Salem by car or taxi. Coming from Route 128 North, take Exit 19 for Sohier Road/Brimbal Ave, and follow the signs for Beverly. At the first traffic circle, take the second exit toward Sohier Road. Continue to the second traffic circle, and take the second exit toward Brimbal Ave, then turn right onto Dunham Road and follow the signs for the theatre. Preferred parking ($10) and complimentary parking are available.

Summertime Day-Trip Itinerary to Salem from Boston

Looking for day-trip ideas from Boston? Salem is located just 16 miles north of the city, making it a convenient and memorable day-trip to take while visiting Boston.

During the season (May 20 – October 31) the Salem Ferry can travel from Boston’s Long Wharf to Blaney Street in Salem in just under one hour. To make the most of a day-trip to Salem, plan on taking the 9:30 am ferry, and arriving in Salem just before 10:30 am. Tickets may be purchased online in advance of your trip, and rates and schedules are available at SalemFerry.com.



Purchase your ferry tickets online, and you will also have the option of selecting a combination ticket for the Salem Ferry and the Salem Trolley. With your trolley ticket, you will be able to pick up the trolley from the stop located by the Salem Ferry landing and take in an overview of Salem’s history in a one-hour trolley tour (with the option to hop on and off as you like).

Ride through a couple of stops on the trolley, and hop off at the Peabody Essex Museum. One of the fastest-growing art museums in the country, the Peabody Essex Museum offers a large collection of Asian and maritime art along with historical house tours, including the 200 year old Yin Yu Tang house which was moved to the museum from China. Admission rates for the museum and a calendar of events may be viewed prior to your visit at PEM.org.



Once you have your fill of art for the day, hop back on the trolley and go one stop to the Witch Dungeon Museum. At the museum, learn about the tragic events that unfolded in 1692 through an award-winning reenactment of one of the trials followed by a guided tour of the dungeon. Thinking about spending more time in Salem? Consider purchasing a combination pass for the Witch Dungeon Museum, Witch History Museum, and New England Pirate Museum if your day trip turns into an overnight stay.

Ready for lunch? Hop back on the trolley to continue the tour, and hop off on Pickering Wharf. Walk around the corner of the Salem Waterfront Hotel and Suites and enjoy lunch near the waterfront at the hotel’s Regatta Pub. The Regatta Pub offers a relaxed atmosphere with indoor and outdoor seating available to enjoy lunch by the water.



After lunch, pick up the trolley on Pickering Wharf and continue the last couple of stops along the tour before hopping off once more on Blaney Street. From here, spend the afternoon aboard Sea Shuttle’s catamaran Endeavor while learning about various sea creatures in an onboard aquarium and taking in beautiful views of Salem Harbor and Misery Island.

With some time to spare before returning to Boston for the evening, take the trolley back towards the downtown area and hop off at the Salem Regional Visitor Center. A short walk up St. Peter’s Street will bring you to Bit Bar, where you can enjoy retro-gaming inspired cocktails while showing off your skills on classic arcade games from the 80s and 90s.



The last two departures for the Salem Ferry from Blaney Street are 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm. Keep your eye on the time while playing at Bit Bar and be sure to get back to the Ferry Landing in time to make your return trip to Boston. Looking to catch the 7:00 pm ferry but worried about getting there with the trolley tour ending at 5? Walk to the nearest Zagster bike station and take a scenic ride back down to Blaney Street to meet the ferry.

Salem Celebrates the Fourth

Festivities include children’s events, a military flyover, Pops concert, and Fireworks.


Mayor Kimberley Driscoll is pleased to announce that Salem will hold its Independence Day celebration at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site on Derby Wharf on Monday, July 4th.

“There’s no better place to celebrate Independence Day than in historic Salem,” said Mayor Driscoll. “Start off bright and early at Salem Common for the annual reading of the Declaration of Independence, spend the day visiting the City’s numerous historic sites and attractions, dine at one of dozens of remarkable restaurants, and end your day at historic Derby Wharf for all of the festivities.”

“This year we are very excited to have a flyover by the 104th Fighter Wing from Barnes Air National Guard Unit,” Mayor Driscoll added. The 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard is located in Westfield, Massachusetts and proudly claims the honor of being one of the oldest flying units within the Commonwealth. “As the birthplace of the National Guard, it is especially meaningful for Salem to have a flyover by the 104th.” Salem Common was the site of the first muster in 1637 and continues to host the annual National Guard muster to this day.

“Salem is fortunate to have such a generous business community that continues to support this celebration,” Mayor Driscoll commented. “I’d like to express a special thank you to our Skyrocket Sponsors: Footprint Power – Salem Harbor Station, Salem Five, Tropical Products, and Walmart, along with our Star Spangled Sponsors: Aggregate Industries, Tache Real Estate, Market Basket, Eastern Bank, and KV Associates.”

Free children’s activities begin at 5:00 p.m. with the opening of the Kids’ Space, where young ones can play games, win prizes and get their faces painted, all thanks to the generosity of the Meeting House Church in Salem and Walmart. Also, look for the MAGIC 106.7 street team along with the MGH Pediatrics tent on-site with lots of cool give-a-ways.

Food tents on site also open at 5:00 p.m. with hot dogs, french fries, fried dough, kettle corn, and other fair favorites.

Live entertainment on the Main Stage also begins at 5:00 p.m. Annie Brobst, the 2016 & 2017 New England Country Music Award’s Female Artist of the Year, will be performing with her band on main stage.

Opening Ceremonies begin at 7:15 p.m. when Mayor Driscoll and other local dignitaries will lead a parade down the wharf accompanied by the Salem Veterans Honor Guard and Salem Boy Scout troops. The National Anthem will be sung by Nadine Adisho, Leah Morgenstern, Danielle Gautier and Tyler Leger of Salem High School’s a cappella group Witch Pitch?.
Immediately following opening ceremonies Maestro Dirk Hillyer and his orchestra has another great program in store for us, including classic American folk songs and family-friendly musical numbers from Disney and the Wizard of Oz.

At 9:15 p.m., Salem ends its Independence Day celebration with a fireworks extravaganza, accompanied live by the Hillyer Festival Orchestra playing the 1812 Overture and other patriotic live music throughout the entire fireworks display.24-July_4_062

Part of the allure of this celebration is its setting. The first National Historic Site in the National Park System, Salem Maritime National Historic Site consists of nine acres of waterfront land and houses a dozen historic structures. These include the Custom House, where famed author Nathaniel Hawthorne worked, and Derby Wharf, which was used by America’s first millionaire, Salem merchant Elias Hasket Derby. Independence Day in Salem is filled with the history that helped make American the free nation it is today.

Please note the following information for those planning to attend the July 4th celebrations in Salem this weekend:

Be safe. To ensure a safe and fun celebration, the Salem Police Department will have enhanced security in place on July 4th. Guests are asked to carry any items in clear plastic bags and be prepared for possible bag checks.

Say something. If you see something, say something to uniformed police at the celebration. In addition to officers who will be moving throughout the area all evening, you can also always find officers at the public safety tent, which will be clearly identifiable on site. Concerns can also be called into the Salem Police at (978) 744-1212.

Derby Wharf access. Police will be monitoring access points into the Derby Wharf area throughout the afternoon and evening. Please plan for additional time to arrive at the wharf for the festivities.

Road closures. Derby Street from Herbert Street to Daniels Street, and Orange Street and Curtis Street at Essex Street, will all be closed to traffic on Saturday from 5:00 pm. until 11:00 p.m.

Avoid driving to Derby Wharf. Seek parking downtown in a lot (parkinginsalem.com), or at Museum Place Garage on New Liberty Street or the South Harbor Garage on Congress Street, which are available for parking at $5 for the day, with the proceeds helping to fund the July 4th celebration. There is overflow parking at Shetland Properties on Congress Street, or take the commuter rail or Salem Ferry (salemferry.com) to avoid anticipated traffic congestion. The last MBTA trains depart Salem station at 10:40 p.m. (southbound) and 10:51 p.m. (northbound).

Handicapped parking. There is limited handicap parking at Derby Wharf and in the Immaculate Conception parking lot on Hawthorne Boulevard, which is first-come first-serve, and there is a mobility impaired/wheelchair seating section reserved at the beginning of Derby Wharf, so attendees do not have to traverse the park’s terrain.

Don’t bring fireworks. Salem has adopted the maximum fines allowable for both the sale ($1,000 fine) and use ($200 fine) of fireworks. In addition, a dedicated police unit will be tasked with enforcing the laws prohibiting the private use of fireworks. Please help ensure a safe July 4th for all and leave the fireworks to the professionals.

Harbor access. Recreational boaters and other craft will be restricted from the area around Derby Wharf and the channel in Salem Harbor and the South River for much of the evening. Mariners can call the Harbormaster’s Office at 978-741-0098 or on VHF 16 for emergencies after hours or for more information.

For more information check salem.com or call Salem City Hall at 978-745-9595, ext. 5676.