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Destination Salem Blog

Seafood, Football, Moments of Play, Treasures over Time, and one singing mermaid

If you don't have a great story to tell after this weekend, you probably didn't come to Salem.  

Salem Seafood Festival

Salem Willows Seafood Festival takes over Salem Willows on Friday, July 11 and will be dishing out the freshest fish through Saturday and Sunday. The festival will feature live music, kids' entertainment, a lobster roll-eating competition, fireworks, and - oh, did we mention? - SEAFOOD.  Admission costs $5 each day, with children under 10 years old getting in free. Bring your appetite! Make sure to tag your social media pictures and posts this weekend with #salemseafest so we can like and share your stories!

Sean Stellato with New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichik

The No Backing Down book release gala is happening at the Hawthorne Hotel on Friday night, July 11. Salem football star Sean Stellato has chronicled the dramatic story of the 1994 Salem High School football team - The Witches, of course - and their struggle to stay together during a tumultuous season that was charged with political strife and a teachers' strike.  Mean Sean and a full compliment of sports VIPs on Friday night, and again on Saturday at the Seafood Festival.

Salem Theatre presents Moments of Play

Moments of Play, a festival of 10-minute plays, is on stage at Salem Theatre through July 13. Theatre enthusiasts won't want to miss the discussion with the playwrights at 7:30 PM on Saturday, July 12.

Treasures over Time

Shopping at Treasures Over Time in July has its rewards! When you shop at Treasures Over Time between July 14 - 31, you will earn $1.00 for every $10.00 you spend, which you can spend at the store in August. Shop jewelry, gifts, watches, scarves, and find your own treasures to keep or to give.

Adrienne Eller as Ariel in North Shore Music Theatre's Production of Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID running July 8 - 27, 2014. Photo © Paul Lyden

Up on the land, they work all day. Under the sea, it's play-play-play, so why wouldn't you want to check out The Little Mermaid at North Shore Music Theatre (just up the road in Beverly). On stage through July 27, this musical is already a hit!

Posted by Kate on 07/10 at 03:04 PM Permalink

Visiting the Land of Witches and Pirates

This is the fifth in a series of suggested ways to explore Salem. Destination Salem will feature a new itinerary each Tuesday. These itineraries are not available as a package, and are only suggested ways to explore Salem. Please contact listed sites for hours, rates, and schedules.

Previous itineraries include: Two-Night Itinerary for a Family, Food, Fish, and History, a Salem Day-trip from Boston, and An All-American Trip to Salem.

The Witch Dungeon Museum

If Salem was a musical act, its platinum album would be the Witchcraft Trials of 1692 (not all hits are happy ones, right?), when 20 innocent people were put to death, accused of witchcraft.  The second spot on Salem's greatest hits album is the Great Age of Sail, during which Salem sea captains opened trade with ports around the world.  On the B-Side of that successful maritime era would be Salem's pirate history when the likes of Captain Kidd and Blackbeard sailed the coast of New England, plundering vessels as they returned with their holds full of treasures from around the globe.

Spend a day exploring the Witch Dungeon Museum, Witch History Museum, and New England Pirate Museum, and you will be immersed in the stories of the 17th-Century witch trials as well as the pirate adventures of the 17th and 18th century.  Buy the combination ticket for all three sites, and you will save $8 off the separate admission price. Exploration and adventure is hard work, so leave time for a bite to eat and to shop for treasures before heading home from this family-friendly journey. On your way home, you can explain what a B-side is to the kids, and - we hope - that Salem's pirate lore is a great addition to any compilation of Salem's historical hits.


Witch Dungeon Museum
16 Lynde Street, Salem
(978) 741-3570 |
Experience the award-winning re-enactment of the trial of Sara Good from the original 1692 transcript! A guided tour of the dungeon highlights the poor conditions and cramped cells that the accused were confined to while awaiting their trials.

Witch History Museum
197-201 Essex Street, Salem
(978) 741- 7770 |
The stories of the Witch Trials are told through a live presentation and interactive tour featuring 15 life size scenes depicting these tragic untold stories of Salem and the Witch Hysteria that ravaged Essex County in 1692.

New England Pirate Museum
274 Derby Street, Salem
(978) 741-2800 |
Experience the adventures of New England’s 17th century sea-robbers with a guided tour of a re-created dock side village, an eighty foot cave, and pirate ship! Mingle with buccaneers of old and examine artifacts from sunken ships and pirate treasures.

Naumkeag Ordinary


The Naumkeag Ordinary
118 Washington Street, Salem
(978) 744-4968 |
Opened in 2013, The Naumkeag Ordinary is making a name for itself with elevated “comfort food” offerings and a wide selection of craft beer and cocktails.   

Victoria Station
Pickering Wharf, 86 Wharf Street, Salem
(978) 745-3400 |
Harbor-side patio dining, market fresh seafood, Angus prime rib, and an "all you can eat" salad bar make Victoria's Station a great stop for lunch or dinner. 

Scarlet Letter Press Gallery


Pickering Wharf, 86 Wharf Street, Salem
(978) 745-5556
Find unexpected treasures at Salemdipity, including Salem tees, souvenirs, Halloween collectibles, blown glass witch balls, books on Salem and witchcraft, Salem charms, and pentacles.

Scarlet Letter Press & Gallery
Pickering Wharf, 102 Wharf Street
(978) 741-1850 |
An eclectic gallery of local art, including printed cards, original paintings, jewelry, photography, collage, sculpture, and macabre silhouettes. 


If you are visiting Pickering Wharf, there is free 2-hour parking on Pickering Wharf.  While you explore the museums, we recommend finding a parking space in one of the garages. South Harbor Garage, located between the New England Pirate Museum and Pickering Wharf, charges $.50 per hour (yes, 50 cents!).  The Museum Place Garage, located across the street from the Visitor Center and a short walk from the Witch History Museum, charges $.75 per hour.  For more information about directions and parking, visit


Coming from Boston (or Newburyport, Gloucester, or Rockport)?  The MBTA Commuter Rail is a hassle-free option. Salem is on the Newburyport/Rockport lines, and the trip from Boston's North Station is 30 minutes and 5 stops. Salem Depot is located at the top of Washington Street, and is a 5-minute walk from the Witch Dungeon Museum. 

Posted by Kate on 07/08 at 01:33 PM Permalink