10 Things to Know About Salem, Massachusetts

With a festival or celebration every month of the year, a robust local theater scene, active nightlife, and ever-changing museum programming, you will always find something to do and explore in Salem. To start your adventure, here are 10 things to know about Salem, Massachusetts:

10. Salem is a small city

Chestnut Street Car Meet, Heritage Days


With a population of about 42,000 people, Salem is a small city located just 16 miles north of Boston. In Salem, you’ll find a bustling downtown area full of museums and attractions, shops, and restaurants, along with historic districts, a neighborhood that features murals painted by local artists, and 18.5 miles of tidal shoreline that include 7 public beaches.

9. Our busiest season is October during the Haunted Happenings Festival

Things to Know About Salem

Salem Haunted Happenings, photo by John Andrews


Salem Haunted Happenings is a month-long celebration, encompassing everything from family-friendly magic shows, to costume balls, psychic readings, haunted harbor cruises, ghost tours, and more. Whether you come to Salem seeking history, spooks, shopping, or even a vibrant food and “spirits” scene, you are sure to find your own adventure each October.

8. Salem hosts dozens of festivals throughout the year

Salem’s So Sweet, photo by John Andrews


Haunted Happenings may be the biggest, but it’s just one of dozens of festivals during the year in Salem. Salem’s So Sweet in February, Salem Film Fest in March, Salem Arts Festival in June, Heritage Days in August, and Holiday Happenings in December are just a few others! We’re also home to regional events that take place annually including ArtWeek in April/May, the Massachusetts Poetry Festival in May, the North Shore Pride Parade & Festival in June!

7. Salem is a walkable city


Wear comfortable shoes because Salem is a very walkable city and we encourage you to park your car for the day to explore our historic streets and waterfront on foot. Downtown Salem is only about a mile wide (from the Phillips House on Chestnut Street to the Salem Ferry on Blaney Street). You can learn about Salem’s history by walking the Salem Heritage Trail, or by taking a guided tour on any topic ranging from food tours with tastings, to ghost tours, and modern witch walks.

6. The National Park Service offers self-guided walking tours


There are several self-guided walking tours available through the National Park Service. Grab a brochure and explore The McIntire Historic District, Architecture in Salem, African American Heritage Sites in Salem, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Salem, or Bowditch’s Salem. Prefer an audio tour? You can download the (free) Salem Black Heritage Audio Tour right to your smartphone by searching for “UniGuide” in your app store and selecting the tour.

5. Parking costs between $.75/hour and $20/day


The cost of parking in Salem varies depending on the space, garage, lot, or season. During October weekends, City garages and lots along with most private lots cost $20 (cash on entry) to park for the day. You can find long-term parking in one of the City garages, or by downloading the Passport Parking App to feed your meter from your phone.

4. ”Pop-ups” and special events happen all the time!

Finz Seafood & Grill, Photo by Jared Charney


Be sure to allow time for the unexpected since there is always something happening in Salem! You may find a cookie “speakeasy” down an alley, an artisan market at a brewery, or the Farmers’ Market in Derby Square! You can always check out events happening during your visit on our events calendar.

3. Salem is a dog-friendly destination


We have lots of dog-friendly restaurants that allow you to dine on their outdoor patios for you and your pet, with some locations even offering special ‘doggy menus.’ Salem is even home to a number of pet-friendly accommodations, walking tours, and shopping experiences. We even celebrate Halloween with furry friends during the annual Howl-o-ween Pet Parade each October!

2. Combination tickets are available for select attractions

Witch Dungeon Museum, Photo by Jared Charney


Visit The Land of Witches & Pirates with a combo ticket to the Witch Dungeon Museum, Witch History Museum, and New England Pirate Museum. The Salem Hysteria Pass includes the Salem Wax Museum and Salem Witch Village. The Visit 1692 Pass includes the Salem Witch Museum, Witch House and the Rebecca Nurse House in Danvers, and includes discounts at The Tavern at the Hawthorne Hotel, Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie and Goodies Ice Cream (Danvers).

1. You can start planning your Salem adventure today!


Request your FREE Visitor Guide or join our list to start planning your visit to Salem today! Love the cover of the 2018 Salem Guide as much as we do? You can enter to win your very own signed limited edition print of the cover art featuring an original design of The House of the Seven Gables by local artist, Elissa Von Letkemann of Windows of Salem. We’ll be randomly selecting one winner each month during 2018!

Where to next?


April Vacation is a Perfect Time to Visit Salem!

Come for the Witch Trials of 1692, maritime trade, and The Scarlet Letter. Stay for the culture, art, restaurants, shopping, and New England experience!  Here are a few ideas for how to spend a day or an overnight in Salem this month.

These Walls Do Talk at The House of the Seven Gables
The House of the Seven Gables | 978-744-0991
On view through 2018
Learn the science and history about how we know what we know about the 350-year-old Turner-Ingersoll Mansion including analysis of paint, wallpaper, and architecture and primary source documents such as deeds and drawings. Learn more

Living History Labs
The House of the Seven Gables | 978-744-0991
April 14-22, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Try your hand at history! The Living History Lab hands-on history program at The House of the Seven Gables allows the young and young-at-heart to learn about history through a unique set of experiments. Learn more

April Vacation Poetry Workshop for Kids
The House of the Seven Gables | 978-744-0991
April 14-22, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Join the Witch City Writers to dissect Hawthorne’s poem “The Ocean” and learn a bit about how to write a poem. Get inspired by the view of Salem Harbor from the House of the Seven Gables and then try your best to come up with a tongue-twisting, ocean-themed poem of your own. Learn more

Old School Cool: April School Vacation Week at the PEM
Peabody Essex Museum | 866-745-1876
April 17-19, 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Power down your digital devices and join us for hands-on art making, demonstrations, and storytelling that explore “old-school” techniques. From analog film photography to handwritten letters, discover time-honored ways to express your creativity. Learn more

LEGO Lighthouse “Make & Take”
Salem Regional Visitor Center | 978-740-1650
April 18, 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Build a lighthouse at the Salem Regional Visitor Center! Only those who wish to “make & take” are required to register. We will also be providing instructions on how to build other beloved Salem lighthouses, including Bakers Island Lighthouse and Fort Pickering Lighthouse. Come celebrate the maritime heritage of Salem through the art of LEGO building! Learn more

Brain Building in Progress Family Event
St. Joseph Hall | 978-740-1650
April 19, 9:30 am-11:30 am
A morning of movement, music, crafts, story time, and Junior Ranger activities lead by variety of community partners. Take part in our free activities that are creative and educational to celebrate Brain Building in Progress Week (BBIP). The family event ends with the swearing in of all our new Junior Rangers! This event is free and open to families with children through age 8. Learn more

Make it an overnight:

Family suites at the Salem Inn.

The Salem Inn Family Fun Package | Learn more

  • Two-night stay in a Family Suite
  • Family passes to the Salem Witch Museum
  • Family passes to the House of the Seven Gables
  • $20 gift card to Flying Saucer Pizza
  • Complimentary breakfast buffet
  • Package price is $490 plus tax. 2 adults, 2 children

Salem Celebrates the Fourth

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

11-July_4_032

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.

The Maritime Fan’s Guide to Salem, MA

With the sailing season is just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to start planning a maritime fan’s visit to Salem, Massachusetts. Most known for the tragic events of 1692, Salem’s maritime trade has also greatly impacted the region we know today. During the summer months, maritime fans can even start experiencing Salem by water before arriving in town via the Salem Ferry from Boston.

Accommodations

The Salem Waterfront Hotel and Suites is located adjacent to the Pickering Wharf Marina, which houses both sail boats and power boats up to 55 feet in length. With amenities like a swimming pool, fitness center, and full service restaurant, this hotel is a wonderful option for maritime fans looking for a contemporary Salem getaway.

A short (and scenic) walk from both Pickering Wharf and the Salem Ferry is Morning Glory Bed & Breakfast. This historic Georgian Federal style building was built in 1808 and today features amenities like complimentary transportation between the Salem Ferry and MBTA Commuter Rail, breakfast, and a roof-top deck with beautiful ocean views.

To RV or tent-camp by the water, consider staying at Winter Island Park. Open seasonally from May 20 to November 1, Winter Island features a public beach, lighthouse, and a historic fort.

Attractions

The Salem Maritime National Historic Site is home to historic homes, lighthouses, and a ship that represent the site’s mission to preserve Salem’s maritime history. Visit the site to learn about the merchant vessels that helped grow Salem’s economy, take a tour of the Derby or Narbonne House, or explore the Derby Wharf Lighthouse. The site is also home to the Friendship of Salem, a replica of the original tall ship launched in 1797. Currently in drydock, the Friendship will be open for tours on a seasonal basis when she returns to Salem later this year.

Nearby the Salem Maritime National Historic Site is Pickering Wharf Marina, which includes docks for Schooner FAMEMahi Cruises, and Sunset Sail Salem. Schooner FAME is a replica of the 1812 privateer Fame that is open for public sails during the season (beginning May 12). Mahi Cruises features a variety of excursions from sunset cruises, to Sunday brunches and even a live music series in the summer. Also open seasonally, Mahi Cruises kicks off the 2018 sailing season with a sunset cruise on May 11. Sunset Sail Salem offers private charters on Friendship Sloop Wenonah as well as public sails on General Patton’s historic When and If beginning May 11.

To get even closer to the ocean and the creatures that live there, walk down Blaney Street and sail with Sea Shuttle aboard the Catamaran Endeavor. While out on the water, touch live sea creatures and learn about their habitats in Sea Shuttle’s onboard aquarium. Additionally Sea Shuttle offers optional pickups and drop-offs at Misery Island, and runs on a seasonal basis beginning May 13.

Maritime fans may also access Bakers Island through a boat tour with Essex Heritage run seasonally beginning in June. While there guests may view the exterior of Bakers Island Lighthouse, which is an 1820 reconstruction built in place of the original 1791 light station. Essex Heritage also offers exclusive overnight stays at the lighthouse for members only. For more information on overnights and other member events visit EssexHeritage.org.

More inland from many of Salem’s maritime attractions is the Peabody Essex Museum, which was founded by sea captains in 1799. Today, the museum is the oldest continually operated museum in the country, and features pieces of art brought to Salem by merchants who have travelled all over the world.

Tours

To learn more about Salem’s maritime history, take to the water with Mahi Cruises for a narrated sightseeing tour. Consider coming back during leaf peeping season and embark on Mahi’s lighthouse and foliage cruise in the fall. For a taste of Salem’s past on land, learn about the spice trade during a Salem Food Tour, which includes information on maritime history and tastings at local shops and restaurants.

Restaurants

Dine by the water in Pickering Wharf, with restaurants that are sure to please the tastes of any maritime fan. Take in views of the harbor at Sea Level Oyster Bar & Kitchen or Finz Seafood & Grill. For a casual dining experience just a few more steps from the harbor, kick back at Brodie’s Seaport, Longboards Restaurant & Bar, and the Regatta Pub at the Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites.

Shopping

For the ultimate maritime shopping experience, don’t miss some of the most nautical shops in Pickering Wharf. Joe’s Fresh Fish Prints includes handmade Gyotaku fish prints created with locally caught fish, and the shop even hosts classes for guests to create their own unique prints.

A different kind of maritime shop may be found at Ocean Chic Boutique, which features a refreshing waterbar and popular beachy clothing brands like Vineyard Vines and unique local favorites. Ocean Chic has also recently introduced a men’s collection available both in-store and online.

While in Pickering Wharf, guests may purchase scrimshaw gifts from RJ Coins and Jewelry for unique scrimshaw gifts along with fashion jewelry, rare coins, and more.

Back at the Salem National Maritime Site, plan on visiting Waite and Peirce to shop authentic and exotic goods specially crafted based on Salem’s spice trade history. The shop is home to reproduction historical goods, and locally made maritime themed goods like Waite and Peirce’s exclusive clothing line and tote bags from Sea Bags of Maine constructed out of recycled sails.

Pet Friendly Salem, MA

Belle and Tipper Salem 2011_Barb Swartz

Planning a visit to Salem, MA with your entire family (pets included)? There are plenty of ways to experience Salem with your pet, from pet-friendly hotel rooms to outdoor dining opportunities. Click here for a complete list of pet-friendly locations around Salem.

Accommodations
Many of Salem’s hotels and inns welcome guests traveling with pets. Please note that fees vary by each location, and pet friendly rooms are based on availability.

The Hawthorne Hotel offers pet friendly rooms on the building’s 6th floor. A stay includes complimentary toys for guests’ dogs, and a specially crafted Doggy Room Service menu designed by the Hawthorne Hotel’s executive chef.

Pets are also welcome in select rooms at the Salem Inn, and the Stepping Stone Inn where guests may take advantage of dog walking services for an additional fee.

Guests planning to camp in Salem can bring pets to Winter Island Park which is open from May 20 to November 1.

Attractions & Tours
Well-behaved pets are able to join their humans on some of Salem’s walking tours included Bewitched After Dark Walking Tours and Spellbound Tours. Dogs can also learn about Salem’s history and get around town aboard the Salem Trolley and Mahi Cruises.

Belle and Tipper Salem 2011_Barb Swartz

Belle and Tipper, Image: Barb Swartz.

Shopping
Coon’s Cards & Gifts is home to Penelope’s Pet Boutique, which stocks collars, toys, tags, and treats for their furry friends. Pets may also visit New England Dog Biscuit Company, which bakes natural dog biscuits right in the shop and carries other natural treats and food, toys, collars/leashes, and more for both cats and dogs.

Pets are also welcome in some shops around town, like RJ Coins and Jewelry where guests with friendly pets may browse products like the Dog Fever and Cat Fever hug rings. Other local businesses may place water bowls outside their entrances to keep pets hydrated while they enjoy Salem with their families.

Dining
Local restaurants with outdoor dining spaces may allow pets to join their guests on patios. Flying Saucer Pizza Company, Gulu-Gulu Café, and Village Tavern, all welcome pets in their patio dining areas. Village Tavern can also provide a puppy friendly menu and beef infused water.

Walking Locations
Some favorite dog walking spots in Salem include: Derby Wharf, Forest River Park, Salem Common, Salem Willows, and Winter Island Park. Remember to obey local leash laws and pick up after your pet while going for walks. Be sure to bring your pet’s proper identification and proof of Rabies vaccination while traveling, and follow posted regulations when walking along beaches.

No Car, No Problem: Getting Around Salem, MA

Salem Ferry, Salem, MA, Kate Fox

No car, no problem, we’ve got you covered! Salem is a very walkable city with plenty of ways to get around without using a car. Keep reading to learn our favorite ways to get to and around Salem, MA.

Getting to Salem

MBTA Commuter Rail

Getting Around Salem

Coming from Boston, Salem is a short ride away from North Station via the Commuter Rail. Additionally, the Commuter Rail connects Salem to excellent cities north of Boston, like Rockport and Gloucester. Fares and schedules vary according to the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority), and the most up to date schedules may be found on the MBTA website, MBTA.com/Schedules.

Commuter Rail tickets may be purchased with cash onboard or with the mTicket mobile app for your smartphone. Once in Salem, the Commuter Rail Station is located right downtown, within walking distance to many shops, restaurants, accommodations, and attractions.

Salem Ferry

Getting Around Salem

Another way to reach Salem from Boston is to hop aboard the Salem Ferry. In just under an hour, the ferry can take passengers between Salem and Boston, while offering scenic views of both cities. The ferry, Nathaniel Bowditch is equipped with enclosed and open-air seating, tables, and restrooms, making the trip a quick and comfortable one.

The ferry departs from Long Wharf in Boston, and docks in Salem at Blaney Street, both of which are within walking distance to many local attractions. The ferry runs seasonally and rates vary so be sure to check out the Salem Ferry website before planning a trip.

Driving to Salem?

If you are planning on driving into Salem, we recommend leaving the car parked for most of your visit. As such a walkable city, it will be easier to leave the car parked and walk or take the Salem Trolley to your destinations throughout your trip. Directions to Salem and parking locations and costs are available hereNote that parking costs typically increase during weekends in October.

Getting Around Salem

Salem Harbor Shuttle

Getting Around Salem

While in Salem, you can take to the water to reach different areas around town with the Salem Harbor Shuttle. The shuttle runs seasonally and 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 and $4 for kids) may be purchased onboard and special rates are available with transfers from the ferry. Visit the Salem Harbor Shuttle website to learn more.

Walking Distances

Getting Around Salem

Once in Salem, you’ll be pleased to find that most everything you’d want to do is within walking distance. Many Salem attractions are located within about a 20-minute walk from each other at their farthest points. You can view a map of downtown Salem here or in the Salem Visitor Guide.

Zagster-Salem Bike Share

Getting Around Salem

Another great way to see Salem is with Zagster-Salem Bike Share. Zagster stations can be found throughout downtown Salem. To use Zagster, simply download the mobile app to unlock the bike at your current station and enjoy the ride! Learn more about Zagster here.

Salem Trolley

Getting Around Salem

The Salem Trolley runs daily from April 1 to November 1 from 10:00 am-5:00 pm (last full tour beginning at 4:00 pm). You can stay on the trolley for an informative hour-long tour about Salem’s past and present, or you can use your ticket to hop on and off throughout the day to get around town. If you take the Salem Ferry into town consider purchasing the combination ticket that includes the Salem Trolley!

Walking Tours

Getting Around Salem

To get the most out of your walk around Salem, plan on taking a walking tour. There are tours to cover a variety of topics including historical tours, ghost tours, and even food tours. Check out which tours are available here or learn more about walking Salem’s Heritage Trail here.


Salem Haunted Happenings will hit a new note in 2016

Salem MA Haunted Happenings 2016

 

Salem MA Haunted Happenings 2016

The 36th Annual Salem Haunted Happenings will feature a month of programs and events to suit Halloween enthusiasts of all ages.  The October program, which always includes a scary dose of theatrics, will be enhanced this year by live music, great food, and costumed pets.

Headlining the new events for 2016 is the Haunted Harmonies a cappella festival on October 8. High school and collegiate a cappella groups will converge in Salem for a day of performance and learning that will culminate with a professional showcase and performance by Vox One.  Also new this year is a Food Truck Festival on October 1st and 2nd on Salem Common, the Howl-o-Ween Parade for pets on October 2, and a Chowder Fest to benefit Breast Cancer Research on October 15.

The 2016 Haunted Happenings Grand Parade will step off on October 6 with a celebration of the National Park Centennial.  The theme this year is, “100 Years of Parks & Play.” Salem students from preschool through Salem State University will be led by Grand Marshall Paul DePrey, Superintendent of the Salem Maritime and Saugus National Historic Sites.

The Guide to Salem Haunted Happenings is now available from Destination Salem. Featuring a zombie theme, the publication includes a robust calendar of events, and articles about Halloween Night Safety & Sense, Salem’s Historic Burying Grounds, and Haunted Happenings “Do’s and Don’ts.”  The Guide also includes information on Salem’s attractions, tours, entertainment, shopping, parking and transportation. New this year is a section on “Grab and Go Eats,” which flushes out a robust list of dining options.

October weekends in Salem are always busy and visitors are encouraged to use public transportation. The Salem Ferry, operated by Boston Harbor Cruises, provides daily service between Salem’s Blaney Street and Boston’s Long Wharf North.  Salem is located five stops from Boston’s North Station on the Newburyport/Rockport lines of the Commuter Rail.  The MBTA runs expanded service to and from Salem on the final weekend of October and on Halloween, and sells a Special Event Ticket on Halloween Night.

For more information, visit HauntedHappenings.org.

 

Friendship of Salem departs for repairs

Salem_History_1797_Friendship

Friendship of Salem left Derby Wharf on July 5, 2016, for a scheduled “haul-out.” The ship has gone to Gloucester where she will be removed from the water for inspections, repairs and routine maintenance.

Friendship  motored out of Salem at high tide on Tuesday, heading to Gloucester where the work will be done by Boothbay Harbor Shipyard and Gloucester Marine Railways Corporation on Rocky Neck in Gloucester, Massachusetts. When all inspections and repairs are complete she will return. The purpose of the estimated 12 week contract is to perform a variety of maintenance, inspection and repair work including:

  • Cleaning, inspection, repairs, and painting of the hull below the waterline;
  • Painting of portions of the hull and attachments above the waterline;
  • Inspection, cleaning and maintenance on propellers, shafts, rudder and other running gear components; and,
  • Repair of a deteriorated hull section on starboard side near the base of the foremast.

Learn more on Facebook and at nps.gov/sama.

Tour Bakers Island Light Station

Salem Harbor is home to five lighthouses, three of which are in Salem:  Derby Light is part of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Pickering Light is on Winter Island, and Bakers Light is on Bakers Island.  The other two lighthouses are Hospital Point in Beverly and Marblehead Light.  You can see all of the lighthouses from boat (Salem’s harbor tours are great for that), Pickering Light and Derby Light are accessible by foot, and beginning on July 1 you can tour Bakers Island Light Station on a guided tour provided by the Essex National Heritage Commission.

Bakers Island is a 60 acre island that is primarily occupied by a private summer colony.  The light station occupies 11 acres on the northern side of the island, and tours to Bakers Island Light will include a beach landing, tour around the base of the lighthouse, and return trip to Salem Wharf.  (Note: Tours to Bakers Island Light Station do not include other parts of the island, and tour participants are strictly prohibited from leaving the 11 acres of the light station.

Visit EssexHeritage.org/Boat for complete information on visiting Bakers Island Light Station, and click here to purchase tickets, which can also be purchased at the Salem Regional Visitor Center or at the dock.

The Naumkeag holds no more than 17 passengers, so advance tickets are recommended. Access to Bakers Island is via a beach landing on a rocky beach, and passengers must be able to disembark, walk across the beach, and walk up a steep incline to get to the light station. People interested in taking the tour should read all restrictions and the FAQs answered by Essex Heritage prior to purchasing tickets.

Click here for the history of Bakers Island, as well as additional reading.

 

Four Ways to Set Sail in Salem Sound

Being on the water has its advantages: Cool summer breezes, beautiful sunrises, and harbor tours to name a few.  Here are four ways to find your sea legs in Salem this summer.
Schooner FAME & Hannah Salem
1.  Schooner FAME of  Salem.  Climb aboard this wooden boat, a replica of the 1812 privateer FAME , which sails out of Pickering Wharf daily May-October. Check their schedule for sunset cruises, summer camp (fun!), and their Rum & Revolution series.  SchoonerFAME.com

2.  Mahi Mahi Harbor Cruises will take you out on their repurposed lobster boat, the Finback, or the larger Hannah Glover. Offering Cocktail, Sunset, and Narrated Sightseeing Cruises all summer long, you may need to plan a longer visit to Salem.  MahiCruises.com

endeavor_and_bowditch (1)

3.  Sea Shuttle offers harbor tours aboard the 45′ catamaran, Endeavor. Leaving from Salem Willows, Sea  Shuttle offering daily harbor cruises, trips to Misery Island, and special Fireworks Cruises.  Kids will love the touch tank, which always has a different array of sea creatures that came up in local lobster traps.  Sea-Shuttle.com

4. Salem Ferry is the best way to travel between Salem and Boston. Leaving from Salem Wharf at Blaney Street, the high-speed catamaran will have you at Long Wharf in Boston (adjacent to the New England Aquarium) in 55 minutes.  SalemFerry.com

2016 Salem Guide is Now Available!

Packed with information about places to stay, things to do, tours to take, food to eat, boutiques to shop, and films to see, the 2016 Salem Guide is free and ready to be requested.2016_Salem_Guide

We are delighted to feature editorial on the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, as well as Salem’s African American Heritage, and Witch Trials Sites in Salem. There is also a fold-out walking map of downtown Salem, the calendar of events for 2016, and information on transportation and getting to Salem.

Visit Salem.org/Guide to request yours and we will send it to you.  The digital flip-book is on its way, and soon you will be able to virtually flip through the Guide’s pages online and in print.

Need more than one copy?  Email us and we would be happy to provide as many as you need for your group tour, wedding, special event, or conference in Salem.

 

A Salem Daytrip from Boston

This is the third in a series of suggested ways to explore Salem. Destination Salem will feature a new itinerary each Tuesday (#traveltuesday!). 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, and Food, Fish, and History.

ARRIVE

Salem Ferry
High-speed ferry service between Long Wharf, Boston and Blaney Street, Salem
(877) SEE WHALE | BostonHarborCruises.com
Hop aboard the Salem Ferry and in less and one hour you will be sightseeing, museum hopping, sampling the specialties of local chefs, and shopping in Salem’s many quaint boutiques and quirky shops!

tourismdaytrolleySEE

Salem Trolley
8 Central Street, Salem
(978) 744-5469 | SalemTrolley.com
Hop aboard the shuttle from the Salem Ferry landing to the Visitor Center and then take the one-hour narrated tour of Salem.  The tour spans nearly 400 years of history, passes through Salem’s historic neighborhoods, stops at all major area attractions, and serves as a shuttle service between sites. (Note: the shuttle is based on availability and ticket-holding customers have priority, so you may want to purchase your ticket online in advance from SalemTrolley.com, or consider the Ferry-Trolley combo ticket fromBostonHarborCruises.com.)

Salem Witch Museum
19 ½ Washington Square, Salem
(978) 744-1692 | SalemWitchMuseum.com
The Salem Witch Museum will immerse you in the story of the Witch Trials of 1692 in their first exhibit, and then you will learn about the evolving roll of witches through history in the second exhibit, Witches: Evolving Perceptions. This evocative second exhibit will answer the questions, “What is a witch?” and “What is a witch hunt?”

Peabody Essex Museum
(978) 745-1876 | pem.org
Journey through a world of art and culture at the Peabody Essex Museum, where the wealth and power of historic Salem are showcased in an unrivaled collection of art and culture from New England and around the globe. Explore the city’s international connections through extraordinary works of art from China, India, Japan and beyond, including a 200-year-old Chinese house.

Cry Innocent
Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, Salem
(978) 867-4767 | HistoryAliveSalem.com
This dramatic presentation of the examination of Bridget Bishop during the Salem Witch Trials will plunge you and your fellow audience members into the history of the Salem Witch Trials. You are the jury. Cross-examine the witnesses and the accused, and determine if she was guilty, or if she was innocent.

Omen Psychic Parlor and Witchcraft Emporium
184 Essex Street, Salem
(978) 666-0763 | OmenSalem.com
With dozens of locations to have your fortune told in Salem, a visit to the Bewitching Seaport is hardly complete without a glimpse into the future. Stop by Omen, an old-style psychic parlor and Witch shop for a reading with one of Omen’s psychics, who specialize in Tarot, mediumship, palmistry and more.

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Opus
87 Washington Street, Salem
(978) 744-9600 | SalemOpus.com
Dine on unrepressed cuisine, including brunch every day, vegetarian-friendly specialties, innovative sushi, and sharing plates.  They smoke their own meats, making the Opus pulled pork and bacon dishes savory treats.

Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall
43 Church Street, Salem
(978) 745-7665 | Turners-Seafood.com
The new stewards of historic Lyceum Hall, the Turner family is serving authentic New England seafood from the fresh catch of the day.  Oyster bar, seafood market, and some of the freshest seafood around.

The Landing at the Salem Ferry
10 Blaney Street, Salem
(877) 733-9425 | BostonHarborCruises.com
If time allows, before you get back on the Ferry to return to Boston, grab a seat at the Landing at Salem Ferry for a quick refreshment with the best view in town.  Open 11am – 11pm, 7 days a week (in season), the Landing serves sandwiches, snacks, and cold beverages, including their famous “fishbowl drinks,” which are perfect for sharing!  tourismdayfood

Salem.org