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.
S-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!)