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Frequently Asked Questions about Salem

Where is Salem?

Salem is located on the coast of Massachusetts 16 miles north of Boston and 45 miles south of New Hampshire. Neighboring communities include Beverly, Danvers, Marblehead, Peabody, and Swampscott. Salem is...

...25 miles from Concord,

...30 miles from Lexington,

...56 miles from Plymouth,

...87 miles from Hyannis,

...74 miles from Sturbridge,

...125 miles from Northampton,

...148 miles from Stockbridge.

 

How do we get there?

Logan International Airport in Boston, MA, is the closest airport.  It is a 30 to 45 minute drive from Logan to downtown Salem, depending on traffic. MassPort.com

Manchester Airport in Manchester, NH, is approximately 70 minutes away by car. FlyManchester.com

MBTA Commuter Rail connects Salem and Boston's North Station to the south, Newburyport to the north, and Rockport to the northeast.  Salem is a 30 minute train ride from Boston. MBTA.com

The Salem Ferry provides seasonal, high-speed ferry service between Long Wharf in Boston and Blaney Street in Salem.  It is a 55-minute trip will run daily (weather permitting) June 8 through Halloween. SalemFerry.com

By Car, Salem is accessible via Route 1A, Route 114, and Route 107.  The closest highway is Route 128, which connects to I-95.

 

How much does it cost to take a taxi from Boston's Logan Airport to Salem?

Approximately $50.00 one way.

 

We are driving. Where do we park?

The City of Salem implemented a new comprehensive parking program in 2012. For complete information, visit ParkinginSalem.com

We recommend using one of the two parking garages for long-term parking. The Downtown Garage (1 New Liberty Street) costs $0.75 per hour. The South Harbor Garage (10 Congress Street) costs $0.25 per hour. Both are cash only. 

On street meters are enforced 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Monday-Saturday. Pricing range from $.50 per hour to $1.50 per hour depending on neighborhood. Some, but not all, meters accept credit cards.

Parking Lots are another good option for long-term parking. Pricing and meters in the lots vary. Visit ParkinginSalem.com for details.

Map of downtown parking locations.

 

And then what? Where do we start?

If you are planning your first visit to Salem, please start at the Salem Regional Visitor Center, located at 2 New Liberty Street.  The National Park Service Rangers and volunteers can help you with maps, brochures, and directions. There are clean rest rooms, a gift shop, and a  free 27-minute film called "Where Past is Present."  From there, you may want to take a trolley tour to orient yourself to all of the attractions in the City. Salem Trolley offers a 1-hour narrated tour, and tickets are valid for on-and-off travel until 5pm on the day the ticket is purchased.

 

When can I get a schedule for Haunted Happenings?

The schedule of events for Salem Haunted Happenings is published annually in August. Visit HauntedHappenings.org for information on last year's festival, and for this year's events as they are planned. We add new events almost every day!

 

When does the Salem Ferry run?

Boston Harbor Cruises operates Salem Ferry service between Boston's Long Wharf and Salem's Blaney Street. The current year's schedule is available on its website. The trip takes 55 minutes.  The ferry is enclosed, has rest rooms and a snack bar.

 

Can we take a train or bus to Salem?

You can!  The MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) Commuter Rail connects Salem to Boston’s North Station, Newburyport, Rockport, and Gloucester. The fare between Boston and Salem is $6.75 per ride (one way).  You can walk from Salem Depot to downtown shopping, dining, attractions, waterfront. For bus service, take #450 from South Station, #455 from Wonderland, and #459 from Logan Terminal C. MBTA.com

 

What is the weather like in Salem?

New England weather is unpredictable year-round.  Monthly averages, in degrees Fahrenheit, are:

January: 37 high, 20 low July: 82 high, 63 low
February: 40 high, 23 low August: 80 high, 62 low
March: 47 high, 30 low September: 73 high, 55 low
April: 57 high, 38 low October: 62 high, 45 low
May: 67 high, 48 low November: 52 high, 37 low
June: 76 high, 58 low December: 42 high, 27 low

 

Where can I purchase a combination ticket to Salem’s attractions?

The following combination tickets are available in Salem:

The Discover Salem Passport includes admission to the House of the Seven Gables, The Peabody Essex Museum, The Salem Witch Museum, and the Salem Trolley (in season).

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 & 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).
 

How big is Salem?

Salem is a very walkable city.  How fast you walk it is up to you! Most people can walk a half-mile at a leisurely pace in 15-20 minutes.  Here are some sample distances:

To walk from the MBTA train station to the Salem Ferry at Blaney Street is less than one mile.

The National Park Service Regional Salem Visitor Center to the Phillips House on Chestnut Street is just over a half-mile.

The House of the Seven Gables to the Salem Witch Museum is a half-mile.

The Peabody Essex Museum to the Salem Maritime National Historic Site is less than a half-mile.

Salem Willows and Winter Island Maritime Park are each about 1.5 miles from the center of downtown Salem (at Salem Common).  While people do walk these distances, most prefer to drive.  There is ample parking at both destinations.

 

What is the Red Line drawn on the sidewalks?

The Red Line is the Salem Heritage Trail, and it connects the most important stops and neighborhoods in Salem.  The line is painted on the sidewalk and creates four loops through the city to help you explore.  It is painted on the map in the Salem Visitor Guide, on the maps in the information kiosks around Salem, and in the Salem Best Maps.

 

We are traveling in an RV/Motor Home.  Where can we park it while we see the sites?

Motor home and RV parking is permitted at Salem Willows Park and along Fort Avenue adjacent to the Dominion Power Plant.  From downtown Salem, driving north-east, Derby Street turns into Fort Avenue.  The two trolley companies in Salem run tours to Salem Willows and can provide transportation to the downtown for the cost of their ticket prices.  RV camping is available seasonally at Winter Island Maritime Park.

 

Where can we rent a wheelchair, or other medical supplies?

There are two outlets in Salem who can accommodate the medical needs of visitors:

Eastern Pulmonary Services, 85 Bridge Street, Salem. (978)745-4654 or (800)698-4654. Wheelchairs, power scooters, respiratory equipment, and other medical items are available for short-term rental.  Wheelchair rentals are $10/day with a $50 deposit.

Hutchinson Medical, Inc., 333 Highland Ave., Salem, (978) 741-1770 (open Monday–Friday 8:30am-5pm and Saturday 9am-12noon). Wheelchair rentals are $25/day.

 

A note about driving in Salem

Pedestrians have the right-of-way in Massachusetts, and vehicles are required and expected to stop for pedestrians crossing the road. Since Salem is a very walkable city, as well as a runner-friendly community, you are likely to encounter pedestrians crossing the road who assume you are aware that they have the right-of-way. Please drive with caution. 

Regarding Bicycles: Salem has an active bicycling community and you will notice "sharrows" on several streets and interchanges. Please be prepared to share the road with cyclists, and be mindful of cyclists when navigating our intersections. 

 

Did we miss something? E-mail your question to Destination Salem and we will respond to you directly.  We may even add your question to this list!