2014 Salem Heritage Days

The Great Salem Fire of 1914

On June 25, 1914 a devastating fire ignited on Boston Street in Blubber Hollow, the leather-manufacturing district of Salem. Over the course of two days, this massive fire destroyed 1,376 buildings and left 18,000 people, almost half of Salem’s population, homeless and many without jobs.  

Great Salem Fire Map

The City of Salem will commemorate the centennial of the Great Salem Fire in June of 2014.  Click here for a listing of all Commemoration events, which will include:

June 20-21: The Great Salem Fire Symposium at Salem State University Learn more

Sunday, June 22:  Antique Fire Apparatus Display
A free display of antique fire apparatus will take place on Derby Wharf throughout the afternoon. In addition to equipment from the period of the Great Fire, the City will also welcome the return of “Seaside 2,” an Amoskeag Steamer built in 1902 that was last in Salem in 1914 to fight the fire. Other antique fire trucks and equipment from the Massachusetts Antique Fire Apparatus Association and a number of private collectors will also be on display.  Noon – 4:00 p.m. Derby Wharf Learn More

Boston Fire Department’s Engine 39 Company’s steamer and hose wagon being loaded into rail cars at Boston’s North Station on the afternoon of June 25, 1914, to be sent to Salem to fight the great fire that devastated the city. (Photo courtesy of Boston Public Library)

Wednesday, June 25: Moment of Silence at 1:37 p.m.
Mayor Driscoll will offer a welcome from the City before a moment of silence will be observed at 1:37 p.m. to mark the time the conflagration began exactly one hundred years prior in the same location. 1:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Boston & Bridge Street

Wednesday, June 25: Centennial Ceremony
The official centennial ceremony will commence with a Fire Department Honor Guard. A speaking program will follow including Mayor Driscoll, Salem Fire Department Chief David Cody, Sara Peller – CEO of the American Red Cross of Massachusetts, Steve Coan – Massachusetts State Fire Marshal, and Lt. Colonel Tom Stewart of the Massachusetts National Guard. During the ceremony recognitions will be presented to the Boston Fire Commissioner and the Chiefs of the Fire Departments of Beverly, Everett, Gloucester, Lawrence, Lynn, Manchester, Marblehead, Newburyport, Peabody, Reading, Somerville, Swampscott, and Wakefield, all of which responded to the call to come to Salem’s aid during the fire. The ceremony will also include an unveiling and rededication of a memorial plaque first gifted to the City in 1915 on the one-year anniversary of the fire. 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Lafayette Park

Conflagration as Seen from Gallows Hill, Salem, Mass.

 

Photo postcard of the ruins of St. Joseph's Church after the Great Salem Fire. The photographer was Leland Tilford.

Click here for a printable fact sheet about the Great Salem Fire.

Salem State University has books, pamphlets, and documents on their web site. Click here to review the collection. 

The refurbished Great Salem Fire Commemoration plaque, before and after.

Online Visitor's Guide

Parking in Salem

The City of Salem has recently launched a new parking program. If you have visited Salem before, it is likely you will find new meters or time regulations in the lots and spots you have used in the past.  Some parking fees have increased, and some parking fees have decreased.  New "smart meters" have been installed in heavily utilized areas, giving visitors the option to pay with cash or credit card.  If you are planning your first visit to Salem, we are happy to tell you that all of Salem's downtown attractions are within a 10-15 minute walk from any parking area, so we hope you will park your car in a lot or garage for the duration of your visit and take advantage of our walkable streets and the Salem Trolley to explore Salem.

You can find comprehensive information on the new parking plan at ParkinginSalem.com

Electric Car Charging Stations

The City has eight electric vehicle charging stations in the Museum Place and South Harbor Garages. These ChargePoint Network Coulomb Technologies Charging Stations are dual output units which allow for electric vehicles to plug-in via a standard SAEJ J1772 connector and fixed 18-foot cable, fully charging a vehicle in 4-6 hours. Each garage has four charging stations providing access for up to eight parking spots of electric vehicle parking.  The City of Salem will provide this power free of charge, with cost of parking, for two years (until 2015).

Parking Options

Museum Place Garage:  We recommend setting your GPS for the Museum Place Garage at 1 New Liberty Street, Salem, MA 01970.  The garage costs $.75/hour (cash only) paid upon exit.  The best part about the garage? You are right across the street from the Salem Regional Visitor Center - the perfect place to start your visit to Salem!  

Church Street Lot: With smart meters and no time restrictions, the Church Street lot is another good option. You do need to pay at a multi-space meter before leaving your car, though, so make sure you pay for as many hours as you will need.  Cost is $1.00 per hour and the multi-space meters accept credit cards and cash. 

South Harbor Garage:  If you are going to be exploring the waterfront, Pickering Wharf, and Derby Street, you may want to park in the South Harbor Garage, 10 Congress Street, Salem, MA 01970.  The South Harbor Garage costs just $.25 per hour (cash only), which is paid upon exit. 

The Salem Fast Ferry: If you are going to ride the Salem Ferry into Boston, you will find ample free parking in the lot at 10 Blaney Street, Salem, MA, 01970. 

The MBTA Commuter Rail: Please note, the MBTA Commuter Rail Station parking lot is closed for construction until October 1, 2014.  For more informatoin on this project, please visit mbta.com or buildingsalem.com.  While the MBTA lot is closed, we recommend using the Church Street Lot or Museum Place Garage. 

There are several other lots and ample on-street parking in Salem.  Visit ParkinginSalem.com for more options, pricing and time limits.

Salem MA Parking Map

Parking Tickets:  We hope you do not get a parking ticket while visiting Salem, but if you do, the $25.00 fine can be paid online hereClick here for additional information on parking tickets.

Media Kit

About Salem

Salem, Massachusetts, is a destination recognized around the world for its rich history, which includes the tragic Salem Witch Trials of 1692, the glorious maritime era that left its indelible mark on Salem through architecture, museums, and artifacts, and for its month-long celebration of Halloween. Today more than one million people visit Salem annually, generating more than $100 million in tourism spending.

About Salem Haunted Happenings

A month-long celebration of Halloween and fall in New England, an estimated 250,000 people travel from around the world to visit Salem during October. Celebrating its 32nd year, the festival features scores of events and special programming, which complement the attractions, museums and tours that are in Salem throughout the year. For complete information on Haunted Happenings, visit HauntedHappenings.org

About Destination Salem

As the destination marketing organization for the City of Salem, Destination Salem cooperatively markets Salem as one of Massachusetts' best destinations for families, couples, domestic, and international travelers who are seeking an authentic New England experience, cultural enrichment, American history, fine dining, unique shopping and fun. For more information, explore Salem.org.

Press Contact: Kate Fox, Executive Director, kfox@salem.org or call 978.741.3252.

Mailing address: P.O. Box 630, Salem MA 01970


Press Releases

What's New in Salem in 2014, Released: March 25, 2014

2014 Festivals and Special Events in Salem, MA, Released: March 3, 2014

2014 Salem Guide Celebrates the Spice Trade, Released: February 25, 2014

Holiday Happenings in Salem, Massachusetts, Released: November 26, 2013

Salem prepares for first Halloween since Marathon bombing, Released: October 28, 2013

Volunteers fill in where government shut down, Released: October 2, 2013

Family-friendly events during Salem Haunted Happenings, Released September 18, 2013

American Bus Association names Salem Haunted Happenings one of North America's 100 Best Events for 2014, Released: September 12, 2013


Salem in the News

The Providence Journal: Witches aside, Salem was a seafaring trade center, July 6, 2014

Passport Magazine: Boston and Beyond / Salem Casts a Spell on Travelers, June 2014

Schwäbische Zeitun,Germany, Auf Erkundungstour in Salem U.S., May 7, 2014

Sunday Business Post, Ireland, Salem's Sweet and Savoury Spell, November 24, 2013 

WWLP-TV Mass Appeal, Check out all of the Halloween fun you can have in Salem!, October 31, 2013

Vanity Fair (Italy), Il Paese delle Streghe, October 29, 2013

Urban Expressions (Montreal), Visit Salem, Massachcusetts, October 23, 2013

The Metropolitain (Quebec), Salem: Museums, Culinary Trails and... Witches, October 16, 2013

Mrs. Robinson, Halloween in Salem: The ultimate trip for Halloween lovers, October 21, 2013

Group Tour Magazine, Witchcraft couples with maritime heritage on Massachusetts’ North Shore, July 29, 2013

Postants (Taiwan), Stories on: The House of the Seven Gables, Pepper Candy Company, Salem Witch Museum; Peabody Essex Museum; Salem Waterfront Hotel & Marina, Capt's, Victoria Station, March 24, 2013

Fox-CT, Daytrippers: Quirky Stops in Salem , January 2, 2013

The Independent (UK), One Step Beyond Boston: Salem, October 2012


Photo Galleries

High resolution images and B-roll are available on request.  Please email Kate Fox for Dropbox links.

About Destination Salem

The Office of Tourism & Cultural Affairs for Salem, Massachusetts

As the official destination marketing organization for the City of Salem, Destination Salem cooperatively markets Salem as one of Massachusetts’ best destinations for families, couples, domestic, and international travelers who are seeking an authentic New England experience, cultural enrichment, American history, fine dining, unique shopping and fun.

The organization is a non-profit, public-private partnership funded by both the City of Salem and the businesses that invest in advertising in the annual Salem City Guide & Map and the annual Guide to Haunted Happenings.

This weekend at a glance

Salem NYC Selfie Contest

Contact Us

Destination Salem
Shipping: 93 Washington Street, 3rd Floor
Mailing: PO Box 630
Salem, Massachusetts 01970
877 SALEM MA (725-3662) Toll Free | (978) 744-3663 Telephone
(978) 741-7539 Fax
info@salem.org

Mission

Destination Salem cooperatively markets, promotes, and manages tourism in Salem.  The organization advocates the kind of tourism which improves the quality of life for Salem residents and provides the greatest economic benefits to Salem's tax payers.  Destination Salem strives to take a leadership position in the development and promotion of high-end, year-round tourism.

Marketing

Destination Salem's marketing initiatives focus on the following markets: Leisure Travelers, Regional Visitors, Group Tour, LGBT Visitors, International Travelers, and Cruise Passengers.  The organization strategically  places destination advertising and organizes cooperative advertising to reach audiences in these markets. 

Click here for Destination Salem's 2014 Program Summary.  Visit Salem.org/Media for recent media coverage and press releases.

Profile Sheets

2014 Salem Group Tour Profile

2014 Salem Cruise Profile

2014 International Profile

Insertion Order Forms

Downtown Street Banner Program

2014 Co-op Advertising Opportunities

Staff

Kate Fox, Executive Director
Stacia Cooper, Sales Manager
Jeffrey Swartz, Administrative Assistant

  

2014 Board of Directors

President
Thomas MacDonald, Hawthorne Hotel

Vice President
Karen Scalia, Salem Food Tours

Treasurer
Susan Lippman, Essex National Heritage Commission

Clerk
Betty Bouchard, The Depot Group

Past President
Karen Gahagan, Salem State University

Members at Large
Julie Arrison, Historic New England, Phillips House Museum  
Claudia Chuber, Peabody Essex Museum
Anthony DePietro, Salem Resident
Steve Feldmann, Gulu Gulu Café & Flying Saucer   Pizza Company
Jim Hurrell, Witch Dungeon, Witch History & New England Pirate Museums
Tina Jordan, Salem Witch Museum
Serie Keezer, Finz Seafood
Helen Medler, Hawthorne Tours
Kara McLaughlin, The House of the Seven Gables

Ex Officio
Kim Driscoll, Mayor, City of Salem
Bill Legault, Salem City Council
Rinus Oosthoek, Executive Director, Salem Chamber of Commerce

 

2014 Salem Guide

Click here for the 2014 Salem Guide Insertion Order and advertising specifications.

View the 2014 Salem Guide here.

 

2014 Haunted Happenings

Learn more about advertising in the Official Event Guide & Calendar for Salem Haunted Happenings here.  Review and print the advertising payment plan contract here.

View the 2013 Guide to Salem Haunted Happenings here.

Salem Film Office

Salem welcomes film productions of all sizes and scopes.  An historic city, we have a diversity of neighborhoods, including waterfront, lighthouses, many styles of architecture, parks, and business fronts.

Scouting

Salem has a wide variety of locations to choose from for your production, ranging from stately Federal architecture to gritty triple-deckers. Salem's active waterfront, industrial spaces, parks, and cityscapes can be explored independently or with a representative from the City of Salem or Destination Salem.

Contact us to brainstorm your next production and how Salem could be a perfect fit.

Permitting

We are happy to work with film crews on an individual basis to ensure all of your needs are met, including:

  • Parking for crew and talent
  • Police details in the event traffic needs to be interrupted
  • Day and night shoot logistics

 

Iconic Locations

  • Distinctive Exteriors:
    • Hawthorne Hotel,
    • The House of the Seven Gables,
    • Salem Witch Museum,
    • Witch Dungeon Museum,
    • Witch House
  • Architectural diversity from First Period (17th-century) to contemporary
  • Fishing pier
  • Forest River Park / Wooded Area / Two small beaches / Baseball diamond
  • Lighthouses: Derby Light, Pickering Light
  • Pickering Wharf shopping area / waterfront boardwalk
  • Salem Common park / playground / gazebo
  • Salem Willows small amusement park / Arcade
  • Several small beaches (sand and rock)
  • Shetland Park (former Pequot Cotton Mills) industrial park

Contact:

  • Ellen Talkowsky, Manager of Special Projects
    City of Salem
    (978) 619-5676 | etalkowsky@salem.com
  • Kate Fox, Executive Director
    Destination Salem, The Office of Tourism & Cultural Affairs
    (978) 741-3252 | kfox@salem.org
  • Massachusetts Film Office
    For issues pertaining to crew referrals, union issues, and using state highways and state parks, please contact the Massachusetts Film Office at MaFilm.org.

Filmed in Salem

  •     Bewitched, 1970
  •     The Europeans, 1978
  •     Burned at the Stake, 1979
  •     The Coming, AKA Burned at the Stake, 1980
  •     Three Sovereigns for Sarah, 1985
  •     Young Goodman Brown, 1991
  •     Hocus Pocus, 1993
  •     A&E Television, City Confidential Secrets and Superstition in Salem, 1998
  •     The Travel Channel, Places of Mystery: Witch City, 2000
  •     PBS, Secrets of the Dead – Witches Curse, 2001
  •     Showtime’s Penn & Teller: Bullshit, 2003
  •     Living TV (UK), Dead Famous, 2004
  •     Comedy Central, The Daily Show, 2004
  •     WCVB Chronicle, 2006
  •     SciFi Channel, Ghost Hunters, 2007
  •     Bridewars, 2008
  •     Opportunity Knocks, 2008
  •     Dish Network, Magnificent Obsessions, 2008
  •     Out TV (Canada),  Chris & John’s Halloween Superstar, 2009
  •     TLC, What Not to Wear, 2009
  •     The Travel Channel, Ghost Adventures, 2010
  •     Who Do You Think You Are? 2010
  •     The Food Network, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, 2010
  •     Sundance Channel, Love | Lust, 2011
  •     Lords of Salem, 2011 (Release 2012)

Salem Wharf Port Infrastructure

Salem Wharf is currently under construction, with Phase I landside improvements due to be complete in June 2011, Phase II shore side improvements being completed for summer 2012.  Please contact us directly for construction and access updates.

 

See the Salem Wharf Design Site Plan

  • Address: 10 Blaney Street, Salem, Massachusetts 01970 USA
  • Latitude / Longitude: 42°31’ N / 70°42’W
  • Access: 4.2 Miles (6.8 KM) from Route 128 / Interstate 95
  • Berthage: Maximum 300 FT (91M)
  • Berthage Depth: 15 - 26 FT (4.57 - 7.92 M) Dredge
  • Anchorage: Deep Water (38 FT), Tender service available
  • Tidal Range: Normal: 9 FT | Extreme: -1.7 to +11.2 (MLLW)
  • Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
  • Water Availability: Yes
  • Lighting: Yes
  • Recycling: Upon Request
  • Bunkering: Yes
  •  
  • Medical Services: North Shore Medical Center, 2.5 M (4KM) from Wharf, an affiliate of Mass General Hospital        
  • Shore Side Amenities: .3  MI / .4 KM from Salem Maritime, the National Park in Salem, .5 MI / 1 KM from the Salem Regional Visitor Center.  Trolley transportation, combination tickets, ferry and train connection to Boston are available.
  • Available Itineraries
    •     Discover Salem – An overview of Salem’s rich history
    •     Salem Witch Trials of 1692 – Lessons of tolerance from this dark period in American history
    •     Entrepreneurs & The Great Age of Sail – Experience the prosperity of Salem’s 18th century sea captains
    •     Literary Salem – From Nathaniel Hawthorne to Brunonia Barry and Kathleen Kent, Salem has inspired fiction for centuries
    •     American Architecture in Salem – Explore First Period, Colonial Revival and an unrivaled collection of American Federalist homes.

Contact

  • Port Reservations: Kathy Winn, City of Salem Planning Department
  • (978) 745-9595 | kwinn@salem.com

 

 

  • Shore Excursions / Office of Tourism: Kate Fox, Destination Salem
  • (978) 741-3252 | kfox@salem.org

Download the Port of Salem Brochure

Itineraries to Inspire your Exploration of Salem

Salem Trolley on Essex Street Pedestrian Mall

Salem Sampler

There are four corners to historic Salem - and many nooks and crannies in between.  If this is your first visit to Salem, you may want to get a taste of each of our four primary themes:

  • The Salem Witch Trials of 1692.  Part of the curriculum in American history, and integrated into contemporary and historical literature, the Salem Witch Trials are the event that nearly everyone around the world associates with Salem.  Learn about the Salem Witch Trials at the Salem Witch Museum, the Witch House, the Witch Dungeon Museum (seasonal), or Cry Innocent: The People Verses Bridget Bishop (seasonal). 
  • The Great Age of Sail.  The Eighteenth Century was a grand period in American and Salem history.  One quarter of the young country's wealth came through the port of Salem, where dozens of wharves stretched far into the harbor.  Learn more at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site (open year round, seasonal tours vary). 
  • Architecture & Literature.  We fit two significant themes into one because we are fortunate enough to have the iconic House of the Seven Gables in Salem.  New England's oldest wooden mansion, the 1668 Turner-Ingersoll Mansion was immortalized in Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel, The House of the Seven Gables.  The entire property comprises its own National Historic District, and includes Hawthorne's Birthplace, which features a new museum about Hawthorne, and beautiful seaside gardens. 
  • An Overview Tour.  In addition to being home to the House of the Seven Gables, Salem has one of the finest collections of Federal-style architecture in the world.  Climb aboard a Salem Trolley (seasonal) and you will receive a live narrated tour of the City, including our lighthouses, beaches, recreation areas, historic districts, shopping neighborhoods, and attractions.  In addition to being valid for the one-hour tour, your ticket is good for on-and-off transportation between more than a dozen historic sites in Salem. 

Copies of documents from the Salem Witch Trials

The Salem Witch Trials of 1692

The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 were pivotal in the development of American society.  The basis of our current justice system, innocent until proven guilty, evolved from the trials after the Court of Oyer and Terminer was dissolved. There are so many lessons to be learned from the Trials, including social tollerance and abuse of power, and in Salem there are many places and ways to explore the intricacies of the Trials. 

  • The Witch House is the only structure still standing in Salem today with direct ties to the trials of 1692.  The home of Judge Jonathan Corwin, the house is open for guided and self-guided tours. WitchHouse.info
  • The Witch Trials Memorial was dedicated by Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel in 1992.  Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Memorial is where we recommend visitors go to reflect on the lives lost and the lessons learned from 1692.  SalemAward.org
  • Cry Innocent: The People Verses Bridget Bishop is a reenactment of the examination of Bridget Bishop. The audience is the jury in this award-winning production that will immerse you into the fears and concerns of seventeenth-century Salem.  CryInnocentSalem.com
  • The Salem Witch Museum features a presentation that interprets the trials of 1692 through life-sized scenes and dramatic narration, the second explains the evolution of the word "witch" in society from Pagan midwife to McCarthyism.  SalemWitchMuseum.com
  • The Witch Dungeon Museum provides a dramatic reenactment of one of the trials in 1692, and then guests are led on a tour of recreated dungeons that demonstrate the horrible conditions in which the accused were kept for months while awaiting trial.  WitchDungeon.com
  • The Witch History Museum provides an interactive tour through life-sized scenes that depict several of the stories from 1692. WitchHistoryMuseum.com
  • The Salem Wax Museum of Witches & Seafarers presents the people involved in the Trials of 1692 as well as other significant eras in Salem history through life-sized wax figures. SalemWaxMuseum.com

In Danvers, which in 1692 was Salem Village (neighbor to Salem Town, now Salem), you may also want to explore the Rebecca Nurse Homestead, which was home to Rebecca Nurse, who was condemned and executed on July 19, 1692.  Find more information about sites associated with the Salem Witch Trials in our Blog Archives.

Learn and play at The House of the Seven Gables

Salem for Families

In 2010, Salem was named "Favorite Day Trip" in Boston Parents Paper.  You can read about the recognition, and other posts about exploring Salem with kids in the Destination Salem blog archives.  Several attractions close for the winter, but visiting Salem in the off-season (January, February, March) can be a great experience that does not include lines, long waits at restaurants, or crowded shops.  Here are family-friendly opportunities for the off-season.  Check out our Salem for Kids Board on Pinterest!

  • Salem Maritime National Historic Site offers tours, a Junior Ranger program, two free films and one ticketed film.  At the Orientation Center, 160 Derby Street, the film, To the Farthest Ports of the Rich East, tells the story of sea captains and the Great Age of Sail in Salem. Ranger-led tours of the Park buildings are available for $5 per person.  At the Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty Street, the film, Where Past is Present, is about the region's Early Settlement, Maritime, and Industrial heritage.  A third film, Witch Hunt, presents new scholarship about the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 and costs $5. Younger children will want to contribute to the "Fish and Ships" coloring wall, which occupies the kids while the adults take in the exhibits.
  • At the House of the Seven Gables, a tour of the seventeenth-century Turner-Ingersoll Mansion includes the curious secret staircase, and talks about the families that lived in the mansion over the course of two centuries.  Outside, adjacent to the seaside gardens, the counting house has been converted to a family area, with a spyglass to view the harbor and costumes to try on for size. 
  • The Peabody Essex Museum (open year-round, closed on Mondays except holiday Mondays) is free for children under 16, and they have scavenger hunts to help the kids make connections between objects from around the world.
  • If your family is interested in the Salem Witch Trials, the Salem Witch Museum is open year-round.  The first presentation interprets what happened in Salem in 1692, and the second exhibit discusses the evolution of the word "witch" throughout history. 
  • Whichever attractions and museums you explore, leave time for Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie, America's oldest candy company.  They have been making Gibralters and Blackjacks for more than 200 years. There are many family-friendly dining options in Salem, from hot dogs to seafood, pizza to tacos.  For pancakes the size of your head, and the largest portion of macaroni and cheese in town, visit Reds Sandwich Shop on Central Street for breakfast or lunch.  Located in the old London Coffee House where Revolutionaries met in the early 18th-century, you may just get some history with your fries. 

Additional Itineraries in the works... Please stay tuned.

  • Arts, Culture & Theatre - Oh, My!
  • Architectural Salem
  • Literary Salem
     

History of Salem

The Seventeenth Century

During the winter of 1623-1624, a fishing settlement was established on Cape Ann by England's Dorchester Company. After three years of struggle on rocky, stormy Cape Ann, a group of the settlers, led by Roger Conant, set out to establish a more permanent settlement. They found sheltered, fertile land at the mouth of the Naumkeag River.

The new settlement, called Naumkeag, or "Fishing Place" by the Native Americans, thrived on farming and fishing. In 1629 the settlement was renamed Salem for Shalom, the Hebrew word for peace.

The Salem Witch Trials of 1692

In January of 1692, the daughter and niece of Reverend Samuel Parris of Salem Village became ill. William Griggs, the village doctor, was called in when they failed to improve. His diagnosis of bewitchment put into motion the forces that would ultimately result in the hanging deaths of nineteen men and women. In addition, one man was crushed to death; several others died in prison, and the lives of many were irrevocably changed.

To understand the events of the Salem witch trials, it is necessary to examine the times in which accusations of witchcraft occurred. There were the ordinary stresses of 17th-century life in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. A strong belief in the devil, factions among Salem Village families and rivalry with nearby Salem Town combined with a recent small pox epidemic and the threat of attack by warring tribes created a fertile ground for fear and suspicion. Soon, prisons were filled with more than 150 men and women from towns surrounding Salem; their names had been "cried out" by tormented young girls as the cause of their pain. All would await trial for a crime punishable by death in 17th-century New England - the practice of witchcraft.

In June of 1692, the special Court of Oyer (to hear) and Terminer (to decide) sat in Salem to hear the cases of witchcraft. Presided over by Chief Justice William Stoughton, the court was made up of magistrates and jurors. The first to be tried was Bridget Bishop of Salem who was found guilty and was hanged on June 10. Thirteen women and five men from all stations of life followed her to the gallows on three successive hanging days before the court was disbanded by Governor William Phipps in October of that year. The Superior Court of Judicature, formed to replace the "witchcraft" court, did not allow spectral evidence. This belief in the power of the accused to use their invisible shapes or spectres to torture their victims had sealed the fates of those tried by the Court of Oyer and Terminer. The new court released those awaiting trial and pardoned those awaiting execution. In effect, the Salem witch trials were over.

As years passed, apologies were offered and restitution was made to the victims' families. Historians and sociologists have examined this most complex episode in our history so that we may understand the issues of that era and view subsequent events with heightened awareness. The parallels between the Salem witch trials and more modem examples of "witch hunting" like the McCarthy hearings of the 1950's, are remarkable.

Learn more:

 

Maritime Salem

In the eighteenth century, Salem developed into a major fishing, shipbuilding and maritime trade center. Thanks to its burgeoning codfish trade with the West Indies and Europe, the town grew and prospered. As Salem grew, so too did the power struggle between the colonies and England. In 1774, a Provincial Congress was organized in Salem and the political revolution began. Two months before the battles in Lexington and Concord, skirmishes broke out in Salem. Salem's fleet contributed mightily to the war effort, capturing or sinking 455 British vessels.

By 1790, Salem was the sixth largest city in the country, and the richest per capita. International trade with Europe, the West Indies, China, Africa and Russia produced great wealth and prosperity in Salem. Entrepreneurial spirit and unflappable courage among Salem's sea captains enhanced Salem's success as a dominant seaport. Salem merchants built magnificent homes, established museums and other cultural institutions.

Salem architect and wood carver Samuel McIntire (1757-1811) was employed by many of the sea captains and is responsible for stunning Federal-style architecture and ornamental carving throughout Salem. McIntire's peak years as an artist coincided with Salem's peak years as a successful shipping port. This combination has left Salem with one of the grandest collections of Federal style architecture in the world.

Salem is home to the tall ship Friendship, which is a full-scale replica of a 1797 East Indiaman merchant tall ship. Part of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, tours of Friendship are available daily.

In addition to the legacy of homes and buildings, Salem's sea captains left behind a museum through which to share their exploration with Salem residents and visitors to the city. The Peabody Essex Museum is the oldest continually operated museum in the country and was founded by sea captains in 1799. In addition to collections from around the globe, visitors to the Peabody Essex Museum can see the model of the Friendship used to recreate the ship.

Learn more:

  • Salem: Maritime Salem in the Age of Sail (National Park Service Handbook) Paperback – February 13, 2003
  • Salem Cornerstones (Paperback), by Joseph Flibbert (Author), K. Goss (Author), Bryant Tolles (Author), Richard Trask (Author)

 

Nineteenth and Twentieth Century

American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4th, 1804, at the peak of Salem's prosperity. The son of a sea captain, Hawthorne watched the decline of Salem's involvement with lucrative foreign trade and the rise of industry in Salem. While working in the Custom House, which is open to the public, Hawthorne wrote his novel The Scarlet Letter. Rumor has it that Hawthorne discovered the red "A" in the attic of the custom house where he worked. Another Hawthorne novel, The House of the Seven Gables made famous the home of his cousin, Susannah Ingersoll. Today the House of the Seven Gables Settlement site includes the famous mansion and Hawthorne's birthplace and is open to the public.

In the mid-nineteenth century, Salem evolved into an important manufacturing and retail center. Irish and French Canadian immigrants poured into Salem to work on its new leather and shoe factories or at the Naumkeag Steam Cotton Company, Italian and Eastern European immigrants began arriving in the early 1900s to take advantage of Salem's prosperity. By 1914, the population of Salem had swelled to 40,000.

In 1914 the Great Salem Fire swept through Salem, destroying 1,376 buildings and leaving 18,000 families homeless.

Learn more:

  • The Great Salem Fire of 1914: Images from the Phillips Library Collection Paperback, by Barbara Pero Kampas

Directions and Maps

Just 16 miles north of Boston on the Massachusetts coast, Salem is easily accessible by car, train, bus, and seasonal ferry.

A note about driving in Salem and Massachusetts: 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.  In addition, 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. 

From Route 128-North:

Take exit 25A and follow Route 114-East into Salem. Once in Salem, follow signs to the Salem Visitor Center, Museum & Historic Sites and Downtown Parking. Please note: I-95 North and Route 128-North share the same road for the loop around Boston. When the roads divide, stay on Route 128-North. At this point, the exit numbers jump from #45 to #28.

Although 114-East is the most accessible route into Salem, you may want to seek alternative routes that receive less traffic during Haunted Happenings. Several suggestions of alternative routes from route 128 include: taking exit 26 to Lowell St. in Peabody, or taking exit 24 to Endicott St. in Danvers.

From Boston (30 minute drive):

Take I-93 North to Exit 37-A for I-95 North. Follow I-95 North to Route 128 North. Take exit 25A and follow Route 114-East into Salem. Once in Salem, follow signs to the Salem Visitor Center, Museum & Historic Sites and Downtown Parking. Please note: I-95 North and Route 128-North share the same road for the loop around Boston. When the roads divide, stay on Route 128-North. At this point, the exit numbers jump from #45 to #28. Do not follow the signs to Salem, New Hampshire.

From Logan Airport (25 minute drive):

Take Route 1-A North and at Salem Border, follow the signs for the Salem Visitor Center, Museum & Historic Sites and Downtown Parking. Logan International Airport is the closest airport to Salem. The Manchester, New Hampshire, regional airport is one-hour northwest of Salem.

From the North:

Take I-95 South (Maine) or I-93 South (New Hampshire) to Route 128-North. Take exit 25A and follow Route 114-East into Salem. Once in Salem, follow signs to the Salem Visitor Center, Museum & Historic Sites and Downtown Parking. Please note: I-95 North and Route 128-North share the same road for the loop around Boston. When the roads divide, stay on Route 128-North. At this point, the exit numbers jump from #45 to #28.

From the West:

Take I-90-East to I95/Route 128 North. Take exit 25A and follow Route 114-East into Salem. Once in Salem, follow signs to the Salem Visitor Center, Museum & Historic Sites and Downtown Parking. Please note: I-95 North and Route 128-North share the same road for the loop around Boston. When the roads divide, stay on Route 128-North. At this point, the exit numbers jump from #45 to #28.

From the South:

Take Route 93 North to the Mass Pike (I-90 East) via the Ted Williams tunnel (Exit 23) East to Route 1A North. Take Route 1A North to Salem.

Sgt. James Ayube II Memorial Drive (The Bridge Street By-Pass)

The Bridge Street By-Pass opened in 2009 to provide direct access between downtown Salem and the Veteran's Memorial Bridge to Beverly.  If you are seeking businesses along Salem Common, Winter Street, or Bridge Street, you probably do not want to take the Bypass Road.

From Beverly to Bridge Street businesses, Pickering Wharf, Winter Street, Salem Common, Winter Island or Salem Willows:

After crossing the Veterans Memorial Bridge, turn left onto Bridge Street. If you take the Bypass Road unintentionally, turn left at the light onto Rte. 1A, Bridge Street, and you will be driving toward Beverly.

From Beverly to Salem Center, Summer Street, or Chestnut Street:

Stay straight on the Bypass Road. The first instersection will be Bridge Street, the second intersection is for St. Peter's Street (left to parkign, the PEM, Visitor Center), the third intersection is Washington Street (MBTA Station on right, business district on left).

Heading towards Beverly on 107:

Turn right at the intersection signposted Rte. 1A South (Swampscott) for Salem Center, or stay straight for Rte. 1A North for Bridge Street businesses. If you need Bridge Street businesses and are on the By-Pass Road, turn right onto Bridge Street at the light before the bridge.

Salem Restaurant Week

Salem  Restaurant Weeks  feature the best local cuisine at value pricing. Salem has become a culinary destination and people really look forward to this event. Expect a wide variety of delicious foods - from steak to seafood, American to ethnic, there is something for everyone. Participating Salem area restaurants offer  prix-fixe dinner menus and multiple choices for appetizers, entrees as well as desserts.  Reservations are encouraged, please contact the restaurants directly.

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!

Visiting Salem with a Group

Cover of 2013 Salem Motor Coach Map and Guidelines

Whether you are planning your first trip or a repeat visit to Salem, you will delight in the opportunities for groups touring Salem. We make every effort to provide useful information for teachers, tour planners, tour operators, and motor coach drivers. Each of Salem's attractions and cultural sites and attractions has its own regulations for groups and you do need to contact the establishments directly for their policies. Links to Salem's attractions can be found in the free Salem City Guide.

Salem's peak season is June through October, with October being the busiest month of the year. Please book your groups early for peak times. Many of Salem's attractions will take reservations for October more than a year in advance.

The 2013 Salem Motor Coach Map & Guidelines is available for download here, or you can request a copy be mailed to you. This fold-out map of downtown Salem features access routes, parking instructions, drop off zone location, and other useful information for the drivers and tour operators who bring visitors to Salem via motor coach.  Request a copy.

Click here to view and print the 2014 Group Tour Profile Sheet for Salem, Massachusetts.

Below is a list of Salem attractions, activities, restaurants, accommodations, tours and transportation that welcome groups.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Clipper Ship Inn
Families/groups welcome! Near attractions, beaches, restaurants and recreational areas.
40 Bridge Street, Salem
clippershipinn.com | 978.745.8022
Group Capacity: 30 Rooms.
Group Rates: Call for seasonal rates.
Terms: 50% deposit required. Terms and conditions for balance established between group and property.
Motor Coach Parking: Yes

Hawthorne Hotel
The historic Hawthorne Hotel is an elegant full-service hotel in the heart of Salem.
18 Washington Square West, Salem
hawthornehotel.com | 978.744.4080
Group Capacity: Up to 40 rooms per night.
Group Rates: Seasonal ranging from $119.00-$169.00
Comp. Policy: One complimentary room for every 30 rooms.
Terms: $1,000.00 in advance with the remainder being paid three weeks before the group arrives. Credit card authorization required in order to guarantee group.
Motor Coach Parking: Complimentary parking is available.

Salem Waterfront Hotel & Marina
Full service Hotel located in the Waterfront District of Salem.
225 Derby Street Salem MA 01970
salemwaterfronthotel.com | 978-740-8788 | (888) 33-SALEM
Group Capacity: 80 people based on double occupancy.
Group Rates:  Contact Hotel directly for seasonal group rates.
Comp. Policy: Varies depending on group and needs
Terms: 6 week cutoff date with 80% attrition
Motor Coach Parking: Complimentary parking is available

RECEPTIVE OPERATORS

Hawthorne Tours
Receptive tour operator providing custom tours, step-on guides, receptive services.
27 Congress Street, Suite 109, Salem
hawthornetours.com | (978) 744-5463
Group Rates: Depend on services provided
Comp. Policy: 1 comp per 25 tickets

Wolfe Adventures & Tours
Customized day and overnight tours for small to large groups. Receptive Tour Operator, multi-lingual step-on guides.
WolfeTours.com | 978.255-1645 | taunya@wolfetours.com or susan@wolfetours.com
Group Tour Rates: Customized tours are priced to meet your needs and budget. Call for Details.
Step-on Guide Rates: English-speaking, $220 for half-day; $310 for full day (up to 8 hours); Italian, French, German-speaking, $290 for half-day, $365 for full day (up to 8 hours).
Comp. Policy: Varies depending on group and needs

A group on a docent-led tour at the Peabody Essex Museum.

MUSEUMS, ATTRACTIONS & WALKING TOURS

3-D Haunted Museum, 3-D Haunted House & Ghost Tours at Salem’s 13 Ghosts
Immerse yourself in a state-of-the-art 3-D world presented to you as either a fascinating educational look at Salem history or a frightfully fun haunted house! Then join us on a historically accurate walking tour of America’s most haunted city.
131 Essex Street, Salem
Salems13Ghosts.com | groups@salems13ghosts.com
Capacity: Unlimited
Comp. Policy: Driver and escort are complimentary
Coach Parking: Multiple coach parking spaces across across the street and within short walking distance
Rates & Terms: Email groups@salems13ghosts.com for rates and terms.

Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery
This attraction is like a life-size cinematic wax museum of monsters from 1920’s to now! Works by over 25 Hollywood Effects Artists!
285 Derby Street, Salem
NightmareGallery.com | 978.740.0500
Group Capacity: No limit.
Group Rates: Call for prices.
Terms: Agreed deposit 7 days in advance of your and balance paid upon arrival. Mastercard & Visa accepted.
Motor Coach Parking: Yes.

Cry Innocent
Bridget Bishop is accused of witchcraft and you are the jury! Performed at Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square. Teacher guide available.
CryInnocentSalem.com
Group Capacity: 200
Group Rates: In season: Group Rates: $9/pp for groups of 20+, Off season: $550 up to 50 people, $9/pp additional
Comp. Policy: 1 comp adult for every 10 paid students.
Terms: $100 deposit, balance paid day of show.

Gallows Hill Museum/Theatre
This unique attraction brings fact, legend and myth together for a truly unique, dramatic experience that reveals Salem’s witchcraft and ghosts. Group packages available.
7 Lynde Street, Salem | 978.317.1169
GallowsHillSalem.com
Group Rates: $4.50-$5.50 pp, depending upon length of show selected;
Comp. Policy: 1 comp per 10 tickets plus 2 free escorts.
Terms: Payment is due upon arrival. Credit cards accepted.
Coach Parking: Drop-off/Pick-up space for one coach at a time.

Haunted Footsteps Ghost Tour
Salem's original ghost walk discusses documented hauntings, Victorian murder and Colonial witchcraft. Hosting school groups and corporate clients since 1997!
8 Central Street, Salem
SalemHistoricalTours.com | 978-745-0666
Group Rates: For groups of 20-99 on the 90-minute ghost tour: $10/adult, $7/senior, $7/student. For groups of 100+, deduct $2 off rate).
Comp. Policy: 1 per 25 attendees.
Terms: $100 deposit required to book; final count and remaining balance due 48 hours prior to tour date

The House of the Seven Gables
Admission includes the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion (the House of the 7 Gables), Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Birthplace, and the seaside gardens.
115 Derby Street, Salem
7Gables.org | 978-744-0991
Group Rates: $6.00/students (K-12), $8.75/adults
Comp. Policy: Driver and escort comped for all groups of 10 or more; with student groups one chaperone for every 10 students is complimentary.
Terms: Payment in advance required unless direct billing is pre-approved.
Profile Sheet

Mahi Mahi Harbor Cruises & Private Events
Offering custom harbor cruises and private events May - October.  Featuring narrated Lighthouse & Landmarks and Classroom-by-the-sea tours.
Salem Willows Park (May - September), Pickering Wharf Marina (October)
Pickering Wharf Marina, 24 Congress Street, Salem, MA 01970
mahicruises.com | 978-825-0001

New England Pirate Museum
A guided interior tour through a recreated dockside village and pirate ship.
274 Derby Street, Salem | 978.741.2800 | Profile Sheet
PirateMuseum.com
Group Rates: $5/students, $6/seniors, $7/adults
Comp. Policy: 1 comp per 20 tickets
Terms: Credit Card, cash or business check upon arrival
Coach Parking: Multiple coach parking spaces on Derby Street.

Peabody Essex Museum
From New England to a world of art and culture, the PEM tells the rich stories of early America and makes connections around the world through its exhibits.
East India Square, Salem | 978-745-9500 ext. 3070
pem.org | john_marden@pem.org
Group Contact: John Marden
Group Rates: $12.00/adult, $6.50/student; For guided gallery, historic house and/or garden tours, add:  $3.00/adult and $1.50/student per tour; For guided tours of Yin Yu Tang: A Chinese House please add: $4.00/adult, $2.00/student. Special exhibitions may require an additional fee.
Comp. Policy: One complimentary adult admission for every 10 students. Tours operators: driver and escort receive complimentary admission.

The Phillips House, Historic New England
Visit Historic New England's Phillips House on historic Chestnut Street and learn about life in Salem in the early 1900s. Historic house museum with antique cars and carriages.
34 Chestnut Street, Salem | 978-744-0440 | Profile Sheet
HistoricNewEngland.org
Rates: $5.00 for adults; eligible group rates are available for groups of ten or more
Comp Policy: Group leaders and tour planners are welcome to join their group free of charge with advance reservations.
Terms: A non-refundable deposit based on your maximum expected number is due two weeks prior to your group tour date. Failure to submit a deposit means that your group may not be accommodated; You must call 1 week in advance with the guaranteed number for your group. It is expected that a balance for that number will be paid prior to the beginning of the tour.

Salem Historical Tours
Salem's premiere tour company conducts historically accurate cemetery and 1692 Witch Trials walks.
8 Central Street, Salem | 978-745-0666
SalemHistoricalTours.com
Group Contact: Giovanni Alabiso
Group Rates: For groups of 15-99 taking the 60-minute Cemetery and Witchcraft Stroll: $8/adult, $6/senior, $5/student. For groups of 100+, deduct $1 off rate)
Comp. Policy: one per 15 attendees
Terms: $100 deposit required at time of booking, final count and remaining balance due 48 hours prior to tour date.

Salem Wax Museum
Come face to face with the horrors of the Salem Witch Trials and the daring exploits of Salem seafarers through life-like wax models.
282 Derby Street, Salem
SalemWaxMuseum.com
Rates: Vary depending on season.
Comp Policy: One comp per 10 tickets purchased.
Terms: Payment is due before arrival.  Step-on guides available.

Salem Witch Museum
Salem’s most visited museum, featuring the exhibit, Witches: Evolving Perceptions.
19 ½ Washington Square North, Salem
SalemWitchMuseum.com
Can accommodate 115 people every half hour.
Rates: Please contact the museum for group rates.
Comp Policy: Driver and escort are always complimentary.
Terms: Payment is due upon arrival. Credit application available to companies booking 20 groups or more.
Motor Coach Parking: Multiple coach parking spaces are available within walking distance of the museum.\

Salem Witch Village
Discover the myths and the facts surrounding witches and their craft! For the answers and truth behind the legends.
288 Derby Street, Salem
SalemWitchVillage.biz
Rates: Vary depending on season.
Comp Policy: One comp per 10 tickets purchased.
Terms: Payment is due before arrival.  Step-on guides available.

Schooner Fame: Sailing Tours of Salem Sound
Our replica of the 1812 privateer Fame offers customized tours for your group from 90 minutes to full days.
Pickering Wharf Marina | 978.729.7600 | schoonerfame@gmail.com
SchoonerFame.com
Group Contact: Capt. Mike
Group rates: Range from $400-$550 on 90-minute trips
Comp Policy: Comps welcome but total count cannot exceed 49
Coach parking: Derby and Congress Streets, 100 yards from dock

Witch Dungeon Museum
An award-wining live reenactment of a witch trial – from the original transcript of 1692, and a guided tour through the dungeon.
16 Lynde Street, Salem | 978.741.3570 | Profile Sheet
WitchDungeon.com
Group Rates: $5/students, $6/seniors, $7/adults
Comp. Policy: 1 comp per 20 tickets
Terms: Credit Card, cash or business check upon arrival
Coach Parking: Drop-off/Pick-up space for one coach at a time.

Witch History Museum
Learn the untold stories of 1692 during a live presentation and guided tour featuring life size scenes in animation.
197-201 Essex Street, Salem | (978) 741-7770 | Profile Sheet
WitchHistoryMuseum.com
Group Rates: $5/students, $6/seniors, $7/adults
Comp. Policy: 1 comp per 20 tickets
Terms: Credit Card, cash or business check upon arrival
Coach Parking: Drop-off/Pick-up spaces for coaches are available on Essex Street at New Liberty Street.

TROLLEY TOURS & TRANSPORTATION

The Salem Ferry
Experience coastal New England on a scenic 55-minute trip aboard a high-speed catamaran.  Round-trip service between Salem and downtown Boston. Each ferry ticket entitles Guest to discounts at over 40 restaurants, shops and attractions in Salem and Boston.
10 Blaney Street, Salem
978.741.0220 | SalemFerry.com  
Group Rates: $8.50 one way,  $17.00 Roundtrip.
Comp. Policy: One comp per 10 tickets.
Terms: 50% due at booking, balance due day of trip.
Coach Parking: There is ample free coach parking at the Ferry landing.

Salem Trolley
The Best Way to See Salem! Ride the Red Trolley!  One hour narrated tour of Historical Salem, Private Tours available and Step-on Guides available, Special tours include: Tales & Tombstone Tour and The Trolley Christmas Carol.
8 Central Street, Salem
978-744-5469 | SalemTrolley.com
Capacity: 32-38 passengers depending on Trolley
Group Rates: $14.00 Adult, $13.00 Seniors for groups of 20 or more (please note Trolley runs on a first come first serve basis)
Private Tours: Call for prices depending on size of group
Terms: Payment in advance required unless direct billing is pre-approved.

RESTAURANTS

Brother’s Deli & Restaurant
Specializing in serving busloads in 20 minutes!
283 Derby Street, Salem
978.741.4648 | BrothersDeliSalem.com
Capacity: 144 people
Comp Policy: Drivers and guides are free
Coach Parking: One-hour Coach parking on Derby Street
Terms: Visa & Mastercard acccepted

Essex’s NY Deli & Pizza
1 Museum Place Mall
978.741.1383 | Fax 978.741.2229
EssexsNYDeliPizza@gmail.com
Capacity: 100 people
Menus: Choice of four group menus plus veggie option. $8.25-$12:00/person, including taxes, soda and desert;
Comp. Policy: One comp meal for every 20 paid meals; Driver is always free.
Terms: 50% deposit one week before the reserved date and 50% on the day of the event. We accept business checks, MasterCard and Visa.

Finz Seafood and Grill
76 Wharf Street, Salem | 978.744.8485
FinzSeafood.com
Capacity: 110 people
Menus: $24.00-$27.00/person inclusive.
Terms: We accept credit cards, company checks, bank checks, or cash. Personal checks are not accepted.

Victoria Station
Waterfront dining.  Function rooms available.
86 Wharf Street, Salem | 978.745.3400
VictoriaStationInc.com | victoriastation@comcast.net
Group Contact:  Elizabeth Collette
Capacity:  400
Menu:  Group lunch and dinner menus $20.00 to $40.00 all-inclusive including, taxes, gratuity, coffee, tea, soda and dessert. Customized menus are always and option.  Rates subject to change.
Comp:  One meal for every 40 people. Driver is always free.
Terms: $50.00 deposit to reserve date. Deposit applied to final balance.  No room fees.  Accept business checks and all major credit cards.

A group from France at the Salem Witch Museum.

10 Free Things to Do in Salem

Free to explore Salem? The following activities, destinations and diversions are open to the public and are completely free of charge.

10. Explore your National Park

New in 2013, tours of the buildings, wharves, and Tall Ship Friendship at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site are free. Learn stories of the sailors, Revolutionary War privateers, and merchants who brought the riches of the world to America through the port of Salem. Spend a half-hour learning regional history from the wonderful, free film, “Where Past is Present” at the Visitor Center. 2 New Liberty Street and 193 Derby Street

9. Indulge your sweet tooth

Visit Harbor Sweets on Leavitt Street and experience handcrafted chocolates first hand. Harbor Sweets has been creating their world-famous Sweet Sloops for nearly thirty years. Tours are given on most Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:00 AM. Call 800-234-4860 for information.

8. Stroll along Chestnut Street. 

Take the time to wander down beautiful Chestnut Street, which was the first planned street in America. Read all of the house plaques to learn the about the people who built and lived
in the exquisite Federal-style mansions. The self-guided McInitre Trail Brochure is available online and at the Salem Regional Visitor Center.

Ropes Mansion Garden

7. Relax at the Ropes Mansion

Just a block from historic Chestnut Street, at 318 Essex Street, you will find the historic Ropes Mansion Garden.  This stunning Colonial Revival garden was created in 1912, and today it is a popular place for relaxing, reading, photography, and admiring the flowers. Part of the collections of the Peabody Essex Museum, the garden is open to the public and throughout the growing season, it offers a splendid sampling of local horticulture. 

Salem Common Gazebo

6. Play and Picnic in Salem Common

Originally used as a grazing area for Salem residents’ livestock and a training area for the Salem militia, today Salem Common is a favorite spot for jogging, reading, concerts, and wedding ceremonies. The playground and basketball court provide a place for families to unwind and enjoy some fresh air.

5.  Walk through History

Brochures for the African American History Trail, the Nathaniel Bowditch Trail: A Walking Tour of the Great Age of Sail and the Nathaniel Hawthorne's Salem are available at nps.gov/sama as well as at the Salem Regional Visitor Center. Each walking trail takes about one hour and will show you hidden points of historical interest and fascination in Salem.

Howard Street Cemetery

4. Step Through Cemeteries

Salem has wonderful, historic cemeteries, including the Old Burying Point Cemetery on Charter Street, Howard Street Cemetery, and the Broad Street Cemetery. The Charter Street Burying Point is one of the oldest cemeteries in Massachusetts. In it you can see the graves of, among others, a Witch Trials judge, a Mayflower passenger, and architect Samuel McIntire. Cemeteries are open from dawn until dusk.

Salem Willows Sunset

3. Wander around the Willows

In addition to the restaurants and arcades (which will lighten your quarter stash), Salem Willows Park has two free beaches, walking trails, and a free summer concert series. Good weather brings families from near and far with their picnics to savor the sun, sand, and salt water.  And, for less than $2 you can feast on one of Salem Low's famous Chop Suey Sandwiches.

2. Remember the Victims of 1692

Dedicated in 1992 to commemorate the tercentenary of the Salem Witch Trials, the Memorial was restored in 2012 and remains a solemn place to honor and remember the brave people who maintained their innocence in 1692. Learn more at SalemAward.org.

1. Connect it all along the Salem Heritage Trail

Connect all of Salem’s sites by walking the Salem Heritage Trail. A red line painted on the sidewalk, the Heritage Trail will help you navigate your way through Salem and American history. The Heritage Trail is printed on the map in the centerfold of The Salem Guide.

 

Weddings and Special Events

Peabody Essex Museum wedding. Photo credit: Person + Killian Photography

Salem is a wonderful place to plan a wedding or special event.  Select from traditional or contemporary venues that will make your event unique and memorable.  You will discover each venue and each menu in Salem has unique qualities that offer a range of options to suit your expectations.

You can do it all in Salem - from the perfect setting to make-up, wedding rings to flowers, cakes to photographers, inns and hotels for your wedding party and a great destination for your guests - Salem is a unique city that can provide historic, maritime, artistic, contemporary, indoor, or outdoor settings for your very special event.

For information on obtaining a Marriage License, visit Salem.com . (Please note: Salem City Hall is open 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM Monday - Wednesday, 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM Thursday, and 8:00 AM - 12:00 Noon on Friday.) If you have specific questions, please contact Destination Salem at (978) 744-3663 or info@salem.org

Click here for our new printable brochure of wedding resources in Salem.

Large Venues

  • Colonial Hall

  • 231 Essex Street, Salem, MA 01970
  • ColonialHallatRockafellas.com
  • (978) 745-2411
  • A breathtaking ballroom, rich in history and architecture with cathedral ceilings and hardwood floors. Accommodates functions of 50 to 250.

 

  • Hamilton HallHamilton Hall wedding

  • 9 Chestnut Street, Salem, MA 01970
  • HamiltonHall.org
  • 978.744.0805
  • The scene of impressive social gatherings since it was built in 1805, Hamilton Hall features an elegant ballroom that graciously accommodates up to 160 guests for dinner and dancing.

 

  • The Hawthorne Hotel

  • 18 Washington Square West, Salem, MA 01970
  • HawthorneHotel.com
  • 978.825.4358
  • The ballroom is a gorgeous space for elegant weddings; 18-foot Palladian windows overlook Salem Common, for sweeping views in all seasons. Award-winning chefs will create cuisine as superb as the setting!

 

  • The House of the Seven Gables

  • The House of the Seven Gables garden115 Derby Street, Salem, MA 01970
  • 7Gables.org
  • 978.744.0991 ext. 104
  • Hold your wedding, event, shower, meeting, or family reunion at the House of the Seven Gables, where you can select from the beautiful seaside gardens, the historic Colonial Hooper Hathaway House, or the contemporary Plumsock Room.

 

  • Peabody Essex Museum

  • 161 Essex Street, Salem, MA 01970
  • pem.org/venues
  • 978.542.1615
  • With a stunning atrium and elegant galleries, halls and gardens, PEM offers a variety of unique and inspiring settings ideal for weddings, corporate meetings and holiday parties.

 

  • Old Town Hall

  • 32 Derby Square, Salem, MA 01970
  • SalemOldTownHall.com
  • 978.606.7426
  • Salem's 1816 Old Town Hall features Palladian windows, delicate molding, columns, and hardwood floors. A lovely setting for a variety of gatherings. Each floor accommodates up to 200 people.

 

  • Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites

  • 225 Derby Street, Salem, MA 01970
  • SalemWaterfrontHotel.com
  • 978.740.8788
  • This boutique hotel is the top choice for brides in need of relaxation and perfection. 86 luxuriously appointed rooms and suites. 4,800 square feet of meeting / banquet space. Indoor pool, fitness center, restaurant, marina.

Small Venues

  • Adriatic Restaurant and Bar

  • 155 Washington Street, Salem, MA 01970
  • AdriaticRestaurantandBar.com
  • 978-594-1832
  • The perfect location for your special event. Rehearsal dinners, showers or receptions. Set in this rich setting that accommodates up to 50 people.

 

  • Capt.'s Waterfront Grill & Pub

  • Pickering Wharf, 94 Wharf Street, Salem, MA 01970
  • Capts.com
  • 978.741.0555Functions at Finz
  • Capt's Waterfront is a lovely setting for group gatherings and functions. We host corporate parties, luncheons, bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, reunions, birthdays, anniversaries, and more. Menus can be crafted for adults and children.

 

  • Finz Seafood & Grill

  • Wedding at Finz

  • Pickering Wharf, 76 Wharf Street, Salem, MA 01970
  • HipFinz.com
  • 978.744.0000
  • Enjoy the views of Salem harbor from Finz' gracious second floor function room. Menus include specialty creations as well as more traditional stations, buffets and plated dinner options. The room offers seating for 30-110 guests and standing cocktail space for up to 160.
  •  

 

  • Mahi Mahi Cruises

  • Salem Willows Pier, Salem, MA 01970

    Mahi Mahi Cruises

  • MahiCruises.com
  • 800.992.6244
  • A Mahi Mahi private charter provides a unique setting and a truly memorable and enjoyable experience for your wedding or special event.

Transportation

  • Salem Trolley

  • 8 Central Street, Salem, MA 01970

    Trolley wedding

  • SalemTrolley.com
  • 978.744.5469
  • The Salem Trolley can provide transportation for 32-38 passengers aboard one of our replica turn-of-the-century trolleys. For weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, birthday parties, parades, family reunions, proms and school events, let us help make your event memorable, safe, and stress-free.

Make-up

  • Rouge Cosmetics

  • 322 Derby Street, Salem, MA 01970
  • rouge.com
  • 978.740.1044
  • In Store as well as On Site services for the entire bridal party. Rouge make-up artists have over 30 years of combined experience and have helped countless brides to look and feel absolutely beautiful on the big day.

Jewelry & Registry

  • roost Urban Country Design

  • Front Street, Salem, MA 01970
  • RoostSalem.com | 978.744.HOME
  • roost is the hottest spot to find an original mix of art, furniture, gifts, accessories, lighting, jewelry & bath products.
  • Treasures Over Time

  • 139 Washington Street, Salem, MA 01970

    Treasures Over Time Diamond Ring

  • TreasuresOverTime.com
  • 978.745.2330
  • Offering a mix of unique, hand-selected jewelry, including engagement, commitment and wedding rings and gifts.

Ceremony Venues

For a list of churches and places to worship in Salem, please visit the online guide on Salem.org.

  • First Universalist Society of Salem

  • 211 Bridge Street, Salem, MA 01970

  • SalemUU.org
  • 978.744.3224
  • First Universalist is a welcoming congregation.  Weddings can be held in the church for up to 400 guests, and Bolles Hall is available to rent for receptions for up to 150 guests.
  • The Gazebo on Salem Common

  • City of Salem Park & Recreation Department
  • (978) 744-0180, ext. 20

Printers

  • Scarlet Letter Press & GalleryThe Scarlet Letter Press Wedding

  • 102 Wharf Street, Salem
  • TheScarletLetterPress.com
  • (978) 741-1850
  • A family-run digital press that specializes in elegant, custom printing for all your wedding needs. Save the Date announcements, shower invitations, wedding invitations, RSVPs, directions, itineraries, table place holders, belly bands, envelope liners, calligraphy and more! So many papers to choose from, so little time…..

Photographers

Welcome to Salem!

Riley Plaza. Photo credit: Gigi

 

A unique seaside community, Salem, Massachusetts is a small, dynamic city of 41,000 people.  We welcome nearly one million visitors each year, and are home to a changing population of students at Salem State University.  Featuring an active art and culture scene, visitors and residents enjoy local theatre, music, comedy, art, and excellent dining.

Boutique shopping and unique dining will round out your Salem experience.  Our shops range from wine to witch balls, home goods to herbs, accessories to antiques.  Salem has a diverse restaurant scene as well - whether you need to grab sandwiches for the family on the fly or have time to linger over creative cocktails and a raw bar, Salem has a restaurant to suit your palate.

Salem has an annual calendar of festivals, summer theater, and special events.  Notable festivals include Salem Holiday Happenings in December, Salem Film Festival in February, Massachusetts Poetry Festival in May, Salem Arts Festival in June, Salem Lit Fest in September, and - of course - Salem Haunted Happenings in October.  And don't miss our two restaurant weeks - April and November - when restaurants strut their stuff with delicious prix fixed three and four course meals!

Salem's culture and heritage includes early American, maritime, and military history, architecture, literature, art, and theater.  The world-class Peabody Essex Museum has incredible permanent collections and a schedule of changing exhibitions.  A perfect destination for families seeking out the stories of America and New England, Salem is also a popular cultural escape, romantic getaway, and destination wedding location.

Events

Live music, theatre, dance, dining... Salem has an active social scene for those who are seeking it (and lots of quiet nooks and craneys for those who are not).  Follow Go Out Loud for events that are hosted by and for the LGBT community.

The Third Annual North Shore Pride Parade will be in Salem on June 21, 2014. NorthShorePride.org

 

Breakfast at the Amelia Payson House. Photo: Jared Charney

Accommodations

The Hawthorne Hotel
TAG Approved
Year-round
On the Common, Salem, MA 01970
(978) 744-4080 | HawthorneHotel.com

The Salem Waterfront Hotel & Marina
TAG Approved
Year-round
225 Derby Street, Salem, MA 01970
(978) 740-8788 | SalemWaterfrontHotel.com

Amelia Payson House - B&B
April through October
16 Winter Street, Salem, MA 01970
978.744.8304 | AmeliaPaysonHouse.com

Coach House Inn
May 1 - November 30
284 Lafayette Street, Salem, MA 01970
978.744.4092 | 800.688.8689 | CoachHouseSalem.com

Morning Glory Bed & Breakfast
Year-Round
22 Hardy Street, Salem, MA 01970
978.741.1703 | MorningGloryBB.com

Northey Street House B&B
Year-Round
30 Northey Street, Salem, MA 01970
(978) 397.1582 | NortheyStreetHouse.com

The Salem Inn
Year-Round
7 Summer Street, Salem, MA 01970
978.741.0680 | SalemInnMa.com

Stepping Stone Inn
Year-Round
19 Washington Square North, Salem, MA 01970
978.741.8900 | TheSteppingStoneInn.com

 

2012 North Shore Pride Parade

 


Links of Interest

Go Out Loud      LGBT Massachusetts     <a href="http://LGBT Massachusetts north=

S M T W T F S