Historic Spooky Things To Do In Salem Massachusetts
Looking for fun things to do in Salem, Massachusetts? This historic city near Boston becomes the spookiest city on the planet the month before Halloween!
But is Salem actually worth visiting? If youre a Halloween fan, experiencing Haunted Happenings in Salem should be on your bucket list for sure. But even if its nowhere near Halloween, Salem has tons of cultural, historic, even spiritual sights.
You may have heard of Salem from the Salem Witch Trials: a period of hysteria in 1692 and 1693 when more than 200 people were falsely accused of witchcraft and imprisoned. Ultimately, 20 were executed five more died in prison.
While this was a historic tragedy, Salem used its witchy reputation to grow in a new direction. Today, in addition to being one of the top Halloween destinations on the planet, its a popular center for practicing witches and those interested in the occult.
Its a bit of an odd combination history-packed town and New Age center but it works in Salem!
Salem is a place I know very well. I grew up just 20 minutes away in the town of Reading. As a result, I have spent quite a bit of time in Salem, exploring its historic side and its witchy side .
Salem is one of the most popular day trips from Boston, but theres enough to do here to make it a full weekend getaway. And if youre here for Halloween, youll be glad you had the extra time!
Salem Maritime National Historic Site
Did you know that the oldest National Historic Site in the United States is located right in Salem?Salem Maritime National Historic Site was established in 1938. Here nine acres of land, you can explore 12 historic structures and a ship.
The entire historic site is located on the waterfront of Salem Harbor, which has been in operation since Salem was settled in 1626. For centuries this was one of the busiest ports in the country.
As a National Historic Landmark, the site and all tours are free. You can see artifacts and hear stories about people who lived and worked in Salem.
Across from Salem Maritime National Historic Site is the Custom House, originally built in 1819. The high ceilings, staircase, and woodworking created a sense of strength and stability. This is where Nathaniel Hawthorne worked while writing The Scarlet Letter and you can see his office.
Where To Stay In Salem Massachusetts
Wheres the best place to stay in Salem, Mass? I recommend looking for accommodation close to the city center. Landmark-wise, look for anything around the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem Common, or Salem Maritime National Historic Site. Anywhere within walking distance of those locations is a great location in Salem.
Below are my top recommended places to stay in Salem:
Best Luxury Hotel in Salem: The Salem Inn This boutique hotel spans three historic mansions in the heart of downtown Salem an absolutely perfect location. The rooms have historic touches, some with fireplaces, lace canopies, and Persian rugs.
Best Mid-Range Hotel in Salem: The Hotel Salem Modern, colorful, and sexy, everything in this boutique hotel in downtown Salem is a designer showpiece. The rooftop deck is a great place to watch the sunset. Definitely a foil to The Salem Inn, in a wonderful way.
Best Budget Hotel in Salem: Hampton Inn Salem Not dirt-cheap, but an excellent deal at a much lower price point. Cookie-cutter but clean and comfortable rooms, plus a gym and pool on the premises.
Read Also: Free Things To Do In Baytown Tx
Explore The Spiritual Shops
In the past century, Salem has become a cultural center for witches, Wiccans, psychics, palm readers, and various followers of the occult. As a result, youll find plenty of spiritual shops selling witch-related goods and memorabilia.
Youll find what you might expect herbs, candles, tarot card decks as well as art, jewelry, items for altars, books on every subject you can imagine.
Some witch stores in Salem include The Cauldron Black, Crow Haven Corner, and Hauswitch Home + Healing. Many offer psychic readings, tarot readings, or mediumship sessions.
Hours In Marblehead Massachusetts
I grew up on the North Shore in Massachusetts, so youd think I know my way around every area. However, its only since I moved to Salem that Ive really explored Marblehead MA.
And I cant believe I had never ate, shopped, and beached in Marblehead! The town is just too cute.
As much as I love Marblehead Massachusetts during the summer, its a great destination any time of year. There are so many fun things to do regardless of the season.
The town has a similar vibe to Salem, but is smaller and has less of an emphasis on witchcraft. I love Salem but also liked the opportunity to explore such a traditional New England town that feels more coastal and upscale. Its a totally different experience!
Recommended Reading: Things To See In Mystic Ct
The Waterfront & Crocker Park
After a walk in the “downtown” part of Old Town, make your way down to the waterfront and CrockerPark, on a hill at the western end of Front Street.
Relax on one of the benches and admire the panoramic view of the harbor and the town. Bring or buy a sandwich, and have a picnic here. The view is unforgettable.
Pose As A Witch In A Photo Shoot
Yes, you read that right. You can have a photoshoot done with a witch-like theme. That makes the ultimate Salem souvenir! It would make for a fun and memorable experience in Salem, thats for sure.
This Witch Photo Shoot occurs on a stage set in Olde Salem Village in 1692. Youll get to wear a costume and take several photos in different backdrops. This experience costs $70 per person.
This Witch Cottage Photo Shoot has a background of spell and potion books for posing. Youll also be given a costume to wear during the photo shoot. This simpler photo shoot costs $30 per person.
Recommended Reading: Things To Do In Mystic Ct
What Is It Like To Live In Swampscott Ma
Swampscott is a suburb of Boston with a population of 15,002. Swampscott is in Essex County and is one of the best places to live in Massachusetts. Living in Swampscott offers residents a dense suburban feel and most residents own their homes. In Swampscott there are a lot of restaurants, coffee shops, and parks.
European Settlers And Fishing
Marblehead’s first European settler was Joseph Doliber in 1629, who set up on the shore near what is now the end of Bradlee Road. Three years earlier, Isaac Allerton, a Pilgrim from the Mayflower, had arrived in the area and established a fishing village at Marblehead Little Harbor. In May 1635, the General Court of Massachusetts Bay established the town of Marblehead on land that belonged to Salem. Marblehead residents, who never saw eye-to-eye with their more devout and conservative neighbors, were delighted, but less than a year later, the lawmakers reversed themselves. Marblehead finally became independent of Salem in 1649.
At times called “, “” ” rel=”nofollow”> John Smith) and “Foy” , the town would be named “Marblehead” by settlers who mistook its granite ledges for . It began as a fishing village with narrow crooked streets, and developed inland from the harbor. The shoreline smelled of drying fish, typically cod. These were exported abroad and to Salem.
The town peaked economically just before the American Revolution, as locally financed privateering vessels sought bounty from large European ships. Much early architecture survives from the era, including the Jeremiah Lee Mansion.
Also Check: Fun Things To Do In Mystic Ct
*** Thanksgiving Recipes ***
These roasted brussels sprouts get a fair amount of spice from the crushed red pepper flakes, which cuts…
After trying every turkey-roasting method under the sun, I’ve finally settled on this as absolutely the…
We love how the cinnamon-scented streusel topping lets the juicy berries peek through.
Italian sausage and a heap of Parmesan cheese lend signature flair to the easy Thanksgiving dressing…
It’s all about the layers and ruffles in this dramatic seasonal pie.
Poach quince in rosé with a dash of cocktail bitters and a few warm spices, then assemble into a tart…
Leave the sausage, nuts, dried fruit behind in favor of this easy, vegetarian-friendly stuffing recipe…
Alton Brown’s turkey brine recipe from Good Eats will give you a flavorful Thanksgiving turkey with juicy…
Bone-in turkey breasts are easy to find, and as impressive as a whole bird when you roast them in butter…
This recipe was handed down by my great-grandmother. It is a family favorite that we make every Thanksgiving….
Cutting leeks into large pieces gives them a presence equal…
This crunchy crumble is the perfect topping for an ice cream sundae, easy apple crumble, or our Build-Your-Own…
Finding The Best Things To Do In Salem Mass
Located on the North Shore of Massachusetts, Salem is a small city of 43,000 residents that wears many hats. Youve got one of the key historic ports of the United States, a hotspot for Boston day-trippers, a vibrant college town, a gathering place for modern-day witches, and the most Halloween-crazy city on the planet.
Its easy to overlook Salem in Massachusetts, a state filled with so many cultural riches. But I think youre going to like it here.
What are the best things to do in Salem?
How much time do you need in Salem?
You could probably explore Salem in one day if thats all you had for time but you should give yourself a night or two to really immerse yourself in the witch history.
How do you get to Salem, Mass?
Salem is one of the most easily accessible towns in Massachusetts. You can get here by train, bus, and even ferry from Boston. Its a 30-45 minute drive from Logan Airport in Boston.
What are some things to do in Salem with kids?
Head to the Salem Witch House, take a ride on a sailboat, and explore Pickering Wharf. If you have older kids, use your judgment on whether they can handle scary things like Count Orloks Nightmare Gallery.
You May Like: Kid Things To Do In Syracuse Ny
Things To Do In Marblehead Ma
Depending on the season, theres a wide variety of things to do in Marblehead MA. Whether youre more into shopping or want to explore the historical aspect of the town, there really is something for everyone.
The town offers plenty to do during the day. The numerous parks are popular for both tourists and locals who enjoy jogging, biking, walking and even fishing. There are also beaches as well as outdoor art exhibits throughout Marblehead that provide great photo opportunities for anyone looking to document their vacation in town.
Checking out the homes and downtown was one of my favorite things to do in Marblehead Ma during this trip!
Atlantic Avenue is especially gorgeous and is one of the most upscale streets in the town. However, you can literally drive around and find gorgeous homes without needing specific directions.
Shoemaking Airplanes And Yachting
During the late 19th century, Marblehead had a short-term industrial boom from shoe-making factories. At the same time, the exceptional harbor attracted yachting by wealthy boat owners, and some yacht clubs established centers there. It would become home to the Boston Yacht Club, Corinthian Yacht Club, Eastern Yacht Club, Marblehead Yacht Club, Dolphin Yacht Club, and the oldest junior yacht club in America, the Pleon Yacht Club. This also caused numerous “summer homes” of wealthy Boston residents to be built on Marblehead Neck. The building boom would cause to be replaced in 1896 with a new iron structure since the light of shorter tower was becoming blocked by the large new homes.
Marblehead was also the site of the Burgess & Curtis Aircraft Factory, where it was the first licensed aircraft manufacturer in the United States. William Starling Burgess designed and flight-tested most of the aircraft that were manufactured at the two plant sites in town. On August 20, 1912, Alfred Austell Cunningham became the first Marine aviator, taking off from Marblehead Harbor in a Burgess Model H seaplane given to him by the Burgess Company. His flight was the start of United States Marine Corps Aviation.
Read Also: Free Things To Do In Syracuse Ny
The Jeremiah Lee Museum
If you like history then the Jeremiah Lee Museum will be right up your alley.
The museum is in a genuine old home and showcases real artifacts. However, the architecture is simply stunning, especially the sweeping staircase.
Ive found that every guide at the Museum is really interested in the topics and extremely helpful. This is a little gem that cant be missed!
Lastly, make sure you check out the gardens. During the spring and summer months, theyre simply stunning, which makes the Jeremiah Lee Museum a super popular place in Marblehead Massachusetts to host weddings.
How To Get To Salem Massachusetts
Salem is walkable and very well-connected by public transportation, making it a great stop for a car-free visit. The closest major airport, Logan Airport in Boston, is about a 30 to 45 minute drive from Salem depending on traffic.
In terms of public transportation, Salem has a train stop on the commuter rail and is a 33-minute journey from North Station in Boston.
There is a bus to Salem from Haymarket Station in Boston, which takes around 45 minutes.
The most pleasant and scenic journey to Salem, however, is taking the Salem Ferry from Boston. It costs $25 for a one-way ticket and runs every day to and from Salem to Boston. Enjoy the Boston skyline and the views along the way. See the schedule and book the ferry here.
You can also drive to Salem, but keep in mind that youll likely have to pay for parking, especially during Haunted Happenings. You probably wont need your car while exploring Salem it might be cheaper to take the occasional Uber or Lyft ride and walk the rest of the time.
Read Also: Sur La Table Canton Ct
Best Time To Visit Salem Massachusetts
The best time to visit Salem is definitely during the month of October for Haunted Happenings. Salem residents take the month of Halloween seriously and plan fall and spooky-related events all month long! Youll find something interesting to do every single day during October, and Halloween night is a once-in-a-lifetime experience here!
Keep in mind, however, that October is a very crowded and expensive time to visit Salem, with accommodation prices peaking on Halloween night.
Other than Halloween, shoulder season is the name of the game. September is a wonderful time to explore Massachusetts, with the leaves turning toward the end of the month. May and June can be very pleasant times to visit, though be careful to watch out for rain. Early November can still feel a bit like fall with nice yellow leaves.
Visiting Salem in the summer can be beautiful but very hot. Be sure to hydrate, wear sun protection, and take breaks. July and August are also a time for busy crowds and high prices throughout the Boston area.
I generally recommend avoiding Boston if youre not used to very cold and snowy winters. If youre from Chicago, youll know what youre getting into if youre from Texas, you will be gobsmacked by the cold.
Best Things To Do In Marblehead Massachusetts
Have you ever visited a new place and felt wow about it? For many visitors, it happens at Marblehead.
You can definitely plan a few hours of a side trip here while traveling to Boston or Providence. You might wish to revisit it someday again, to take a break and relax at Marblehead.
If you have plans to visit United States and are not sure if Marblehead should be included in your itinerary, keep reading. In this list, we have put together some of the things to do in Marblehead and around. We have a hunch that if you include this city in your travel plans, you will be thrilled you did so.
Also Check: Kid Things To Do In Syracuse Ny
The Ultimate Kids Fishing Charters
5.0 based on 41 reviews
The Ultimate Kids Fishing Charters is a program where kids do some serious fishing, and gain new understanding of the marine world around them. Morning and afternoon charters include fishing, lobstering, navigation and seamanship, marine biology and anatomy and much more. With just 4 kids per boat, there is ample attention, and plenty of opportunity to catch a lifetime memory.
Casa Mia Cucina Italiana
Casa Mia Cucina Italiana is a restaurant that has been serving food since 2007. Located at 12 Broad Street, it is a local favorite for the locals of Marblehead, MA.
The atmosphere of this restaurant is elegant and romantic with classy Italian cuisine. Casa Mia Cucina Italiana is the perfect place to have a nice dinner with friends and family.
This is by far my favorite restaurant in the whole town. I live over an hour away, and am actually considering driving back to Casa Mia Cucina Italiana every few weeks just for the homemade gnocchi.
Its a small and cozy Italian restaurant that is clearly family-owned . The bartender was a fabulous mixologist, the bread was delicious, and the pasta was literally to die for. It was also pretty easy to get a table on a Friday night. 10/10 recommend!
Casa Mia has an outside patio with heaters so if you are looking for dining al fresco in the summer months, this is your spot. The inside also has a bar area where customers can sit above or below it while enjoying their evening cocktails.
There is also piano music each night at 8:00pm and 10:00pm but these times vary throughout the year Casa Mia will give you this information upon arrival.
You May Like: Things To Do In Mystic Ct