What to do in Salem, MA
Updated: Dec 31, 2019
Where to Go & Where to Eat
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I have recommended. While clicking these links won't cost you anything, they will help me to keep this site up and running! Thank you so much!
How to get to Salem:
The nearest airport is the Boston Logan International Airport. There are several ways to get from Boston to Salem. We elected to take the more glamourous and scenic route, so we took a 42 minute ride on the Boston Harbor Cruises (Ferry). This is on the pricier side at $45 for roundtrip tickets. However, it's 100% worth it. I suggest booking your tickets in advance to know what time to arrive, so you're not stuck waiting 2 to 3 hours for the next ferry. You board at the New England Aquarium in Boston.
Bring a jacket, because it gets chilly on he boat even during the summer.
Once you land at the harbor, there is a Salem Trolley Tour bus. We decided to take the one hour history tour which helped us learn how to get around. After the hour tour, you can jump on and off at each stop. Our ferry landed at 10:00 am and we had the Trolley to ourselves. By noon it's full! If you plan to take the Trolley the last stop back to the ferry is at 4:15 pm. The city is small and after the tour we elected to just walk around. We even walked back to the Harbor to catch our ferry.
You can skip the tour and walk the city. Again, it's a small city. You may notice we are still wearing jackets. We are from Texas, so it was chilly a majority of the time for us. I think people from that area believe the weather is perfect. However, weather feels like winter in Texas.
Where to go:
Salem Witch Museum- $11
The price is $11 and you can't beat that. You are set in a room to listen to the story of the Salem Witch Trials. I think this should be your first stop because it will help you hear and remember the history before you tour the city. To be honest, I needed a refresher course, since the last time I heard the story was back in middle school. Honestly, if you know the history then you can skip this. It really is just a history lesson. Fun fact: This museum was once a church.
Old Burial Point Cemetery - Free
I know visiting a cemetery is weird but it's important when in Salem. You can see some of the oldest headstones in the United States. Next door, is the Salem Village Witchcraft Victim's Memorial.
Salem Village Witchcraft Victim's Memorial- Free
This memorial was hard for us to see. My daughter and I just stood around in silence staring at the memorial. Our hearts broke for the victims of this horrible tragedy. Sometimes you get caught up in the history that it doesn't seem real. This part of the trip made it feel real! We had to face the reality this really happened.
The House of the Seven Gables -
$16.00 a person for tour or $11 a person to see the grounds
Residence receive a free tour- proof a residency is required
This is a historic site that was used in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 novel "The House of the Seven Gables". I'm going to be honest, we thought $16 a person was just too much for a historic tour. Neither one of us have read the novel, therefore we just decided to head on to another adventure. The fences are high so if you think you can peak over to save some money then think again. Trust me I know, we tried. lol
Salem Maritime National Historic Site- Free tours
Established on March 17, 1938 as the first National Historic Site in the United States.
Salem Custom House- Free
A U.S. Customs Building built in 1649 across the street from the Salem Maritime National Historic Site.
Witch Dungeon Museum-
$19 for all three: Witch History, Witch Dungeon and New England Pirate Museum
I'm still upset that I missed out on three of the museums listed above which are all within walking distance of each other. The Witch Dungeon Museum is a LIVE reenactment of the witch trials plus a guided tour of the dungeon. (Shh.. I would have rather gone here then the Salem Witch Museum) I am still feeling jaded.
If you love the movie Hocus Pocus, check out Pioneer Village (opening scene), Philips Elementary School, Allison House, and Old Town Hall (Halloween Party).
The shopping begins down the streets close to the Salem Visitor Center. We had a blast roaming though all the touristy witch stores.
Where to Eat
Red Sandwich Shop-Cash Only
This sandwich shop is where the British soldiers stayed (Super cool). They sell only breakfast on Sundays plus close at 1pm. Normal operating hours the rest of the week. Everyone around us kept ranting and raving about how delish the breakfast tasted.
I wasn't in the mood for breakfast, so I had a Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwich. It was delish!!
This place has massive shrimp and surprisingly really good tacos. Also, you can sit outside and enjoy the port views.
Ye Olde Pepper Companic
This is the oldest candy store company in the United States. Oprah Winphrey orders her candy from this store and has it shipped to her home. Their chocolate turtles were featured in "O" magazine. My favorite part is this candy company was started by one of the first female entrepreneurs in the United States! How cool!
You can see why Oprah has the Chocolate Turtles shipped to her house. OMG the selection!
Jaho Coffee & Tea Salem
This place has amazing coffee and dessert. The Boston Cream Pie was fantastic.
I hope my blog has you excited about seeing Salem. If you are able to go for Halloween then do it! I heard they go all out!
Looking for more travel ideas then follow me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/glam_journey_/