Recommendations & Tips to Maximize Your Time in Salem
For 3 nights stay or more in Salem and/or Boston
Get the Go Boston card and have it shipped to your home or here to Northey Street House. It gets you into many popular Boston AND Salem attractions including the more expensive Boston trolley rides.
If using a smart phone, get the free MBTA app for commuter rail schedule and ticket purchases. It saves you ~$3 surcharge that they tack on tickets purchased on board.
If time is limited, start out with a trolley tour. Not only will you get a great overview of Salem, but you can hop on & off all day, a nice time saver. For the more active set, Salem offers FREE bicycles they let out for the day, helmets too. Rental is at the Hawthorne Hotel.
House of 7 Gables, 30min. guided tour
Maritime Historic site: FREE 1 hr. tour. ~11:00am 1819 Custom house & Friendship (the replica cargo schooner) tour or Derby House (home of America’s 1st millionaire) tour.
Do at least one witch thing: Witch Dungeon, Witch House, or Witch Museum. Free: Witch Trials Memorial, Old Burying Point (the oldest cemetary in the USA), Howard Street Cemetary (2nd oldest cemetary in the USA where Giles Corey was pressed to death)
Peabody Essex Museum: Don’t miss the 200 year old Chinese House (30 minute self guided audio tour) & 3 century (1600, 1700 & 1800) house (1 hr.) docent guided tour. Get your timed tickets for these house tours and work your day around them, it will be well worth it. Allot the bulk of the day for this oldest museum in the United States started by merchant traders. Don’t miss the 18th Century room which is Salem history in a nutshell. If you’re a museum lover, get the 2 day pass, there is so much here.
Stephen Phillip House: 30 minute tour. Our little Downton Abbey. Contains 5 generations of stuff from the 1800’s. Beautiful and authentic down to all the little trinkets they collected from their shipping trade.
If you go to the Phillip’s House, take a peek at the Rope’s Mansion Public Garden is on 318 Essex st. around the block, just 2 houses down from the Black Witch House. A little-known jewel of magnificient seasonal blooms!
Rope’s Mansion: The Hocus Pocus house (in the movie) 12-4Pm Sat & Suns Free self-guided tours!
* Salem Food Tours. Combining the creative food scene in Salem with historical significance & charm of the city. Taste and sample locally sourced foods with Karen Scalia. Make reservations with 2 date choices ahead of your visit to ensure you get a spot in her coveted tours. $50 per person if booked thru Northey House.
* Evening Walking Tours: Do at least one (Hocus Pocus, Black Cat – more historical or The Salem Witch Walk-more Wiccan/modern witch oriented) & bring your camera for capturing orbs. (weather permitting)
* Salem Theatre Company: Their productions never dissapoint. Great performances in an intimate setting. Reservations recommended.
On the Water
Sail Salem Sound on Schooner Fame, a replica privateer from the war of 1812 and learn all about privateering. ~2hrs for $15-$30. 2pm, 4pm, 6pm Memorial day – Halloween.
Take a tour of Salem Sound with Sea Shuttle with an optional drop off and pick up at Misery Island.
Or you can go on a sunset blues/booze cruise on the Mahi Mahi.
In Season only
Rope’s Mansion Garden: on 318 Essex Street. Open free to public. Beautifully manicured flowers & koi/lotus flower pond. This is the “Hocus Pocus” house that was in the movie.
Cry Innocent: Mid-June to Halloween. A live dramatization / reenactment of the Trail of Bridget Bishop, who was accused to be a witch.
Farmer’s Market: Mid-June, Derby Square outside the Old Town Hall. Live music, cooking demonstrations, lively market atmosphere and great local foods.
Pioneer Village, also known as Salem 1630: America’s first living history museum. The village sits on three acres of land and contains various examples of colonial architecture: dugouts, wigwams, thatched roof cottages, and the Governor’s Faire House. Culinary and medicinal gardens and a blacksmith shop further interpret early 17th-century colonial life.
Forrest River Park: right next to Pioneer Village is a little beach to dip your feet in and take in views of scenic town of Marblehead across the way and a playground for the kids or a picnic lunch.