10 Things to Do in Salem That You Shouldn't Miss

January 26, 2018 Hana Mouser

Best known for the witch trials that took place in 1692, Salem is sure to bewitch you with its seaside charm, its maritime history and spellbinding beauty. Follow the Red Line along the sidewalks to navigate your journey through historic sites, including the Witch Trial Memorial, the Old Burying Point Cemetery and more. Discover serenity by the sea on the beaches of Salem Willows. The Bewitched statue, the Witch Museum and the Witch Dungeon conjure up diverse takes on witchery through history.
Restaurants in Salem

1. Phillips House

34 Chestnut St, Salem, MA 01970-3129 +1 978-744-0440
Excellent
81%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 108 reviews

Phillips House

Phillips House is the only home on historic Chestnut Street open to the public, and it provides a glimpse into the private world of the Phillips family during the early decades of the twentieth century. The kitchen, pantry, and a domestic staff bedroom, present a rarely seen picture of how the great houses functioned as new technologies were being introduced.

Reviewed By 105joel - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Our guide, Joan, was extremely passionate about the House and the families that lived there. We had a tour of two....just my bride and I. It was great...we asked many questions and Joan was so willing to respond....great artifacts....provides outstanding insights as to how the affluent lived in those days...if you like history and nistalgia....you should enjoy this site.

2. Salem Ferry

10 Blaney St, Salem, MA 01970-5603 +1 978-741-0220
Excellent
73%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 324 reviews

Salem Ferry

Reviewed By Michael F - El Cerrito, California

Sure -- you can take the boring train or bus (or, heavens, even drive) to Salem from Boston. But, isn't a nice water trip enticing. The catamaran leaves from the Long Wharf in Boston and drops you at the Salem Ferry terminal, about a 15 minutes walk from downtown (with signs to see on you way there). The catamaran is pleasant, with plenty of seats and tables indoors and outdoors, on two decks. There is a snack bar (with free ginger candies if the rolling seas get to you) and less than an hour after leaving you're in Salem. A nice bonus is a tourist narration of the sights in and history of Boston Harbor at the Boston end of the trip, and a similar narration about the area from Marblehead to Salem at the Salem end of the trip. The middle of the trip does take you on what can be somewhat rough waters (the remains of hurricane Maria were churning the seas when I went on the trip). But even though I am not a strong fan of water based transportation, I found it pleasant.

3. Peabody Essex Museum

East India Square, 161 Essex Street, Salem, MA 01970 +1 866-745-1876
Excellent
75%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Peabody Essex Museum

Experience art and culture from New England and around the world at one of the region’s largest art museums. Explore the museum’s vast collections and changing exhibitions, ranging from modern art to photography to Asian art and culture. The museum campus features numerous parks, period gardens, and 24 historic properties, including Yin Yu Tang, the only example of Chinese vernacular architecture on display in the United States.

Reviewed By 1979Traveler - Hanson, Massachusetts

Even though I went specifically for the Georgia O'Keefe exhibit, I did see the other exhibits that were there. I did not pay the extra $6 for the China house. Really...after paying $20 to get into the museum, I kind of felt like that should be included! But on the plus side, you could watch a video on the Yin Yu Tang: A Chinese House and it explains the history behind it and how they dismantled it to bring it over here. The Visitor Map they handed out at the beginning I did not find to be user friendly. I found it very hard to read. So I did just wonder around and discovered the American Art room which had a Norman Rockwell hidden in a corner! The T.C Cannon exhibit is not to be missed, and the American Art and the Japanese Art were also good!

4. The House of the Seven Gables

115 Derby St, Salem, MA 01970-5640 +1 978-744-0991
Excellent
61%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

The House of the Seven Gables

Discover The House of the Seven Gables. Built in 1668, this National Historic Landmark is a treasure of American history. Professional guides welcome guests year round for a remarkable journey that explores Salem's maritime history, architecture, the famous hidden staircase, and the literary legacy of Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The House of the Seven Gables and The Scarlet Letter. Adding to the site's charm are spectacular three-season colonial revival gardens, and our unique museum store. Please visit our website for current hours and information.

Reviewed By Matt C

Terry was an amazing tour guide and our family loved the experience! The secret stairway was the best part of any historical tour I have ever been onThank you for taking the time to rate your visit. We're happy you had a great time experiencing the Secret Staircase and that Terri took good care of you! We'll be sure to pass along your kind words.

5. Salem Witch Trials Memorial

Charter St., Salem, MA 01970 +1 978-740-1250
Excellent
59%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Salem Witch Trials Memorial

Each of this park's 20 stone benches represents a person executed in the infamous 1692 witch trials.

Reviewed By Elizabeth L

This is right next to the Old Burying Point Cemetary, and is basically a big lawn. However, it's pretty cool to go to and remember what a tragic time period it was.

6. Old Burying Point Cemetery

Salem, MA
Excellent
59%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Old Burying Point Cemetery

One of the Salem witch trial judges, Jonathan Corwin, is buried here.

Reviewed By Colleycibber - Salem, Massachusetts

This ancient burial ground has some of the most interesting Early American tombstones that one will find anywhere. Some of Salem’s most notable citizens are buried here, including a passenger who came to America on the Mayflower. One learns a lot from reading the inscriptions on the headstones & viewing the traditional funerary imagery depicted on them (weeping willows, skulls, grieving angels). We always take visiting friends for a walk through the burial ground, which is just behind the Peabody Essex Museum.

217 Essex St, Salem, MA 01970-7511 +1 978-740-0500
Excellent
69%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 810 reviews

Count Orlok's Nightmare Gallery

WE HAVE MOVED to 217 Essex Street in Salem! This cinematic Monster museum is dedicated to all those who have entertained us in the world of Horror, Fantasy and Sci-Fi! Actors, directors and special effects wizards of the past and present are all honored here with over 60 life-sized realistic recreations of the horror's genre's most memorable characters. With NEW yearly additions it is safe for all. During OCTOBER, the monsters come to life making Count Orlok's Nightmare Gallery Salem's Scariest Haunted house but during the rest of the year, the monsters are quite calm and won't move at all. See you soon!!! Be sure to CHECK OUR CALENDAR on our site for times to best enjoy your visit!

Reviewed By crowther1 - SLC Ut

From Nasferatu to Chucky and Saw. This collection covers it all.

Many signed and original pieces with a Great representation of all parts of the horror movie genra.

Creature from the black lagoon, Munsters, Legend, Lost Boys, It, Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, Hellraiser, Elvira, Hannibal Lecter. It's all there.

8. Salem Maritime National Historic Site

193 Derby St, Salem, MA 01970-5637 +1 978-740-1650
Excellent
52%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 274 reviews

Salem Maritime National Historic Site

Salem Maritime, the National Park in Salem, is a nine-acre historic site located on Salem’s waterfront that tells the history of Salem’s international trade and the sailors and merchants who built the economy of the young United States. National Park Rangers present guided tours of historic buildings and replica tall ship Friendship, and are ready help you navigate Salem at the Visitor Center, conveniently located on New Liberty Street across from the city parking garage.

Reviewed By CMC_2012 - Boston, Massachusetts

Great area that provides history for those who enjoy that about the Custom House and Derby Wharf area. If history isn't your thing, it is a beautiful spot to watch the boats and have your lunch. Many fun history facts posted along the way.

9. National Park Service Visitor Center

2 New Liberty St, Salem, MA 01970-3732 +1 978-740-1650
Excellent
57%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 457 reviews

National Park Service Visitor Center

Located on New Liberty Street across from the municipal parking garage and next to the Peabody Essex Museum, the National Park Service Visitor Center is an ideal place to begin your visit to Salem and the Essex National Heritage Area. National Park Service Rangers and Volunteers will welcome you to the city and to the Heritage Area, and help you plan your visit.

Reviewed By Hgtravl - Marlton, New Jersey

We where looking for actual bathrooms to use while walking the busy streets of Salem and was told to come here instead of the stinky port o pots that where along the street... Very clean building. Lots to read and check out. Nice large bathrooms that we stopped to use. Free water bottle refill stations for your pit stop!

10. Pickering Wharf

Wharf St, Salem, MA 01970
Excellent
43%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 473 reviews

Pickering Wharf

Reviewed By DaveEB310 - Rhode Island

Having come in for the day on a Bus Trip for the very busy Halloween weekend, this was our drop off and pick up point. Nice location to explore, esp close the House of the Seven Gables just down Derby St. Some decent restaurants in the Wharf area as well (if you can get in.) This weekend, all reservations began with a 90 minute wait, but we did succeed.

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