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What to do in Salem, MA

Jul 12, 2019 | Massachusetts | 0 comments

Updated: Dec 31, 2019

Where to Go & Where to Eat

Woman taking a selfie in front of Salem Witch Museum. | What to do in Salem, MA

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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 glamorous 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.

Boston Ferry in the water at the New England Aquarium in Boston. | What to do in Salem, MA

Bring a jacket, because it gets chilly on the 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.

Girl sitting on the Salem Trolley. | What to do in Salem, MA

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.

Girl walking the streets of Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA

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.

Woman taking a selfie in front of Salem Witch Museum. | What to do in Salem, MA

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.

View of the Old Burial Point Cemetery in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA

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.

View of Salem Village Witchcraft Victim's Memorial in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA

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

Sign of The House of the Seven Gables in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA

Salem Maritime National Historic Site- Free tours

Established on March 17, 1938 as the first National Historic Site in the United States.

Outside the Salem Maritime National Historic Site in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA

Salem Custom House- Free

A U.S. Customs Building built in 1649 across the street from the Salem Maritime National Historic Site.

Outside the Custom House in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA
Inside the Custom House in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA

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.

Woman posing in guillotine outside the Witch Dungeon Museum in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA

Hocus Pocus

If you love the movie Hocus Pocus, check out Pioneer Village (opening scene), Philips Elementary School, Allison House, and Old Town Hall (Halloween Party).

Outside view of famous buildings and movie scenes from Hocus Pocus in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA

Shopping

The shopping begins down the streets close to the Salem Visitor Center. We had a blast roaming though all the touristy witch stores.

People walking down the street on a shopping center strip in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA
Inside the Salem Store in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA

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.

Outside view of Red Sandwich Shop in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA
The sign for The London Coffee House in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA
Plate of food at the Red Sandwich Shop in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA

I wasn’t in the mood for breakfast, so I had a Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwich. It was delish!!

Plate of food at the Red Sandwich Shop in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA

Oyster Bar

This place has massive shrimp and surprisingly really good tacos. Also, you can sit outside and enjoy the port views.

Outside view of the Sea Level Oyster Bar in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA
Platter of food at the Sea Level Oyster Bar in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA
Platter of food at the Sea Level Oyster Bar in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA

Ye Olde Pepper Companie

This is the oldest candy store company in the United States. Oprah Winfrey 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!

Outside view of Ye Olde Pepper Companic, the oldest candy company, in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA
Inside the Ye Olde Pepper Companic, the oldest candy company, in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA
Candy displays inside the Ye Olde Pepper Companic, the oldest candy company, in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA

You can see why Oprah has the Chocolate Turtles shipped to her house. OMG the selection!

Candy displays inside the Ye Olde Pepper Companic, the oldest candy company, in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA

Jaho Coffee & Tea Salem

This place has amazing coffee and dessert. The Boston Cream Pie was fantastic.

Dessert display at Jaho Coffee and Tea shop in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA
Dessert display at Jaho Coffee and Tea shop in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA
Drink from Jaho Coffee and Tea shop in Salem. | What to do in Salem, MA

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!

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Hi, I’m Misty! Welcome to Glam Journey, where you’ll find travel-related content, itineraries and booking services for the adventurous mom who is living her version of a glamorous life.

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