Salem gets really busy during the October “witching season,” but it is a great place to visit year-round! The quaint New England town has a lot of history and is incredibly easy to get to by MBTA commuter rail or boat. Here are our 5 top spots to visit while you're there.
1. Salem Witch Trials Monument
The real story of the Salem Witch Trials is quite somber. Located next to an old graveyard, this monument commemorates 20 victims who were condemned to death because of mass hysteria that spread through the town in 1692. Elie Wiesel dedicated the monument when it opened in 1992.
The Peabody Essex Museum dates back to Salem’s glory days as an international shipping hub. A society of ship owners and captains had a provision in their charter to establish a “cabinet of natural and artificial curiosities” – 18th century speak for a museum. The beautiful building that currently houses the museum’s permanent and rotating exhibits was built in 2003.
Explore the mansion built by merchant and ship-owner John Turner in 1668, and made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 novel of the same name. Hawthorne was born in Salem and a tour of the Seven Gables includes the Hawthorne home, which was moved to property in the 20th century.
Be sure to visit Notch’s taproom. The brewery is famous for their session beers… so you can sit down and stay awhile! They have an outdoor seating area that resembles a German-style beer hall and snacks to match –pretzels and sausages anyone?
5. Bit Bar
This bar was founded recently, but it's a throwback to the 1970s and 80s. It's got vintage arcade games and pinball machines that can be played for a reasonable price. They have fun snacks too--we loved the Tetris Tot nachos. The tots were shaped like Tetris pieces!