Salem, Massachusetts is full of history. From being one of the first fishing villeges in the new world, to the infamous Salem Witch Trials less than 80 years later, there’s so much to see and do in this quaint little New England town. Last weekend I woke a few of my friends up early and made them join me for the three hour trek to Salem. We are lucky enough to be able to make this trip a quick day, but I would recommend a weekend if you really want to imurse yourself in the witchary.
October is the busiest month for tourism in Salem for obvious reasons. So definitely be prepared for a lot of people, and a lot of strollers.
What we did:
the Old Burying Point Cemetery and Salem Witch Trials Memorial
First touristy spot we stumble upon was the Old Burying Point Cemetery and the Salem Witch Trials Memorial. I have this weird little love for ridiculously old cemeteries. It’s so crazy to see the families together, and try to figure out what their family relationships were like. Like why are there three *** buried next to each other.
Then we headed just outside the cemetery to the Salem Witch Trials Memorial. This is a memorial to the 19 women who were killed in 1693 after being accused of witchcraft.
Haunted Biz Baz Street Fair
Right on the other side of the Peabody Essex Museum is Essex Street where vendors lined the streets selling homemade goods. But if you aren’t there on a weekend they are having the Biz Baz Street Fair there are plenty of stores and museums to wander in and out of. We visited the first weekend of October, which is also one of the busiest weekend of the season. There were strollers and people everywhere. This area is somewhere I would probably not run too next time. Instead maybe visiting during a slower time of year would be better.
Artists’ Row and Salem Town Hall
This beautiful area was a great place to stop inside a few shops, snap a few photos and check out local artist’s work. Starting on coble stone Front St. where there are clothing shops and souvenir shops, we stopped in front of Salem Old Town Hall. Directly across the street we headed down the small ally known as Artists’ Row. A few small shacks line the ally with wood carvings, ceramic pieces of art and plates. This was such a good little find if you like supporting and appreciate local artists.
Where we ate:
Salem Beer Works
For the past 25 years this restaurant has been brewing beer throughout their seven locations in Massachusetts. We headed straight here after parking our car in Salem, and started with a spicy Bloody Mary while we waited for our table to be ready. With bacon mac and cheese on their specials menu the weekend we were visiting Salem, we knew exactly what to share as an appetizer as soon as we sat down. Absolutely amazing. For our meals, the three of us got a burger, a haddock sandwich, and a fried chicken sandwich. All of which were ehhh. Nothing great. I didn’t get to try any of their beers while we were there, but definitely something on my to do list for next time I visit.
Sea Level Oyster Bar
After walking around all day we needed to take a seat for a minute and grab a small bite before we headed out on our three hour drive home. We stopped over by the Derby Waterfront District to get something to eat at Sea Level Oyster Bar. This duel level, inside-outside oyster bar was delicious and I wish we had found it earlier to enjoy a full meal. Two of us had their New England Clam Chowder was fantastic, and I’m not a raw bar type of girl, but the size of the oyster’s my friend got were out of control! This is absolutely a place to head over to, if not for food, at least for a drink with a view.
Brew Box on Essex
I love me a good coffee shop. Being as basic as they come, I am always be happy with a Starbucks, but when I’m able to find a mom and pop coffee shop, I take advantage. This cute little shop along Essex St. is worth a stop in. And supporting local mom and pop shops is always a good thing.
Depending on the time of year you are visiting Salem, parking can be a definite issue and hassle. As we headed toward Derby St. we took a right on Margin St. and parked at a Napa Auto Parts for $20. Across the street the high school cheerleaders were also running a parking lot. While a little out of the way, the walk wasn’t too bad and not fighting the line of traffic to find parking was worth the walk.
Salem Willows Park – At the tip of the peninsula in Salem sits Salem Willow Park. I looks absolutely beautiful and next time will definitely be on my list of places to check out.
The Witch House – The home of Judge Corwin, known for the Salem Witch Trials, his home offers guided and self guided tours with seasonal hours of operation.
The House of Seven Gabels – This famous home of merchant John Turner is a staple in Salem history and deserves a visit.