5 Places to Visit & Things to Do in Salem, Massachusetts
Located on the North Shore of Massachusetts, just 25 miles from Boston, is the historic city of Salem, Massachusetts. Salem is most well-known for being the location of the Witch Trials of 1692, where more than 200 innocent people were accused of witchcraft, and imprisoned, and 20 of them were sentenced to death during the hysteria of the times.
In addition to its notoriety surrounding the Witch Trials, Salem, Massachusetts is also rich in maritime, literary, and colonial history. When planning your group’s visit, we can customize what to see and explore depending on your group’s interests.
Here are just a few of the options for places to visit and things to do in Salem, Massachusetts.
The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM)
Located at 161 Essex Street in Salem, Massachusetts, the Peabody Essex Museum is the country’s oldest continuously operating museum.
For over 220 years, PEM has been dedicated to collecting, preserving, and showcasing compelling artwork throughout history and from around the world. Visitors of the museum will find authentic witch trials objects, maritime and fashion galleries. This also includes historic property tours such as the Yin Yu Tang, a 200-year-old Chinese House, Ropes Mansion and gardens, (featured in the hit movie Hocus Pocus), and so much more for adults and children alike.
Exhibitions at PEM are updated regularly so your group will want to check out the new events, workshops, and exhibitions.
Salem Walking Tours
There is so much to see and do around every corner in Salem, from museums to art galleries and small retail shops. Walking the red brick-paved streets of Salem can give such a sense of exploration and allow visitors to dig deep into the history of this region.
In addition to exploring on your own, a walking tour is a great idea to be able to hit all the key spots and get a sense of the city of Salem. Salem Walking Tours provides a two-and-a-half-hour well-researched and quality historical walking tour of the area. The tour features the stories from the indigenous communities, noble merchants, abolitionists, Salem Revolutionary War Patriots, and of course the events of the Salem Witch Trials.
Salem Maritime National Historic Site
Salem is not only a city rich in the colonial and revolutionary war history of our region but also in maritime history as well.
Salem Maritime National Historic Site consists of nine acres of land and twelve historic structures along the Salem waterfront, as well as a downtown visitor center. Located in the urban setting of Salem, the park preserves and interprets over 600 years of New England’s maritime history and global connections.
As a part of the National Historic Site, visitors may be able to view a tall ship replica – the Friendship. The Friendship commemorates Salem’s role as a center of global trade in post-Colonial America. Tours and activities are seasonal. The Friendship is currently undergoing restoration so check the website for availability.
The House of Seven Gables
The House of the Seven Gables is New England’s oldest wooden mansion and is the setting for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 novel by the same name.
One of America’s most beloved homes, the House of Seven Gables sits on Salem Harbor and allows visitors to explore the home on a guided tour, or to walk the property on their own. Designated as a National Historic Landmark District in 2007, the House is a great place to explore Massachusetts history.
Witch History Exploration
Around every corner in Salem is a little piece of history with much of it focusing on the Witch Trials. There are several witch attractions that you may want to include on your group’s tour of the area including the Salem Witch Museum, the Witch Memorial, the Burying Point, and many more.
Planning your Salem, Massachusetts tour can be a part of a larger Boston or Lexington/Concord tour or a separate unique tour on its own. Talk to our team about scheduling your tour that can be customized to fit your needs and interests.