Salem, Massachusetts is a quaint coastal New England town, just 30 mins via train from Boston. Infamous for the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692, this quirky town has rich American history, stunning examples of New England architecture and it’s sure to celebrate Halloween like nowhere else. There are quite a few tourist traps (mechanical dioramas anyone?!), below I will highlight places where you can discover the real essence of Salem (Google map included).
The House of Seven Gables
A colonial mansion built in 1668, it’s one of the oldest surviving 17th-century mansions in New England. It was made famous by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 novel The House of the Seven Gables. In 1725 the house was remodeled to only 3 gables, but these were later restored in 1908 by the House of Seven Gables Settlement Association, with Hawthorne’s novel serving as an important reference point. Today, it is run as a not-for-profit museum, where you can explore the preserved interior and the famous secret staircase.
115 Derby St, Salem. web
The Salem Witch Trials Memorial
In 1992, to mark the 300th anniversary of the trials, a memorial park was dedicated to the twenty victims executed on suspicion of witchcraft in Salem, 1692. Their names are inscribed on each bench. A solemn reminder of the dangers of mass hysteria.
98 Liberty St, Salem.
John Ward House
Built circa 1684 by John Ward, it is one of the finest surviving seventeenth-century buildings in New England, notable for its Post-Medieval style. Restored in 1910 by the Peabody Essex Museum, it was originally situated three blocks away, the house was rolled on ox-drawn logs to its current location. Part of an outdoor museum of architecture, you can take a guided tour and see the period furnishings inside.
132 Essex St, Salem. web
Ye Olde Pepper Companie
Apparently one of the oldest candy shops in the America, this cute doll house-like store has been operating since 1806. Selling hand-made chocolates and old school confectionery, such as; turtles, taffy, peanut brittle and fudge.
122 Derby St, Salem. web
Olde Naumkeag Antiques and Gallery
Get the New England look – an adorable rustic antique shop, brimming with vintage furniture, pottery and homewares.
1 Hawthorne Blvd, Salem.
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For more Salem travel inspiration, check out my Flickr gallery.
If you have any quirky Salem travel tips, post them in the comments!