Salem Massachusetts Attractions

Salem Massachusetts AttractionsSalem Massachusetts Attractions

 

Salem, Massachusetts, is a destination recognized around the world for its rich history, which includes the tragic Salem Witch Trials of 1692, the glorious maritime era that left its indelible mark on Salem through architecture, museums, and artifacts, and for its month-long celebration of Halloween. Today more than one million people visit Salem annually.

About Salem Haunted Happenings

 

A month-long celebration of Halloween and fall in New England, people travel from around the world to visit Salem during October. Celebrating its 37th year, the festival features hundreds of special events in addition to attractions, museums and tours that are in Salem throughout the year. For complete information visit HauntedHappenings.org.

 

Free to explore Salem? The following activities, destinations and diversions are open to the public and are completely free of charge.

10 – Explore your National Park

Salem Maritime National Historic Site

The first National Historic Site established in the US, tours of the buildings, wharves, and Tall Ship Friendship at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site are free. Learn stories of the sailors, Revolutionary War privateers and merchants who brought the riches of the world to America through the port of Salem. Spend a half hour learning regional history from the wonderful, free film, Where Past is Present at the Visitor Center (located at 2 New Liberty Street).
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9 – Tour Punto Urban Art Museum

Punto Urban Art Museum Salem Visitor Attractions

Located in the Point Neighborhood, Punto Urban Art Museum is an open-air museum that features 85 large-scale murals and 40 world-renowned artists. It’s a five minute walk from downtown and free to explore. Share your favorite murals with us by tagging @destsalem in your posts!
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8 – Stroll along Chestnut Street

 

Salem Massachusetts Bed Breakfast Near Chestnut Street

Photo by Jim McAllister

Take the time to wander down beautiful Chestnut Street, which was the first planned street in America. Read all of the house plaques to learn the about the people who built and lived in the exquisite Federal-style mansions.
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7 – Relax at the Ropes Mansion

Salem Visitor Attractions Ropes Mansion

Just a block from historic Chestnut Street, at 318 Essex Street, you will find the historic Ropes Mansion Garden. This stunning Colonial Revival garden, created in 1912, is a popular place for relaxing, reading, photography, and admiring the flowers. Part of the collections of the Peabody Essex Museum, the garden is open to the public, and throughout the growing season, offers a splendid sampling of local horticulture. The mansion itself is free and open to the public on summer weekends from noon to 4 pm.
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6 – Play and Picnic in Salem Common

Salem Visitor Attractions Salem Massachusetts Bed Breakfast near Salem Common

Originally used as a grazing area for Salem residents’ livestock and a training area for the Salem militia, today Salem Common is a favorite spot for jogging, reading, concerts and wedding ceremonies. The playground and basketball court provide a place for families to unwind and enjoy some fresh air.

5 – Indulge Your Sweet Tooth with Harbor Sweets

Harbor Sweets

Harbor Sweets offers free factory tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:00 am. Take a tour and see where some of our favorite locally-made chocolates are handcrafted, then buy some to take home! (Contact Harbor Sweets to confirm tour availability).
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4 – Step Through Cemeteries

Charter Street Cemetery

Salem has wonderful, historic cemeteries, including the Old Burying Point Cemetery on Charter Street, Howard Street Cemetery and the Broad Street Cemetery. The Charter Street Burying Point is one of the oldest cemeteries in Massachusetts. In it you can see the graves of a Witch Trials judge, a Mayflower passenger, and architect Samuel McIntire. Cemeteries are open from dawn until dusk. Note: Charter Street Cemetery is undergoing preservation work and may be closed for select periods of time. Check PreservingSalem.com for updates.

3 – Wander around the Willows

Salem Willows

In addition to the restaurants and arcades (which will lighten your quarter stash), Salem Willows Park has two free beaches, walking trails, and a free summer concert series. Good weather brings families from near and far with their picnics to savor the sun, sand, and salt water. And, for less than $2 you can feast on one of Salem Lowe’s famous chop suey sandwiches.

2 – Remember the victims of 1692

Salem Witch Trials Memorial

Dedicated in 1992, by Nobel Laureate Eli Wiesel, to commemorate the tercentenary of the Salem Witch Trials, the Witch Trials Memorial was restored in 2012 and remains a solemn place to honor and remember the brave people who maintained their innocence in 1692.
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1 – Connect it all along the Salem Heritage Trail

Salem Heritage Trail

Connect all of Salem’s sites by walking the Salem Heritage Trail. The line painted on the sidewalk will help you navigate your way through Salem and American history. The Heritage Trail is printed on the map in the centerfold of The Salem Guide.

 

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