Move over Disneyland and Disneyworld, Salem, Massachusetts has replaced you as the happiest place on Earth. Well, that may be true for those of us with an affinity for Halloween, and things that are not all sweetness and light. If you’re one of those people, traveling here should be on your bucket list.
I have visited Salem at both Halloween and in the summer. I describe Salem at the holiday as the Mardi Gras of Halloween. It’s a party that lasts a month long, and I cannot think of a better place to spend the scariest night of the year. There are a variety of activities and events during the month of October, something is guaranteed to pique your interest and keep you busy.
There are two hotels located in Salem, the Hawthorne Hotel and the Salem Waterfront Hotel and Marina. Other accommodations can be found in nearby towns such as Danvers, some offering shuttle service to the Salem area. You may want to take advantage of this amenity to avoid the traffic congestion.
People may think of Salem as primarily a fall destination. While there are more crowds in autumn and Halloween is the ultimate time to visit, there are many things to do at other times of the year. In the summer, popular tourist attractions can still be visited, including the Salem Witch Museum, the Witch Dungeon Museum, the Witch History Museum, and the Nathaniel Hawthorne House.
There is no shortage of wonderful places to dine and shop. On our recent trip I enjoyed a wonderful scallop salad outside by the water at Finz. Later that afternoon we stopped at Salem Screamery for an ice cream treat. Rest assured, you won’t go hungry during your visit.
Unique shops abound in Salem. Everything from tee shirts to ingredients for spells can be found in any number of stores. (My personal favorite is Hex, located on Essex Street). I have even bought some Christmas gifts for other like-minded people.
If you are a history buff, or would just like to tour the city while being kind to your feet, a trolley tour is a must. It is the easiest method to take in Salem’s offerings, with many convenient stops along the route. It is a scenic ride with knowledgeable tour guides.
This is just a brief overview of Salem. I urge you to visit whenever you are in the area. It’s a fun place to explore any time of the year.