Salem, MA Travel Guide

house of seven gables

One of my favorite things about living in Boston is how easy it is to hop in the car, drive a few hours and be hiking in the mountains, laying on the beach, or exploring a new city. There’s so much variation across the region, making it easy to find activities for everyone, which always makes planning a trip so much easier! Just under an hour north of Boston, along the coast, is the city of Salem and it’s an area I’ve spent very little time in.

Known for its rich history (helllloooo witches!), historic buildings, and delicious food, the city of Salem is the perfect area for a weekend away.

Where to Stay in Salem, MA

Part of Lark Hotels, The Hotel Salem is located along the Essex Street walking path in downtown Salem and not only is the location amazing, but the hotel is also stunning.

With an eclectic mid-century modern feel, The Hotel Salem features not one, but two restaurants (The Roof and The Counter), large rooms, a meeting and event space, and a lounge area on the first floor.  

Read my full review of The Hotel Salem here.

The Best Hotel in Salem, MA
The Hotel Salem
The Counter Salem MA

Where to Eat & Drink in Salem, MA

There are so many great places to eat throughout Salem, not just in the downtown area. During our stay, my favorite place we ate at was The Ledger. Located in the former Salem Savings Bank building (circa 1818), the restaurant is absolutely gorgeous inside and features dishes that are a mix of the 19th century with 21st century techniques. 

The Derby – Your typical open floor plan pub with an extensive list of craft beer, The Derby is a great spot for a quick lunch or pre-dinner drinks.

Brew Box – A quick and easy breakfast spot with delicious breakfast sandwiches and even better coffee.

Rockafellas – A casual lunch/dinner spot with classic bites, live music, and an extensive outdoor patio (my fave!). A great spot for families!

Settler – A small but mighty restaurant with a cozy but chic interior. Perfect for date night or cocktails with friends! The menu at the Settler is always changing and all ingredients are sourced locally. 

the derby salem ma

The Roof – Salem’s only rooftop bar/restaurant, The Roof is part of The Hotel Salem building and  has your classic bar food.

Ziggy’s & Son Donuts – Homemade donut anyone? Ziggy’s is family owned donut shop with all the classics and is a must visit!

Adriatic Restaurant – A quaint Mediterranean restaurant, perfect for dinner or an after-dinner drink. The espresso martini’s and tiramisu is to die for!

Howling Wolf Taqueria – Am i the only one that can’t say no to Mexican food? The Howling Wolf has an extensive menu for delicious bites. I recommend the carne asana fries the fajitas.

Notch Brewery & Tap Room – I can’t go anywhere without visiting at least one local brewery and when we were visiting Salem, we popped into Notch. Perfect for a quick drink!

the roof salem ma
the roof salem

What To Do in Salem, MA

From museums to shopping, there is so much to do in Salem!

Museums

With all the history of Salem, that means one thing: lots of museums! 

Peabody Essex Museum – Filled with beautiful art from across the globe, the Peabody Essex Museum is such a great museum for soaking in the rich history of several cultures.

The Salem Witch Museum – Want to learn more about the Salem Witch Trials? This is the perfect spot! There are two presentations part of the museum that really immerses you in the history of the trials.

The Jonathan Corwin House (also known as The Witch House) – The home of Salem Witch Trial judge, Judge Jonathan Corwin, is the only structure with direct ties to the trials of 1692 that you can actually visit. 

The House of Seven Gables – One of the America’s most beloved historic homes, The House of Seven Gables was built by merchant and ship-owner John Turner in 1668 and in 1910, it was restored and opened as a museum. The grounds are absolutely gorgeous!

Witch Dungeon Museum – A hands-on, immersive experience, you’ll learn about the witch trials as adapted from transcripts from 1692 and it’s AMAZING.

witch house salem
house of seven gables salem

Shopping

There are plenty of small souvenir shops and witch-themed stores, but there are also some amazing locally owned shops as well!

Wicked Good Books – Who doesn’t love a good locally owned book shop!? Wicked Good Books might be small, but it’s filled with some of the best reads from historic reads to the latest contemporary fiction. 

HausWitch – The best home and healing finds in Salem! Shop candles, spell kits, cleaning products, and more. I picked up my first crystal (squeal!) and a plant-based loofa!

Oak + Moss – Filled with home finds, plants, and more! The entire space is light, bright, and airy and it has alllll the goods.

Sage – The cutest home and clothing store. Whether you’re looking for something to wear to dinner or a memento of your travels, you’ll be able to find it at Sage.

wicked good books salem ma
hauswitch salem
oak + moss salem ma
oak + moss salem
salem ma

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