Come little tourists, I’ll take thee away.
If you have never been to Salem in the fall, this guide is for you. It highlights everything you need to know, including recommendations for travel, quick eats, and a few of the top attractions to check out.
If you’re ready for a weekend escape as Halloween madness descends upon the town, keep reading for our guide to 48 hours in Witch City.
How to get there
Car — ~45 minute drive from Boston.
Train — Salem Station is on the Newburyport/Rockport Line on the commuter rail. Trains depart from North Station and take about 30 minutes. One-way tickets are $8.
Ferry — Tickets start at $29 for the ~50 minute ride from Long Wharf to Salem.
What to see
Peabody Essex Museum
Get in the spooky mood and explore the rotating Bats + Salem Witch Trails exhibitions. Bonus: Stop by the Ropes Mansion, located at 318 Essex St. You might recognize this as Allison’s house from the movie “Hocus Pocus,” which was filmed in Salem — take your own tour of popular filming locations like the Town Hall and Salem Common.
This bronze statue pays tribute to the TV sitcom “Bewitched.” Did you know that the seventh season was filmed in Salem? Use this landmark as a guide to prevent getting turned around on the busy streets.
Derby Wharf Light Station
The lighthouse sits on the waterfront of the first National Historic Site in the US. The Salem Maritime National Historic Site also consists of nine acres of land and 12 historic structures along the Salem waterfront, which is perfect to walk around and explore.
Established in 1858, this 35-acre oceanfront property offers three beaches around the park, a band shell and performance area, shaded gazebos and picnic area, plus two arcades, a carousel, and many food options. Pro tip: Catch a sunset on the water here.
Where to shop
Ascend, 192 Essex St.
Shop a variety of crystals, charms, and jewelry. This store also offers aura photography + psychic readings.
Blackcraft Cult, 253 Essex St.
This store looks deceiving from the outside, but once you step into the old bank and spot the giant witch suspended from the ceiling, you’ll know you’re shopping in the Witch City.
Harrison’s Comics, 252 Essex St.
Shop hundreds of pop culture collectibles, figurines, and comics at this store.
HausWitch, 144 Washington St.
As the tagline goes: come for the smells, stay for the spells — shop home goods, paper goods, potions, and more at the woman-owned shop.
Salem Flea, 11 Dodge St Ct., 2nd Floor.
This permanent market also has an outdoor pop-up with a curated list of 30+ businesses for fresh vintage finds, unique gifts, and handcrafted goods.
Witch City Wicks, 302A Essex St.
City Editor Jess recommends the Midnight Amber scented candles.
Witch City Consignment, 301 Essex St.
You never know what you’ll find at this large consignment shop. From vintage clothes, to furniture, and artwork — there’s a treasure for everyone here.
Where to eat
Red’s Sandwich Shop, 15 Central St. | This local sandwich shop has been serving up great eats since 1945. Stop by for breakfast and lunch and always ask about the rotating menu each month.
Ugly Mug Diner, 122 Washington St. | Grab a stool, sip a handcrafted latte, and feast on a signature menu item like the chipotle brisket hash and the duck confit + waffle. Plus, don’t skip a round of mimosas.
Village Tavern, 168 Essex St. | Grab a round of drinks and game of pool or enjoy the prime rib special.
All Soul’s Lounge, 282 Derby St. | Vintage cocktails, gourmet grilled cheese, hot dogs, and an old school jukebox? Yes, please.
Bit Bar, 278 Derby St. | This arcade bar has a wide variety of menu items, from an elk burger served on a donut to chorizo corn dogs.
Goodnight Fatty, 1 Washington Sq. | This pop-up is perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth. Check out the rotating menu for late night cookie flavors and treats.
Where to drink
- Jaho Coffee & Tea, 197 Derby St.
- Front Street Coffeehouse, 20 Front St.
- Notch Brewery & Tap Room, 283R Derby St.
- Deacon Giles Distillery, 75 Canal St.
- Far From The Tree Cider, 108 Jackson St.