I had the pleasure of taking a trip to Salem, Massachussets in October of 2016 and I can honestly say that it was one of the loveliest places I have ever experienced. There is a true magic to this town, present particularly at this time of the year. From the costume-adorning residents wandering the streets, to the shocking historical tours and the drool-worthy food, Salem is a true hidden gem in the heart of a beautiful state. Enjoy this quick guide to simplify and make the most of your trip to Massachusetts.
Checking In: The Sheraton Wakefield
With a central location near downtown Boston and only a 20 minute drive to Salem, The Sheraton Wakefield is in a prime spot for the tourist looking to experience all there is to offer close by. Perfect location in mind, the visual appeal of the hotel is not to be ignored. The Sheraton Wakefield Hotel boasts an incredibly accommodating and friendly staff, a connection to the local health center and all of its amenities, and a top-of-the-line catering service. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay here and would recommend this hotel to anyone looking to experience Boston and Salem, though I would be sure to book at least two nights to truly make the most of the adventure!
Day One: Boston, Massachusetts
Boston is a large, diverse city, with ample opportunity to please even the most stubborn tourist. The following recommendations are solely based on my short experience in Boston and not to take away from all other ways that you could spend your time, as I only spent a mere 6 hours here.
Boston Duck Tour
The Boston Duck Tours are a wonderful way to see an impressive amount of Boston in a short amount of time. With the ability to cover both land and sea, views can be taken in from the Charles River to the Greenway Carousel. The captains are incredibly knowledgable and personable, making the tour equally informative and enjoyable. They might even let you take the amphibious duck for a spin!
The home of critically acclaimed television series Cheers, the restaurant by the same name is not only a nostalgic experience for fans of the eleven-year-spanning sitcom but an exceptional eatery as well, with a variety of dishes sure to accommadate visitors with every dietary restriction. Though the original filming location of the television series took place at Beacon Hill location, I visited the Cheers restaurant in Faneuil Hall Marketplace and was pleasantly surprised by the charming shops surrounding the restaurant itself and the wonderful vegetarian options on offer. I would recommend visiting the area later into the evening to truly appreciate the cozy atmosphere of Faneuil Hall Marketplace.
Day 2: Salem, Massachusetts
A postcard-perfect stop along the way into Salem, Winter Island makes for the perfect place to stop and stretch your legs and snap the perfect photo of the Fort Pickering lighthouse and the abandoned dungeons sure to get you ready to experience a town with a history as rich as Salem.
House of the Seven Gables
Made famous by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel of the same name, this colonial mansion is just as architecturally fascinating as it is historically charming. Plan your tour today!
Streets of Salem
Just as entertaining, if not more so than organized tours, is the ability to venture out on your own and get to know Salem on a personal level. Wander the streets, chat with a local, get a palm reading, and pose for a picture with the Addam’s Family as you control your own time here. Visit during October to experience the Essex Street vendors and the local carnival!
Bewitched After Dark Walking Tour
As magical and enchanting as Salem is, we all know its infamy comes from a much darker side of history. This tour is one of, if not the best way in all of Salem to become educated on the happenings of the Salem Witch Trials of 1962. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of humor included there with the extensive historical knowledge of your tour guide as you follow them from Essex Street to Old Burying Point Cemetery and the infamous old Salem jail.
Salem Witch Museum
Though I did not personally visit the Witch Museum, it is another excellent option if you are looking to further your knowledge of witch hysteria during the infamous trials.
Rockafellas is the perfect choice to finish out your day with a decadent meal right in the heart of Salem, on Essex Street. Their squash ravioli is one of the best meals I have ever had in my life and am sure you will be happy with any dining choice made here.
Day 3: Deerfield, Massachusetts
Yankee Candle Flagship
The Yankee Candle flagship store is the perfect place to round out your journey through Massachusetts with a relaxing, treat-yourself day. It is not difficult to spend several hours here as the store includes much more than just candles with clothing, books, decor, and a full-service cafeteria on offer.
Thank you to Covered Wagon Tours for providing transportation throughout this journey.
Enjoy your trip to beautiful Massachusetts!