An easy journey from Boston, Sarah Pollok finds Salem is more than just witches
Steeped in supernatural folklore and a grisly history, Salem is a city that needs little introduction. Infamous for its 1692 witch trials, where several citizens were sent to the gallows for practising witchcraft, it may well be America's spookiest city. But whether you're intrigued or indifferent to its mystical past, Salem is an ideal spot for Boston visitors to spend the day.
For fans of seafaring transport who visit between late May and October, the Salem Ferry is a perfect option. It takes just an hour and you'll be treated to citywide views of Boston and Salem. Those who enjoy keeping their feet on the ground can catch the Newburyport/Rockport line train from North Station, or the #450 bus from Haymarket Square for a speedy 30-minute commute.
Whether you've taken the ferry, or you love a good ocean walk, the Pickering Wharf is a sweet spot to escape tourists, stretch your legs and enjoy the fresh salty air. Stop for a coffee at one of the quiet little cafes and enjoy as you wander along the waterfront decorated with colourful houses dating back to the 1600s.
The city may be famous for its witchy past, but it's also home to the world-class Peabody Essex Museum. Ranked as one of the top 20 art museums in the world, this gorgeous building holds 30 galleries packed with works from all over the globe and genre of art. Whether you love your art modern, maritime, Asian or classic American, the Peabody Essex Museum has something for everyone.
The Salem Trolley has been showing its city to tourists since 1982 and is the perfect way to take in all this town has to offer. Narrated by trivia-filled guides, the 12km tour offers 14 hop-on or hop-off stops, including the House of the Seven Gables, Salem Witch Museum, and one of the most beautiful streets in America; Chestnut St.
Historic cobblestone streets, ancient brick buildings and charming little shops, the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall is the spot to spend some money or the afternoon. Pick up a handmade bath bomb or candle at Scrub, peruse the cave of speciality books at Wicked Good Book, while the whimsical can get their fill of fun at The Magic Parlour.
Launched in 2010, Notch brewery is a haven for those who know their Pilsners from the Pale Ales. Take a seat outside in the Biergarten or escape the chill and grab a cosy seat inside and spend the afternoon enjoying Session Beer with the expert bartenders, board games and skeet ball.
Nothing marks a truly great restaurant like a mile-long line. At the Salem institute, Word of Mouth, the lines are almost as famous as their delicious fare, with patrons patiently waiting for a chance to indulge in their oh-so-American-style dishes like vege burgers, creme brulee french toast, and cinnamon buns the size of your head.