History Travel

Salem Travel Guide: A Coastal Halloween

Salem, Massachusetts- affectionately known as Witch City is the place to be in October! This charming small town is full of unique experiences, great restaurants and beautiful historic sights. While Salem is mostly known for witches and ghosts, it is so much more than that. Looking past the themed tourist shops and spooky attractions, Salem is a beautiful historic city that sits right on the water with rich culture and diversity. We’ve created an awesome guide for your next trip!

Museums

Salem Witch Museum

This is a must-stop when visiting Salem. The museum includes an animatronic re-enactment of the history of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. The presentation is just the right amount of kitschy while being engaging and informative. 

The Peabody Essex Museum

The Peabody is a world-renowned art museum with a range of exhibitions from fashion to Maritime art to their featured exhibit The Salem Witch Trials; Reckoning and Reclaiming (until March 2022). A remarkable, diverse museum that has something for everyone.

Food & Drink

Sea Level Oyster Bar

Located on Wharf Street with beautiful views of the marina, the Sea Level Oyster Bar is classic New England fare. Fresh seafood is the star here but they have plenty of other options for those who prefer land-based cuisine. We recommend the fisherman’s platter or the lobster mac and cheese!

Howling Wolf Taqueria

A vibrant atmosphere with authentic Mexican flavours in the heart of downtown Salem. Their house-made salsas are awesome and everything on the menu is as fresh as can be. A great restaurant for a fun night out with friends.

Ugly Mug Diner

Anywhere with a slogan that says “Peace, Love and Waffles” is star-worthy in our books. The Ugly Mug Diner has been a Salem favourite for years, serving up delicious, unpretentious breakfast and brunch. Try a classic stack of pancakes or one of their more unique creations like their chipotle hash benedict!

​​Bit Bar Salem

One of the most unique dining locations we’ve ever visited. The Bit Bar is an arcade-turned bar and restaurant. They’ve kept all the charm and fun with classic games like air hockey, pinball, Pacman and more. Their menu consists of some childhood classics, turned grown-up, like chicken fingers, mac and cheese and tater tots. While we love the food, the drink menu is really where it’s at. Try the Princess Peach or the Beetlejuice!

Shopping

Hauswitch Home & Healing

Owner Erica Feldman has been featured in numerous publications like Vogue, Nylon and The New York Times. You’ll instantly feel the magical vibes when walking into this beautifully curated shop. You’ll find everything from crystals, to candles to potions and spell kits. Everything is made locally in support of independent businesses so you can feel good about purchasing one-of-a-kind pieces. One of our absolute favourite places to shop.

The Coven’s Cottage

A family-owned shop with everything you need to release your inner (good) witch. You’ll find a wide variety of crystals, herbs, ritual tools, books and more. Prices are super affordable so you can bring something back for all your friends and family.

Sights

The Witch House

This historic home belonged to Jonathan Corwen, one of the most prominent figures in the 1692 Salem Witch Hunts. The of the home is a unique adventure into the past where you can see authentic antique pieces, documents and artifacts. all piecing together what it was like to live as a Puritan in the 17th century and glimpse into the very beginning of The Salem Witch Trials.

Chestnut Street

One of the oldest streets in America, walking the length of Chestnut Street is picture-perfect. Take a look at some of the most beautiful antique homes in the country and dream about what it would be like to be a homeowner. A great option for those who are looking to explore the less spooky side of Salem. 

Ropes Mansion

Fans of the classic film Hocus Pocus will instantly recognize this location. Used as the filming site for the Sanderson Sisters home, this gorgeous mansion is not only a super cool piece of movie history but is one of the most prominent homes in Salem. 

Charter Street Cemetery/Old Burying Point

The Old Burying Point is the oldest cemetery in Salem and one of the oldest in America. The final resting place of many of the accusers and accused from The Salem Witch Trials as well as early settlers and prominent members of society. A reminder that while this is a popular attraction, as with any burial place remember it is a sacred space and to be respectful of the deceased.

Salem is full of unique experiences as is perhaps one of the most famous Halloween destinations. The city does get rather busy during October so be sure to plan ahead and make reservations whenever possible. Crowds aren’t your thing? Not to worry, Salem is absolutely beautiful in the Spring and much quieter than during the peak Fall season. Take a visit any time of year and be sure to let us know of any ghostly encounters or magical experiences!