Though Halloween is what Salem is best known for, this historic city/town has much to offer tourists, staycationers and day trippers alike. We have visited Salem back in the summer in the past and there is much to like about this coastal city. The cobblestone/brick sidewalks and streets remind me a bit of Faneuil Hall as do the quaint little shops.
Around Halloween there is of course much going on due to the Haunted Happenings events that celebrate everything Halloween. Many tourists go to Salem just for those but many find out that there is more to Salem than just Witches. Salem Historical Tours offers Halloween inspired tours but also a General History Tour which is advertised as:
Everyone knows Salem for its witch history, but the city is one of the oldest in the United States with a rich seaport and revolutionary history. We were the 6th largest seaport in the US in 1790 and we played a major role in the fight for independence from England. Many “firsts” occurred in Salem and there are several famous people who lived and visited our city, including 17 US Presidents. Come take a stroll through present day Salem and our glorious past.
Check out the schedule at SalemHistoricalTours.com
The other must see is the Peabody Essex Museum where my family and I saw the Ansel Adams: At the Water’s Edge Exhibit back in 2012. The museum is well laid out and spacious which I prefer when the crowds start to gather(as they definitely should during the Halloween Season). The current exhibition is Calder and Abstraction: From Avant-Garde to Iconic. The museum describes it as:
Alexander Calder’s abstract works revolutionized modern sculpture and made him one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century. In collaboration with the Calder Foundation, this exhibition brings together 40 of the artist’s mobiles (kinetic metal works) and stabiles (dynamic monumental sculptures) to explore how Alexander Calder introduced the visual vocabulary of the French Surrealists into the American vernacular.
This exhibit is there until January so if you don’t get the chance during your Halloween visit to Salem you can go back later. My son and I were obsessed with photographing water for quite a while after seeing the Ansel Adams exhibit so who knows what will happen after seeing Calder’s abstract works…Here is the schedule.
The schedule for the many events that take place as part of Halloween can be found on the Haunted Happenings website. If you are curious about the Witch trials I am including a video from the History Channel. This one is more PG. There is another documentary by the Geographic Channel but it is a bit too violent for this site.
We wish everyone a safe Halloween season. For more of our Halloween content be sure to check the This Month links on the right sidebar which includes a link to all of our Halloween content via the Halloween Tips link.