There’s more significance to Salem, Mass., than the witch trials of 1692. Discover a rich maritime heritage and diverse architectural legacy during your next visit for a greater appreciation for one of America’s oldest communities.
Take a stroll down Chestnut Street to see one of the most concentrated collections of notable pre-1900 residential buildings in the U.S. The street is a Registered National Historic Landmark for it’s numerous Federal-style townhouses and other architectural treasures. The McIntire Historic District also includes homes built between 1640-1940.
No visit to Salem is complete without stopping in at the Old Town Hall. The Salem Museum occupies the first floor along with a public art space. Catch a performance of Cry Innocent, an interactive play about the witchcraft trials of 1692 where the audience gets to sit in on the Puritan jury.
Experience life in 1630 Salem at the Salem Pioneer Village, which was built in 1930 to mark the tercentennial of Massachusetts. Open daily from noon to 4 p.m., the village features costumed historical interpreters stationed among colonial-style buildings and gardens. Visit on Oct. 22 for Pirate Day, or during Haunted Salem Village Oct. 21, 22, 29-31.
The Salem Maritime National Historic Site encompasses original buildings, wharves and the replica tall ship Friendship. This site preserves and honors the rich history of sailors, Revolutionary War privateers, merchants and pirates who plied the waters offshore in the colonial period.
Salem Willows is a lovely waterfront park with beaches, a promenade, and a pier for fishing and crabbing. It’s a great spot for a picnic lunch in the shade of 200-year-old white willow trees. Here you can breathe the salty ocean air and reflect back on the colorful history of this magical town. Visit Salem.org for more information on events and attractions to start planning your trip today.