There’s more to Salem than broomsticks and cauldrons, though visitors find its magic shops and witch-themed cafes enchanting. Infamous for its witch trials centuries ago, Salem offers visitors an array of sights year-round – from well-preserved colonial structures to renowned museums.
Visiting the historic seaport in the near future? Check out my Salem Travel Guide for a list of suggested sights in this incredibly walkable city with an old-town feel. You’ll be spellbound in a snap.
Salem Travel Guide
- The House of Seven Gables: This colonial mansion dating back to 1668 sits on the picturesque Salem Harbor. The subject of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 novel of the same name, the home-turned-museum boasts secret staircases, original beams, and Georgian paneling. Adjacent to the house, you’ll find Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birthplace – a quaint wooden home painted crimson red. Both museums charge admission.
- Salem Witch Trials Memorial: Dedicated by writer Elie Wiesel (Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor) in 1992, the memorial’s granite benches bear names of twenty men and women accused of witchcraft in 1692 – and executed shortly thereafter.
- Peabody Essex Museum: An airy atrium welcomes guests in this modern museum, where 1.8 million works of art both educate and entertain. Witness sculptures, paintings, textiles and more from the 1700s to today. Discover cultures with its extensive African, American, Asian, Native American and Oceanic art collections. Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop!
- Hex Old World Witchery: This fascinating shop offers psychic readings, voodoo dolls, herbs for the most complex of magical brews and more. In search of ritual incense and potions? Crystals and charms? Sitting on Essex Street, the local shop transports customers to colonial times with its original décor and sage staff. A tarot reading took place while I explored the intimate space, making for a genuine feel.
- Gulu-Gulu Café: A self-proclaimed “bohemian outpost,” this cozy spot across from Hex Old World Witchery offers brews, velvety coffee, piping hot cider and an assortment of international dishes. Treat yourself to a warm concoction and tasty entrées (the Mac & Cheesy, Gulu Goulash and crepes were popular) during your stay in Salem.
- Bewitched Statue: A bronze sculpture commemorates the late Elizabeth Montgomery and her role as Samantha Stephens in “Bewitched.” The controversial piece commissioned by TV Land sits in Lappin Park, near Gulu-Gulu Café and Hex Old World Witchery. Read why some locals consider the statue a symbol of poor taste in this piece from the Washington Post.
Salem Travel Guide Checklist
Salem Witch Trials Memorial
Liberty Street, Salem, MA 01970
Website | Open 24 hours
Essex St, Salem, MA 01970
Have you visited any of the attractions above, or have other suggestions? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. Happy traveling!