20 Things to Do for $20 or Less in Salem, Massachusetts
1. Myths & Misconceptions Walking Tour with Essex Heritage ($6-9)
The Salem Witch Trials occurred over 300 years ago and have since been dramatized in books, movies and TV shows. Sometimes the real history gets lost in the storytelling. Join Essex Heritage to uncover the myths and misconceptions you may have about the Salem Witch Trials.
2. Breakfast or Lunch at Red’s ($5-14)
Housed in the historic London Coffee House building Red’s offers classic breakfasts like omelets, pancakes, and more, and open-faced sandwiches, salads, and pasta dishes for lunch. Entrees range from $5-14, with many dishes being $10 or less.
3. Cry Innocent Rush Tickets ($15)
Cry Innocent is a critically acclaimed reenactment of the witchcraft examination of Bridget Bishop. Advance ticket purchase is recommended, but if you find yourself by Old Town Hall 10 minutes before show time rush tickets are offered at $15 when space is available. (Seasonal)
4. Salem Day Tour ($15)
This weekday walking tour is great for families, paranormal investigators, and history buffs alike! Learn Salem’s history by visiting sites relevant to the Salem Witch Trials, the Revolutionary War, and more with local historian Tim Maguire.
5. Mahi Cruises’ Weekend Afternoon Cruise ($19)
Take to the water with Mahi Cruises and enjoy spectacular views of historic lighthouses, Misery Islands, the shorelines of Salem, Beverly, Marblehead, Manchester, and more! All of Mahi’s cruises come with a full bar and fresh eats. (Seasonal)
6. Black Cat Tours’ Historic Day Tour ($15)
Gain a deeper understanding of Salem’s history by learning about pirates, puritans, witchcraft, and war with Black Cat Tours. Weekend afternoon tours cover everything from the Witch Trials of 1692 to Salem’s role in global trade, our famous authors, and more.
7. Industry Burger at Counter in the Hotel Salem ($18)
Located off the lobby of The Hotel Salem, Counter offers new American food with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients. The Industry Burger changes weekly and is served with a PBR tall boy beer for just $18.
8. Witch City Mugs from HausWitch Home + Healing ($13)
Pick up a 14 oz. ceramic camper mug from HausWitch featuring the shop’s “Witch City” design. They make a great souvenir to remember your visit to Salem, and the perfect coffee cup, tea mug, or soup bowl!
9. Gallows Hill Museum/Theatre Main Show ($13)
Gallows Hill Museum/Theatre hosts a theatrical experience about the Salem Witch Trials, with history, entertainment, and excitement all in one place. Experience this performance live for $13 with tickets available in person or online in advance. (Seasonal)
10. RJ Coins & Jewelry – Sterling Silver Lotus Flower Necklace ($15)
Pick up a classic and affordable piece of jewelry at RJ Coins & Jewelry on Pickering Wharf. With fun designs, unique scrimshaw gifts, rare coins, this shop has something to fit every taste and budget. Stay under $20 while souvenir shopping by going with a sterling silver lotus flower necklace retailing at $15.
11. Salem Witch Museum ($12)
Hear the history of the Salem Witch Trials in a presentation created using actual documents from Salem’s past. Then see the museum’s second exhibit, “Witches: Evolving Perceptions” to learn about the “Witch” as an ever changing figure in history and pop culture, and historical witch hunts and their connections to the present. ($12 for adults, $10.50 for seniors and $9 for children.)
12. The House of the Seven Gables ($16)
Admission to The House of the Seven Gables includes a guided tour of the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, a visit to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birthplace, Kids Cove, the Colonial Revival Seaside Gardens, and access to a guided audio tour of the grounds on your phone or tablet. ($16 for adults, $15 for seniors and college students, $13 for young adults, and $11 for children.)
13. Phillips House ($8)
Tour the Phillips House and learn about the Phillips family and their domestic staff and how emerging technology in the early 20th century changed how the home functioned. The Phillips House also features a collection of antique carriages and cars. (Seasonal, $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $4 for students)
14. Salem Trolley ($18)
Take the Salem Trolley and learn 400 years of Salem’s history in a narrated tour. Stay on for the whole tour or use the trolley to hop on and off throughout the day. ($18 for adults, $17 for seniors, and $8 for children ages 6-14.)
15. Witch Dungeon Museum ($10)
See an award-winning reenactment of a 1692 Witch Trial then embark on a guided tour through a recreated dungeon. ($10 for adults, $8 for children ages 4-13, $9 for seniors 65+, ask about combination tickets to save $8.)
16. Half-priced Appetizers at Opus, Monday-Thursday ($20 or less)
Visit Opus Monday-Thursday from 5:00 pm-6:00 pm and enjoy half priced appetizers. Popular choices include deviled eggs, grilled crostini, and polenta fries, and depending on what you order you may even be able to add a cocktail for $20 or less.
17. Warm Burrata Appetizer from the Hawthorne Hotel ($12)
This new appetizer features soft melted burrata, slow–roasted heirloom tomatoes, basil oil, and focaccia toast points. It’s available for lunch and dinner at both of the hotel’s restaurants, and you can even savor it with live music when planning your visit to Nathaniel’s on a Thursday evening.
18. Crepe from Mr. Crepe ($4.50-10.95)
Mr. Crepe offers both sweet and savory crepes along with super crepes, pastries, salads, and specialty beverages. Pair a crepe of your choice with a drink and enjoy lunch or dessert for less than $20.
19. Salem Arts Association Exhibitions (free)
Visit Salem Arts Association to see one of their current exhibitions of work created by local artists. This non-profit, all volunteer organization features a gallery space that is open to the public on weekends from 12:00 pm-6:00 pm. Stop by the gallery shop or make a donation to support their mission.
20. Walk the Salem Heritage Trail (free)
Follow the red line and connect Salem’s historic sites on the Heritage Trail. It’s free to walk, and you can find a guide to the sites along the trail here, and a map in the back of the Salem City Guide & Map.