Salem, Massachusetts is a great destination to experience all year round; each season offering something special for visitors from near and far. Winter in Salem promises cozy accommodations, seasonal specialties from our robust culinary scene, and museum visits without crowds. As Salem’s businesses continue to navigate the seasonality of the winter time, we recommend doing a bit of advance planning to confirm hours of operation for your chosen destinations, and considering a weekend visit when there are more activities available.
Stay Somewhere Cozy
The winter season in Salem calls for staying somewhere that will feel like home. Historic inns and B&Bs like The Daniels House, The Northey Street House Bed and Breakfast, The Merchant, The Salem Inn, The Coach House, the Stepping Stone Inn, and Morning Glory Bed & Breakfast offer a cozy and comfortable place to put your feet up at the end of the day while you continue to soak in New England charm. If you prefer a full-service hotel, you will find fireplaces at The Hawthorne Hotel, and The Salem Waterfront Hotel, and centrally located, contemporary accommodations at Hotel Salem and the Hampton Inn. For a complete list of places to stay in Salem, click here.
Go to Winter Exclusive Festivals
Mark your calendars for one of Salem’s winter festivals! Kicking things off this month is the Salem Comedy & Spirits Festival from January 26th to the 28th hosted by local breweries and distilleries around town. Laugh all night long with host Mark Scalia while enjoying locally crafted libations. Salem’s So Sweet is Salem’s sweetest weekend of the year, February 10-12. Set your sites and Valentine shopping plans on this delicious chocolate and ice sculpture festival. Salem Film Fest, the largest international documentary film festival in Massachusetts, will present features, shorts, and special events from March 23 – April 2.
View Unique Exhibits
Several exhibits will come to a close before springtime, including Down to the Bone: Edward Koren and Stephen Gorman at the Peabody Essex Museum, which is on display until February 5th, and Andrew Cadima: The Abyss , at the Salem Art Gallery, which is on display until February 6. The Peabody Essex Museum also has fantastic exhibits running through early this year. Currently until April 2nd, check out Power and Perspective: Early Photography in China which explores how the camera transformed the way we imagine China. Photography’s development as a new form of art and technology in the 19th century coincided with profound changes in the way China engaged with the world. Zachari Logan: Remembrance will be on display through May 7th. Remembrance invites visitors to reflect on the power of loss and the healing potential of grief. Located in the Jurrien Timmer Gallery — a space dedicated to contemplation and meditation — the exhibition features drawings and sculpture by Canadian artist Zachari Logan that are as much about life as they are about death.
Experience Classic Year-Round Museums and Attractions
Several of Salem’s famous museums and attractions are open all year long. A winter visit will give you the opportunity to experience some of Salem’s favorite attractions without crowds. The Salem Witch Museum, is a great options when visiting Salem, MA during the winter season. Learn about the history of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials through the lens of the crucible. If you are visiting during a winter weekend stop by Real Pirates Salem one of the newer additions to Salem’s museum scene. Explore wreckage recovered from a shipwreck off of the coast of Cape Cod, that ties back to our Salem history. You will be transported back in time as you walk in the footsteps of the crew of the Whydah and their Captain “Black Sam” Bellamy – the richest and one of the youngest pirates of all time. The Peabody Essex Museum is open Thursdays through Mondays, with a plethora of exhibits and unique art pieces to explore. Many walking tours also operate through the winter, including Salem Night Tour, Tours for Touring Tourists, Salem Haunts, Witch City Walking Tours, Salem Historical Tours & Haunted Footsteps, and Salem Food Tours. To see a full list of museums and attractions, click here.
Enjoy A Warm Meal
Salem is known for its culinary scene, and that doesn’t change in the winter! Warm-up with French onion soup from Longboards or go for clam chowder at Finz Seafood and Grill, Turner’s Seafood, or Brodie’s Seaport. For something more robust, cut into a steak at Village Tavern or Ledger or try a burger or sandwich at Rockafellas. If you are really looking to warm things up, head to The Regatta Pub at The Salem Waterfront Hotel for dinner and a drink around one of their outdoor fire top tables. For a complete list of Salem restaurants, click here. And try our hot chocolate crawl to warm up on the go!