3 Gardens to Visit in Salem, Massachusetts

Salem, Massachusetts has no shortage of ways to explore our historic seaport outdoors. From the walk along Derby Wharf on Salem Maritime National Historic Site to the large scale murals of Punto Urban Art Museum or any of our downtown green spaces, there are plenty of ways to get outside and enjoy summer weather.

In addition to parks like Salem Common and Forest River Park, Salem’s gardens are beginning to open and bloom for the season. Find downtown gardens to explore below and be sure to share photos from your visit by tagging #DestSalem– We may feature them in one of our monthly roundup posts! Find FAQs and guidelines related to COVID-19 to review as you plan your visit here

Ropes Mansion

You may recognize the Ropes Mansion as the setting of Allison’s House from Hocus Pocus, but the mansion is actually a c. 1727 mansion that is now part of the Peabody Essex Museum‘s collection. The mansion was renovated from its original Georgian style to a Colonial Revival style in 1894, and it was home to three generations of the Ropes Family. The garden in the rear of the property is open to the public and free to visit, so stop by during your next walk around Salem.

Please note: Self-guided tours of the interior of the Ropes Mansion are currently paused and face coverings are required in public spaces in Massachusetts when social distancing of at least 6 ft. cannot be maintained. For more information, visit PEM.org.

The House of the Seven Gables

Photo by Christo Tsiaras

The Colonial Revival Seaside Gardens at The House of the Seven Gables features tulips, lilacs, geraniums, and more in patterned beds designed by landscape architect Joseph Everett Chandler in 1909, in partnership with Caroline Emmerton on the restoration of The House of the Seven Gables.

The House of the Seven Gables’ gardens are currently open! Find updates on The House of the Seven Gables here.

Derby House Garden

Photo by Salem Maritime NHS

Salem Maritime National Historic Site is home to a beautiful garden located behind the Derby House. This 18th century garden was designed by historic garden expert Suzanne Gentiliuomo in 1990 to replicate the outdoor spaces common among wealthy merchants in the lifetime of Elias Hasket Derby. Today, the Derby House garden contains more than 150 varieties of heirloom annuals, perennials and bulbs, all documented to 1798 or earlier.

Please note: The grounds of Salem Maritime National Historic Site are accessible while following Massachusetts’ state regulations of wearing face coverings when a social distance of 6 ft. cannot be maintained and under the National Park Services’ Leave No Trace policy. Interior guided tours, and access to the visitor and restrooms are currently unavailable. Visit NPS.gov/SaMa for more information.