No Car, No Problem: Getting Around Salem, MA
No car, no problem, we’ve got you covered! Salem is a very walkable city with plenty of ways to get around without using a car. Keep reading to learn our favorite ways to get to and around Salem, MA.
Getting to Salem
MBTA Commuter Rail
Coming from Boston, Salem is a short ride away from North Station via the Commuter Rail. Additionally, the Commuter Rail connects Salem to excellent cities north of Boston, like Rockport and Gloucester. Fares and schedules vary according to the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority), and the most up to date schedules may be found on the MBTA website, MBTA.com/Schedules.
Commuter Rail tickets may be purchased with cash onboard or with the mTicket mobile app for your smartphone. Once in Salem, the Commuter Rail Station is located right downtown, within walking distance to many shops, restaurants, accommodations, and attractions.
Another way to reach Salem from Boston is to hop aboard the Salem Ferry. In just under an hour, the ferry can take passengers between Salem and Boston, while offering scenic views of both cities. The ferry, Nathaniel Bowditch is equipped with enclosed and open-air seating, tables, and restrooms, making the trip a quick and comfortable one.
The ferry departs from Long Wharf in Boston, and docks in Salem at Blaney Street, both of which are within walking distance to many local attractions. The ferry runs seasonally and rates vary so be sure to check out the Salem Ferry website before planning a trip.
Driving to Salem?
If you are planning on driving into Salem, we recommend leaving the car parked for most of your visit. As such a walkable city, it will be easier to leave the car parked and walk or take the Salem Trolley to your destinations throughout your trip. Directions to Salem and parking locations and costs are available here. Note that parking costs typically increase during weekends in October.
Getting Around Salem
Salem Harbor Shuttle
While in Salem, you can take to the water to reach different areas around town with the Salem Harbor Shuttle. The shuttle runs seasonally and stops near the Salem Ferry landing on Blaney Street, right downtown at Congress Street, and at Winter Island and the Salem Willows.
Tickets ($7 for adults and $4 for kids) may be purchased onboard and special rates are available with transfers from the ferry. Visit the Salem Harbor Shuttle website to learn more.
Once in Salem, you’ll be pleased to find that most everything you’d want to do is within walking distance. Many Salem attractions are located within about a 20-minute walk from each other at their farthest points. You can view a map of downtown Salem here or in the Salem Visitor Guide.
Zagster-Salem Bike Share
Another great way to see Salem is with Zagster-Salem Bike Share. Zagster stations can be found throughout downtown Salem. To use Zagster, simply download the mobile app to unlock the bike at your current station and enjoy the ride! Learn more about Zagster here.
The Salem Trolley runs daily from April 1 to November 1 from 10:00 am-5:00 pm (last full tour beginning at 4:00 pm). You can stay on the trolley for an informative hour-long tour about Salem’s past and present, or you can use your ticket to hop on and off throughout the day to get around town. If you take the Salem Ferry into town consider purchasing the combination ticket that includes the Salem Trolley!
To get the most out of your walk around Salem, plan on taking a walking tour. There are tours to cover a variety of topics including historical tours, ghost tours, and even food tours. Check out which tours are available here or learn more about walking Salem’s Heritage Trail here.