A Two-Night Salem Itinerary for a Family

This is the first in a series of suggested ways to explore Salem. Destination Salem will feature a new itinerary each Tuesday (#traveltuesday!). These itineraries are not available as a package, and are a suggested way to explore Salem. Please contact listed sites for hours, rates, and schedules.

This is a suggested itinerary for a family that is coming to Salem for the first time. The kids are 8+, and the family as a whole is somewhat aware of the Salem Witch Trials history, and does not know about Salem’s rich maritime history.  They are taking advantage of Salem’s proximity to Boston – just 14 miles north – and spending a couple of days in Salem before flying home from Logan International Airport.


The  Salem Trolley, 8 Central Street, Salem (tours begin at the Visitor Center)
Venture aboard the Red Trolley! Salem’s original Trolley tour. This one-hour narrated tour spans nearly 400 years of history, stops at all major area attractions, and serves as a shuttle service between sites. (978) 744-5469 | SalemTrolley.com

The Witch House, 310 ½ Essex Street, Salem
Home of 17th century witch trial Judge Jonathan Corwin, the Witch House is the only building in Salem with direct ties to the 1692 trials. Architecture, furnishings, and information regarding the day to day life of the Corwin family provide a deeper understanding of this period in colonial history. (978) 744-8815 |WitchHouse.info

The House of the Seven Gables, 115 Derby Street, Salem
Discover the secrets of the House of the Seven Gables, which inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne’s famous novel. Admission also includes access to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birthplace, spectacular seaside gardens, and a unique Museum Store. (978) 745-0991 | 7Gables.org


Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex Street, Salem
Journey through a world of art and culture at the Peabody Essex Museum, where the wealth and power of historic Salem are showcased in an unrivaled collection of art and culture from New England and around the globe. Explore the city’s international connections through extraordinary works of art from China, India, Japan and beyond, including a 200-year-old Chinese house. PEM for families: At PEM, there are plenty of ways for you to discover new adventures in art with your family and friends. Pick up a family-friendly Gallery Discovery Kit and search for animals or explore life at sea.  (978) 745-1876 | pem.org

Salem Maritime National Historic Site, 160 Derby Street, Salem
Wander this National Park which preserves one of America’s most influential ports and discover the history behind the buildings, wharves, and the replica vessel Friendship, all of which played a large role in establishing trade between the young American nation and the Far East. Ranger-guided tours of the site are scheduled daily, and reservations can be made through the visitor center at 2 New Liberty Street.  (978) 740-1650 | nps.gov/sama

Schooner Fame of Salem, Pickering Wharf Marina, Salem
Fame is an authentic and active replica of a War of 1812 privateer. The schooner sails daily from Pickering Wharf and provides a unique setting for a tour of the islands, lighthouses, and forts surrounding Salem. (978) 729-7600 | SchoonerFame.com


Red’s Sandwich Shop
15 Central Street, Salem
If you’re looking for the real Salem, try Red’s Sandwich Shop for breakfast or lunch. John and Lisa and the friendly staff of Red’s welcome you to Salem’s most popular landmark for over 50 years. The hearty food has won many awards over the years-most notably for the North Shore’s best breakfast, best luncheon, best coffee and best bagels. Red’s also won the Heritage Days’ Chowderfest and has been praised on the Boston Globe’s “Cheap Eats” and on the Phantom Gourmet’s “Hidden Jewel”.   (978) 745-3257 | RedsSandwichShop.com


The Salem Inn, 7 Summer Street, Salem
The Salem Inn is comprised of three historical homes: the Captain West House, the Curwen House, and the Peabody House, blending the warmth and charm of yesterday with the comfort and convenience of today. Located in downtown Salem, the Inn is easy walking distance from historic attractions, museums, shopping and restaurants. Be sure to ask about the family suite! (978) 741-0680 | SalemInnMa.com