5 Things to Do in Salem, Massachusetts

Salem, Massachusetts has been a destination for decades, known for it’s historical Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Today, we’re sharing the top five things to do in Salem, starting with the most obvious choice if you known Salem for its witch history, the Salem Witch Museum! Continuing with four other activities to do in this New England town that have nothing to do with witches and hauntings, read along as we take you through this quick through Salem.

This post was written by Marnely Murray who pens Cooking with Books. 

Salem Witch Museum

The Salem Witch Museum is the obvious place to start, and is recommended to visit on your first day. Visitors actually learn the truth about these victims and all they went through. Historically, no “witches” were burned at the stake in the United States, but hung. The 19 people that perished during the trials were mostly innocent townspeople accused by their enemies. The Salem Witch Museum is a very educational activity for both kids and adults alike.


Salem Witch Museum

Urban Art Museum Punto

“Located in the “El Punto” neighborhood in Salem, Massachusetts, the Urban Museum Punto features over 50 large scale murals by 18 world renowned and 20 local artists within a 3 block radius. The art aims to create neighborhood pride and increase economic opportunity for local businesses.” (source: Urban Art Museum). Visiting this neighborhood made us feel energized, to see so much work and dedication was put into the murals in the streets. Their mission is to invest in public art to breakdown socio-economic barriers. The Museum was created to break down the invisible, but undeniable socio-economic barrier between the Point Neighborhood and the rest of Salem and the North Shore!

The Point Murals in Salem

Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie – America’s Oldest Candy Company

Nothing makes us happier when history combines with candy, and that’s what happened at Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie. They create some of the most delicious candy, as well as the most historical ones like Gibralters. These were the first commercially made candies in America (established in 1806!), and they come in lemon and peppermint flavor. It was like taking a step back in time – a sweet, sweet time.

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The Oldest Candy Shop in Salem

The House of Seven Gables

The House of the Seven Gables, best known as the setting of world renowned American author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 novel. Have you read the novel? I haven’t yet, but it’s on my list for this summer! When visiting Salem, the House of Seven Gables guided tour is a must, as you discover 350 years of history in the home. Built in 1668, it’s steeped in rich New England history! It was incredible to take a look back in time, to a home that became so iconic in the famous novel.

The House of Seven Gables in Salem

The Peabody Essex Museum

Last, but certainly not least, is the Peabody Essex Museum, a true gem in Salem. “The roots of the Peabody Essex Museum date to the 1799 founding of the East India Marine Society, an organization of Salem captains and supercargoes who had sailed beyond either the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn.” (source: The Peabody Essex Museum). Grab breakfast at a nearby cafe and then spend 2 hours strolling the PEM, where art and history buffs alike will feel inspired.

The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem

Here’s to hoping this post all about things to do in Salem, Massachusetts has inspired you to visit this New England town just 30 minutes from Boston! Looking for more fun Massachusetts getaways? Check out the following posts:

The Seaside Inn, Falmouth, Massachusetts

The Liberty Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts

Sage Inn, Provincetown, Massachusetts

Maple Corner Farm: A New England Weekend Treat

Foodie’s Guide to Boston