Welcome Witches! 🔮
If you’re reading this post we’re hoping you’re thinking of paying our hometown a visit. Salem, MA is a charming town located about 30 minutes north of Boston. It is made up of cozy cafe’s, charming brick roads, whimsical shops and a multitude of attractions. Best known for the Witch Trials that occurred in the 17th Century, Salem captures more than a million visitors annually, primarily in the month of October. Despite the heap of crowds, October is the best time to visit the “Witch City” in all it’s glory.
We have lived in the area for over 16 years and this year we threw in the towel and became tourists for a day. Living here for this long, you’d think we had seen it all but we were pleasantly surprised by how much more Salem had to offer. As a resident, it’s easy to take the wonders of your own hometown for granted. We went home today, with a new appreciation for all the great things this spooky town has to offer.
✨∴Now let’s get to the witchy stuff∴✨
We woke early with the intentions of heading downtown and beating the crowds. We drove around for what felt like ages to find parking but we managed a pretty good spot. There are plenty of parking options, however it’s pretty difficult to snag a spot that’s right downtown. Our game plan was to visit some of the newer spots that have recently opened as well as some of the touristy spots we haven’t had a chance to visit. We came up with a pretty nifty list of our absolute favorite spots – new and old.
Grab a Cup o’ Joe (& some sweet treats)
There are multiple options when it comes to getting your caffeine fix before getting your day started.Most of these cafes have wi-fi, dessert options and provide a cozy ambiance. Here are some of our faves:
- Gulu Gulu Cafe – This cafe is also known for it’s board games and live bands on weekend nights.
- Caramel Patisserie – This place has amazinggg macaroons. We were hooked on the hazelnut & pitsachio ones.
- Red Line Cafe
- Front Street Coffeehouse
- Derby Joe
- Witch’s Brew Cafe
Grab a Bite
Breakfast & Lunch
- Red’s Sandwich Shop – Hearty breakfast in a casual country setting.
- Life Alive – If you’re looking for a healthy kick try this place. They serve vegetarian & vegan food & have some of the best smoothies in town.
- Fountain Place – Their home fries are to die for. You know the perfectly seasoned home fries that are cooked to a perfect crisp? That’s exactly what we’re referring to here. In our opinion, this place is extremely underrated.
- Ugly Mug Diner – Ugly Mug is always packed. Always put your name in ahead of time and expect the wait to be at least 30-40 minutes. BUT, it’s worth the wait. Great location, food and a variety of specialty drinks.
Dinner & Drinks
- Howling Wolf Taqueria – Tex-Mex joint with a lively bar & STRONG drinks. Get their strawberry margarita (or two) with a sugar rim. Most definitely guilty of having one too many drinks here…oopsie.
- Finz – More upscale Seafood restuarant with awesome ocean views.
- Adriatic Restaurant and Bar – Medditeranean & Italian dishes w/ a large glass of wine on the side.
- The Lobster Shanty – Classic bar food plus an outdoor patio.
- Ledger Restaurant – A savings bank that was recently transformed into a classic Salem restaurant & bar. A bit pricey but worth it nonetheless.
- Victoria’s Station & Vic’s Boathouse – American Steak & Seafood with waterfront dining views.
- Flatbread Company – Wood-fried pizza, bar & bowling.
Bars & Entertainment
- Tavern in the Square
- Far from the Tree
- Village Tavern
- Notch Brewery & Tap Room
- Longboard’s Restaurant & Bar
- Sea Level Oyster Bar
Things To Do
- Wander the streets (Downtown/Essex Street) – Salem is an extremely walkable town – you can stumble across most of these places as you’re walking around.
- Zagster Bike Rentals – $3 an hour & accessible right on Washington street in downtown Salem.
- Salem Witch Trial Memorial – Honors those who lost their lives in 1692.
- Peabody Essex Museum – Art, artifacts & a garden restauarant.
- House of Seven Gables – A mansion made famous by Nathanial Hawthorne’s novel.
- Salem Witch Museum – Tours and exhibits that reflect the Salem Witch Trials in 1692.
- Hunt for witch shops – Hex, Haus Witch & Coven’s Cottage are amongst the faves with a great selection of stones, herbs of all kinds, candles and some really beautiful jewelry and books. OH! and if you’re a Harry Potter fan (like Sotiria) you most definitely need to hit up Wynott’s Wands, it’s truly magical.
- Get a psychic reading – Magika, Fatima’s and pretty much any magic shop you walk into.
- Escape Room – If you have some time to kill with a group of friends, buy tickets to Escape Room. You can choose between 2-3 rooms. We did this with our boyfriends and it was a really fun time (we did in fact end up escaping!)
- Walking Tours – There are a ton of walking tours during the month of October including Ghost Tours, Salem Historic Trolley Tours and Spiritualism tours. This is a great way to get a better understanding of Salems history.
- Haunted Happenings – A month long celebration of fall and Halloween that occurs during the month of October. The festival features tons of events which complement the attractions, museums and tours that are in Salem throughout the year. Visit their website for a list of events during your visit!
Picture Worthy Spots
- Stick Work – Saplings turned into architectural sculptures.
- Bewitched Statue – This statue pays tribute to the TV sitcom ‘Bewitched’ and has become a landmark in Salem.
- Derby Wharf – A historic lighthouse on Derby wharf.
- Max & Dani’s House – Oh the nostalgia. A few scenes took place here, such as Dani’s kidnapping. The tower is the best part, who wouldn’t want that bedroom as a kid?
- Ropes Mansion/Gardens – It’s hard to believe that this was featured as Allison’s house, where Max attends the Halloween party in Hocus Pocus! We drive by it every weekend and never pay much attention to it. The garden in the back is also free to visit and open to the public. Where are all our 90’s kids at?!
- Historical District – Chestnut Street should not be missed on a visit to Salem. Lined with old historic colonial houses and cobblestone sidewalks it is the perfect street for a stroll. Many of the houses contain plaques denoting their historical significance.
Where to Stay
Have you caught a glimpse of Halloweentown during October? Was it as spoOOoKy as you imagined it would be? Let us know what you think 😉
xx Aleksia & Sotiria