Welcome to our Salem Travel Guide, focusing on the best that Salem has to offer. We’ve spent over 18 years in business in Salem, and our entire lives living and loving the North Shore. We’ve put together this list of recommendations, which includes favorites from our team, friends who live here, and visitors who share our style aesthetic. We’re excited to share our absolute favorites with you!

Nestled along the coast of Massachusetts, Salem is infamous for its association with Witches and Halloween. From the Salem Witch Trials to Hocus Pocus, if you like all things spooky, then you’ll love Salem. Did you know there are currently over 3o active covens in Salem today?! However, Salem has so much more to offer than potions and horror! It is had rich maritime and colonial history. It’s located on a beautiful harbor on the North Shore. And it’s home to a world class museum, The Peabody Essex museum. Whether you’re a history buff, a lover of the supernatural, or simply seeking a quaint New England experience, Salem has something to offer. Here's a guide to making the most of your day in this bewitching town.

Morning: Dive into History

  1. Salem Witch Museum Start your day with a visit to the Salem Witch Museum. This museum provides a comprehensive overview of the infamous Salem Witch Trials of 1692 through dramatic exhibits and presentations. It’s an engaging way to understand the hysteria that gripped this town and set the tone for your exploration.
  2. Breakfast at Gulu-Gulu Café. Just a short walk from the museum, Gulu-Gulu is a local favorite! Stepping into Gulu-Gulu Café feels like entering a cozy, artistic haven. The walls are adorned with local artwork, and the ambiance is always buzzing with creative energy. Their breakfast is delicious, but their coffee and tea selections are the real stars. They serve rich, aromatic coffees and a wide variety of loose-leaf teas that are perfect to start your day.
  3. Peabody Essex Museum Next, head to the Peabody Essex Museum, one of the oldest continuously operating museums in the United States. Its vast collection includes maritime art, Asian artifacts, and pieces related to Salem’s own history. The Yin Yu Tang House, a 200-year-old Chinese house reconstructed inside the museum, is a highlight not to be missed.
  4. The Witch House Visit the Witch House, the only structure in Salem with direct ties to the witch trials. This was the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin, and a tour of the house offers fascinating insights into 17th-century life and the events of the trials.

Afternoon: Relax and Shop

  1. Lunch at The Lobster Shanty This beloved local eatery combines casual charm with mouthwatering seafood, making it a must-visit spot for both residents and tourists seeking authentic coastal cuisine. We recommend sitting on outdoor patio, complete with string lights and a view of the bustling Derby Square, it adds a touch of magic to the dining experience.
  2. Shopping Time Take a stroll down historic Front Street and visit us at J.Mode! At J.Mode, we’ve created a shopping destination offering a carefully curated selection of clothing and accessories that cater to both contemporary trends and timeless styles. After getting your fashion fix at J.Mode, we recommend stopping into The Salem Cheese Shop for a tasting and AJ Kings Bakery for an afternoon pick me up before continuing your shopping at Sage Boutique, The Salem Book Store, Roost, Oak & Moss and Pamplemouse…. All the best of the best stores in Salem.

Evening: Embrace the Spooky

  1. Diner After a day of exploring, treat yourself to a delicious dinner! When it comes to dining and cocktails, Ledger is always a go-to recommendation. This historically unique location (in a former Bank circa 1818) serves delicious dinners, brunch on Sunday and creative cocktails at its sprawling bar. Great for dates, girl’s nights and fancy families.

If you’re looking for a more romantic setting or special occasion, we highly recommend Settler. Settler is a cozy and chic neighborhood spot for true foodies with everything made from scratch, in house.

In the mood for pizza, Bambolina is delicious! Indian? Passage to India serves up the best Indian food on the North Shore. Mediterranean? We recommend The Adriatic; their lamb meatballs are delicious.

  1. Haunted Happenings Tour As night falls, embark on one of Salem’s many haunted happenings tours. These walking tours take you through the town’s most haunted spots, blending history with spine-tingling tales. It’s a fitting way to end your day in Salem, combining history, legend, and a bit of thrill.
  2. Hot Chocolate at Jolie Tea Company If you need a cozy spot to unwind after your ghostly adventures, head to Jolie Tea Company. They offer an impressive selection of teas and delicious pastries. A cup of their rich hot chocolate is the perfect nightcap on a chilly Salem evening.



As small business owners and lovers of curated style, it’s no surprise that our choice accommodations are both boutique hotels. First, The Merchant Salem, located in the heart of downtown Salem and offers large, luxurious guest rooms that retain much of the original woodwork and exquisite detail while offering the best amenities. The hotel’s name pays homage to Joshua Ward, the post-Revolutionary War sea merchant and privateer who commissioned the stunning federal style building that today houses the boutique hotel. 

Second, The Hotel Salem, located in the middle of the action on the bustling Essex Street pedestrian mall in the city center.  It’s a vibrant and one-of-a-kind boutique hotel housed in a former high-end clothing store space, and features mid-century modern décor with vintage, retail-inspired touches that embrace its stylish past. Bonus, it also has a beautiful roof deck restaurant and bar with stunning city views.

Have a car?? If you don’t mind driving into Salem, we highly recommend The Beauport Hotel in Gloucester or The Inn at Castle Hill in Ipswich. Both are stunning properties, right on the water, and allow a quite escape from Salem’s busy streets in the Fall months.

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