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Overview

Located on Massachusetts' North Shore, this "bewitching seaport" is best known for 17th-century witch trials. While 21st-century Salem has its share of witches, from serious Wiccans to a statue honoring Samantha from "Bewitched," it also has a world-class art museum, one of the nation's oldest graveyards, and fascinating examples of architecture from the entire history of the United States. In October each year, Salem's "Haunted Happenings" bring large crowds of costumed tourists, who in addition to attending scheduled events take advantage of Salem's museums and boutiques, witch-themed or otherwise, and other attractions, most of them ...

Located on Massachusetts' North Shore, this "bewitching seaport" is best known for 17th-century witch trials. While 21st-century Salem has its share of witches, from serious Wiccans to a statue honoring Samantha from "Bewitched," it also has a world-class art museum, one of the nation's oldest graveyards, and fascinating examples of architecture from the entire history of the United States. In October each year, Salem's "Haunted Happenings" bring large crowds of costumed tourists, who in addition to attending scheduled events take advantage of Salem's museums and boutiques, witch-themed or otherwise, and other attractions, most of them clustered along the cobblestones of Essex Street or by the sea on Pickering Wharf. Throughout the year, visitors come to admire the permanent and changing galleries of art, architecture, and culture at the Peabody Essex Museum. Famous names from the age of sail live on here, as does literary luminary Nathaniel Hawthorn, who immortalized The House of the Seven Gables, now open for tours, along with the Customs House where Hawthorn once worked.

Juliette Rogers
About the Expert

Juliette Rogers is coauthor of the guidebooks Eating New England: A Food Lovers Guide to Eating Locally, Secret Providence and Newport, and two Thomas Cook guides on France.

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Juliette Rogers for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer and fall; many things close in winter. October is crowded.