Most people equate Salem with Halloween and witches, with October shenanigans and ghost tours. They aren’t wrong…Salem is known for those things and October is pretty much its own season here. I love it. However, Salem has so much more going on and it’s way more than just Halloweentown USA. Today on the blog I figured we could chat about the ways that Salem extends outside of that label and has more to offer than jump scares.

Salem is home to hundreds of businesses, all of which bring something unique to the table. In town you can find boutiques that offer one of a kind finds, specialty items and hand made goods. With very few chain or big box-type businesses, the items you purchase directly support local businesses owners and local economy. I have sat down with and photographed a handful of businesses as part of my spotlight series which can be found here.

Salem is known for the witch trials, of course. Everyone knows that. However, Salem actually has a past that extends far beyond the trials and includes sea trade, pirates, the National Guard, Parker Brothers Monopoly and more. If historic homes are more your speed, take a walk through the McIntire District. Keep your eyes peeled for the white plaques that indicate an origin date and owner for that home. One of my favorite Facebook groups to check out vintage and historic images and info is the Salem, MA History Exchange. Feel free to request to join in!

Salem has a boomin’ festival scene and there is pretty much always something going on. With celebrations centered around the arts, film, maritime history, ice sculptures and wine, comedy, poetry, jazz and soul and more, you have quite the pick.

Art Community
One of the things I love the most about Salem is the thriving art community. The Salem Arts Festival is right around the corner which includes Mural Slam, the Peabody Essex Museum is a giant in the community and many streets in Salem are decorated with colorful street art thanks to the Punto Urban Art Museum project. Many organizations such as Creative North Shore exist to help support creative efforts and I love that the town is so open to art.

Salem is home to Far From the Tree Hard Cider, Notch Brewery and Deacon Giles Distillery. If you want to try some local spirits, you’re more than covered. My favorite happens to be Far From the Tree and if you’re in the area when “Apple of my Chai” is available, I’d highly suggest it.

Wander the Salem Willows Park and Arcade, Winter Island, the Salem Common or check out the National Park Service properties. There are tons of outdoor space available to take in the scenery or a walk with your camera. Nice weather is right around the corner!

Unique dining and pop ups
Salem offers a huge selection of food – there is something for even the pickiest eaters. The newest to the city is Antique Table which serves Italian food. Pop ups are a common thing in Salem and it is where a business opens up for a short amount of time on certain dates/times in another business’s space to serve their food. A prime example of this is Goodnight Fatty which became so successful that they now have weekly hours in their location in Higginson Square. If you’d like a way to sample from some of Salem’s cuisine, I’d suggest looking into Salem Food Tours. They offer walking tours of the city with stops along the way to try bits of food and drink.

Salem has tons to offer…what are some of your favorites besides Halloween festivities? Feel free to comment below. <3