things to do in salem, five things you should know before visiting salem ma for the first time

Here on my site, I have covered tons of aspects of visiting Salem, travel tips and tricks, etc. Today I wanted to chat about five things you should know before you come to Salem for the first time.

First up is an obvious one and something I have said many times – if you’re visiting in the fall, there are going to be crowds. Salem brings in tons of tourists annually, the majority of them coming during October. Be aware that there will be lots of people, potential lines for attractions and restaurants, road closures and more. Be aware of your surroundings as you travel in and around the witch city during the fall.

Next up is relates to Salem’s history. Everyone associates Salem with the witch trials of course, however Salem has an extensive history regarding the sea, trade, spices, the National Guard, historic figures and more. There are many areas in the witch city that relate to this and are accessible to tourists. So my next item is to please be respectful of the history. Salem is home to historic buildings, landmarks and burial grounds so please watch your step, when in doubt: don’t touch and be mindful of the city. We need to keep it in tact for all to enjoy.

On your visit to Salem, you might be looking for something a little spooky to do, and believe me you’re in good company. Many tourists come into the city for its creepy vibes. However, know that no place in Salem has been confirmed to be haunted or is advertised as confirmed haunted. There is speculation and certain places you hear tourists and locals alike talk about, however nothing is 100%. Some of those areas include: The Hawthorne Hotel, Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall, Wicked Good Books, Bunghole package store, Bit Bar, Engine House Pizza, The Merchant Inn and more. Just know that it would be questionable for someone to try to sell you on a place or attraction being 100% confirmed haunted.

Speaking of “vibes” and all things witchy, Salem is home to many New Age shops, or shops that cater to practitioners of Wicca, Witchcraft or Pagan based paths. Don’t let that throw you, it’s entirely normal and there are many people in Salem who practice those faiths openly. It’s not uncommon to see individuals walking around with jewelry that reflect this or dressed in a certain way for their faith. Don’t be surprised and don’t hesitate to ask a shop owner a question regarding something they offer in their store. Most are more than happy to answer genuine questions and willing to help spread knowledge to dispel the rampant stereotypes and misinformation out there.

Last is the fact that Salem is home to a thriving art community. Outside of the spooky vibes and presentation, Salem hosts an arts festival, an ice sculpture festival, is home to the Peabody Essex Museum, Creative North Shore and more. Many streets are decorated with art thanks to the Punto Urban Art Museum project so be sure to have your camera handy to snap pictures of the gorgeous street art. It’s not all jump scares and witches here in Salem, the city has so much more to offer than just that.

What do you think? What did you learn when visiting Salem for the first time that you wished you had known ahead of time? Feel free to comment below, I’d love to hear it.


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