things to do in salem, time frames to keep in mind, plan your trip to salem ma

Updated 6/25/2020. Please note this blog post may contain affiliate links. To read about that, click here.

Sometimes smaller logistics get lost in the shuffle of planning a big trip, like coming into Salem for Halloween for example. Today on the blog I wanted to offer a few time frames to keep in mind when you’re working out your days in the witch city.

Most shops open in the late morning

Most businesses around Salem open around 10:00 or 11:00 am. The exceptions to this are restaurants that serve breakfast like the Ugly Mug Diner, Red’s, Fountain Place, etc. and coffee shops such as Jaho or Brew Box.

During peak season in the fall a lot of places do extend their hours (on a case by case basis) so they’re open a bit earlier and remain open later as well, however if you come into the city bright and early, know a lot will be closed still. I’d suggest getting into Salem early, landing a killer parking spot and then having breakfast. Grab coffee somewhere, walk around a bit and plot out your day as everything slowly comes to life.

It gets a little quiet at night

Once the sun goes down and the evening crowds clear out, the city gets a bit quiet. The exceptions to this are restaurants/bars and night time walking tours. The larger attractions in the city start finishing the last of the crowds and preparing to close up. Again, during peak season, hours are extended on a case by case basis at the discretion of the attraction/business.

You should book your October hotel room by the spring at the latest

Most hotels will let you know when they’re taking reservations for the next year, so keep an eye for that and grab your room as soon as you can. You can find rooms past the spring of course, however you might not have your first pick and the rates go up as the year goes on. I’ve seen last minute rooms in the fall going for upwards of $500/night.

I know I have said this one a billion times, but it’s still one of the most common questions I get. Book your hotel first and early, especially if you’re visiting in the fall.

Related: The best hotels to book in Salem, MA — My top three picks ; How to pick an Airbnb in Salem, MA

There are more events happening on the weekends in general

You can find plenty to do during the week days too, however the weekends are busier with events and options.

Related: Calendar

things to do in salem, plan your visit to salem ma

If you’re driving into Salem…

Come early!! I mentioned this earlier in the post but get into Salem early and land yourself an awesome parking spot. Keep up with the meters/rates and don’t move the car unless you have to. If you wait until the afternoon it’s going to be harder to find parking, especially in the fall.

Related: Which Salem, MA hotels have parking?

Buskers aren’t out all year ’round

If you have your hopes hung on seeing a certain busker or performer like Salem’s Black Hat Society for example, keep an eye on social media to find out when you can expect to see them in Salem. They aren’t out every day or all year.

I hope this info helps a bit! Feel free to comment below with your own tips and tricks of timing your visit and enjoy!! <3

Some businesses and attractions take a break after October

This isn’t true of the whole city of course, however some businesses go on a break after October, closing for a few days or a week. If you’re visiting in early November, keep this in mind.

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things to do in salem, time frames to keep in mind when plannin your salem ma vacation