things to do in salem, what you should know if you're planning a visit to salem ma this october 2020

Hi everyone, welcome back to the blog. For today’s post I am pulling inspiration from my walk around Salem, MA yesterday as well as my Facebook group. I know I just did a post last week about COVID, it was an update from the city of Salem. However I wanted to write about what visiting Salem right now on a weekend looks like.

Before we begin, please know that this isn’t meant to dissuade anyone from coming to Salem or make anyone feel like they should cancel all of their plans. This is just a very real snapshot of the city right now, to paint a picture for anyone who is wondering.

COVID information is being updated regularly

First and foremost, keep an eye on the information coming from the city of Salem as well as the state of Massachusetts regarding travel guidelines. This applies extra if you’re visiting us from out of state. The list of which states are restricted changes, guidelines change, etc. Some attractions are requiring a negative COVID test. There are forms to fill out and you need to share certain information with your hotel/accommodations if you are staying overnight. Masks are mandatory everywhere in Salem. Keep an eye on this info all the way up to your visit because it’s dynamic and updated regularly.

Bathrooms are (still) an issue

Bathrooms in Salem are still an issue, as always. Your best bet is to use the facilities if you’re a patron of a restaurant or attraction that has them. Otherwise your options are limited by lines and hours. There are also port-a-potties available.

If you don’t have reservations

Salem’s mayor Kim Driscoll stated last week that if you don’t have reservations and plans already in place to come to Salem, you probably shouldn’t. This means that if you’re planning to grab a last minute hotel room somewhere nearby and visit, you might want to rethink. This is just to keep Salem’s residents safe.

Tickets to attractions are selling out

Tickets to attractions are selling out very fast on the weekends. This is because most places are operating at limited capacity. If you don’t have anything booked ahead of time you might be out of luck.

Lines are long

Due to most places operating at limited capacity, lines to get inside most places are long. Walking up Essex street yesterday almost every business had people waiting outside to get in.

The buskers aren’t in their usual spot

Most of us are used to seeing Salem’s buskers wandering (primarily) the Essex street area. This year they are over at the Salem Common, set up with designated areas for socially distant and safe pictures.

Weekends are crowded

Despite COVID and everything going on in the world, October has still been busy. Weekends have been crowded as always. The city of Salem recently released a crowd monitoring tool so you can see what the city looks like before you come in. That can be seen here and I definitely suggest checking it out.

Anyways, I hope this helps paint a little bit of a picture for you if you’re planning a visit. Again, this isn’t meant to be negative and dissuade anyone. I am just trying to give a run down of what the city currently looks like. Be safe everyone!

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