Do you have family coming into the Boston area and you want to take them on a fun day trip to do something different? Are you going to be visiting the area and you’d like to have a mini-adventure outside of the city but don’t want to rent a car to do it? Do you live here and maybe are just looking for something to do with your sweetie, or with your family?
I ask because of course I have a Boston-area day-trip to share with you! If the title didn’t clue you in, I’m talking about Salem, MA!!!
I’ve taken family and friends here in the past and we’ve always had such a great time and it’s so easy to get to and around! To get to Salem, which is up on the North Shore of MA about 25 miles away from Boston, you simply go to North Station in downtown Boston and get on the commuter train going westbound. There are agents at the ticket booths, so if you’re not familiar with taking the commuter trains you can quickly and easily get the tickets you’ll need to get you there and back with no problems!
The great thing about Salem is it is as rich and full of history as Boston itself and the folks in the area embrace the witch-association with vigor! Check out the Salem Witch Museum. But Salem also has more to offer than just witches. Because they are on the water, they also have some rich pirating history- which you can learn about at the New England Pirate Museum! This museum gives a nice break and keeps you from getting witch-overload and is good fun for sure.
Now if you have a sweet tooth, or know someone who does, then you’re visit to Salem would not be complete with out a stop in at Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie, which boasts to be America’s oldest candy shop. They’ve got all kinds of awesomely old-fashioned candies, like Black Jacks (which I had never heard of till I went there!). Plus more chocolate truffles, fudge and turtles (my personal favorite) then you can handle! I’m getting hungry just writing about it!
If it’s a little bit of culture you’re looking for- well, Salem’s got this too! The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) is a beautiful building which in and of itself is art. It’s right at the end of a quaint pedestrian mall that’s one of the first places you hit after getting off the train- only a five-minute walk! They’ve got a nice little restaurant where you can eat outdoors if you go during nice weather as well. Spend a little time here, take in some art, and when you’re done why not head over to the home of Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The Scarlet Letter. How amazing it was to visit his home and be in New England, where of course the puritans had settled and where the book takes place. After walking through the home there’s a quiet outdoor area where you can sit on benches and take in the calm scenery.
I know what you’re probably thinking- “If I take the train there, how do I get to all this stuff once I’m there?” Take the Salem Trolley Tour of course! The best part is, you can walk up and buy your tickets in the pedestrian mall once you get there. Then you can hop on and off all day long and of course it stops at all the places I’ve mentioned and more! It’s a fun and informative way to see the city- the trolley driver gives you some great history and stories of Salem and Boston, so you’re learning all day long, while sitting back, relaxing and being taken to your next stop!
There are lots to choose from so you can mix and match to have the perfect visit for you. I have to say this is a great town to do in a day without getting travel-weary. You can meander your way through, taking time to see what you want, and to smell the flowers along the way. No need to rush or stress!
And if you’re ready for some food/drink after all that sightseeing there are lots of options. When I took my mom we ended up going to Boston Beer Works, we sat outside and had burgers and some yummy blueberry beer. A great way to end a great day!