26 Fun & Unique Things to Do in Salem, MA | 2024 (with Photos)

Lara Mega

Lara Mega - Head of Content

Published: June 29, 2023

Hey there! I'm Lara, a passionate traveler thrilled to share with you the best things to do in Salem, MA. Based on my personal experiences in this amazing city, I've handpicked the most enjoyable activities so you can make the most of your trip and have an unforgettable time in Salem.

Fun & Unique Things to Do in Salem, Massachusetts

Welcome to the bewitching city of Salem, Massachusetts, where history, mystique, and intriguing attractions await.

Step into a world shrouded in captivating stories of witch trials, explore the historic Salem sites and museums, embark on walking tours to unravel the city's secrets, and immerse yourself in Salem's history and culture.

In this article, we will delve into the enchanting highlights of Salem, providing you with a guide to make the most of your visit.

Brace yourself for a journey through time as we unveil the captivating allure of some unmissable Salem attractions.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Top Choice Hotel

The Grand Hotel Salem

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife


Best Time to Visit

Mild weather, October and November, Salem, USA.

Average Temperature

The average temperature in Salem, United States varies.

Transportation Options

Buses, taxis, rideshare services, biking, walking, driving.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

Immerse yourself in the city's rich history and bewitching charm. Begin your adventure by exploring the infamous Salem Witch Trials. Visit the Salem Witch Museum, where you can dive deep into the harrowing events that unfolded here in the late 17th century.

Stroll along the cobblestone streets of the historic district, lined with beautifully preserved colonial buildings, and feel transported back in time. As you wander, be sure to stop by the House of the Seven Gables, an architectural gem that inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne's famous novel.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Clothing suitable for the weather and season
  2. Comfortable walking shoes
  3. Personal toiletries and medications

What Not to Miss

  1. Salem Witch Trials Memorial
  2. Peabody Essex Museum
  3. Salem Maritime National Historic Site
  4. The House of the Seven Gables
  5. Salem Willows Park

What to Avoid

  1. Heavy traffic during rush hours
  2. Touristy areas on weekends
  3. Walking alone at night in unfamiliar neighborhoods

1. Delve into the Chilling History at the Salem Witch Museum

Salem Witch Museum

Immerse yourself in the eerie past of Salem, Massachusetts by visiting the Salem Witch Museum. This historic site offers a gripping retrospective of the infamous Salem witch trials that occurred in 1692.

Through lifelike exhibits and dramatic presentations, the museum brings the witch trials to life, giving visitors a glimpse into the mass hysteria that plagued colonial America.

Experience chilling tales of those accused of witchcraft, and learn about the profound impact the trials had on Salem's story.

You can also explore the museum's gift shop, which offers a variety of witch-related merchandise and literature.

The Salem Witch Museum is an essential part of any visit to Salem, a town synonymous with its witch trial history.

2. Visit the Witch House Museum, the Only Building with Direct Ties to the Salem Witch Trials

Witch House Museum

Step back into the 17th century by visiting the Witch House, the only building in Salem with direct ties to the witch trials of 1692.

Once home to Judge Jonathan Corwin, one of the judges involved in the trials, the Witch House is now a museum that provides a window into the lives of people during one of the most unsettling periods in American history.

Walk through the historic building's rooms, which are filled with period furnishings and artifacts, and learn about the beliefs, fears, and daily life during the Witch Trials era.

This historic site is a must-see for anyone interested in Salem's infamous witch trials.

3. Take a Salem Walking Tour to Discover the Town's Eerie Past

Salem Walking Tour

A walking tour of Salem is one of the fun things you can do to uncover the town's eerie past.

Guided by local historians or enthusiastic ghost story enthusiasts, in the walking tour you'll wander the streets of historic Salem, visiting key sites related to the Salem witch trials, including the Salem Witch Trials Memorial and the Old Burying Point Cemetery.

A walking tour typically starts at the Witch Trials Memorial, where you can pay respect to the victims before delving deeper into the mysteries of Salem's past.

As you stroll through the town, your guide will also point out historic buildings, some of which were featured in popular films like "Hocus Pocus."

A walking tour of Salem is a must for any history buff or fan of the supernatural.

4. Explore the Old Burying Point Cemetery, the Oldest Cemetery in Salem

Old Burying Point Cemetery

The Old Burying Point Cemetery, also known as the Charter Street Cemetery, is the oldest cemetery in Salem and one of the oldest in the United States.

As you walk among the weathered gravestones, you'll see the final resting places of many prominent Salem residents, including a few judges from the witch trials. It's a place where history and ghost stories intertwine, making it a must-visit site in Salem.

A particularly noteworthy grave is that of Jonathan Corwin, the Witch House owner.

Visiting the Old Burying Point Cemetery is an essential part of the Salem experience, offering a tangible connection to the town's turbulent past.

5. Experience the Chilling Witch Dungeon Museum

Witch Dungeon Museum

The Witch Dungeon Museum in Salem offers a unique and chilling opportunity to experience the realities of the Salem witch trials.

The museum offers a live reenactment of one of the trials, based on actual trial transcripts, giving visitors an unsettling look at the hysteria and fear that engulfed the town.

Following the performance, you're led down into a life-size replica of the original dungeon where accused witches were held.

The dank, dark cells, and the mannequins depicting the miserable conditions, bring home the grim reality of the witch trials.

A visit to the Witch Dungeon Museum is an unforgettable journey into the darker side of Salem's past.

6. Shop and Dine at the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall

Essex Street Pedestrian Mall

Immerse yourself in the vibrant heart of Salem at the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall. This lively downtown Salem locale offers a mix of unique boutiques, enchanting witch shops, art galleries, and a variety of dining options.

As you stroll down the cobblestone streets, you can browse an array of witch-themed merchandise, local art, and Salem souvenirs.

Look for psychic readings or take photos at Witch Pix studio for some fun memories.

After shopping, enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants or cafes. With street performers and festive Halloween decorations, a visit to Essex Street Pedestrian Mall encapsulates the spirit of Salem.

7. Enjoy a Maritime Adventure at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site

Salem Maritime National Historic Site

Dive into New England's maritime history at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site.

Overlooking Salem Harbor, The Salem Maritime National Historic Site was once the hub of Salem's international trade in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Explore the historic buildings, including the Custom House where local merchants declared their exotic imports.

Take a guided tour of the Friendship, a replica of a 1797 East Indiaman, and learn about Salem's maritime past.

The site also offers breathtaking views of Salem Harbor and the sea beyond, making it a must-see attraction in Salem.

8. Visit the Peabody Essex Museum, Established by the East India Marine Society

Peabody Essex Museum

If you are looking for fun things to do while discovering art, culture, and history at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem.

Founded by the East India Marine Society, the museum showcases a vast collection of art and cultural artifacts from around the world.

Explore exhibits featuring American maritime art, as well as Asian export art and a variety of rotating exhibitions.

The Peabody Essex Museum also houses the Yin Yu Tang, a 200-year-old Chinese house that was relocated to Salem.

With its eclectic and thought-provoking displays, the Peabody Essex Museum offers a cultural journey that extends far beyond Salem's borders.

Count Orlok's Nightmare Gallery

One of the most famous Salem attractions is Count Orlok's Nightmare Gallery. This horror movie museum in Salem is home to a collection of lifelike wax figures from classic to modern horror films.

As you walk through the dimly lit corridors, come face-to-face with iconic horror characters like Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, and the Mummy.

With detailed displays and atmospheric lighting and sound, the gallery offers a thrilling journey through the history of horror cinema.

For fans of horror and cinema, Count Orlok's Nightmare Gallery is a must-visit Salem attraction.

10. Snap a Photo with the Elizabeth Montgomery Statue in Lappin Park

Elizabeth Montgomery Statue

Add a touch of magic to your Salem visit with a stop at Lappin Park to see the Elizabeth Montgomery Statue.

The Elizabeth Montgomery Statue commemorates the actress's portrayal of Samantha Stephens in the popular 1960s television show "Bewitched." The series filmed several episodes in Salem, further cementing the town's association with witches.

The life-sized bronze statue, depicting Montgomery riding a broomstick, is a beloved photo opportunity for visitors.

Whether you're a fan of the show or simply enjoy Salem's witchy lore, a photo with the Bewitched statue is a fun memento of your Salem adventure.

11. Visit the Salem Witch Trials Memorial and Pay Respect to the Victims

Salem Witch Trials Memorial

While there are a lot of fun attractions in Salem related to witches, we have to remember that real people once lost their lives in Salem due to rumors of witchcraft. Pay homage to the victims of the infamous Salem Witch Trials at the Salem Witch Trials Memorial.

Nestled next to the Old Burying Point Cemetery, the memorial features 20 granite benches inscribed with the names of the accused and the dates of their executions.

The somber, contemplative space serves as a stark reminder of the hysteria and violence that once consumed this New England town. Take a moment of silence to honor the victims of one of the country's darkest chapters.

12. Step Back in Time at the Salem Pioneer Village, a Living History Museum

 Salem Pioneer Village

Experience the life of Salem's earliest settlers at the Pioneer Village in Salem. This living history museum, the first of its kind in the United States, recreates a 1630 Puritan community.

Explore the village's rustic wooden houses, vegetable gardens, and the blacksmith's shop. During special events, costumed interpreters demonstrate skills and crafts from colonial times.

The Pioneer Village offers an authentic glimpse into the early days of America's colonial past.

13. Take a Stroll Around Winter Island Park

Winter Island Park

Escape the hustle and bustle of Salem and unwind at Winter Island Park. Situated on a barrier island, this natural park boasts scenic views of Salem Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean.

Explore the historic Fort Pickering, take a walk on the sandy beach, or relax under the shade of towering palm trees.

The park is also home to the Salem Willows Arcade, where you can enjoy arcade games, bumper cars, and a variety of treats.

14. Learn about Salem's Past at the Salem Wax Museum

Salem Wax Museum

Discover Salem's rich history at the Salem Wax Museum. The museum's lifelike wax figures depict significant events and people from Salem's past, including the Salem Witch Trials and maritime history.

With an engaging narrative and atmospheric settings, the wax museum offers an interesting and accessible way to learn about Salem's story.

15. Explore the Salem Witch Village for an Immersive History Lesson

Salem Witch Village

Embark on an immersive journey through the Salem Witch Village. Guided by practicing witches, this tour provides a nuanced view of witchcraft, from its roots in pagan tradition to its portrayal during the Salem Witch Trials.

With its mix of education and interactive experiences, the Witch Village provides a unique perspective on Salem's infamous witch trials and the broader history of witchcraft.

16. Uncover the Secrets of the New England Pirate Museum

New England Pirate Museum

The New England Pirate Museum is a treasure trove of maritime history in Salem, Massachusetts.

This unique museum takes you on a journey through the golden age of piracy, showcasing the exploits of infamous pirates who once sailed the New England waters.

Learn about the daring adventures and grim fates of these sea robbers through realistic dioramas and fascinating exhibits at the New England Pirate Museum.

As part of your Salem tour, you'll explore a recreated pirate ship, a coastal village, and a pirate's cave filled with hidden treasure.

Don't forget to visit the gift shop for pirate-themed memorabilia before you leave.

17. Enjoy the Sights of Salem Harbor via the Salem Ferry

Sights of Salem Harbor via the Salem Ferry

Experience the beauty of Salem Harbor aboard the Salem Ferry. The Salem Ferry offers a scenic and convenient way to explore the historic sites and natural beauty of the New England coast.

As you cruise along, you'll get stunning views of the Salem waterfront, the Fort Pickering lighthouse, and the bustling harbor.

The ferry ride is a relaxing way to get a different perspective on Salem and its history. Keep an eye out for local wildlife, including seals and various bird species.

18. Visit the Historic House of the Seven Gables

House of the Seven Gables

Immerse yourself in the literary past of Salem at the historic House of the Seven Gables.

This 17th-century mansion, made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel of the same name, is one of the oldest houses in New England.

Step inside the House of the Seven Gables to explore its secret staircases, antique furnishings, and impressive architecture.

The House of the Seven Gables also features several other historic buildings, including the birthplace of Nathaniel Hawthorne and the colonial Rev. John Ward House.

Take a walking tour to learn about the New England House of the Seven Gables' history and its connection to Salem's maritime past.

19. Take a Trolley Tour Around Town on a Salem Trolley

Salem Trolley

Experience the charm and history of Salem on a Salem Trolley tour. The vintage trolley takes you around the city's historic sites, including the Salem Witch Museum, the Salem Witch Trials Memorial, the Peabody Essex Museum, and more.

With knowledgeable guides sharing interesting tidbits about the past of Salem, the trolley tour is a fun and informative way to see the city.

Plus, your trolley ticket allows you to hop on and off at various attractions, making it a convenient option for sightseeing in Salem.

20. Enjoy a Day of Fun at Salem Willows Arcade with Bumper Cars and More

Salem Willows Arcade

For a break from Salem's historical attractions, head to the Salem Willows Arcade. This family-friendly amusement park on the coast offers a variety of games and rides, including classic bumper cars, pinball machines, and an old-fashioned carousel.

Enjoy the fun atmosphere amid the park's beautiful willow trees, and don't forget to grab a bite from one of the many food stands.

With its festive atmosphere and seaside location, the Salem Willows Arcade is a great spot for a day of fun in Salem.

Satanic Temple of Salem

The Satanic Temple of Salem is an intriguing destination that challenges preconceived notions about the nature of belief and religion.

It is the international headquarters of the Satanic Temple, a non-theistic religious organization that advocates for religious liberty, social justice, and the separation of church and state.

The temple's unique and thought-provoking exhibits aim to inspire empathy and critical thinking among visitors.

The Satanic Temple is also home to the Salem Art Gallery, which features rotating exhibits of contemporary art that explore themes of religion, belief, and social justice. This Salem gallery hosts various events, including lectures, performances, and workshops, throughout the year.

Visiting the Satanic Temple is an opportunity to learn about this belief system and engage with challenging ideas.

Whether you agree or disagree with its philosophy, a visit to the Satanic Temple of Salem will likely be an experience you won't soon forget.

The temple and gallery are located in downtown Salem, within walking distance of other historic sites and attractions. Be sure to check their schedule for any special events happening during your visit.

22. Dive into Movie Trivia with a Visit to the Hocus Pocus House

Hocus Pocus House

For fans of the cult classic film "Hocus Pocus," which is set in Salem, a visit to the Hocus Pocus House in Salem is a must.

Known officially as the Ropes Mansion, this historic Salem house served as the exterior of the home of the film's central characters, the Dennison family.

The movie, which follows the story of a trio of witches who are accidentally resurrected on Halloween night, has become synonymous with Salem and its witchy history.

Built-in the late 18th century, the Ropes Mansion is an excellent example of Georgian colonial architecture. It is a part of the Peabody Essex Museum and is open for public Salem walking tours.

23. Get a Psychic Reading at Crow Haven Corner

Crow Haven Corner

Crow Haven Corner is the oldest witch shop in Salem and a popular destination for those seeking spiritual guidance, healing, and knowledge.

This quaint store offers a wide range of products related to witchcraft, including candles, crystals, herbs, and books. But perhaps the most compelling reason to visit Crow Haven Corner is for a psychic reading.

The shop's experienced and gifted psychics offer a variety of services, including tarot card readings, palm readings, and mediumship sessions.

Whether you're seeking insight into your future, communication with a loved one who has passed on, or simply a unique and memorable experience, a psychic reading at Crow Haven Corner can provide it.

24. Explore the Historic Buildings of Downtown Salem

Salem's Town Hall

Downtown Salem, Massachusetts, is a walk through the pages of history. This historic area is home to numerous well-preserved buildings that tell the story of Salem's history.

As you stroll the streets of downtown Salem, you'll see a mix of architectural styles, from Federal-style homes to Gothic Revival churches.

Many of these buildings have ties to the Salem witch trials and other significant events in Salem's history.

The Witch House, also known as the Jonathan Corwin House, is the only structure in Salem with ties to the witch trials of 1692.

Another notable building is the historic Town Hall, which has been used as a backdrop in several films, including "Hocus Pocus."

25. Participate in Haunted Happenings, Salem's Halloween Festival

Salem's Halloween Festival

There's no better time to visit Salem than during October when the city hosts its annual Haunted Happenings festival.

This month-long series of events and activities celebrate Salem's storied past and its cultural significance as the "Witch City." Haunted Happenings features a packed schedule of fun and spooky events suitable for all ages.

From costume balls and haunted houses to ghost tours, or a walking tour, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

You'll also find street performers, live music, family-friendly activities, and plenty of festive Halloween decorations throughout the city.

Food vendors serve up delicious autumnal treats, and local shops offer a variety of Halloween-themed merchandise. For those interested in Salem's history, there are lectures, reenactments, and tours focusing on the Salem witch trials and the Salem history.

Whether you're a history buff, a fan of the supernatural, or just love Halloween, participating in Haunted Happenings is an unforgettable way to experience the unique charm and history of Salem, Massachusetts.

So, why wait? Plan your visit to Salem today and join in the Halloween fun.

26. End Your Visit by Picking up a Keepsake from a Local Gift Shop in Salem, Massachusetts

Partridge in a Bear Tree Salem

As you conclude your visit to the enchanting city of Salem, Massachusetts, make sure to stop by a local gift shop and bring home a cherished keepsake.

These unique stores offer a wide array of items that capture the essence of Salem's rich history and charm.

Browse through shelves adorned with bewitching trinkets, books on local history, and handcrafted souvenirs.

From miniature replicas of the famous custom house to ghost tour memorabilia, you'll find something special to remember your time in Salem.

Don't miss the opportunity to take a piece of this captivating city with you and share the spirit of Salem with friends and family.

FAQs Regarding Things To Do in Salem, Massachusetts

Let's take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about Salem Massachusetts, things to do, and places to see.

Is it worth visiting Salem?

Salem, Massachusetts is worth visiting for its rich history, bewitching atmosphere, and intriguing attractions. From the Salem Wax Museum to ghost tours and Manchester by the Sea filming locations, there are plenty of unique experiences to enjoy.

Explore the National Historic Site, take walking tours, and uncover Salem's history.

How do you spend a day in Salem?

To make the most of a day in Salem, Massachusetts, start by taking walking tours to immerse yourself in the city's captivating history. Visit attractions like the Salem Wax Museum, Charter Street Cemetery, and Custom House.

Enjoy a scenic ferry ride, explore local museums, and indulge in ghost tours to embrace the city's supernatural allure.

How many days do you need when visiting Salem, MA?

Two days. In fact, to fully explore the wonders of Salem, Massachusetts, it is recommended to allocate at least two days. This allows ample time to visit the numerous attractions, take walking tours, and delve into the city's captivating history.

With two days, you can immerse yourself in the bewitching ambiance, explore museums and historic locations, and experience the vibrant culture of Salem.

Is Salem, MA a walkable town?

Yes, Salem is a highly walkable town, making it a delight to explore on foot. The city's compact layout and pedestrian-friendly streets allow visitors to easily navigate and discover the many Salem attractions.

From the National Historic Site to the bewitched statue and local shops, everything is within walking distance.

Summing Up: Fun & Unique Things to Do in Salem, Massachusetts

As you can see, visiting Salem is a thrilling and unique experience. Get ready to be bewitched by Salem and all of its exciting attractions.

From the Salem Wax Museum and ghost tours to walking tours and Salem sites like Charter Street Cemetery, Salem offers a unique and immersive experience.

Delve into the Salem history, pay homage to the Salem Witch Trials Memorial, and embrace the enchantment that permeates every corner of this historic city. So, what are you waiting for?

Plan your visit to Salem and embark on a journey through time to uncover the captivating charms of this mesmerizing destination.