Not what I was expecting....
This year for my birthday, we decided to visit Salem. I love everything witchy, spooky and Halloweenish. Salem seemed like the perfect place. It was practically impossible to find a hotel right in town, (I hear you must book a year in advance), so we stayed in Woburn, which was about 20-25 minutes away. The drive into town wasn’t bad BUT traffic on I-95 was rather busy any time of the day, so it delayed us often. The locals are super friendly and there are so many activities for any age group. We visited several museums, went into almost every shop.... My favorite shop was Salemdipity, it was cute and had amazing prices for souvenirs. We went the last week of July and it wasn’t super crowded either. I'll give you guys a rundown of what we did and where we went, also what we LOVED about the city.
Witch Dungeon Museum- It was super creepy! You watched a short reenactment and then they literally brought you down to a recreated dungeon. Back during the Salem Witch trials they had to PAY for their own stays in these horrible places. If you had money, you could buy yourself a bigger cell and if you didn't, you were in a cell that you could barely move in and there was no sitting down, you had to stand 24/7. Just seeing it was terrifying.
Pirate Museum- This was cheesy, but the kids loved it. There is a huge history in Salem with Pirates and this little tour gave you some cool stories on what happened.
The Salem Wax Museum- If you love history and strolling at your own place then this is the place to go. They have wax figures set up in several scenes that tell the story of the Salem Witch Trials. This was probably my favorite museum because we could take our time and really appreciate each exhibit.
Salem Witch Village - This was another tour that you walked around at your own pace and listened to a recording of the history in Salem.
We did several museums, they all told the same story maybe with a different twist but if I could give any advice, I would say pick a few and that’s it. We did almost all of them and while I enjoyed it, they were pretty much the same.
Frankenstein’s Lab- This was a very innocent haunted house. It's set up like a scary haunted house but with no live actors jumping out at you.... or so we thought. The gentlemen working the front door really went all out and scaring my kids (I secretly enjoyed every minute of it) and at the end he did jump out and scare us...my oldest was so scared but it was also SO FUN. I highly recommend this one. This will forever be a great family memory!
Another one of my favs is Count Orlock's Nightmare Gallery- If you love the old slasher movies this will be your favorite place in Salem. It is a very well-done wax museum. They dont allow photos because they want the patrons to be surprised when they see everything, and I understand why....it was pretty amazing.... don’t question it, just do it! You won’t be disappointed.
I am not a foodie, so I am the worst person to write about food. My choices revolve around customer service and cleanliness which Salem did not disappoint for me.
Red's Sandwich Shop- This is highly recommended everywhere you look and with good reason. The customer service was top notch, and the food was great. We didnt wait and got right in. They are definitely worth a stop if you are visiting Salem.
O'Neils- Great service again. We just got appetizers here, but they had fried mac and cheese and my kids were in heaven. My husband and I had a drink...it was strong...just the way I like it.
Sea-level- This place was right on the water. Great views. We went here for my birthday dinner. I had the salmon, and it was delish. Customer Service was good and again, strong drinks. It was the perfect birthday dinner.
Melt- This was the only line we waited in the entire time. We went here for ice cream the first night. They make good ice cream, and they have unique flavors.
Caramel- If you ask my kids what they remember about Salem they will tell you the macaroons. You walk in and the smell of Heaven hits you in the face. Sugery bakery goodness that automatically makes your mouth water. This is a must do. We got the dozen sample pack, and it was pretty much gone in five minutes!
Just go in all the shops. Each one is unique; prices are way less than you would think. We came home with money, and we were trying to spend it!! So go, shop, and have no regrets!!
We did Salem in one full day. We started early, ended with a tour from Spellbound Tours which was super fun and didnt get back to the hotel until super late. That area has more little Gems than just Salem. We found some hidden treasures that I’m going to write about separately. They deserve their own post.... stay tuned!!