In Honor of Halloween
With Halloween coming up at the end of the week, I thought we could talk a bit about Salem. Salem, MA is a New England fall favorite destination. It is close by the water so it can be really chilly, but what better place to be around Halloween then the location of the ever famous Salem Witch Trials? I’ve gone up to Salem about 3 times in my life (once in summer on a trip with family as a kid and twice in my adult life.) I’ve most recently gone up in October of 2014.
I took the trip up alone as I often travel by myself. I’m an only child who was a serial monogamous in my early 20’s which turned into long strings of bad first dates and then many long stretches of full single-dom, so needless to say, I’ve gotten set in my ways about traveling and do it best alone. But Salem is much a place for a loner unless you are very comfortable being a lone. You will see groups of friends up there, you will see families, and you will see couples. So you must truly be comfortable enough with yourself to spend time alone, or really good at walking up to people you don’t know and trying to make friends. I myself am really good at being alone, and so I did okay.
Salem has a ton of events planned through the year, but their event calendar is as you would assume, most packed in the month of October. You will find family friendly events to adult events. After the kiddies go to bed you’ll see all the local pubs get filled with adults (more and more in costume, the closer you get to Halloween) looking for some adult beverage fun. But as someone who travels alone, I take safety into consideration and I don’t drink more than a glass of wine or a bottle of beer with dinner in an area unfamiliar to me.
I myself just spent a day and a night in Salem on my last trip. I had done all of the museums and hot spots on previous trips and just wanted to go up to see what they had going on specifically for Halloween. If you’re not a museums person and you’re just looking to check out the haunted happenings, I’d say you could spend a day in Salem and be fine. If you wanted to make it a weekend trip, there’s plenty to do there for the weekend, or you could spend one day in Boston which is awfully close.
If you’re planning on staying overnight make sure you book early in advance as there are not a lot of options in Salem itself and they all fill up quickly and for a pretty penny. You can always check local towns for B&Bs and AirBnB. I myself stayed in Boston and just took the last train back.
If you are a first timer to Salem some things to note:
If you are in good health it’s a small enough city center to do on foot, so if you drive, park your car at a lot get out and stretch those legs.
Leave time to check out the museums. My favorites are the Salem Witch Museum and the Witch Dungeon.
Salem is close by the water so, with most New England towns by the water the seafood is wonderful. If you aren’t allergic, please try some at a restaurant with a view! Try to make advance reservations when possible though, these places get busy! Try Clam Shack for lunch and then save room to have dinner at Finz or Sea Level Ocean Bar.
Have you been to Salem? What do you like about it? Dislike about it? Have you visited outside of the fall season? What were your thoughts? What restaurants and activities would you suggest to try to stay away from?