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Salem, Massachusetts 3 Day Travel Itinerary

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Friendship of Salem | Salem Maritime National Historic Site | Salem Massachusetts Itinerary
"Friendship of Salem" Cargo Ship

Salem, Massachusetts is packed with interesting museums and attractions including the House of Seven Gables, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem Maritime National Historic Site, and many colorful exhibits memorializing the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Follow our Salem, Massachusetts 3-day travel itinerary to hit all the must-see sights.

Pentagram Witchcraft Shoppe | Salem Massachusetts 3 Day Itinerary
Pentagram Witchcraft Shoppe

Most Salem, Massachusetts attractions are situated in a walkable area of cobblestones and colonial-style New England architecture. Every October the city hosts a Salem Haunted Happenings event and visitors are encouraged to come in costume. It’s a fun time of year (although some people prefer to take in Salem’s rich culture at less crowded times).

Colonial Salem | Salem Massachusetts 3 Day Travel Itinerary
Colonial Salem

Salem is located 45 minutes north of Boston. It is a four-season destination with most attractions staying open throughout the year (hours and days change seasonally). The city is accessible by rail, bus, and personal vehicle. Our Salem, Massachusetts itinerary includes information on all the best things to do.

Witch City Mall | Things to do in Salem Massachusetts | New England
Witch City Mall
Salem Massachusetts 3 Day Itinerary At A Glance | Witch City

For more information on New England travel destinations read our articles on:

Ye Olde Pepper Candy Company | Salem Massachusetts Itinerary | New England
Ye Olde Pepper Candy Company

WHERE TO STAY: SALEM MA HOTELS

Salem has many inns and hotels. Accommodations outside of the tourist districts tend to decrease in price. If you want the convenience of parking the car and sightseeing on foot, try the Hampton Inn Salem-Boston, The Hotel Salem, or The Salem Inn.

Spellcasting Tour Salem Witch Village | Salem Witch Trials of 1692 | Salem Massachusetts Attractions
Spellcasting Tour

Day 1: Check-in and unpack. Explore Salem Witch Village. Dinner by the Waterfront. Take an Evening Tour.


After check-in at your lodgings, find your way to the Salem Armory Regional Visitor Center. Pick up maps and learn about any events happening in the city. Then, take a short walk to Liberty Street where the Salem Witch Village is located. The village offers attractions, shops, and guided tours related to witches, witchcraft, and the occult.

Salem Witch Village | Salem Massachusetts Attractions | Salem Massachusetts 3 Day Travel Itinerary
Salem Witch Village

Check out the Salem Wax Museum and the unique Pentagram Witchcraft and Magick Shoppe. Meander the block, and book an evening haunted house or spellcasting tour.

Liberty Street Shops | Best things to do in Salem Massachusetts
Liberty Street Shops

Next, walk to Pickering Wharf. Trek to the shore and enjoy the marina views. Explore the restaurants and shops of Wharf Street. Then, eat in the waterfront district. We recommend trying Finz or Longboard’s Restaurant and Bar for dinner.


End your evening with a walking tour.

Pickering Wharf Salem Harbor | Salem Massachusetts 3 Day Itinerary
Pickering Wharf Salem Harbor

DAY 2: Walk Salem Heritage Trail

(Salem Witch Museum, Cemeteries, Witch Trials Memorial, Maritime Historic Site, House of Seven Gables). Shop at the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall. Evening Boat Cruise.

Conant Statue & Salem Witch Museum | Salem Witch Trials | Salem Massachusetts Attractions
Conant Statue & Salem Witch Museum

Today, follow a rough outline of the Salem Heritage Trail. The path (painted on a sidewalk) takes visitors through 400 years of Salem’s history. Begin by walking to the Roger Conant Statue (2 Brown Street). In this neighborhood explore:

  • Salem Common: Many fairs, markets, and festivals are held in the city park.

  • Howard Street Cemetery: Location where accused witch Giles Corey was pressed to death in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.

  • Salem Witch Museum: Exhibits focus on the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Thirteen life-size stage sets recount the drama of the Salem witch hysteria (may not be suitable for small children). The museum also includes an exhibition on witches and a gift shop. (Recommendation: one of the best things to do in Salem, Massachusetts!)

Salem Common | Salem Heritage Trail | Salem Massachusetts 3 Day Itinerary
Salem Common

Next, follow the Salem Heritage Trail to the Charter Street Cemetery (aka Old Burying Point). Surrounded by colonial-era buildings and brick streets, the cemetery is the oldest in Salem. Look for the markers of John Hawthorn, a judge in the Witch Trials of 1692. Also, find Doraty Cromall who has the oldest marker (1637).

Charter Street Cemetery | Salem Heritage Trail | Best things to do in Salem Massachusetts
Charter Street Cemetery

Behind the cemetery, walk to the Witch Trials Memorial on Liberty Street. On a row of stone benches, the names of those who were executed for witchcraft are carved into granite.

Mercy Tavern | Salem Massachusetts 3 Day Itinerary | New England
Mercy Tavern

From Liberty Street, make your way to the Derby Street waterfront. Stop and explore the Salem Maritime National Historic Site. The 9-acre park was the first National Historic Site in America (1938). Visitors can walk the Derby Wharf to the lighthouse on Salem Harbor. There are historic homes to view (sometimes open for tours) and the cargo ship “Friendship of Salem” to explore.

Salem Maritime National Historic Site | Salem Massachusetts Attractions
Salem Maritime National Historic Site

A little further along Derby Street, you will come to a sign for The House of Seven Gables. Stop and tour the excellent waterfront museum and gift shop. The house is the setting for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel with the same title. Built in 1668, the estate is a National Historic Landmark.

Nathaniel Hawthorne's House of Seven Gables | Things to do in Salem Massachusetts | New England
The House of Seven Gables

Return to the downtown district and locate the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall. The mall and nearby side streets are full of witch- and occult-themed shops, restaurants, psychics, cafes, and séance shops. You will find unusual attractions and many tour operators in the area. You are apt to see people in costume as you browse the shops and have dinner.

Outside Dining | Essex Street Pedestrian Mall | Salem Massachusetts Itinerary | New England
Essex Street Outside Dining

Later, make your way back to the waterfront for a sunset cruise of Salem Harbor.

Salem Harbor Cruise | Salem Massachusetts Attractions | New England
Salem Harbor Cruise

Day 3: Enjoy a late brunch. Visit the Peabody Essex Museum.


Sleep in, pack up, and enjoy a late brunch. Then, walk to the renowned Peabody Essex Museum. Opening its doors in 1799, the massive building is home to the oldest continually operating museum in America. The museum houses historical artwork and exhibits featuring witch trial objects, maritime history, fashion, and special exhibits. Onsite, visitors can view the Yin Yu Tang House, a late 18th-century dwelling moved from its original location in China and re-erected in Salem.

Peabody Essex Museum | Salem Massachusetts 3 Day Travel Itinerary
Peabody Essex Museum

If time allows, walk down Essex Street and tour the 15-room Rope Mansion. The historical home was built in 1727. and is filled with items depicting 18th and 19th century life in New England. Attached to the home is a lovely garden to meander in season.

Custom House | Salem Maritime National Historic Site | Salem Massachusetts Attractions | New England
Custom House

Goodbye from “Witch City,” Laura and Randy


For more information on New England travel destinations read our articles on:


Waterfront Neighborhood | Salem Massachusetts 3 Day Travel Itinerary
Waterfront Neighborhood

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