Exploring Salem’s Past

A Tragic Past Brings Salem A Tourism Boom


Interestingly, the much-remembered tragedy of the Salem witch hysteria brings the tourists and their money to Salem, which in turn fuels restaurants, B&B’s, art galleries, shops, and cultural events. That makes a place of historic mystery a wonderful destination for a romantic weekend, especially in Salem’s off season.

We’ve visited Salem in the early spring, after the last snowfall but before the new leaves sprouted. Walking the cobblestone streets in the pre-season feels like a stroll through a village. And we’ve mixed into the October carnival atmosphere with its jostling elbow-to-elbow crowds. We much prefer Salem in the spring.


Unhurried. Simple.

We spent a romantic weekend in Salem exploring the history of the town. Witches are only a fraction of Salem’s past; there were also wooden sailing ships and Yankee traders… and maybe even a pirate or two.

Perfect for a romantic getaway.


The trickle of tourists in the off season can’t support a lot of hotel rooms, so overnight visitors year-round stay in B&B’s. We came as guests of the Salem Inn, who hosted us in the Peabody House. The Peabody house was built in 1874 as the home to a wealthy merchant. Since then it became one of the three Summer Street B&B properties all gathered under the label “Salem Inn”.


We stayed in a beautiful room with hardwood floors, high ceilings, a four-poster bed topped with a quilt, a Jacuzzi bathtub big enough for two, and, most romantic of all, a fireplace that begged for us to snuggle in its flickering light.


What do most people do during a romantic trip to Salem? If you haven’t been there before, you’ll probably want to visit the witch exhibits with their dark hallways and dimly lit rooms that can bring an unexpected scare and a hug for comfort.


But don’t leave it at that! Head on over to the House of Seven Gables and see how the upper crust of the 1700’s lived. Explore the National Historic area and see how the town’s sailing heritage shaped early Salem. And plan on spending some time in the new Peabody-Essex art museum where you can see art from around the world, evoking the sailing heritage of the town. You might even catch the trolley to hear the narrated tour as you circle through Salem’s narrow streets.

In the evening, if your taste runs to fine dining or live music, there are many options near the Salem Inn. Or you can do what we did, spend the evening back in your room, cuddling in a plush four-poster bed while watching the red and yellow flames dance in the fireplace.


For more information:

  • Salem Inn — http://www.saleminnma.com
  • Salem Wax Museum — http://www.salemwaxmuseum.com/
  • Maritime National Historic Site — http://www.nps.gov/sama
  • Salem Trolley — http://www.salemtrolley.com/
  • House of the Seven Gables –http://www.7gables.org/
  • Peabody Essex Museum — http://www.pem.org/
  • Witch Dungeon Museum — http://www.witchdungeon.com/

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