Named by TravelMag.com as one of the top 30 most charming small cities in the U.S., there is a lot to love about Salem, Massachusetts. Whether you’re interested in the atmosphere, the rich history, the people, or the restaurants, Salem has something to offer everyone.
Founded in 1626 by Roger Conant and a group of immigrants from Cape Ann, Salem quickly became known for the 17th century Salem Witch Trials. However, if you’ve ever spent a day in Salem you’ll know the town has come a long way since the trials of the 1600s. Read on to see some of the businesses that have helped Salem grow into one of the most beautiful, unique, and fun towns on the North Shore!
Salem has a lot more to offer than just witches and warlocks!
Groceries & Snacks
Salem has a variety of great restaurants, cafes, bars, and ice cream shops. So, health nuts, foodies, and people alike: look no further than downtown Salem!
The Cheese Shop of Salem is your one-stop shop for your next charcuterie board. Find artisan cheeses, lovingly made wines, cured meats, hand-crafted beers, gourmet goodies, exotic spices, sauces, ciders, and more!
If you love Henry’s in Beverly, you’ll love Crosby’s market. Crosby’s offers everything you need from pre-made meals, produce, and groceries all in one place.
We also recommend:
- The Wolf Next Door Cafe, located downtown near the water for delicious breakfast and lunch options.
- In the heart of downtown Salem, the Front Street Cafe offers fresh juices, smoothies, salads, and more!
Located right on Massachusetts’ gorgeous coast, Salem has some of the best views on the North Shore.
If you’re ever in need of a grassy spot to throw down a blanket and enjoy a meal with your family, Forest River Park is always a good call. Seated next to the harbor, the park is a gorgeous spot with dazzling views of boats on the water.
If you’re looking for a taste of Hawaii on the east coast, check out Waikiki Beach on Winter Island. The island is a special spot for swimming, walking, or sightseeing with family and friends.
Also, check out:
- Salem Common: Right in the heart of downtown Salem, this grassy green public park has been a common area for the town since the 17th Century. This spot is ideal for picnics, walks, and photos. Don’t miss out on the stone gazebo!
- Pickering Wharf Marina has tons of restaurants, bars, and cute shops for a fun afternoon of activities!
For great lunch and dinner options, check these out:
- Ledger, a chic New England Concept located in a historically unique location, serves traditional 19th-century dishes and cocktails elevated with 21st-century resources.
- Inspired by Mediterranean regions surrounding the Adriatic Sea, The Adriatic Restaurant and Bar has a variety of delicious Italian dishes like brick oven flatbreads and saltimbocca. They also have a magnificent espresso martini you have to try.
- If you’re looking for something more casual, the Lobster Shanty is the perfect spot. Located downtown, the shanty serves classic bites and provides amazing service.
- For the seafood fans, Finz is the place to be. Committed to serving sustainable seafood, Finz provides innovative, sustainable, inspired menus, raw & sushi bars, and carefully paired wine lists.
Have Some Fun!
After you’re done enjoying the views or hunting for witches, you can’t miss these fun spots:
All Souls Lounge is the best new spot for cold beers, creative cocktails, warm conversation, and the best juke and vinyl selections on the North Shore! Located in downtown Salem, this fun bar “welcomes all who still have their souls — and even some who don’t…”
Located on top of the Hotel Salem, The Roof offers Salem’s only open-air rooftop bar and restaurant. Their modern decor and no-fuss food and drink are sure to be a great backdrop for your next night out.
Fun food and games come together at Bitbar! Stop in to try their Tetris tots or just to play a few rounds, we promise it won’t disappoint.
The Cinema Salem is a great spot to catch a flick. Whether you’re looking to see the latest blockbuster or your favorite horror, this is the place to be.
A Salem staple, stop in for classic Irish cuisine and live Irish music at O’Neill’s!
Take in some History
With almost 400 years of history, there is no shortage of museums and learning opportunities in Salem.
Salem offers a variety of historical walking tours. Learn about the rich history of the town, the Witch Trials, and even enjoy candlelit tours after dark while strolling through some of Salem’s most famous and spooky landmarks.
Beyond the witches and ghosts, the renowned Peabody Essex Museum is right in the heart of downtown Salem! The PEM, as it’s often referred to, is a world class museum, that seeks to, “increase knowledge, enrich the spirit, engage the mind and stimulate the senses.” (Source: www.pem.org)
Stop in to explore gorgeous exhibits like:
- In American Waters where artists reveal that marine painting is so much more than ship portraits.
- In Where the Questions Live: An Exploration of Humans in Nature, artist Wes Sam-Bruce explores the curiosity-driven experiences of human beings within the natural world.
And if you have some extra time, explore some of our other fun favorites: