A weekend getaway! Josh and I took a 4.5 hour drive to Salem for his cousin’s wedding and we stayed an extra day to tour the town and do touristy things. It’s a cute town, but and definitely caters to tourists at the main city center.
Our Stay: Airbnb in Peabody, MA
We stayed at an Airbnb in Peabody, a ten minute drive into Salem. We rented a car to drive up for the wedding so it was convenient to get to and from Salem. The night of the wedding we took an Uber to and from the Airbnb for $10 each way. Plus, the neighborhood in Peabody was within walking distance of Main Street in Peabody, we grabbed coffee and breakfast from Breaking Grounds coffee shop the first morning. If you’re interested in Airbnb you can get a $40 credit on signing up using my link!
Shopping: Haus Witch
On Washington Street in Salem, is a cute little shop called Haus Witch. I heard someone talking about this place at work and had to stop in. The day we visited it was Saturday, the day of the wedding, and it was super rainy earlier in the day. Stepping inside the store, it’s bright, airy, and welcoming. There was a tarot reader there that day and she was reading cards for a customer when we walked in. The shop sells modern-witch items. Naturally they have crystals and astrology focused items, but they also sell notebooks or “spell books,” branded Haus Witch mugs, jewelry, and homemade tinctures. The sales associate explained that tinctures were meant to be taken every day as a drop of herbal remedy that could help spark creativity, focus, or whatever problem you would like to solve. Super interesting to learn! They also sold local art. For all the “witch” stores in the area, this seemed the most modern and the least stereotypical, which made me love it all the more.
Exploring: Peabody Essex Museum; Salem Trolley; Salem Willows
The reception of the wedding was in the main hall of the Peabody Essex Museum, so the next day we visited properly. Starting at 10am opening time, we toured the Chinese House. We also scheduled the tour of the 16th, 17th, and 18th century homes surrounding the museum. After the tours we visited the remaining exhibits in the museum on Nature and Technology, East India Maritime figureheads, and American, maritime, and Japanese art exhibits.
Around 2pm we finally wrapped up the tour of the museum and hopped on the Salem Trolley. The great thing is if you buy tickets you can get on and off at any stop along the route. Two turns of the route, you can see everything on the tour, including the seafront and historic homes along Chestnut Street.
After the trolley tour we grabbed lunch at Howling Wolf Taqueria. We ordered margaritas and fried avocados for appetizer and I ordered fried avocado tacos with jalapeño ranch sauce because I literally couldn’t get enough. The avocado fries were perfection. The atmosphere of the restaurant was also super cool. Highly recommend!
Our touristy mission continued at The Salem Witch Museum, which, honestly, I do not recommend. It’s kitschy and the audio story telling of the Salem Witch Trials, with mannequins felt like it had not been updated since the 1970’s. It was a very awkward experience and didn’t seem to be worth the money.
After The Salem Witch Museum, we drove to Salem Willows. It’s an area that used to be for psychiatric patients to walk along the water (according to Josh, though I couldn’t find any verifiable info on this). Coincidentally, it’s a very nice place to people watch. We ate popcorn bars and drank raspberry lime Rickeys. It was a super nice way to end the day. We were a bit tired at this point and didn’t have the energy to play at the arcade, but I definitely would check it out if I was there again.
Our time in Salem was short, but we made the most of it! It’s a nice weekend destination for those looking to get out of town.