The coastal city of Salem is located in northeastern Massachusetts, 15 miles north of Boston. According to historians, Salem was a prominent port city, its importance sometimes superseding that of neighboring Boston during the colonial period, especially in relation to Chinese trade. Although the city is best known for the infamous Salem Witch Trials of 1692, it has a lot more to offer to the visiting tourists. Salem is home to several interesting museums, historic landmarks, and heritage sites. It is ideal as a day trip destination from Boston but can also be visited over a weekend if you want to soak in its historical charm. In this blog we have for you the top tourists attractions in the city of Salem.
- Essex Shipbuilding Museum
The town of Essex, about 15 miles north east of Salem, is believed to have launched more 2-mast ships in the 19th century than any other city in the world. It is no wonder that the city has a museum dedicated to the art of shipbuilding that brought them fame and fortune. The Essex Shipbuilding Museum is housed in a school house from the mid-19th century. It displays a large collection of historical ship building tools along with a number of half-hulls and ship models. The adjacent boat yard still launches classic wooden ships.
- New England Pirate Museum
The New England Pirate Museum is a fun-filled museum that appeals to kids and adults alike. It is located on Derby Street, a block south of the Peabody Essex Museum. The Pirate Museum presents exciting stories on some of the most notorious pirates who roamed the waters of Boston and New York. There is an Artifacts Room in the museum which displays real treasures that were once plundered by the pirates. Recreated dockside villages and pirate ships, and costumed actors complete the experience.
- Salem Willows
Salem Willows is an oceanfront amusement park. It got the name from its long lines of European white willow trees. The park was established in 1858 but gained popularity in the 20th century with the building of seafood stalls, carousel, and an amusement park – Kiddieland – which is still in operation. Later additions include 2 arcades offering air hockey, bumper cars, batting cage, and pinball machines. The area also has a couple of beaches which area ideal for a casual stroll. Don’t miss out on the homemade ice-cream, chicken wings, and popcorn from the Hobb’s store by the park, one of the most famous in the whole of Salem.
The historical maritime town of Beverly is located just 3 miles north of Salem. The Pilgrims settled in 1626, although the city was incorporated in 1668. Beverly is named after a town in England. Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, in turn, gets its name from this town. Beverly, although also claimed by neighboring Marblehead, claims to be the birthplace of the US Navy. The scenic town is dotted with historic neighborhoods and heritage landmarks. It has a number of beaches that are frequented by locals and tourists during the summer months. Nicknamed the Garden City, Beverly also has a number urban parks and gardens.
- House of the Seven Gables
The House of the Seven Gables is a colonial mansion from 1668 which is famous for its seven gables. A gable is a triangular construction on the roof of a house, resembling an inverted ‘V’. The house was made famous by the 1851 novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne by the same name. The mansion was built by Captain John Turner and is also known as the Turner House. It was converted to a museum in 1910 and restored to its original look. However, certain compromises were made to resemble the house as described in Hawthorne’s novel so as to appeal to the visitors.
- Corwin House
The Jonathan Corwin House, also known as the Witch House, is the only house standing that is directly linked with the famous or infamous Salem Witch Trials of 1692. It was the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin, who sentenced 19 people to execution. Although there are contradictions to the construction date of the house, it was built around the mid-17th century. It was moved by 35 feet to its present location in the 1940s to widen a neighboring street. At the same time it was restored to its 17th-century look and transformed to a public museum. Take a guided tour of the house to know more about the lifestyle in the 17th century as well as the witch trials.
- Witch History Museum
Salem is best known for the Witch Trials of 1692, and this museum brings visitors details of that infamous event. The Witch History Museum is located on Essex Street, beside the Peabody Essex Museum. Recreated scenes, models of villages, and a dramatic presentation of the events make this museum a popular attraction in Salem. Although the facts and motives of the trials have been questioned in the later years, it has not dented the curiosity and interest of the public even to this day.
- Salem Maritime National Historic Site
The Salem Maritime National Historic Site covers about 9 acres along the waterfront of Salem Harbor. The site comprises 12 historic buildings that were associated with the maritime history of Salem in the 18th and 19th centuries. There is also the recreated 171-foot 3-mast Friendship vessel. It is an exact replica of the 1797 ship which made 12 voyages across the globe to India, China, Russia, and South America. The replica is open to the public as a museum. The neighborhood was designated a National Historic Site in 1938, making it the first National Historic Site in the US.
- Stephen Phillips Memorial Trust House
The Stephen Phillips Memorial Trust House is a majestic Federal=styled mansion with a rich collection of artifacts and accessories from the colonial period. A tour of the house will give you a feel of the lifestyles of the rich and powerful from the 18th and 19th centuries. The interior of the hose is adorned with the best from different parts of the world – African woodcarvings, Chinese porcelain, Native American pottery, Persian carpets, and American furniture. It is a seasonal museum and is open between May and October.
- Peabody Essex Museum
Peabody Essex Museum is a prominent art museum and a must-visit attraction in Salem. It was established in 1799 and is considered to have one of the finest collections of Asian Art in the US. The museum is already one of the largest in terms of gallery space. With the proposed expansion to over half a million square feet by 2019, it will be one of the largest in the world. It has a collection of over 1.3 million items. Other than Asian Art, Peabody Essex Museum also has in its collection African Art, Oceanic Art, Maritime art, and Native American Art. It also owns 24 historic structures and gardens, some of which are open for guided tours.
Originally posted 2017-09-05 06:42:49.