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Salem: More Than Just Witches


Witches, Water and Hawthorne

Salem, Mass., may be most closely identified with the 1692 witchcraft hysteria—and there are lots of reminders, ranging from the educational to the kitschy. But there’s much more to this bustling former maritime town. If you want the full otherworldly experience and can navigatwe mind- boggling crowds, come anytime during the month of October for the annual townwide Haunted Happenings, featuring all kinds of special events. Visit www.hauntedhappenings.org.

drive time: 5 hours, 30 minutes.

stay here: The contemporary Salem Waterfront Hotel & Marina is situated in the historic area on Salem Harbor. It’s an easy walk to all attractions, shopping and dining. In October, rates start at $189 on weekdays, $249 on weekends; November $110/$135; December $119/$135. 225 Derby St., (978) 740-8788, www.salemwaterfronthotel.com

eat here: Adriatic Restaurant and Bar is a cozy neighborhood spot for good Mediterranean food, especially the house-made pasta. Entrées range from $16.95 to $25.95, brick-oven pizzas from $11.95 to $14.95. 155 Washington St., (978) 594-1832, www.adriaticrestaurantandbar.com.

You’ll find clever spins on classic comfort food (mac and cheese, with Tasso ham and peas) at the Naumkeag Ordinary. Entrées are $12-$19. 118 Washington St., (978) 744-4968, www.naumkeagordinary.com.

Don’t miss the Sunday jazz brunch at Nathaniel’s in the historic Hawthorne Hotel (built in 1925). $19.99. 8 Washington Square West, (978) 744-4080, www.hawthornehotel.com.

Nosh at various food shops and restaurants as you soak up some local culture on one of the Salem Food Tours. $54. Pickering Wharf Marina, (978) 594-8811, www.salemfoodtours.com.

to-do list: The Salem Witch Museum uses stage sets with life-size figures and voice-overs based on actual trial documents to tell the story of the hysteria that led to the deaths of 19 women and men convicted of being witches. $9.50/adults, $6.50/kids. 19 N. Washington Square, (978) 744-1692, www.salemwitchmuseum.com.

Cry Innocent does live reenactments of the 1692 witchcraft trial of Bridget Bishop. $12/adults, $8/kids. Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, (978) 867-4767, www.cryinnocentsalem.com.

Let Lorelei, Salem’s “Love Clairvoyant,” read your tarot cards and palm. Private sessions are $90; couples’ readings are $150. Crow Haven Corner, 125 Essex St., (978) 745-8763, www.crowhavencorner.net.

The Salem Witch Walk, a 90-minute tour of historic and current sites led by a practicing witch, also originates at Crow Haven Corner. $13. (978) 666-0884, www.witchwalk.com

Take a sail on Salem Harbor aboard the Schooner Fame, a full-scale replica of a War of 1812 privateer. $35/adults, $15/kids. Pickering Wharf Marina, Wharf Street, (978) 729-7600, www.schoonerfame.com.

Go on a Lighthouse and Fall Foliage Tour or Halloween Boo’s Cruise with Mahi Mahi Cruises. $19-$25. Pickering Wharf Marina, (978) 825-0001, www.mahicruises.com

At the Peabody Essex Museum, you’ll find three centuries of art and architecture from New England and around the world, including a 200-year- old, 16-bedroom home that was moved from China. $18/adults (Chinese house $5 extra); kids 16 and under free. 161 Essex St., (978) 745-9500, www.pem.org

Built in 1668, the Turner Ingersoll Mansion—the inspiration for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables—has been restored to its 18th-century glory. You’ll also visit Hawthorne’s birthplace, which was moved to the property. $12.50/adults, $7.50/kids. 115 Derby St., (978) 744-0991, www.7gables.org.

for thrifty types: Join the locals for breakfast or lunch at Red’s Sandwich Shop, where many omelets and other morning
offerings are under $6 and midday entrées never exceed $9. 15 Central St., (978) 745-3527, www.redssandwichshop.com

On the Salem Maritime National Historical Site tour of the U.S. Custom House and the reconstructed 18th-century tall ship Friendship of Salem, you’ll learn how the town was one of the nation’s busiest ports for 200 years. Tickets are free but timed, so reserve a spot. 193 Derby St., (978) 740-1650, www.nps.gov/sama.