New England Travel navigation bar graphic

Salem's "Lifestyles of the Witch and Famous"
Share this article

Famous as the "Witch City," Salem also features great walking opportunities with spectacular, old sea captain's homes created or inspired by well-known architect Samuel McIntire
Salem, MA, Photo
Historic Salem, MA,  Photo Courtesy of MOTT

Salem, MA, a lively North Shore Massachusetts port city with a population of about 38,000, thrives on tourism -- most notably an appealing "brew" of museums and other travel attractions and events that focus on its famed witchcraft history.

And if you seek to be educated and entertained on the witch culture, Salem -- also known as "The Witch City" -- will certainly not disappoint.  For starters, there's the House of Seven Gables, Salem Witch Museum, the Witch Dungeon Museum, the Witch House, many downtown New Age and Wiccan shops, the month-long Halloween-related events, city-wide, in October, and even a statue at Lappin Park of Samantha Stevens, the attractive witch in the 1960s comedy Bewitched. Ultimately, Salem is not just a shallow, "fly-by-night" tourist trap with cheesey witch souvenir shops selling cheap trinklets and t-shirts; the authentic culture is deeply embedded into the city's modern-day community.  

If you don't feel like hanging around (perhaps a bad choice of words) all the witch attractions, however, Salem does possess an entirely different personality that requires a little walking, and a love for architecture and history.
To the surprise of many, Salem features
a remarkable concentration of beautiful, Federal era sea captain mansions (neighboring Marblehead was the birthplace of the Navy), most notably created by Samuel McIntire, one of America's most famous (and first) architects.  Salem, in fact, has desginated a three-block section as the Samuel McIntire district -- more than 300 predominantly Federal and Georgian-style buildings either desgined or influenced by McIntire!  You can start the walking tour at the Witch House, at North and Essex Streets, follow the route via posts and sidewalk plaques, and expect about a mile walk. The entire walk takes about an hour. Within this grand walking tour, be sure to also visit the Peabody Museum and Essex Institute -- with large collections of marine art (it actually goes way beyond that with an amazing collection of Asian art exhibitions) -- and the Gardner-Pingree House that features McIntire's work (you'll also see other historical homes in this area).

For more information on Salem walking tours, witch and habor area attractions, events, and, in general, the seemingly endless things to do in Salem, we recommend visiting the Salem Office of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Inc.

Related Articles:

Gloucester, MA, Travel Review

Visiting Rockport, MA

Downtown Newburyport, MA

Lake Quannapowitt, Wakefield, MA

Beach Travel at Plum Island, Newburyport, MA

Share this article

Share this article

Search New England

Follow VisitingNewEngland On
Follow NewEnglandInfo on Twitter    Follow on Facebook
        Follow Me on Pinterest



Featuring our latest New England travel insider's news updates and stories, discounts and coupons!

NOTE: We will never sell your personal information! Go to privacy policy link at bottom of page.

Search for Cape Cod and Maine vacation rentals.

Buy Boston Red Sox Tickets.