5 things to do for free in Salem—the Witch City

S.T. Alvyn By S.T. Alvyn, 16th Jul 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>North America>United States>Massachusetts

Salem is more than the location of the 1692 Witch Trials it has a rich maritime history as one of the first settlements in New England. There are many things to see and do; here are some things to do that won’t cost you a fortune, that are both informative and fun.

Free things to do in a day in Salem, MA

Notoriously renowned for the 1692 witch trials, Essex Street is lined with shops selling spells, costumes, magic potions, psychic readings and anything witchy. Museums tempt you with tickets and tours as charismatic tour guides vie for your attention to follow them on a tour. Salem has more than a supernatural reputation; it was also one of the first settlements in New England and has a rich maritime history dating back to 1626. Salem is easy to walk around and there are many things to see and do for free, but aim to get there between 10 a.m. and midday as many places close by 6 p.m.
1. Visit The National Park Service Visitor Center, on New Liberty Street at the end of Essex and opposite the Peabody Essex Museum. Here you will find numerous maps and guides. As the old armory, there are memorials to all that lost their lives in battle from the area. Inside, there are permanent displays of the history of the area including a facsimile of Bridget Bishop’s death warrant and the history of the wharves. Book a free tour of Custom House or the Friendship here, usually only during peak hours or when a ranger is available.
2. The Old Burying Point on Charter Street is one of the oldest in the USA, dating back to 1637. It used to be the furthest point at the edge of Salem town and has markers to graves for the judges during the witch trials. There are two entrances one on Charter Street and another on Liberty Street. Even though it says it closes at dusk, the walls are low to climb over and many tours visit at night, so don’t worry about being locked in.
3. The Salem Witch Trial Memorial is next to the Old Burying Point on Liberty Street. Here, you will find 20 engraved granite benches with the names of those who were unjustly accused and executed. It’s presence not only pays respects to those who lost their lives, but reminds of the injustices in society led to the Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice being set up to promote social justice in society.
4. Visit the statues—on Hawthorne Boulevard is Nathaniel Hawthorne, Bewitched statue at 235 Essex Street on the corner of Washington Street and Roger Conant, the founder of Salem by Salem Common and Washington Square. Take a free walking tour of Hawthorne’s homes, which you can find at the Visitors Center.
5. Walk around Pickering Wharf and Derby Wharf where you can find the Friendship tall ship and information on the history of the wharf. Even if you can’t get a tour, it is worth visiting and a ranger or volunteer maybe available by chance to give you a tour. (My old landlady was a volunteer and used to give tours if she was around)
Salem hosts other activities during the year; fireworks for Independence day, summer films on the common, music and art festivals throughout the year and the Halloween parade. There are plenty of old houses you can view from the outside including the Old Town Hall on Derby Square which sometimes holds exhibitions for free. It’s a great place to visit without spending a fortune, but if you want to get your fortune read, there are plenty of places to choose from.

Salem is more than the location of the 1692 Witch Trials it has a rich maritime history as one of the first settlements in New England. There are many things to see and do; here are some things to do that won’t cost you a fortune, that are both informative and fun.

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Massachusetts, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Salem, Salem Mass, Salem Witch Trials, Witch City

Meet the author

author avatar S.T. Alvyn
New England based writer and explorer philosophizing and musing on the morals and ethics of humanity,sharing Spiritual theories and concepts. I was a beauty expert and model and write on my life then

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