Where To Stay In Salem, MA | Inside Scoop – Rockport MA
As soon as the calendar hits August, Halloween enthusiasts break out of their summer hibernation, jack-o-lanterns carve out space on our social media feed, and pumpkin spice lattes drop at Starbucks. These signs mean its officially time for a pilgrimage to Salem, Massachusetts, the mecca of all things spooky.
But finding lodging in the Witch City proper can present a significant challenge for ravenous revelers. In this article, we will provide some inside tips on Where to Stay in Salem, MA and why Rockport is a fantastic outside the box option for travelers to consider.
Salem is such a quirky and unique north shore city with so many fantastic restaurants, shops, historic homes, and, of course, witchery.
There are so many things to do in Salem in the fall and you can find the latest information beautifully curated on the Haunted Happenings Website:
But the city of Salem, which has a population of about 45,000, can receive upwards of 1 Million visitors in October!!
That rapid influx of travelers makes getting in and out of Salem, almost as challenging as departing the 2023 Burning Man.
In addition, while Salem has some incredible places to stay, such as The Merchant, Hawthorne Hotel, and Hotel Salem, much of the lodging gets booked up far in advance. Moreover, the lodging demand leads to some outrageous pricing spikes that will make you wonder if you booked an inn in Salem or the Four Seasons on Boylston.
In fact, many of the guests at Salem Inns and Hotels even book for the next year when departing the previous year, making planning difficult for travelers. But if you’re thinking about a last-minute trip to Salem and don’t want to contend with the traffic, crowds, and Salem prices, Rockport, Massachusetts is a fantastic option!
Rockport, Massachusetts is a scenic coastal village about an hour north of Boston and a 30-minute ride from Salem, MA. There are so many things to do in Rockport that it is the perfect place to call home for a couple of nights in the fall.
It has a charming downtown shopping area (Bearskin Neck), delicious seafood, scenic coastal vistas, and a world class performing arts center in the Shalin Liu.
Plus, you will find it to be a peaceful spot to unplug, relax and recharge after a day for exploring in Salem. There is something so cathartic about spending time on the ocean.
Perhaps the best part is that costumed carousers can hop right on the train and take it directly into Salem. No need to worry about parking, no need to worry about traffic and no need to worry about driving home!
Here at Addison Choate, we are just a 5-10 minute walk to MBTA Commuter Line. Every Halloween we have guests that come and stay with us, get dressed up, and head into Salem for all of the Haunted Happenings.
There are plenty of guides and blogs that cover all of the Things To Do In Salem, MA so we will be brief and provide you with a few of our favorite things in the Witch City.
Restaurants Worth Visiting:
Two of the most consistent restaurants in Salem are Turner’s Seafood and Adriatic. Turner’s is a classic family run New England seafood restaurant with a fantastic variety, raw bar, and top-notch service. Adriatic features Mediterranean/Italian, fresh cut pasta and truly rivals Boston’s North End eateries.
If you’re looking for higher end dining, try Ledger and if you are looking for drinks, hit up the rooftop bar at Hotel Salem.
Things Worth Seeing:
The Peabody Essex Museum is a world class museum that is worth visiting any time of year. They have a Salem Witch Trial Exhibit now too that is worth seeing. There is also a unique exhibit featuring a Chinese home, Yin Yu Tang, that dates back to the Qing Dynasty. You can tour the home and get a feel for the living conditions of the day.
The House of Seven Gables is an historic 1668 colonial mansion that was built by merchant and shipowner John Turner and served as the setting for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel. The tour is very interesting, informative, and entertaining. You can tour the beautiful grounds of the property and even check out a secret staircase. The tour is perfect for history buffs, Hawthorne fans and anyone who loves historic New England architecture.
The Witch Dungeon Museum is a worth a visit to see a reenactment of the Salem Witch Trials that is adapted from the 1692 transcripts. Then, in the second part of the tour guests are lead through a reenacted dungeon.
The Witch Museum (pictured below) is a different attraction than the Witch Dungeon Museum. Some find the Witch Museum is corny, but we prefer campy and think that is worth a visit as well. There are two parts to the presentation in the museum. The first focuses on the 1692 witch trials in Salem and the second part examines European witch trials and the evolution and perception of the witch in modern society.
Another fun activity in Salem, is a sailing excursion on an historic schooner. The schooner, When and If, was built in 1939 for General George Patton by FF Pendleton in Wiscasset, Maine. General Patton stated that he was going to take the ship and sail around the world, “When the war is over and if I live through it.” The schooner is available for private charter and group outings. It has a full bar and it’s absolutely stunning.
In addition to these attractions there a great variety of shops to re-up on all of your potion, crystal, and wand needs. Also, visiting Salem Willows is just good old fashioned childhood fun. Think arcade games, skee-ball and carnival food.
Let’s be real though, the best part of visiting Salem in October is just good old fashioned people watching. Especially in October.
No matter what type of activities interest you, if you are trying to figure out Where to Stay in Salem, MA we’d recommend putting Rockport on the list!