There were a few visual sights of our New England road trip in my head before we departed and the town of Salem was one of them. And why wouldn't it be? Its history is well known throughout the whole world. It's both macabre and fascinating, and a glimpse into the horrors of human nature. On the other side Salem is captivating for the colonial style houses, wonderful ocean front, and in fall, for amazing fall foliage covering the streets. So come join us on a exploration of the old witch town of Salem, Massachusetts.
The first morning in New EnglandBefore I start with Salem, I'm quickly going to mention the first morning of ours in New England. As I said in part one, we slept in the Knight's Inn motel in Danvers, nearby Salem. We arrived late the previous evening and didn't really get to see much of our surroundings (actually there was some fog and it seemed creepy). But the next morning was eye opening. I went outside and the colors were already amazing, even though we were only in the parking lot of the motel. We had breakfast which was fine (though very sugar based, which we're not used to, this would repeat itself during our stay in the motels), then checked out, and drove in our rented car to Salem.
Entering SalemOur GPS took us on a nice back street tour of Salem (a habit of the GPS that would send us on a scary trip through the mountains of Vermont later on!) until we found parking. The tour actually proved to be interesting. We drove through Chestnut Street which has amazing houses and tree lines (I didn't take any images we just drove through it and didn't get back there, since we had to visit 5 towns on this first day!). Parking meters can be found all around town and are mostly 25 cents for 15 minutes of parking.
Points of Interest in SalemIf you roam the old town of Salem, you are bound to discover all of the important sights without any guide, since they are all close by. But to summarize a few let me start with the old cemetery, housing graves from the 17th century. Next up is the witch memorial, which is also an interesting sight. We saw Salem at night as well. Day and night play differently here. Daytime is lovely, night is creepy in these places. But it's all fun!
The History of SalemBut the history really does show here. Salem is very rich with history and every corner holds stories. Puritans had come to Massachusetts to obtain religious freedom for themselves, but had no particular interest in establishing a haven for other faiths. The laws were harsh, with punishments that included fines, deprivation of property, banishment or imprisonment.
House of Seven GabelsThe House of the Seven Gables (or Turner House), was made famous by author Nathaniel Hawthorne and the same named novel The House of the Seven Gables (1851). It's another colonial mansion named for its gables. The house is now a non-profit museum, with an admission fee charged for tours, as well as an active settlement house with programs for children.
Salem Witch TrialsThe Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. The trials resulted in the executions of twenty people, fourteen of them women, and all but one by hanging. Five others (including two infant children) died in prison. The episode is one of the Colonial America's most notorious cases of mass hysteria. New England had been settled by religious refugees seeking to build a pure, Bible-based society. Some of those influences can be felt while walking around town. They lived closely with the sense of the supernatural. Salem Village (present-day Danvers) was known for its fractious population, who had many internal disputes, and for disputes between the village and Salem Town (present-day Salem).
this great book.
Where to Eat in Salem?This is just a quick suggestion, but if you happen to visit Salem, don't miss Red's Sandwich Shop. The food is amazing. We got one order of blueberry pancakes and got three HUGE pancakes with lots of syrup and butter. It was beyond delicious. The coffee is ok, but the food is the real winner here. Male a stop, you won't regret it. The prices are also really good. We had breakfast in our motel so we only went for something sweet, but the food on the rest of the tables looked phenomenal!
One more selfie in Salem, and we are off on our road trip. The next post will cover a few coastal towns in Massachusetts, all amazing and charming (like Manchester-by-the-Sea, Rockport, Gloucester and others)! So stay tuned for part 3.
End of Part Two
To be continued...