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Salem might be known for its dramatic history and its spooky sights, but there’s far more to this town than witches and magic. You can peruse a world-class art museum, dine on fresh seafood, and indulge in sweets made according to centuries-old recipes. Read on for our favorite ways to enjoy this famous city.


This waterfront eating-house located in Pickering Wharf offers perfectly prepared seafood procured from vessels across the world.  Try the Street Corn Shrimp and the Yellowfin Black and White Sesame Tuna. 86 Wharf St., 978-744-8485,

This open dining area boasts that patrons will experience “traditional 19th-century dishes, cocktails, and techniques [that] are elevated with 21st-century resources.”  The entrees, like the Long Island Duck Breast, look too good to eat. Thank goodness you can! 125 Washington St., 978-594-1908,

Opus offers amazing sushi and creative cocktails. Photograph by Anthony Tieuli

Indoor/outdoor dining is available at this award-winning Washington Street restaurant. The generous sushi menu is augmented by creative appetizers and some of the most creative entrées on the North Shore. Vegetarians and meat-lovers alike will leave satiated beyond words. 87 Washington St., 978-744-9600,

Red’s Sandwich Shop
Known for the breakfasts as much as the sandwiches, Red’s is where locals gather for coffee, heaping portions of home-fries, and the crispiest bacon on the North Shore. Fill your belly for a walking tour of the many shops located around the corner. 15 Central St., 978-745-3527,


The Cheese Shop of Salem
Filled with delectable cheeses, wines, cured meats, and pickled treats, the Salem Cheese Shop, and its friendly staff, will assist you with everything you will need for your next cocktail party. 45 Lafayette St., 978-498-4820,

Harbor Sweets
This confectionery boutique is known for its signature, sailboat-shaped “sloops”—almond butter crunch toffee covered with white chocolate after being dipped in dark chocolate. Your taste buds will thank you. 85 Leavitt St., 978-745-7648,

Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie
America’s oldest candy company is located on Derby Street. Its Gibralters are still handmade from the original recipe: boiled sugar flavored with lemon or peppermint oil. Stretched like taffy, they harden to the texture of an after dinner mint. 122 Derby St., 978-745-2744,

Jolie Tea Company
You’ll think you’re visiting a café on the Champs-Élysées. Jolie Tea is the perfect place to relax (indoors or out) with a macaron and a cup of freshly brewed tea from a host of varieties. 316 Derby St., 978-745-5654,

Pickering Wharf
Restaurants, bars, gift shops, a haunted house, a tattoo parlor, and more—all right on the water! This is a one-stop destination for those who have a limited amount of time to spend in Salem.
 23 Congress St.,, 978-741-3252

The Record Exchange
This used record store (which also sells new vinyl) is a godsend for the audiophile.  Browse the deep stacks and you will find everything from jazz, to blues, to rock, to classical, to local music. 256 Washington St., 978-745-0777,


The Hawthorne Hotel
Combining elegance and comfort, the historic Hawthorne has been a mainstay in Salem for almost 100 years. Spend an evening, come for a succulent dinner, or enjoy a five-star libation. 18 Washington Sq., 978-744-4080,

Photograph by Shutterstock

The Hotel Salem
The Hotel Salem is a unique, fabulous hotel in the center of the city.  Its chic ambiance is fueled by its rooftop bar and restaurant seating area. Get a bird’s-eye view of Witch City while enjoying a cocktail at The Roof bar. 209 Essex Street, 978- 451-4950,

Salem Willows
Salem Willows is known for its signature popcorn and taffy. Locals love its chop suey sandwiches.  Youngsters love its bustling arcade. It is also spread with ample space for picnics at the water’s edge. 165 Fort Ave., 978-745-025,

The House of Seven Gables
Built in 1668 by merchant and ship-owner John Turner (and restored in 1910 by Caroline Emmerton), this beautiful, rustic, New England building was the setting of Hawthorne’s classic 1851 novel of the same name. 115 Derby St., 978-744-0991,

Old Burying Point Cemetery
History buffs will love Salem’s oldest burial ground (established in 1637), the resting place of legendary Witch Trial Judge John Hawthorne, Mayflower passenger Captain Richard More, Governor Simon Bradstreet, Chief Justice Benjamin Lynde, and Rev. John Higginson. 51 Charter St.,

The Peabody Essex Museum
Located within walking distance of Salem Commons, the Witch Museum, and Pickering Wharf, the PEM is filled with art and artifacts. Be sure to check its website regularly for special collections, exhibits, and events. 161 Essex St., 978-745-9500,

The Salem Witch Museum
Readers of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible are familiar with the hysteria that enveloped Salem in 1692. Come see and hear the rest of the story presented in dramatic form. 19½ North Washington Sq., 978-744-1692,