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Salem is ready to serve its visitors during the holiday season, as fewer crowds lead to intimate shopping experiences. “Salem has so much to offer during the holiday season,” says Kate Fox, executive director of Destination Salem. “It is magical to stroll through the Salem Common and see the lights and enjoy the picturesque backdrop of downtown Salem.”

In response to the economic impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Massachusetts local businesses and communities, the state has launched the #mylocalMA campaign to help drive business and economic recovery to small businesses and Main Streets across the state such as downtown Salem. In addition, economic development catalyzer Creative Collective is running a separate hyper-local campaign, #StayLocalSalem and #StayLocal2020.

“We are happy to welcome visitors back to Salem for the holiday season. The crowds are light this time of year and walking around and accessing shops and restaurants is easy,” says Kim Driscoll, Mayor of Salem. “There are new shops and restaurants in the community that are excited to share the holiday experience with visitors.” 

Hot Chocolate Crawl

While walking between stores, holiday revelers can grab a decadent hot chocolate from a stop on Salem’s hot chocolate crawl, and take in some festive photo opportunities such as the holiday tree next to the statue of Samantha from Bewitched. Salem is celebrating the recent opening of many new businesses and expanded offerings from old favorites. Once the shopping is done, enjoy your favorite local museums and restaurants.


Start your holiday shopping in Salem, where you can find intimate shopping experiences in local shops. For example, the shops at Artists’ Row feature items by local artisans such as candles, jewelry, and artwork. In addition to the diverse range of stores on Essex Street, including Moody’s Home & Gifts, Wicked Good Books, and the PEM Shop, Pickering Wharf offers many options for holiday gifts in stores like Merry and Bright, Partridge in a Bear Tree, and Salemdipity. Destination Salem has created lists of ideas for presents such as masksornaments, and overall gifts from Salem-based stores and boutiques. 

Check out a New Business

Salem has many new businesses this year like Beverly Bees in Artists’ Row, Botanica / Hermetic Arts Center, City Smoke Shop, Coven Beauty Company, GNU Kitchen, Jenni Stuart Fine Jewelry, Pentagram, Sage, Settler, Shindig Studios at Artists’ Row, the Juicery, and Spitfire Tacos. In addition to the new businesses, many popular locales such as Salem Arts Association, District Trading Company, The Boutique, and Jolie Tea Company have expanded their spaces.


Salem is renowned for its food scene and in addition to indoor dining, the culinary community is ready for the cold weather as many restaurants have been outfitted with tents and heaters to extend outdoor dining through the end of November. Enjoy award-winning pizza from Bambolina, local cuisine from Ledger Restaurant & Bar, or the freshest seafood at Turner’s or Finz. For a list of Destination Salem recommended restaurants, visit

Stay at a Local Hotel

Hotels in Salem offer cozy rooms for holiday visitors, sometimes even offering in-room fireplaces. The hotels and inns of Salem are a perfect place to get comfortable inside and plan out the next day for shopping in Salem. There are seasonal specials to consider when booking a hotel such as the historic Hawthorne Hotel and The Salem Inn, contemporary Salem Waterfront Hotel and Suites, mid-century modern gem The Hotel Salem, and the new Hampton Inn Salem. Click here for a list of recommended hotels and inns. 

Take a Tour

A long-standing favorite, Historic Salem is adapting to COVID-1 restrictions and hosting a virtual tour of historic houses decorated for the holidays. Peabody Essex Museum is offering a holiday experience with seasonal decorations and shop specials. Click here for a list of recommended museums and attractions.

Download Destination Salem’s Mobile App

Destination Salem has launched a new mobile app to assist visitors to Salem in accessing the latest information. This new app features news, information on walking tours, educational content, and location-based notifications. The app is available for iOS and Android and can be found on the App Stores by searching for Destination Salem, Mass.