A Byers’ Guide to Salem, Massachusetts

Shop My Outfit:

During our recent Boston trip, we decided to make a day trip to Salem, Massachusetts. It came highly recommended from everyone I know who has visited Salem, especially during the Halloween season. I had never been to Massachusetts and Jake had only been briefly for a residency interview, so I was excited to explore New England in the fall. I am a huge fan of the Disney movie Hocus Pocus, so I was dying to see where several scenes of the movie were filmed. During our trip to Salem, we learned that 1 million people flock there each year during the month of October. Our trip to Salem was so fun; I felt like I was in Halloween Town the whole time! Although I’m not a huge history buff and don’t believe in witches, it was interesting to see where a lot of history took place.

How To Get There:

Jake and I are not the best at navigating public transportation, but we took the commuter train from downtown Boston. It was only a 30 minute ride and well worth it. This was such an easy option and was much quicker than renting a car and driving or Ubering. We were told that there is a lot of traffic in October, so our hotel concierge recommended taking the train. Once you get there, Salem is very walkable, so you definitely don’t need to rent a car or Uber.

What We Did:

  • Explore: Like I said, Salem is very walkable because a lot of the main attractions are close together.  It was cold and dreary when we went, so we didn’t venture too far. Luckily most of the main things to do are on or right off of Essex Street. I enjoyed finding cute houses that were decorated perfectly for fall/Halloween.
  • Find Filming Spots From Hocus Pocus: We quickly found Allison’s house from Hocus Pocus, aka The Ropes Mansion. The home is a museum and you can walk through the gorgeous backyard garden. We also saw the high school from the movie, which is now a retirement community. We also saw the Old Burying Point Cemetery, where Max’s shoes were stolen by the bullies in the movie. This cemetery houses many people who were accused of being witches in the Salem Witch Trials.
  • The Witch House: This is located a block away from Allison’s house and was the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin. It is the only structure still standing in Salem with direct ties to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692
  • Take A Trolley Tour: Although Salem is very walkable, it was great to take a trolley ride on a cold day. It was an hour long ride and the guide pointed out where a lot of American history took place and also where many scenes of Hocus Pocus were filmed. I felt like we got a lot out of the trolley tour.
  • Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery Monster Museum: This was a spot that Jake really wanted to visit. It features replicas of monsters from many famous horror movies. Everything looks very realistic, and my favorite section was, of course, the Hocus Pocus exhibit.
  • Stroll Around Downtown/Shop: Downtown is adorable and truly is the heart of the city. Right as you exit the commuter train, it’s just an easy 5 minute walk from the train station to downtown. Downtown is made up of many galleries, museums, psychics, shops and restaurants. The downtown is decorated perfectly for Halloween and was one of my favorite spots to explore. I seriously felt like I was in Halloween Town, except there were only a few people in costumes. We had fun window shopping and bought a cute little cat Halloween decoration.
  • Old Town Hall: Right in the heart of downtown, this is the earliest municipal structure that still stands in Salem. This is used for many gatherings.
  • Bewitched Statue: This is also located in downtown and is a tribute to the show ‘Bewitched’, whose 7th season was filmed in Salem.
  • Museums: Although we only visited one museum (Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery Monster Museum) due to getting a late start, the Peabody Essex Museum seems neat. It has a 200 year old Chinese house that was brought over, amongst numerous other exhibits. The Salem Witch Museum and House of The Seven Gables are also ones that I’d love to visit.
  • Harbor Views: We luckily got harbor views on the trolley, but with the breeze it was too cold to go back and walk the harbor. I recommend a visit to Dead Horse Beach and the Derby Wharf to see the light house.
  • Eat: Although we didn’t have a long visit to Salem, we ate at Bambolina. It is great local pizza. Our trolley guide says his favorite restaurant in Salem is Finz Seafood and Grill.

About My Outfit:

This dress is another great Chicwish find. I’m wearing the XS/S and it runs big. For a more fitted look you could belt it, but I forgot to bring a black belt on our trip. It was cold and rainy in Salem when we went, so I paired the dress with leather over-the-knee boots. This dress is such great quality and it would be perfect for Thanksgiving because it’s comfortable and forgiving. I plan to pair it with a colorful scarf next time to change it up.

A visit to Salem in October was definitely worth it! Jake and I both really enjoyed our trip. Have you visited Salem? If so, what are your favorite spots?



  1. October 14, 2019 / 5:02 am

    Salem is only an hour and a half or so away from my hometown so I’ve been several times. My mom loves it there!! There is a great Indian restaurant downtown that I can’t remember the name of. 🙂

    xoxo A

    • abyersguide
      October 14, 2019 / 8:32 am

      Omg how neat! I loved it, it was so cute. Just like visiting Halloween town. Oh yum, I’ll keep that in mind for next time. I didn’t research food in Salem before we went, but we got lucky with yummy pizza.

  2. October 14, 2019 / 10:34 am

    Ok, SO cute!! I have always wanted to visit Salem! It looks precious. Had no idea about the train from Boston so we’ll have to plan for that next time. It sounds like a great option. Very cool that you got to see some of the Hocus Pocus film scenes! I love that movie 🙂

    Katherine | http://www.oneswainkycouple.com

    • abyersguide
      October 14, 2019 / 10:35 am

      Thank you so much, Katherine! Y’all definitely should visit sometime. It was such an easy train ride from Boston. I was shocked. Yes, I had to watch the movie this weekend. So neat seeing spots from the movie.

  3. jenniferpickering22gmailcom
    October 14, 2019 / 6:53 pm

    My friend went to Salem a few years ago and I was so jealous!

    Effortlessly Sophisticated

    • abyersguide
      October 17, 2019 / 7:01 pm

      It is really fun! You should visit someday.

  4. October 16, 2019 / 4:42 am

    Thank you for taking us to Salem Courtney ! It has a lot of history and the houses are very cute. I am glad you got to see scenes from the movie Hocus pocus ( don’t gasp but I have never seen it !!) but I know it comes highly recommended by you so must be good. The trolley is a great way to see the town for sure. I have been to Boston twice but didn’t get to Salem , it is nice that you could go by train. If you are visiting the area again you could rent a car and go to the basketball hall of fame in Springfield( I am sure Jake would like that! Also the Yankee candle company headquarters is in that area. Love your fall outfit, take care Dear, Terri xo.

    • abyersguide
      October 21, 2019 / 11:56 am

      Hi Terri! I hope you enjoyed the post! Salem really does have a lot of history. You will have to watch Hocus Pocus. It’s so cute! Oh how fun, I would love to visit Springfield and see the Yankee Candle Company sometime.

  5. October 18, 2019 / 3:16 pm

    Sounds like a city with so much history, not all the best, but sounds very interesting.

    • abyersguide
      October 21, 2019 / 12:00 pm

      So true! There is a lot of history, but not all the best. It was neat to visit.

  6. Lindsey Puls
    October 18, 2019 / 5:26 pm

    OMG! How cool is this? I have always wanted to go to Salem! And this is the perfect time of year to visit! Saving your guide for future reference!

    • abyersguide
      October 21, 2019 / 12:00 pm

      It was amazing! It really was the perfect time to visit.

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