September 20, 2020

Destination Salem Offers Guidance on How to Spend October in the Witch City During COVID Era

by joeyphoenix

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from Destination Salem

Each October, Salem, Massachusetts, is an international destination for tourists looking to immerse themselves in its rich history. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the fall of 2020 will look a lot different in Salem than other years, however, there are many ways in which visitors can experience a rich, cultural visit. It is a great time to be outdoors and enjoy the fall foliage and maritime marvels. There will be Halloween-themed activities such as Tales & Tombstones Trolley Tour, Haunted Footsteps Ghost Tour, the Halloween Museum, and the special exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum, The Salem Witch Trials 1692. For pictures that will stand out in any photo album, Witch Pix is a great option for portraits with many options to dress in costume. The new Destination Salem mobile app will help visitors plan trips and keep up to date on which spots are open.

“There is no question that fall in Salem will look different this year,” said Kate Fox, Executive Director, Destination Salem. “However, there are still things to see and do safely. We want to make sure people know all their options and are aware of Massachusetts travel orders and Salem’s public health orders, so we encourage everyone to visit and and download the Destination Salem mobile app.”

Ways to spend time in Salem this fall include:

Museums and Attractions

If you will be in Salem this fall, a visit to the Salem Witch Museum will share the story of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 and explain why they are still relevant today. If you can’t make it to Salem this year, the Salem Witch Museum will offer lectures and online tours that will bring October in Salem to you, wherever you are

The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) presents two exhibitions brimming with the stories, people, and objects that can only be found in Salem. Beginning September 26, PEM opens The Salem Witch Trials 1692, which presents rarely-exhibited documents and objects from the museum’s collection to reveal tragic, true stories told through the perspective of the accused and the accusers. Opening the same day, Salem Stories presents 26 vignettes about the people, places and events that made Salem the city it is today. The A–Z structure includes a variety of objects, from the fan-favorite leatherback turtle to Parker Brothers’ Monopoly and even a murder weapon. Click here for a list of recommended museums and attractions.

Outside Activities and Tours

Take advantage of the cool fall weather to take tours that include strolls through Salem’s historic neighborhoods and a glimpse into the City’s haunted past. Head out on a Haunted Happenings Harbor Cruise to learn sea-faring folklore or soak in autumn colors on sunset harbor tour. Options for outdoor activities can be found here.


Foodies never run out of options with a diverse mix of restaurant genres. Seafood lovers can imbibe at Finz Seafood and Grill and Italian food lovers can wine and dine at Bella Verona Ristorante. For a list of Destination Salem recommended restaurants, visit If you cannot decide on a restaurant, consider taking a Salem Food Tour to learn all the ways in which Salem’s history and contemporary culinary scene intersect


From creative masks at the Peabody Essex Museum and Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery to coastal treasures from Pickering Wharf, there is a wide range of stores to satisfy every customer. Click here for shopping recommendations.


Historic hotels and beautiful bed and breakfasts including The Merchant and the Hawthorne Hotel and contemporary properties including the Salem Waterfront Hotel and the brand new Hampton Inn Salem are taking all of the public health precautions and looking forward to hosting guests. Click here for a list of recommended hotels and inns.

COVID 19 Restrictions

The City of Salem will be monitoring the COVID-19 situation and its impact on activities and establishments including Haunted Happenings. A detailed blog post outlining CVID-19 related procedures can be found at:

About Salem, Massachusetts

Salem is a destination recognized around the world for its rich history, which includes the tragic Salem Witch Trials of 1692, the glorious maritime era that left its indelible mark on Salem through architecture, museums, and artifacts, and for its month-long celebration of Halloween

Today more than one million people visit Salem annually, generating nearly $140 million in tourism spending and supporting 1,000 jobs.

About Destination Salem

As the destination marketing organization for the City of Salem, Destination Salem cooperatively markets Salem as one of Massachusetts’ best destinations for families, couples, domestic, and international travelers who are seeking an authentic New England experience, cultural enrichment, American history, fine dining, unique shopping, and fun. For more information, visit

Support Accessibility on the North Shore

Creative North Shore is having ongoing discussion of Accessibility and Disability Awareness leading up to the International Day of Disabled Persons on December 3 and the hopeful introduction of a Disability Parade in 2021. If this is a topic you are interested, have thoughtful story ideas, or know of an organization to add to the list below please reach out to

Organizations to Support