From Destination Salem
After a long tough winter due to the pandemic, many restaurants and businesses in Salem, Massachusetts will reopen their doors for the season on Thursday, April 1. Tourist attractions such as the Witch History Museum, Witch Dungeon Museum, The Witchery, Salem Art Gallery, and Witch Pix Costume Studio will welcome in-person visitors for the first time since November. Also opening on April 1 are retail outlets like the boutique lifestyle and brand shop Hauswitch and seasonal restaurant favorites like The Lobster Shanty. The Salem Trolley and Spellbound Tours will reopen along with many other tour operators in the city.
“Our business community has weathered a tough winter, not to mention the entire past year,” said Kate Fox, Executive Director of Destination Salem. “However, this is a tight-knit community that has found creative ways to support each other. With the warm spring temperatures, optimism is filling the streets as the state begins to lift restrictions on businesses. This spring will bring much-missed visitors and patrons to all of Salem’s iconic attractions.”
Other businesses have been open year-round but needed to operate differently than in past years to adjust to the safety protocols set by the state. Claire Kallelis, General Manager of the Hawthorne Hotel, and her team adjusted to the safety protocols by getting creative and moving tables into the elegant ballroom to expand dining from one of the hotel’s restaurants, Tavern on the Green. Kallelis says she and her team have missed the special experiences that take place at the historic hotel–especially weddings and other large celebrations. However, Kallelis feels optimistic now that the state guidelines are starting to allow for increased gathering sizes. “We are all very excited that the spring is here and that we will again provide a location for celebrating lifetime milestones such as weddings. We really missed having that connection with our patrons and we look forward to helping people create memories.”
Tim Maguire, owner of Salem Night Tour and other retail outlets in Salem saw a decline in tour business during the winter as the COVID-19 cases started. However, he feels encouraged as more tours are being booked and his retail outlets continue to increase sales. “I never thought I would have to close or restrict customers this much. It hits you hard when you are doing something you love, and it gets taken away. Planning for the spring reopening–it was emotional–and at the same time exciting–to be welcoming back our patrons.”
Jolie Tea Company has sustained throughout COVID-19 with its online orders that have been coming in from across the country due to their loyal Salem tourists and residents. The Salem store reopened to the public in February offering a limited take-out menu as well as offering retail loose leaf tea sales and will fully reopen with outdoor dining in April. “We are eager to open our doors and welcome our visitors back to Salem so that they may enjoy the authenticity and beauty of this great city, supported by some of the most unique destinations in shopping and dining,” said Amy Job, owner of Jolie Tea Company. “With the warmer spring weather, more people have been out and about enjoying a bit of that serendipitous sense of discovery that has been missing for so long. To sit and share a cup of tea is at the heart of our business and it will be a joy to see our customers experience that once again.”
Outdoor dining will also return to restaurants throughout Salem on April 1. Many restaurants will set up outdoor dining areas at their locations, some using private parking lots, the sidewalk, parking spaces, or other nearby public open space. Restaurants are using items such as jersey barriers, decking, planters, and tents to create dedicated exterior dining areas. Tap boards and other accommodations will be available to ensure outdoor dining and any adjacent sidewalks were accessible. A list of participating restaurants offering outdoor dining will be available at www.salem.org/outdoordining.
Destination Salem has many resources on its website, and has recently 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 Destination Salem app is available for iOS and Android and can be found on the App Stores by searching for Destination Salem, Mass.
Salem, Massachusetts COVID-19 Guidelines
Salem has a public health order requiring masks or face coverings be worn in all public spaces, indoors and outdoors, in the downtown district, and in Salem parks. Salem is following the Massachusetts 4-phase reopening guidelines, which is currently in Phase 4, Step 1. Most Salem businesses are open and operating under capacity restrictions that allow employees and guests to adhere to physical distancing guidelines. Due to these restrictions, all visitors are encouraged to book reservations or buy tickets in advance of arrival. As of Monday, March 22, all visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, excluding travelers who are fully vaccinated, are advised to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival. Everyone planning to visit Salem in 2021 is expected to follow all local and state health orders and guidelines, which are subject to change, pending public health data. Visit salem.org/covid19 or download the Destination Salem app to receive updates.
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.
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 Salem.org.
Creative Collective is celebrating the ways we can get outside this Spring with their #SpringOnTheNorthShore campaign, an initiative created to highlight the best that springtime North of Boston has to offer on the longer, warmer days.
Area businesses can participate in the event by using the hashtag #SpringOnTheNorthShore and tagging @creativecollectivema and @creativenorthshore in posts on social media highlighting ways their businesses are encouraging people to get out and explore the best of the region this Spring.