Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to visit Salem?

Salem is an excellent day trip, and an even better overnight stay.  By staying overnight you can take advantage of the evening walking tours, live music, and Haunted Happenings programming without worrying about a late night drive home.  If you are planning to attend any of the Haunted Happenings costume balls, we highly recommend staying overnight.  Why rush? There is plenty to do!

Where is Salem?

Salem is located on the coast of Massachusetts 16 miles north of Boston and 45 miles south of New Hampshire. Neighboring communities include Beverly, Danvers, Marblehead, Peabody, and Swampscott. Salem is...

70 miles from Providence, RI

95 miles from Portland, ME

120 miles from Hartford, CT

220 miles from Burlington, VT

230 miles from New York City

328 miles from Philadelphia, PA

How do we get to Salem?

Logan International Airport in Boston, MA, is the closest airport.  It is a 30 to 45 minute drive from Logan to downtown Salem, depending on traffic. MassPort.com

Manchester Airport in Manchester, NH, is approximately 70 minutes away by car. FlyManchester.com

MBTA Commuter Rail connects Salem and Boston's North Station to the south, Newburyport to the north, and Rockport to the northeast.  Salem is a 30 minute train ride from Boston. MBTA.com

The Salem Ferry provides seasonal, high-speed ferry service between Long Wharf in Boston and Blaney Street in Salem.  It is a 55-minute trip will run daily (weather permitting) June 8 through Halloween. SalemFerry.com

By Car, Salem is accessible via Route 1A, Route 114, and Route 107.  The closest highway is Route 128, which connects to I-95.

When should we start planning our Haunted Happenings trip?

Now! Many Haunted Happenings enthusiasts begin planning for next year's visit in November (really!).  Accommodations sell out the weekends months in advance, and many have minimum stays and packages.  We recommend you begin your planning as soon as you know you want to come to Salem. 

If you are unable to find accommodations in Salem for October, we encourage you to consider a mid-week visit when there are fewer lines, shorter restaurant waits, and all of the October foliage and ambiance.  We can also recommend regional accommodations, many of which are listed on this site.

How much does it cost to take a taxi to Salem from Boston's Logan Airport?

Approximately $50.00 one way.

What is the weather like in October?

Most of us aren't brave enough to predict New England weather, especially in October.  It could be 75 degrees and sunny, or 32 degrees and snowing. Salem Haunted Happenings go on rain or shine, however (except in the most dire circumstances), so dress in layers.  Average temperatures for October are a high of 62 degrees and a low of 45 degrees. 

Where do we park?

The City of Salem implemented a new comprehensive parking program in 2012. For complete information, visit ParkinginSalem.com

We recommend using one of the two parking garages for long-term parking. The Downtown Garage (1 New Liberty Street) costs $0.75 per hour. The South Harbor Garage (10 Congress Street) costs $0.25 per hour. Both are cash only.

On street meters are enforced 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Monday-Saturday. Pricing range from $.50 per hour to $1.50 per hour depending on neighborhood. Some, but not all, meters accept credit cards.

Parking Lots are another good option for long-term parking. Pricing and meters in the lots vary. Visit ParkinginSalem.com for details.

Map of downtown parking locations.

We're here! Where do we start?

It is difficult for us to make recommendations of how to spend your time in Salem. People come to Salem for many different reasons, and we encourage you to use the Guide to Haunted Happenings, the Salem Guide, Salem.org and HauntedHappenings.org to determine the best schedule and events for you.  However, if you are planning your first visit to Salem, start your visit at the Salem Regional Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty Street.  The National Park Service Rangers and volunteers can help you with maps, brochures, and directions. There are clean rest rooms, a gift shop, and a  free 27-minute film called "Where Past is Present."  

After a stop at the visitor center you will find yourself in the center of downtown Salem, ready to explore!

How big is Salem?

Salem is a very walkable city.  How fast you walk it is up to you! Most people can walk a half-mile at a leisurely pace in 15-20 minutes.  Here are some sample distances:

  • To walk from the MBTA train station to the Salem Ferry at Blaney Street is less than one mile.
  • The National Park Service Regional Salem Visitor Center to the Phillips House on Chestnut Street is just over a half-mile.
  • The House of the Seven Gables to the Salem Witch Museum is a half-mile.
  • The Peabody Essex Museum to the Salem Maritime National Historic Site is less than a half-mile.
  • Salem Willows and Winter Island Maritime Park are each about 1.5 miles from the center of downtown Salem (at Salem Common).  While people do walk these distances, most prefer to drive.  There is ample parking at both destinations.

Are there haunted accommodations in Salem?

There are not any hotels, inns or B&Bs in Salem, Massachusetts that promote themselves as haunted.  The Hawthorne Hotel has been investigated for an episode of Ghost Hunters, and no evidence of paranormal activity was found.  Guests of the Salem Inn have written in about strange, possibly paranormal experiences in one of the inn's rooms.  Without anything official, we leave you, the visitor, to tell us: Were your accommodations haunted?

What if I'm not coming in October?

Salem is a great destination, year-round! Visit Salem.org for a year-round calendar of events, listing of attractions, restaurants, shopping, and tours, and the 2014 Salem Guide.

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