How to Break from the Crowds During Salem Haunted Happenings

It’s no secret that Haunted Happenings is Salem’s busiest event, with visitors coming from around the world to celebrate the Halloween season with us. You may avoid crowds and lines by planning a weekday trip or visiting us earlier in the season, and for a break from the crowds throughout October we recommend the following stops:

Peabody Essex Museum

Take a break from the crowds along the Pedestrian Mall and pop into the Peabody Essex Museum. The museum features art from New England and around the world, including a 200-year-old Chinese house. An expansion set to feature an additional 15,000 square feet of gallery space will open on September 28, just in time for this year’s Haunted Happenings! Wander the museum’s galleries, check out the current exhibitions, or visit the museum shop or Atrium Cafe for a quick bite this October.

Remix Church

On select dates in October, Remix Church offers phone charging stations as well as a quiet place to relax away from the crowds. Stop by to charge your phone on Saturday, October 26 and on Halloween.

The Landing

The Landing is a favorite for locals looking to grab drinks by the water. Located on the Salem Ferry Dock, The Landing offers waterside views, a seasonal drink menu, and even live music on select nights. It’s a short walk from The House of the Seven Gables, making it a perfect stop before your visit to the museum, or before you catch your ferry back to Boston.

Coffee Time

Avoid the crowds and satisfy your sweet tooth with a walk up Bridge Street to Coffee Time Bake Shop. Famous for their real cream bismarks, fresh egg eclairs, strawberry shortcake, and more, Coffee Time is also home to fall treats like pumpkin pie and cheesecake and pumpkin spice lattes.

Phillips House & Chestnut Street

Chestnut Street is part of Salem’s McIntire Historic District, which showcases four centuries of architectural styles, from the mid-17th century through the early 20th century. A stroll down Chestnut Street is a picturesque escape from the crowds downtown and it will lead you to the Phillips House Museum, which is the only mansion on Chestnut Street that is open to the public. Part of Historic New England, the Phillips House shares the lives of the Phillips family and their domestic staff and a look at how households functioned as new technology was introduced in the early 1900s.

Salem Willows & Winter Island

Go for a walk along the trails and beaches at Winter Island or the Salem Willows this October when you need a break from the hustle and bustle of downtown. Without moving your car, both Winter Island and the Willows are accessible by bike with Zagster (and then you won’t need to find or pay for a new parking spot!). The beaches at both sites are free to visit, and some of the seasonal restaurants at the Willows may be still be open during October.