Overnight Halloween in Spring Itinerary for Visiting Salem, Massachusetts
Visiting Salem, Massachusetts before October? Spring in Salem comes with the return of outdoor dining, and reopening of seasonal walking tours, and beginning Memorial Day weekend, harbor cruises. With a spring visit, it’s easy to experience a taste of Halloween while also adding in some seasonal stops like walks by our favorite Salem gardens, lunch on a restaurant patio or by the water, and more. Keep reading to view a full itinerary for a Halloween in Spring getaway to Salem:
Where to Stay
Finding accommodations downtown for Salem Haunted Happenings can be difficult if you wait too long to book, especially for busy October weekends. Spring often has more availability making it easier for spontaneous travelers to explore Salem without planning too far ahead. For a full list of places to stay this spring, visit salem.org.
The Hawthorne Hotel is a Historic Hotel of America located right downtown by Salem Common. The hotel is a popular spot for October visits but just as lovely a place to stay whenever your next visit to Salem may be. Established in 1925, the hotel features historic decor and its fireplaced Tavern offers seasonal comfort food, local craft beers and creative cocktails all year long.
Sleep in a little before getting breakfast right at the hotel knowing you’ll be a short walk away from Salem’s museums and attractions, or venture out early and stop by for lunch with favorites like the hotel’s famous seafood chowder, new weekend brunch options and more.
What to Do
Salem Witch Museum
Following breakfast at the Hawthorne Hotel, set out to the Salem Witch Museum. The museum features a presentation on the Salem Witch Trials with life-sized sets and narration based on actual Trials documents. Following the presentation, the museum’s second exhibit makes connections between the events of 1692 and today and offers insight into the varying examples of the Witch from early Pagans to Hollywood witches, to those accused in 1692.
The museum’s gift shop is not to be missed on your way out, as the store is the only place in Salem stocking officially licensed Hocus Pocus merchandise, Witch Trials descendants information packets, along with a variety of Salem souvenirs. Tickets to the museum are currently sold online only for timed presentations, and complete information on planning your visit to the museum is available at salemwitchmuseum.com.
Psychic Reading at Omen
Head toward Essex Street and stop at Omen for a psychic reading. Omen has psychic who specialize in tarot readings, palmistry, spirit mediumship, clairvoyance, astrology, and more. In addition to readings, the shop offers a wide selection of tarot cards, occult books, spell candles, jewelry, crystals and more. Shop online ahead of your next visit to Salem and learn more about booking a reading at omensalem.com.
Before continuing down the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall, take a quick detour onto Central Street to check out Emporium 32. This vintage-style boutique specializes in unique artist-made gifts, accessories and decor along with handmade jewelry, art, beard and mustache care, antique curiosities and fine hats. Confirm hours ahead of your visit at emporium32.com.
Back on Essex Street, continue down the Pedestrian Mall until you reach Washington Street. Stop for a quick photo with the statue of Samantha from Bewitched, then cross Essex Street to check out Vampfangs. New England’s only vampire shop, Vampfangs offers custom-fit fangs, unique jewelry. high quality apparel, gifts, occult items, and more. Online shopping is also available at vampfangs.com.
Stop for Lunch
Before continuing down Essex Street, plan to stop for some lunch. Nearby Vampfangs you’ll find…
Flying Saucer Pizza Company
Flying Saucer is a local pizza restaurant themed after all things sci-fi with gourmet pizza and craft beer. They also have vegan and gluten free pizza options, plus takeout/curbside pickup if you’re looking for a picnic lunch or to bring dinner back to your hotel. Check the menu and order at flyingsaucerpizzacompany.com.
Gulu-Gulu Cafe is a local’s favorite for specialty coffee, breakfasts, crepes and more. Dine outside on their expanded patio, indoors in their newly remodeled dining room, or pickup lunch to go. The menu is online at gulugulucafe.com.
Witch City Wicks
For a little bit of Halloween in spring, be sure to stop at Witch City Wicks. This local candle shop has scents for every season with an array of October-inspired items available year-round. Their candles are handcrafted by artisans here in Salem, and in addition to candles the shop also has a curated collection of books, bath products, jewelry, art prints, greeting cards, and home decor. You can also order online at witchcitywicks.com.
The Witch House
Nearby Witch City Wicks, you’ll find The Witch House. Take a self-guided walk through this 17th century house and learn about its architectural history as well as the building’s role in the Witch Trials as the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin.
Just a couple of doors down from the Witch House, you’ll see the Ropes Mansion, and you may recognize the mansion as Allison’s house from Hocus Pocus. Spring is the perfect time to stop by Allison’s house because the gardens in the backyard will be in full bloom. After you’re finished with the Hocus Pocus photo op out front, be sure to head to the back of the house to explore the garden. (And find information about the Ropes Mansion and two other gardens to visit in Salem this spring here.)
The Salem Skipper is Salem’s new intercity ride-share! The Skipper can take you anywhere in Salem for just $2, and it’s easy to request a ride with the Salem Skipper app at salemskipper.com. For this itinerary, we’d take the Salem Skipper down Bridge Street to visit the Satanic Temple.
The Satanic Temple is home to the Salem Art Gallery, which hosts exhibitions throughout the year in collaboration with local artists, as well as ritual events, and a permanent collection including their 8 1/2-foot-tall bronze statue of Baphomet. The Temple and galleries are open for walk-ins and you can find a list of current exhibits and events at salemartgallery.com.
Coffee Time Bake Shop
Just a short stroll down Bridge Street from the Satanic Temple sits Coffee Time, a local’s favorite bakery. Coffee Time is known for their real cream Bismarks, among other sweets like donuts, cupcakes, assorted pastries and more, plus a wide selection of coffee and hot chocolates. Grab something sweet after your visit to the Satanic Temple or bring something back to your hotel for a late-night snack.
From Coffee Time, either walk back to the Hawthorne Hotel or take the Salem Skipper, to freshen up for dinner and drop off your shopping.
Stop for Dinner
Head down Essex Street from the Hawthorne Hotel and stop for dinner at…
Adriatic Restaurant, a short walk down Essex to the corner of Washington and Front Streets, serving up Mediterranean dishes with fresh seafood, pasta, and an extensive wine list. Make a reservation at adriaticrestaurantandbar.com.
Take a Ghost Tour
Cap off your first day in Salem with an evening ghost tour.
Salem Night Tour departs nightly at 8:00 pm, offering a look into the history of the Salem Witch Trials along with sites thought to be haunted around Salem. Tickets may be purchased at salemghosttours.com.
This itinerary should help you plan a fully packed first day in Salem, giving you a bit of Halloween during a spring visit. For your second day in Salem, we recommend:
- Exploring Pickering Wharf, to visit shops like the Cauldron Black, Die With Your Boots On, and Enchanted, and dining by the water at Finz or Sea Level.
- Visit Far from the Tree Cider on Jackson Street for a flight of cider, seasonal flavors, and snacks.
- Take a tour of The House of the Seven Gables to see the 17th century mansion that inspired Hawthorne’s novel.
- Visit Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery for a walk through Salem’s monster museum to add some horror to your spring trip.
- Do some last-minute shopping at Artemisia Botanicals and Moody’s Home & Gifts right across from your hotel before you depart.