Hello spooky people! I hope you’re all having a great start to the fall season. I know I am because I just got back from a trip to Salem! Salem is what I consider the spooky central of the East Coast and I’ve been dying to go for years. So I decided to tell you all about my weekend trip from NYC to Salem.
First things first, you should know I planned this trip kind of spontaneously with my friends Anna and Lorraine (shoutout!! I love you, witches). In August, We talked about doing a short weekend trip and decided to wait a few weeks to see what was going on with COVID to ensure we were traveling responsibly. About two weeks before we went on our fun little trip, we booked our hotel and train tickets.
I want to first make sure that I’m extremely clear when I say that Anna, Lorraine, and I all took the proper precautions that followed CDC guidelines when traveling to Massachusetts. Luckily, Massachusetts and New York are considered low-risk states which means we did not have to produce a negative COVID test or quarantine for two weeks when entering each state. However, we still wore masks throughout our trips (except for the occasional photo in which we made sure we were on the only people in our vicinity) and we sanitized properly as well. I understand that traveling right now is risky, but I knew we were responsible enough to make good choices about our health and the safety of others. And I hope you do too if you’re looking to travel somewhere right now. Moral of the story, wear a mask, and don’t be a dick.
Now that I’m done with that schpeel, let’s get into, shall we?
Day One: We Arrived!
Although the main purpose of our trip was to visit Salem, we made sure to have some time to spend in Boston (where we were staying) because I’ve never been to before.
On Friday we arrived around 3 pm after taking a 4.5-hour train ride from New York City. We were able to walk to our hotel from the train station which was convenient af. We arrived at the Omni Parker House, which was one of the coolest hotels I’ve stayed in. I’m a huge sucker for historical sites and old shit in general (what a poetic way to say that) so this hotel was right up my alley. It was absolutely stunning inside. I learned that it has been around for a century and a half and has had many famous people stay there, such as JFK, Mark Twain, and Charles Dickens. So freaking cool.
After we settled into the hotel, we wanted to get dinner. Something I should preface is that we got extremely lucky with all the food we ate throughout this trip. Not one place disappointed us and the food was absolutely to die for everywhere we went. I don’t know if we got lucky or if Boston has really good food in general? Who knows. Whatever. Let’s keep going.
Lolita Cocina And Tequila Bar
We ended up settling on a place called Lolita Cocina and Tequila Bar. It is a Mexican restaurant with the best food and drinks I could have ever asked for. This weekend, I didn’t care about my diet so I ate whatever the hell I wanted. We all ended up getting street corn, chips and guac (obvi), chicken tacos, steak quesadillas, and chicken jalapeno flautas. I truly wish I could go back in time and eat it all over again because it was that delicious. If you’re visiting Boston, I definitely recommend you check out Lolitas.
After this, we walked around for a little while and then eventually ended up back at the hotel and in bed at 8:30 pm. We were exhausted and wanted to rest for Salem the next day.
Day Two (Salem, Woo!)
On Saturday, we woke up and left the hotel around 9:30 am. We wanted to ensure we had enough time to spend the majority of the day in Salem. Also, we had to keep in mind its a 30-40 minute drive. We ended up taking an Uber there and back which was the most convenient thing for us.
When we got there, the first thing I noticed is that the “town” is a lot bigger than I expected. However, there is definitely a central area where most tourists gather, which is on Essex street.
The place we wanted to get brunch had an hour wait so we checked out the place across the street, Ledger. And it was by far the best choice we could have made for brunch that day. I’m actually very happy we didn’t end up at the original place.
At Ledgers, we all split the “Donut Of The Day” which was an Apple Jacks donut (drool). Anna and I ended up getting the brussels sprout hash while Lorraine ordered the pastrami hash. I should preface that I’m not a big egg person, but holy shit this was the best egg dish I’ve ever had in my life and I would eat it 10x over again. Also, the drinks were incredibly delicious. What made our experience even better was the staff. They were so kind and answered all of our questions about things to do in the area (yeah, we were those people). Moral of the story, I would 10/10 recommend Ledger to anyone visiting Salem.
After we were done with brunch, we walked around the area and went to a bunch of gift shops because that’s what I love to do when I’m visiting a new city. I must get souvenirs! I don’t remember the names of all the ones we visited, but they were all primarily on Essex street. There were a lot of places that were similar in their witch-esque nature but there were also some other cool stores.
The Witch Dungeon Museum
Next, we went to this place called The Witch Dungeon Museum which our waiter at Ledger recommended. It was on a side street, slightly secluded from everything else so I’m happy he recommended this place or we never would have found it.
The Witch Dungeon had a quick performance on the witch trials in 1692 and then we went into the “dungeon” where we saw the types of conditions people lived in after being accused of witchcraft. It was heartbreaking and quite repulsive that people were treated so inhumanely. All in all, it was incredibly informative and a must-see if you’re looking to hear about the history of the Salem Witch Trials.
Ouija Board Museum
This was hands down my favorite place we visited while in Salem. I’ve always loved ouija boards (no, I have never used one) so this ouija board museum was a must-see for me.
This museum was in the back of a Harry Potter gift shop and had countless ouija boards all on the walls. It was fascinating to see each board and learn the history of them. The man who owns the collection was actually there and he told us the coolest facts, information, and stories about the boards. We even got to see his grandmother’s board, which started his fascination with them.
Overall, I loved this museum the most and would recommend it to anyone visiting Salem. Ouija boards are not all bad as everyone makes them out to be. So don’t be scared!
The Witch Museum
The Witch Museum is definitely a sight to see. Be sure to reserve tickets ahead or you may be waiting a couple of hours for available times!
The Witch Museum covered the history of the Salem Witch Trials. They also touched on how witches have evolved throughout the centuries after the witch hysteria. It was very interesting to see how the notion of a witch has changed throughout the years. I highly recommend this museum to anyone visiting Salem, especially if you want to learn more about the witch trials and pay your respects to those who lost their lives after being accused of witchcraft.
This was the last thing we did in Salem. We had an incredibly packed day and ended up heading back to Boston around 7 pm to get some dinner. Salem was an absolute blast and I cannot wait to go back again!
When we arrived back in Boston, we went to this Irish bar called Ned Divines. The food was, of course, amazing. We all ordered different versions of mac and cheese because we are #basic and a couple of beers. We sat outside which was great because it was the perfect weather and the waitstaff was great. All in all, it was another wonderful experience dining out.
This is where we wrapped up the night and crashed so we could do a few more things in the morning before we left Boston.
Day Three: Wrapping It Up
When planning the trip we decided to leave later on Sunday evening so we had some time to do other things in Boston. What else did we decide to do? A duck boat tour of course! We had to take advantage of being tourists for the day. But before that, we grabbed dinner at this place called Buttermilk And Bourban which serves southern-style inspired cuisine.
Let me tell you, this place was incredible. We had sorbet mimosas, biscuits and gravy, brisket, and more. It was such a delicious way to start out the last day in Boston.
After brunch, we headed to the duck boat tour. This tour was a great way to see the city by both land and water It was awesome to learn about the history of Boston and cool facts about the city. If you’re a little bit of a history nerd like me, then you will definitely enjoy this type of tour.
Overall, I couldn’t have had a better weekend with two awesome girlfriends of mine. We ate, laughed, explored, and had such an amazing time. It felt so good to get out of NYC for a little bit and explore a new place that I’ve never been to before. I can’t wait for our next adventure together.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and if you’re debating whether you want to visit Boston/Salem, take this as a sign that you definitely need to go. And if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me here.