When my best friend and I decided we’d go to Salem, Massachusetts for a weekend day trip, we immediately set one ground rule: nothing too scary. I spent a few hours researching what we could do and we came up with an epic itinerary, so I have to share:
- Drive in early, park at O’Donnell’s Funeral Home (okay, we didn’t plan this ahead of time, but I highly recommend this $20 parking area that comes with a lovely family giving you recommendations, free of charge)
- Get tickets to the Salem Witch Museum
- High Tea at Jolie’s Tea Company (reserve ahead of time)
- Wander around the fall festival
- Watch Ghostbusters on The Common (BYOLawn Chairs & Blankets)
We picked the perfect weekend to go–the first weekend of October! It was crowded for sure, but it wasn’t absolutely packed. Plus, there was a fun, not-too-spooky street festival with all sorts of fun crafts and the weather was unbelievably beautiful.
We parked at the future site of O’Donnell’s funeral home, which doubles as a weekend parking lot during tourist season. We thought that was a very “Salem” thing to do, plus the family was super nice. The patriarch of the family made sure we had all the info we needed before we left for our day of witch fun and he spent the rest of the day calling us “Georgia” because of Robyn’s Georgia license plates. Very quaint.
After we got our tickets to the Witch Museum, we wandered around for a bit while desperately trying to avoid any particularly scary costumes. We decided to try some butter beer, which was super fun but tasted like cold butterscotch syrup. If that’s your thing, this brand of butter beer is perfect for you!
After a morning stroll around Salem, we were both ready for our 1pm high tea! We both immediately fell in love with Jolie’s Tea Company, which is conveniently located near all the popular Salem attractions. Their store is filled, floor to ceiling, with different teas and treats. A lovely staff member showed us to a couple of window seats, reserved just for us!
Our tea started with a refreshing cold tea served in champagne flutes. Since we were there during fall, we got an amazing cranberry and vanilla tea. Robyn loved it so much that she bought some to make at home!
The server gave us each a menu with dozens of teas to choose from, categorized by type (i.e., white, black, green, herbal). I picked out a wildcard tea, thinking it would just be fun to try. It turns out that my mint chocolate black tea was absolutely delectable and very drinkable. It mixed in a little milk and it was Heaven.
A few minutes later, our server brought over the most incredible tiered tea tray, filled up with amazing treats. The tray included: chocolate truffles, pumpkin gummies, chicken salad on a puff pastry, cucumber sandwiches, pumpkin macarons, madeleine cookies, and scones. I can’t even pick a favorite one because literally every single item was perfection.
I was so impressed with our tea time, which only cost $20 per person! Such a steal for quality service and equally quality food/drinks. If you go to Salem, Jolie’s Tea Company is an absolute MUST!
After our tea, we wandered around a little more and ended up learning a little about Salem’s maritime history. Then we went over to the Witch Museum for a very weird and very quaint education on the Salem Witch Trials. We also learned that The Crucible is very much connected to the witch trials, which made both of us question our high school educations. How did we miss that?!
The last thing on our very fun day trip list was to enjoy a free showing of Ghostbusters on the main green in the center of downtown Salem. We brought our own tailgating chairs and blankets and we were smart enough to grab some to-go snacks from Jolie’s. Nothing like macarons to enjoy a late-80s action-comedy, right? Other than realizing that the movie is a lot weirder than we both remembered, it was the perfect way to end our short trip to Salem.
So, to recap, the two most important parts of Salem are: Jolie’s Tea Company and the free movies on the common. Before you plan a trip to Salem, whether it’s for one day or a whole week, be sure to make sure you can incorporate those into your trip.
Have you been to Salem before? What are your favorite places to eat?