Has anyone taken the ferry over to Salem? We don't plan on renting a car while in Boston and I saw you can take a ferry.
We took the ferry into Boston from Salem two days in a row. The ferry is a relaxing way to travel to and from Boston. The ferry departs the long warf in Boston and is easy to walk to from most locations in Boston. The ferry docks in Salem and if you follow the red line on the sidewalk in Salem you will go by all the tourist attractions (similar to the freedom trail in Boston).
You can also take commuter rail from Boston to Salem from Boston's North Station and walk from the Salem station to downtown Salem. Commuter rail is less expensive but also less scenic.
How long is the ride and on often does it run? Cost?
The ferry tide takes about 45 minutes either direction. The ferry has a snack bar (and they sell alchohol) and restrooms. There is an interior part of the boat if it gets chilly. I am a buckeye you are correct!
The commuter rail trip takes about 30 minutes and runs later into the evening but we liked the relaxed atmosphere of the ferry.
We are going the end of July; taking in a Indian's game on 8/1 so we will be in Boston 7/30, 7/31 and 8/1. We of course will do the Freedom Trail one day, Salem one day (if it takes day). He wanted to do Plymouth, but you really need a car to do that (which we probably can pick one up for a day). Any suggestions on what else to do and where to eat? We are staying at the Sheraton in Back Bay.
Boston Food -
I would catch a meal in the Noth End of Boston it is known for authentic Italian food. Mike's Pastry is a must for their cannoli. Stay away from Union Oyster House it is the oldest operating restaurant in the U.S. and the Kennedy family liked dining there but the food is expensive and not great. The Daily Catch is a good bet for Italian/seafood.
The Hocus Pocus tour in Salem (isn't until 7:30 p.m. so you would have to see if the ferry leaves late the night you do it) is a great way to learn about the mysteries and history of Salem. The House of Seven Gables, Maritime Museum and Witch Museum are also good. You will also want to visit the memorial to those wrongfully accused of witchcraft. Salem Beer Works and the Lobster Shanty are good places to eat in Salem.
The USS Constitution is a must see (oldest boat afloat in the world). Paul Revere House (he raised 16 kids there) is interesting. If you don't want to do a bunch of walking Olde Town Trolley is a hop on hop off trolley and they also tell you about the city. I think they have 2 days usage for the price of one right now on their website and it includes a harbor tour by boat. Charles street is a neat place to shop and walk (cobble stone street with brick sidewalks) if you end up there and want a sandwich go to The Paramount restaurant.
Salem is a great day trip from Boston. As Buckeye02 suggests, the ferry is the scenic way to travel, but the Newburyport/Rockport line of the commuter rail from North Station in Boston also gets you there. You can take the ferry one way and the train the other if you want. Here's a link to the commuter rail schedule:
As for how long to spend, that depends on what you want to see. For most, a day trip seems about right, while others spend a few hours and some spend several days. Salem is well known for its association with the witchcraft hysteria of the 1690s, but also has a rich maritime history and beautiful architecture. The Peabody Essex Museum has many varied and interesting exhibits. Here are some links to get you started:
Hope you'll enjoy your visit!
Thanks for the great information I really appreciate it. We are so looking forward this trip.
Great information - thanks very much...we're going end of September for 5 days. I think the Lobster Shanty was on Drive-in's, and Dives...We will have to go there.
Yes, the Lobster Shanty was on the program a couple of years ago. Salem has plenty of other dining options, too. Hope you'll have a great visit!