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Half day in Salem?

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Tampa, Florida
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Half day in Salem?

My husband and I are visiting Boston for the first time in March. (Fingers crossed for no vortex weather).

We are getting in Saturday at noon and leaving Wednesday evening. I know there's a phenomenal amount of stuff to see in Boston, but I was wondering if it's worth venturing to Salem for an afternoon? I see it's only about a half hour train ride to Salem each way, and it's not too expensive. How long would it take to see some of the sites? Could we take a morning train and be back in time for dinner?

Thanks in advance!

Hollis, New...
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1. Re: Half day in Salem?

It's certainly feasible. I personally wouldn't want to be tightly restricted to a half-day, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy an afternoon in Salem. Your last question is answered by the train schedule and the time you want to eat dinner.

Boston, MA
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2. Re: Half day in Salem?

Sure people do it frequently

Tampa, Florida
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3. Re: Half day in Salem?

Would it be better to go in the evening? Should we skip it if we are only there for about 4 days?

Hollis, New...
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4. Re: Half day in Salem?

What about Salem interests you?

Tampa, Florida
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5. Re: Half day in Salem?

I've never been to Boston or MA at large. We get in Saturday at noon and leave Wednesday at 5pm. I was thinking is would be neat to see something other than the city, since we've never really been to New England.

Salem is interesting just because of the history. I had to read all those books about the witch trials in school and thought it might be a different side of the area that would be worthwhile. I know there's a week's worth of stuff to do in Boston, and am trying to figure out if we could see Salem without missing out on Boston. But I've never been anywhere other than Philly and NYC... I'm not sure if the side trip is a good idea. But we love history!! And who knows when we would be back in that area. Sorry for the long reply! I'm just unsure and want this trip to be amazing!

Dublin, Ireland
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6. Re: Half day in Salem?

I replied on the other post but salem is definitely doable in a half day. Weve been to boston loads of times and have ticked off most of our to do list so decided to head to salem. Its absolutely gorgeous and well worth the visit. Just make a list of where and what you want to see before you go and check the train times heading back.

Hollis, New...
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7. Re: Half day in Salem?

Well, the questions you've asked are tough for others to answer for you. Possibly you need to make a list of the things you really want to do in Boston and try to calculate whether you'll have enough time to take all or part of a day to go to Salem.

But as you already realize, you're not going to see and do everything worthwhile in Boston in four days, or even in a week. I've lived in or near the city for over 40 years and have left plenty of things undone. So, based on what you've told us, my analysis is: Yes, you should go. Go during the day, so that the attractions that open and close (unlike the Tercentenary Memorial, which in my opinion is one of the top things to see in Salem) will be open, and so that you can get a good look at some of the architecture (another of the best things about the place). And allow yourselves the better part of a day so that you won't feel rushed. In any case, are you really going to have the energy to tackle Salem for half a day and also make a spirited assault on a couple of Boston attractions?

Good luck with the weather, and I hope the trip does turn out to be amazing. Maybe it will make you want to come back sooner rather than later, and at a time of year that's even nicer than March. (Can I use your place in Tampa while you're here?)

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8. Re: Half day in Salem?

If you do go, bring a copy of the train schedule with you, so you have some flexibility on the return trip. Make sure you're looking at the weekday schedule and not the weekend schedule.

North Shore, MA
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9. Re: Half day in Salem?

I agree with wpsaukee's suggestion above: Figure out what you want to do in Boston and prioritize. I also agree that if you decide to take in Salem, you should plan for daytime rather than evening.

However, since the witch trials history prompts your interest, I also want to comment on that. Salem offers plenty of history, but most of what you can see relates to its maritime history of the late 18th into 19th century. The witchcraft delusion of 1692 actually began in nearby Danvers (which was then an outlying part of Salem) although most of the subsequent trials took place in Salem proper. You can visit the Tercentenary Memorial as suggested above, the Old Burying Point, and the Witch House (also known as the Corwin House), the only standing building in Salem with an association with the witch trials. The National Park Service Regional Visitors Center offers an excellent movie, Salem Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence. There's lots of other witch-y stuff, of course.

As for the rest of Salem, the Peabody Essex Museum, suggested in your other thread, is Salem's star and covers the maritime history and more. The NPS Maritime Historic Site is another good place to visit. And, as wpsaukee says above, Salem's architecture is gorgeous. A walk along Chestnut Street will give you a nice taste.

Just wanted to add these thoughts so you could take consider them in your planning. Hope you will have a great visit to Boston (and maybe Salem, too)!

Tampa, Florida
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10. Re: Half day in Salem?

You guys are awesome! Thank you so much! I think we're definitely going to have to visit Salem now :)