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Best way to visit Salem!

Northern Ireland
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Best way to visit Salem!

We are going to visit Salem, MA in October for 2 nights, anyone know if its best to stay in Salem to enjoy the events happening at Halloween or stay in or near Boston and travel up for 2 days? I have been looking at trains and boat and BBs for Salem not sure how easy it would be to get train late afternoon then find a guest house! Is train station in Salem near any Guest houses?

Thanks

Winchester...
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1. Re: Best way to visit Salem!

Usually a guest house's website will provide directions including advice about using public transportation. I would start by googling "accommodations in Salem, MA" to see what's available (although asking people to do this for you on TripAdvisor usually works as well if not better).

Boston
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2. Re: Best way to visit Salem!

If you stay in Boston it is easy to get to Salem via commuter rail from North Station. See the Newburyport/Rockport line schedule.

mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/rail/lines/…

Boston
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3. Re: Best way to visit Salem!

Salem is a total zoo on Halloween, so you would absolutely have to line up some sort of accommodation ahead of time if you wanted to stay there.

Winchester...
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4. Re: Best way to visit Salem!

The Salem Inn (which appears to have 3 different locations) suggests consulting MBTA.com for directions using public transportation, but also provides a link to a limousine service:

http://www.saleminnma.com/directions.html

What better way to honor the memory of the innocent victims of religious ignorance and extremism than to take a limousine from Boston to Salem? Now is the time to make your Halloween reservations!

North Shore, MA
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5. Re: Best way to visit Salem!

When you say you are not sure how easy it would be to find a guest house after taking the train in the late afternoon, I'm not sure if you mean how easy it woutd be to find a guest house with availability or simply to find a guest house that you have already reserved in the late afternoon darkness. If it is the former, don't try it. October is Salem's busiest month. You may have difficulty now reserving on weekends and Halloween and the days preceding. If you do mean the latter, both the rail station and ferry dock are not far from most accommodations. There will be plenty of folks on the streets who will help point you in the right direction. You might also consider taking a taxi from the station or dock, especially with luggage.

North Shore, MA
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6. Re: Best way to visit Salem!

I forgot to respond to your question about staying in Salem vs. traveling there from Boston for the day. People who come to Salem for the October festivities generally seem to enjoy staying in Salem. But, as I said above, reservations may be difficult to come by. The problem with day trips from Boston is that the trains are infrequent, especially in the late evening. If you look at the schedule you'll see that the last train back to Boston may be earlier than you'd like. The ferry doesn't run too frequently or too late either.

Another option is to stay near Salem in Peabody or Danvers, but there is no public transportation from these hotels (though last year we heard of one hotel offering a shuttle service). On October weekends (and Halloween), the crowds and traffic make driving to Salem a nightmare and finding a parking space is nearly impossible. Weekdays are generally better for driving should you decide to stay nearby and rent a car. It is also possible to stay at Beverly Garden Suites (Beverly is one city north of Salem) that is across the street from the North Beverly train station. You still face the problem of infrequent train service and no late evening service, but it is possible to take a taxi from Salem back to Beverly.

http://beverlygardensuites.com/

Edited: 08 March 2011, 18:19
Andover...
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7. Re: Best way to visit Salem!

Traffic and parking in Salem around Halloween is a nightmare and something you want to avoid if possible. I don't think I would stay in Boston and rely on public transportation in this particular case simply because you will be limited by the commuter rail..especially at night. You're best bet is to stay right in Salem but if that is not possible ( the hotels in Salem fill up early for Halloween) then I like Rte.128north's suggestion of staying in one of the surrounding towns which gives you the option of taking a taxi. Beverly is a nice suggestion although my personal preference would be Marblehead. The Marblehead Inn is located less than 10 minutes from Salem's historic district and if you get tired of the noise and craziness, Marblehead will be a nice escape.

Andover...
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8. Re: Best way to visit Salem!

Thomas...too funny and unfortunately so true...and I will resist the urge to rant about the absurdity of it all.

Salem, Massachusetts
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9. Re: Best way to visit Salem!

Don't forget that the ferry and the MBTA add extra service at Halloween. Get reservations now, today if you are remotely thinking of staying in Salem over Halloween (which lasts the whole month here). Then worry about getting to the place, the whole city is very walkable and geared for tourists to find things.

10. Re: Best way to visit Salem!

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