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-Agree with @Saki.Girl The Hawthorn is a great choice. The witch museums are a must and if this is your first time; I would also take a tour. Witch City Walking Tours have the best guides imho. I'd recommend making a reservation ahead of time.
They have 4 different tours depending on your preferences. I personally like the Mystery & Murders tour. But the Hocus Pocus tour looks like good family fun; though I have not taken it.
-Down on Derby St there is the Salem National Maritime Historic site. This is the first national historic site created by the National Park service. There are historic buildings you can tour and they have a replica of a 1797 schooner.
-The House of the Seven Gables also has tours if you are a fan of Hawthorn.
-Peabody Essex Museum could be cool depending on what they are currently exhibiting.
-I live near Salem so I can say fist hand that parking is bad year round. Weekends are worse of course, and I try to avoid driving in downtown altogether in the fall. Good news is you can walk to pretty much all of the attractions if you are staying in town.
-There's a summer farmers market they setup in the middle of everything on Thursdays from 3-7
-There are plenty of restaurants of course. However; if you find yourself looking for a good breakfast, I would recommend Red's Sandwich Shop. It's an old school diner with big portions and reasonable pricing. I go there all the time.

I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can think of. Hope this helps.
 

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+1 for Count Orlok's Nightmare Gallery

Trattoria Bella Verona (Should consider reservations if you go) It's near the Witch Museum.

The Witch Dungeon Museum.

The Peabody Essex Museum.

Things to avoid.

Any and all magic shops (all overpriced and over rated), and supposedly the New England Pirate Museum is a compete tourist trap, but It was closed the last time I was there.
 

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Have you read "A Season With the Witch" by JW Ocker? It's about Salem - both the witch trials and the modern day attractions. It's a great read and even though it's focused on Salem in October, it'll give you a lot of ideas of places to visit.

Parts of Salem have a quaint American small town feel in the summer, like a town in a Ray Bradbury story. Some of the houses are just beautiful. The witch memorial at the cemetery is worth visiting and so is Proctor's Ledge, where they now believe the victims were hanged. If you're interested in the trials, Danvers has some spots to see as well. And of course there are the spots from Hocus Pocus.

My friend and I are going to Salem in October. Her first time, my first time back since moving to the West from Boston, and my first time staying in the Hawthorn.
 

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Thank you, Kdestra, I went to the link you posted and I'm intrigued. Although I'm not the original poster, I am also planning a trip to Salem, so this is a big plus. Thank you for sharing!
Marblehead Cemetery is beautiful, it located on a Rocky Ledge above the ocean. The town is absolutely perfect too. You shouldn't miss it


 

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O man do I love Salem.

+1 vote witch dungeon museum.

Witches cottage (it's called something different now) but it's listed as a 4D show and it's awesome.

Parking is expensive if you aren't staying close. Just pay and park close bc it's a lot of walking. Wear comfy shoes. Plan your walks to hit stops and note the shore is a bit far. In fall there are lines to get into places, not sure about summer but you may not be able to hit everything in one day.

Some stops sell tickets online and may be sold out for walk ins. Again likely fall but double check so you aren't turned away.

Download haunted happenings app on your phone.

Have fun!
 
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While in Salem a number of years ago we did a few of the tourist things but for us the big thing was visiting the cemeteries in the area. There are lots we even drove to nearby townships to visit cemeteries there, we enjoyed getting to most of them.

If you plan to spend most of your time in Salem I agree find parking for the WHOLE day and plan on walking LOTS. We were there in early Oct and had the chance to enjoy the evening Halloween parade and drove over to Sleepy Hallow to the do the reading of the Legend of Sleepy Hallow in the old Dutch church and do the haunted trail across the street stayed the night and went to do the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze.
 

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This isn’t spooky, but I’ve been on a mission to find the best donut, with that being said, I’d visit Coffee Time Bake Stop on Bridge St. I love Salem, I wanted to move there. Going for Haunted Happenings is on my bucket list. Having your tarot read at Crow Haven Corner is cool too. Have fun you lucky duck!
 
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