July 5, 2022

The 5 Best Salem Tours

Note: Some tour providers on this list may have ceased operations due to COVID-19. Check with your tour operator about availability before you book.

While best known for its notorious witch trials in the late 1600s, Salem, Massachusetts, has a lot more to offer. These Salem tours offer an in-depth look at everything related to the trials, but they also explore the area’s landmarks and Revolutionary War history. U.S. News selected the following tours by consulting traveler sentiment and expert opinion. Whether you explore by day or by night, these excursions will introduce you to all sides of Salem.

Fame of Salem – Sail on the Fame

Set sale on a replica of an 1812 privateer schooner on this nearly two-hour cruise. Not only do tourgoers see Salem from the water, but they also learn about the original Fame ship and the War of 1812. Travelers will also have the opportunity to assist the crew with raising the sail and other tasks. Passengers say the sail was one of the highlights of their trip to Salem and praise the expert crew. Tickets cost approximately $40 for participants ages 14 and older and $30 for youths ages 13 and younger. Tours are available May through October several times daily a few days a week; availability depends on the season. Fame of Salem also offers a sunset cruise, as well as private charters.

Bewitched After Dark Walking Tours

On this two-hour walking tour from Bewitched After Dark, travelers learn about colonial Salem, along with its ample witch-related history. Along the way, tourgoers will pass by more than a dozen historical locations within the downtown area. Reviewers praise the guides for their storytelling abilities and recommend the tour for history buffs. Many also add that this tour turned out to be the highlight of their visit to Salem. Tickets cost approximately $30 per person; children 7 and younger can participate for free. Tours operate nightly at 7 p.m.

Led by paranormal investigators, this trip focuses on more than the city’s fabled witches. During the 90-minute tour, guides will share stories about Salem’s ghosts, New England vampirism and Voodoo while visiting haunted sites like the Salem Jail and the Joshua Ward House. Guides will also teach participants how to hunt for ghosts and take images of spirits with their cameras. Reviewers say this is an informative and historically accurate tour and that it’s one of the best ghost tours they’ve attended. Tickets start at $21 for participants 11 and older. Tours are available at 8 p.m. nightly; there’s also a 2 p.m. tour offered Friday through Sunday.

Explore downtown Salem at night and learn about the city’s history while listening to ghost stories on the Salem Night Tour, which lasts about 90 minutes and covers roughly 1 mile. As an added bonus, the company says the tour’s content is appropriate for children. Travelers give high marks to guides, describing them as knowledgeable and engaging. Tickets start at $25 per person. Tours operate daily at 8 p.m. The company also offers a daytime tour at 2 p.m.

Witch City Walking Tours – History & Hauntings of Salem

Those with an interest in Salem ghost stories should sign up for this two-hour walking tour led by a local historian. If you’d like to boost the eerie factor, opt for a night tour when you’ll be led around town by lantern. Stops on the tour include the Old Burying Point Cemetery, the seaport and the Old Town Hall. Tour-takers describe guides as passionate about Salem and say the tour is full of great stories. Tickets cost approximately $25 for adults with discounts for seniors, students and children. Tours run daily at multiple times. The company also offers a Mysteries and Murders of Salem tour.

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