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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Trip Report Salem, Mass - Quick trip report

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I spent 2 nights in Salem with my mom and my aunt as part of a longer trip to see family and friends on the east coast. It was a quick stay - would have loved to stay a couple more days and am already thinking about taking a trip back there. We didn't see nearly as much as I would have liked because my mom isn't up to walking far, and it was a bit warm for her, but we had fun nonetheless.

Salem is a wonderful little town with great architecture, a great vibe, and neat people. We were there just before Memorial Day which meant that some of the attractions had shorter hours or weren't yet open for the season. Still, I am glad we went ahead of the crowds because I don't think the city would be as neat to explore with a ton of people running around.

We stayed at the Hawthorne Hotel, which I highly recommend. It is right on Salem Common, so you'd be hard pressed to find a better location. It was right in the middle of everything. And the hotel is quite comfortable and the staff is top-notch. Everybody was great. The only negative was the small bathroom in our room, but it is an historic hotel and that is often the case. The tavern in the hotel was fun - wood panelled walls, comfortable chairs, books in bookcases, great staff, good food.

For other eats we went to the Witches Brew Cafe on Derby St near the waterfront. Pretty good food and nice people, although for a place that looks like a pub inside, I was very disappointed in their beer list.

We also ate at The Old Spot - across from the hotel. That place was great. I would absolutely go back. Friendly, comfortable, and they serve a terrific burger. That was my second choice because it was late and they ran out of chowder, but it was quite good. And they have a nice selection of beer and wine with several out-of-the-everyday choices.

For activities we mostly shopped, which isn't usually my choice activity but I was with my mom and my aunt and the trip was really for them. There are lots of fun shops though and I did find plenty to buy.

We also rode the trolley around, which was very fun. Lots of good info and we were able to hit some highlights. A good intro if you've never been.

We went to the Salem Witch Museum near the Common. It was just ok. If you already know the basic history of the witchcraft hysteria in Salem, then skip it. If you aren't familiar with the story, then it might be worth it.

There is lots more to see in town that we didn't get to - another trip :) definitely recommend a visit to anyone interested in early American history, the paranormal, or just wandering around neat little towns.

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