Have you already gotten your first pumpkin-flavored item? Are you busting out your plaid and sweaters? Have you already started watching “Hocus Pocus” on repeat? Well then, it is time for you to plan your Salem day trip! Salem, Massachusetts in October is a hot spot because it’s home to so many Halloween activities. You’ve got the history of the Salem Witch Trials, the beauty of New England during fall, and the filming locations of “Hocus Pocus” so there’s really something for everyone when you visit Salem, Massachusetts in October. But, if you’ve got one day in this Spooky New England town, here are the top things to do in Salem, Massachusetts.
The Short Version of Your Day Trip to Salem
These are the must-hit spots on your day trip to Salem in October (or whenever):
- Witch House
- Salem Witch Museum
- Allison’s house from Hocus Pocus
- The Dennison House from Hocus Pocus
- Honestly, just walk around a lot. There’s a ton of cute stuff to see just walking through this cute, small town.
And these are a few Salem tourist attractions we didn’t hit, but I would recommend based on reading more about them:
- House of the Seven Gables
- Visit Old Burying Point Cemetery
- Take a haunted walking tour
The Long Story of Things to Do in Salem, MA
I went to Salem with some friends of mine just a couple of days after Halloween. It still had plenty of tourists, and all of the Halloween decor and activities were still open. I don’t think it’s necessary to go to Salem during October if you’re not the biggest fan of crowds – since Salem, Massachusetts in October is undoubtedly its busiest month – but I totally get it if you want to. You know, just to get that vibe. I loved it, and definitely think a day trip to Salem, MA is worthwhile in any month of the year. But October sure is something special, because it has all the quintessential witchy and Halloween-y things to do.
Additionally, I’m not sure that you necessarily need a car to have a fun day in Salem, but it was helpful for us just to have our own time to do everything. Lots of people do day trips to Salem from Boston, which is a great idea in my book, so a car will defiitely be helpful in a situation like that. However, Salem isn’t a large town so we did mostly walk everywhere. I’m generally a fan of this, so was happy to, but if you’re trying to dress super cute and witchy, take your footwear into account.
Things to do on a day trip to Salem in October:
I wasn’t entirely sure what the Witch House was before going, but it’s painted this spooky matte black and looked ready for us to enter. Turns out, it was actually the home of a judge who preceded over the Salem Witch Trials. The home is one of the last historical buildings with direct ties to the Witch Trials, and it was super interesting to walk through.
This tour doesn’t take a long time, and is rather inexpensive if I remember. There are also guides in the home that can give you some extra information on pieces if you have questions. This was a super interesting look back into New England life during the 1600s, and I highly recommend it.
Salem Witch Museum
We were pretty excited to go here, and as was the rest of the town it appeared. The Salem Witch Museum was definitely the busiest activity of the day. We also went around sunset, which probably didn’t help as I’m sure others were looking to get some spooky vibes as well.
While this museum isn’t the historical relic like the Witch House is, it is incredibly interesting and I highly recommend a Salem Witch Museum tour if you have the time. You sit in this large room with probably 100 other people and you listen to the history of the Salem Witch Trials. The history plays while there is a type of show going on for you to follow visually as well. I don’t really know how to describe it, but know that it’s unique and, in my opinion, worth attending if you’re looking for more historical things to do in Salem.
Allison’s House from Hocus Pocus
This house is gorgeous, and is pretty close to the main street. We simply walked on over and took pictures in front of it, as well as walked around the property and area. It gave my millennial woman heart some serious nostalgia. This house is open to the public, so feel free to take pictures and walk yourself around.
Dennison House from Hocus Pocus
Continuing the ride on the nostalgia train, we headed over to the Dennison house. We had actually parked near the witch museum, so drove over here since it is by the water. It was pretty peaceful and we were really the only tourists checking out the home. However, this is private property, so be respectful because people actually live here. We didn’t walk onto the property at all, but took pictures from the street. Rumor has it the homeowners are cool and understanding of tourists, but you still always want to be kind and considerate of others, particularly as a traveler.
Plan Your Perfect Salem Day Trip
If you’re a huge Hocus Pocus fan and want to really pack it all in on your day, there are a few other movie spots you can check out on your Salem day trip.
And there you have it! A great day spent in one of the Halloween capitals of the USA with all the fun things to do in Salem, Massachusetts. Just as the Sanderson sisters would, grab your broom (or mop… or vacuum…) and fly!