You can't have too much information when you're preparing an October visit to Salem.
Pack your patience - last weekend the traffic on Route 128 North was somewhat sluggish getting off on Route 114 East into Salem. We encourage you to leave your broomstick at home and ride the Commuter Rail (from Boston, Newburyport, or Rockport) or the Salem Ferry from Long Wharf North in Boston.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions of the week:
Where do I park?
If you're coming on the weekend, plan to pay cash for parking. The two city garages and the city lots are $20 flat rate for all day at entry. There are metered spaces in lots and on the streets throughout Salem, they cost $.25 per half hour and have a 2 hour maximum. Meters are not enforced on Sundays or Columbus Day. Meters are enforced 8am -6pm. There are also private lots throughout town (gas stations, churches, office parks) that charge for parking. Private lot prices range from $10 - $20. Click here for the City of Salem's Parking Map.
What do I do?
Salem is a dynamic, exciting destination, especially in October. Many of the attractions and museums have extended hours during October. There are haunted tours, historic tours, trolley tours, vampire tours, ghost tours, dramatic presentations, ghost stories, psychic fairs, shops, restaurants, and more. Explore HauntedHappenings.org and Salem.org to create your best experience.
Insider tip: If you're planning to go to the Salem Witch Museum, go there first to get your tickets. They do timed entries during the day, so if you go at 11:00 AM the next available presentation may be at 3:30 PM. You can go explore Salem and return for your timed presentation.
If you aren't sure where to start when you arrive, stop at the information booth on the corner of Essex & Washington Streets or the National Park Service Regional Visitor Center at 2 New Liberty Street. You can get maps, brochures, and schedules of events at both locations.
Are there any discounts?
Visit Salem.org/deals for discounts and combination tickets. There are combination tickets for the Witch Dungeon, Witch History, and New England Pirate Museum; The Haunted Neighborhood at the Salem Wax Museum; and the Witches Cottage, Count Orlock's Nightmare Gallery, The Nightmare Factory, and Dracula's Castle. These combo tickets are available at the sites that honor them.
Where do we eat?
Check out HauntedHappenings.org and Salem.org. for restaurant listings. You'll find everything from street side hot dog vendors to creative cuisine in hip environments.
We need a room! What do we do?
You're not completely out of luck... not yet. A lot of the regional properties have rooms for weekends, even Halloween. Marblehead is about 5 miles south of Salem, Rockport is a 30 minute train ride away, Peabody and Danvers are each about 20 minutes from downtown Salem. If you are coming in on Halloween weekend and you plan to stay outside of Salem, consider parking in Lynn or Beverly and taking the train into Salem. You'll probably get into Salem faster.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again... check out Salem.org and HauntedHappenings.org for accommodations information. You may want to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, as well, as we post cancellations when we learn about them. Midweek rooms are available in Salem.
Do you have another FAQ for us to answer? Send it to us, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Haunted Happenings!