Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ride the T, take the ferry, find a bathroom, pay for parking

Were you in Salem for the Haunted Biz Baz street fair this weekend?  Did you take a walking tour? Visit an attraction, follow the Heritage Trail?  Have some yummy chowder?  Find frights in a Haunted House?

More than 4,000 cars were parked in the Museum Place Garage, and more than 6,500 found directions and information at the October information booth that is provided by Salem Main Streets on Essex Street at Washington Street. That's just one info booth and just one parking garage, so we know it was a busy, bustling weekend filled with zombies, families, and zombie families. 

We also heard that traffic was backed up on Route 128 North getting into Salem (we heard 8 miles, but we weren't in it, so that's anecdotal).

As we recover from the first weekend of Salem Haunted Happenings and gear up for the second, we have a few reminders and pointers for all of our visitors.  

  • If you can use public transportation, please do! Our mantra of "Take the train, Ride the Ferry" isn't just for us, it's for your sanity, too!  You may want to consider parking in Beverly (one stop north) and taking the train just one stop to alleviate some of the travel stress.  There's also ample parking at the Lynn stop, which is two stops south of Salem. Learn more at MBTA.com and BostonHarborCruises.com.
  • There are alternate routes - Exits 26 and 25A may be the most direct routes from Rt-128 to downtown Salem, there are alternatives!  Regardless of how you choose to drive from Route 128 into Salem, know that, alas, we are not easy-off, easy-on. Without traffic, it will take 10 minutes to drive from exit 26 to the visitor center.  Click here for routes.
  • Plan to pay for parking. Meters range from $.50/hour to $1.50 per hour, and the garages and Church Street surface lot cost $20 cash on entry on October weekends (the garages and Church Street cost less during the week).  If you don't take the train and you arrive to parking snarls, try the MBTA parking lot at 252 Bridge Street.  Click here for more parking information.
  • Where's the bathroom?  There are portable toilets stationed around Salem, and you will find public restrooms in the Salem Regional Visitor Center at 2 New Liberty Street and at the Orientation Center at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site at 160 Derby Street.   
Haunted Happenings is an awesome time to visit Salem, that's why so many people plan their travel in October!  Know before you go and pack a bit of patience and you'll have a ball, too!

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