I want to preface this post by saying I love Salem, Massachusetts. I love it! It’s truly one of my favorite places in New England. The unique, quaint houses, the fascinating (and often morbid) history and the kitschy tourist traps and attractions mixed among some of my favorite restaurants, shops and sights. It’s a gorgeous and really fun city to spend time in.
That being said, I never, ever visit Salem in October- when hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to the area for a month-long Halloween celebration that includes parades, street performances, Salem Witch Trial walking tours and all things ‘Hocus Pocus’-themed. It’s not that I don’t find those activities fun or entertaining, but with packed sidewalks and nowhere to park- and this was even before the pandemic hit- it can feel very claustrophobic VERY quickly. My friends who live in the area often post photos/videos from the festivities- and it’s wild!
So with Halloween 2021 in the books and Salem clearing out relatively quickly afterwards (although there were still quite a few people hanging out while I was there!)– I decided to come back around to visit a famous and stunning piece of architecture- The House of the Seven Gables.
Made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 novel and the 1940 film starring Vincent Price- this 1668 mansion-turned-museum sits along Salem Harbor and is nestled among Hawthorne’s birthplace, the Beckett Family home (now the gift shop) and the Hooper-Hathaway house. You can tour the gardens on the property by way of an audio tour- or take a guided tour throughout the buildings- which is what I did earlier this week during an impromptu day off from work.
It’s always so fascinating to see original woodwork, molding, personal items- and a secret passageway that visitors can go through!- that have spanned hundreds of years and multiple generations and that have been preserved with so much care and effort. I had such a fun time exploring the house and grounds. It’s definitely worth a pre-or-post-Halloween trip!
I’m going to have a few more photos from my day in Salem up on the blog next week, since so many other great things are within such short walking distances from one another- but be sure to check out House of Seven Gables if you’re ever in the area!