Landmark Educational Tours

When is the Best Time to Visit Salem, MA?

John Ward House

Each year, people from all over the country and the world flock to the town of Salem, Massachusetts, in search of the perfect Halloween adventure. The quintessential New England small town has turned into a tourist destination, full of fall-themed fun, witch trial history, and spooky sites and sounds. The weeks leading up to Halloween, and the day itself is packed with tourists and gridlocked streets. In this article, our pros have done the research and outlined the best times to travel to Salem, Massachusetts.

Peak Season: Mid to Late October

With Halloween being the highlight of the month, it is no surprise that it is the Peak Season for Salem, MA attractions. With over 500,000 people each year traveling in October, the town of Salem is full of Haunted Happenings. After Dark Walking Tours, Psychic Readings, Spooky Shops, and Haunted History are just a few of the many attractions found throughout Salem in October. Along with all of the activities, New England is home to some of the most beautiful sights of fall. Leaves turning red and orange, the cool breeze in the air, there is simply no better way to spend the fall season than in Salem, Massachusetts. Unfortunately, it is not all sunshine and roses; traveling to Salem in the month of October can result in a never-ending search for parking, sold-out tickets, packed restaurants with long wait times, and no vacancy at local hotels. Our suggestion, if you are looking to travel to Salem at the height of the season is to plan, plan, plan. Try and go in the middle of the week to avoid the weekend crowds, book hotel reservations years in advance (yes, we said years), and avoid traveling on Halloween. It may be tempting, but we promise that you will still enjoy all of the festivities and haunted fun if you travel the weeks before the main event.


Off Season: November to March

Although the Halloween Haunting festivities die down after October 31st, Salem is a great place to travel to all year long. Winter months feature Salem’s So Sweet festival which features Valentine’s shopping plans, delicious chocolate shops, and an ice sculpture festival. Cozy up at one of Salem’s historic and charming Inns and B&Bs: The Daniels House, The Northey Street House Bed and Breakfast, The Merchant, and Morning Glory Bed & Breakfast offer a cozy and comfortable place to put your feet up at the end of the day while you continue to soak in New England charm. Winter months also see cheaper flights and hotel reservations. While you miss the holiday festivities of Salem and your trip may become difficult with New England winters, walking through a winter wonderland full of history and charm just might be the perfect winter weekend getaway.

Shoulder Season: April to August

Salem’s Spring and Summer months, while not as vibrant as the Halloween season, are still full of fun activities and energy. June welcomes the Salem art festival, and the warmer months are the perfect time to explore outdoor activities such as strolling down the Salem Heritage Trail. You will see lower prices and the opportunity to explore the rich history of Salem without all of the crowds.

Our Top Pick

We recommend our groups travel towards the end of September. The fall temperatures are in the air and the town is beginning to welcome many Halloween and fall festivities. The crowds are not overwhelming, but the town is still lively. Enjoy a stroll down the cobblestone streets with a cool fall breeze. Walk store to store and get a taste of Salem without the high prices and extreme crowds.

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