Ever since I had to decline an invite to Salem last fall it's been on my mind. Since I was a good intern at the time I decided to trade the festivities in witch country for door to door canvassing for a certain politician..Not the fairest trade I ever made.
This past weekend Josh, I and another couple headed up to Salem to spend the weekend. It took us about 7 hours to get up there from where we started in PA.
In preparation for the trip I searched for somewhere relatively cheap to stay for the weekend. Sadly I found that Salem has no hostels near or around it and every hotel or B&B I could find was over $200 a night. Guess they can get away with those kinds of prices during this time of year. Due to my persistent efforts I found Winter Island camp ground. It cost $32 a night to camp and you can have 2 tents and up to 7 people on your campsite. We stayed for two nights and split the cost between 4 people costing us each a mere $16 bucks a night....that's my idea of a cheap accommodation.
is a link to the site
The camp ground used to be the historic Fort Pickering and the Salem Harbor so there is plenty to see on the island itself. The island has a store, showers, bathrooms, and is only a $7 cab ride into down-town Salem or a 20 minute walk to the same area.
Salem itself was a really good time. The entire down-town was full of street performers and costumed characters as well as locals and tourists dressed in costume walking the streets. Street vendors coat the main strip and all of the traditional Halloween goodies are widely available (the hand-dipped caramel apples are delicious!)
There are a ton of historical things to see around downtown Salem and the area is not short of Halloween attractions as well. We saw a line around the block for tourists waiting to get in to the witch museum and the witch house. We opted to visit the witch dungeon museum which provided a reenactment of one of the witch trials and a tour of the re-created witch dungeon. There was a huge variety of different walking tours and haunted houses as well as the the witch trials
memorial and multiple cemeteries to visit too. We took a ghost tour around the city which proved to be both fun and informative as well. Besides all of the history and great (Also cheap) attractions the night life was not too shabby either. You can check out Salem's haunted happenings web site for a complete list of what there is to do
Overall I was really happy with Salem and the presentation they put on for the Halloween season. Due to the 7 hour drive its unlikely that I will head up there every year but if you love Halloween or just love history it is really worth the trip and if you do it right it won't break the bank either!
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