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Where to Stay in Salem, MA: 6 Best Areas & Neighborhoods

Where to Stay in Salem, MA: 6 Best Areas & Neighborhoods

Are you looking for a fun, exciting, and different New England getaway? If so, then Salem, Massachusetts, might be a great option for you to consider.

This small, historic town is full of charm – but that charm also comes with a bit of a dark twist. If you grew up in the United States, then you likely already know that the town of Salem has an interesting past that is full of witches and witchcraft.

For some, that intriguing darkness is the primary draw to visit, but even if you’re not interested in witches, it’s a great place to spend a weekend.

Salem is old. It’s on the ocean. It’s full of shops and restaurants and it’s very walkable. It’s lovely year-round and you’ll see that the locals really take pride in their home.

You’ll love visiting Salem for a weekend or longer, and you’ll want to come back to it time and time again.

If this sounds interesting to you, read on. In this informative guide, you’ll learn about what there is to do during your visit to Salem, and a bit about the surrounding, nearby towns, too.

We’ll give you suggestions for accommodations in all of them. It’s likely that when you’re done reading, you’ll want to start planning your trip right away!

Where to Stay in and Around Salem, Massachusetts

If you’re wondering where to stay in Salem, Ma, then you came to the right place. We’ve included some of the best Salem hotels and the best hotels in other nearby towns too, and you’ll find some rental properties listed as well.

So where should you stay if you’re visiting Salem?

If Salem is the main attraction on your trip, then it makes sense to stay in a rental house or a hotel in downtown Salem so you can be within easy walking distance of everything you want to see and do.

However, Salem is quite small and has few hotels to offer; if you want to stay in Salem itself, you’ll need to plan far ahead, especially if you’re planning a trip there anytime around Halloween.

Hotels and rental homes in Salem can be expensive, too, so they may not be your best value if you’re traveling on a budget.

Many Salem visitors choose to stay outside of Salem. Choosing to do so for your own trip will give you many more accommodation options at a variety of price points. The average nightly price of hotels in some of these towns is often far lower than those that you’ll see in Salem.

Salem is only about fifteen minutes from Peabody, Marblehead, Danvers, Beverly, and Lynn, so the short drive may be worth the savings to you.

We’ve included accommodation options in each of those towns here too. And, if you’re also planning to visit Boston, you might want to choose somewhere in between Salem and Boston for ease.

When it comes down to it, it all depends on your personal preferences. You’ll have a great trip to Salem no matter where you decide to stay. Start by determining how much you wish to spend on accommodations per night and then you can move forward from there.

Salem History

Salem is charming, quaint, weird, and wonderful and it’s not like anywhere else in the United States or anywhere else, for that matter.

This small town of just 44,480 residents was first settled by Europeans in 1626, although Native Americans lived in the area for thousands of years prior.

Salem is most famous for being the site of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials.

Due to something we today understand as “mass hysteria” (Lord knows there’s plenty of that going around these days), twenty people were put to death after being accused of practicing witchcraft.

The city embraces this tragic history and today, witches and the supernatural are celebrated all over town. Halloween in Salem is an especially exciting time of year.

However, all year round visitors can visit sites like the Witch House, the Salem Witch Trials Memorial, and the Salem Witch Museum. Ghost tours are a popular evening pastime for tourists and stores sell a variety of witch-themed souvenirs to eager shoppers.

There are many other things to see and do in Salem that have nothing to do with witches also.

National Historic Landmark home The House of the Seven Gables, made famous by the 1851 book of the same name by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is exceptional and is open for tours.

Salem Maritime National Historic Site is a great stop for anyone interested in learning about beautiful old sailing ships and life on them long ago. It’s part of Pickering Wharf, a shopping and dining area that’s a great place to get a meal and relax.

Visitors also might enjoy a stop at the Peabody Essex Museum. It has been collecting, preserving, and showing artwork from around the world for over 220 years!

As you can see, there’s a lot to do in Salem. A weekend may not even be enough time to do it all – so plan accordingly!

Budget Hotels

Hampton Inn Salem Boston
Building of Hampton Inn Salem
Photo by Booking.com

There aren’t many very budget hotels in this area and especially not in Salem proper but the Hampton Inn Salem Boston is on the lower end of the price range and is a great option if you want to stay in Salem affordably.

Like most Hampton Inns, this property is clean and comfortable; there’s an indoor pool and fitness center on-site, and guests also get breakfast as well. 

Mid-Range Hotels

Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites
Hotel Building of Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites
Photo by Booking.com

Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites is on the water and is near everything. There’s a heated indoor swimming pool, but if you’d rather swim outdoors, it’s just a ten-minute walk to the beach.

Rooms have coffee makers and flat-screen, cable televisions and you can work out. in the fitness center. The Regata Pub Restaurant services breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and there are a number of restaurants and shops within walking distance of the hotel.

The Salem Inn
Single Bed Room
Photo by Booking.com

The Salem Inn is right in the heart of Salem and is so close to everything you’ll want to see and do.

This hotel is made up of three connected, historical homes, and some rooms even have fireplaces and kitchenettes. Guest also can use a nearby fitness center for free, and breakfast is included daily. If you have a car with you, there’s free parking, too.

Luxury Hotels

The Daniels House Bed and Breakfast
Black Building of Daniels House Bed and Breakfast
Photo by Booking.com

If you like bed and breakfast accommodations, you’ll love The Daniels House. This beautiful and historic home was built in 1667 by a sea captain and is the oldest bed and breakfast in the area.

You’ll feel like you stepped back in time when you step into this accommodation. It’s close to many of the attractions in Salem and you’ll love the food and open fireplaces.

Stepping Stone Inn
Cozy Living Area
Photo by Booking.com

This property is very close to the House of Seven Gables, the Salem Witch Museum, and the Peabody Essex Museum, as well as to many restaurants and shops. Rooms are small and pleasantly furnished; every room is different.

Guests may enjoy reading in the spacious shared lounge and petting the two resident cats. A continental breakfast is included.

The Hotel Salem
Colorful Lobby
Photo by Booking.com

The Hotel Salem is in an old building but you will find the rooms and suites to be very modern and perfect for your single or multi-night stay.

WiFi is free throughout the property, there’s an on-site restaurant, and there’s a terrace with great views of the city. This isn’t right in the middle of Salem, but you’ll find the short walk to the attractions you wish to be to be easy and enjoyable.

Rentals

Historic Brick Federal Period Mansion on Fabled Chestnut Street
Trees Surrounding the Historic Brick Federal Period Mansion
Photo by VRBO

If you’re traveling with a group, this 6,000 square foot mansion that was built in 1810 might be a perfect choice for you. It’s even on the National Register of Historic Places.

Inside, you’ll find six bedrooms, three and a half baths, ten fireplaces, high ceilings, a library, a children’s playroom, a formal dining room, and so much more. This is a spacious home ideally located for enjoying everything Salem has to offer. You’ll never forget this one.

Satanic Temple Headquarters Bedroom Suite
Black and Red Bedroom
Photo by VRBO

If you really dig the witchy, supernatural vibe of Salem then you might as well dive into it all the way and stay at this very interesting one-bedroom suite inside the actual Satanic Temple Headquarters.

It’s inside a Victorian mansion that was built in 1882. Sleep in a four-poster bed in a room with decor that is “consistent with The Satanic Temple aesthetic.” It’s right in the city center and is close to everything you’ll want to see and do.

Danvers/Beverly

Danvers and Beverly are two suburban areas just north of Salem and across the Crane River inlet. Both of these small towns are charming and historical, but they are primarily residential.

About 30,000 to 40,000 people live in each town, respectively. Both of these small towns are a perfect location to stay to visit Salem because they are a bit cheaper and less busy than Salem proper, but you are only a few minutes and a bridge crossing away from the action.

Budget Hotels

Best Western Plus North Shore; Danvers
Fireplace at Best Western Plus North Shore Hotel
Photo by Booking.com

This Best Western Plus is about fifteen minutes from Salem and is near a number of other hotels and a few restaurants. Guests love the indoor pool and fitness center.

Mid-Range Hotels

The Cabot Lodge; Beverly
Building Front of The Cabot Lodge
Photo by Booking.com

The Cabot Lodge is a beautifully decorated accommodation in an old building on a corner in central Beverly. Rooms have air conditioning, WiFi, and flat-screen television. Rooms are small but cozy. Parking is on the street, but you’ll be able to walk to a few restaurants.

See Related: Do Hotels Take Cash? Things to Know

Luxury Hotels

The Wylie Inn and Conference Center at Endicott College; Beverly
Fully Furnished Single Bed Room
Photo by Booking.com

This hotel is part of Endicott College but you don’t have to be affiliated with the college in any way to stay there. It’s on ten acres and has direct beach access, elegant rooms, an award-winning conference center, free WiFi, a 1900s fountain on the front lawn, and more.

Guests can use the Post Center on campus and enjoy the facility’s gym, rock climbing wall, and racquetball courts.

Rentals

Charming Historical Property Built in 1839
Historical Building with Gray Paintings
Photo by VRBO

This 1,750 square foot condo in a historic home sleeps four in two bedrooms and has one full bath, a kitchen, a living room, and a dining room.

It’s only 25 minutes from Boston and is even closer to Salem. There are restaurants within walking distance and a beach and playground nearby too.

Peabody

Peabody is west of Salem and is also a great place to stay if you wish to see and do all the things that the Salem area has to offer.

This suburb of Boston is known for its rich industrial history. Long ago it was known as the Leather City for all the tanneries located there; later, automobile manufacturing took over.  Today, it’s mostly a bedroom community with homes, schools, parks, and shopping.

Budget Hotels

Holiday Inn and Suites Boston Peabody
Empty Lobby of Holiday Inn and Suites Boston Peabody
Photo by Booking.com

This pleasant Holiday Inn and Suites is just off I-95 for easy access to anywhere you wish to go in the area. There’s a fitness center and outdoor courtyard onsite and it’s next to a few restaurants you can visit after a long day of sightseeing. There’s also an indoor pool.

Mid-Range Hotels

Boston Marriott Peabody
Room with Two Beds and a Television
Photo by Booking.com

If you’re looking for a nice hotel that’s between Salem and Boston, this Marriott is a great choice. It has an indoor pool with a hot tub and a restaurant on site that serves breakfast and dinner. Rooms are large and comfortable and have free WiFi.

Marblehead

Many people who want to visit Salem choose to stay in Marblehead.

This town, rich in maritime history, is on a peninsula east of Salem. Marblehead was a shipbuilding center long ago and it was once the fishing capital of the state.

Today, people are drawn to Marblehead for its quaint streets and homes, kayaking, sailing, and shopping. Attractions in Marblehead include the historic Marblehead Light, Fort Sewall, the Marblehead Neck Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, and Devereaux Beach.

Mid-Range Hotels

Harbor Light Inn
Luxury Room with Fireplace
Photo by Booking.com

The Habor Light Inn in Marblehead is a really fantastic deal for the price.

It’s located in the town center and has an outdoor pool, bar, restaurant, and WiFi, and best of all, it’s just steps away from the ocean. A breakfast buffet is included as is afternoon tea.

Rooms are beautiful and historic and many have fireplaces. You’ll love this little inn; you’ll want to stay here time and time again.

See Related: Hotel vs Motel vs Inn

Luxury Hotels

The Hotel Marblehead
Bedroom with Map Paintings on its Wall
Photo by Booking.com

This is another historic inn that will take your breath away. This boutique hotel was built in 1871 and has been an inn since the early 1920s; in fact, a young Amelia Earhart stayed here with her mother in 1923.

The rooms are quite lovely and so are the terrace and gardens – be sure to take some time to enjoy them instead of just stopping in to sleep for the night.

Rentals

Chestnut Sweet
Front Yard of a White House
Photo by VRBO

This small home sleeps three and is located in one of Marblehead’s historic neighborhoods. It’s only a block from the ocean and has a kitchenette, laundry, beach chairs, bikes, beach towels, a rain shower, a fireplace, air conditioning, and more. You’ll love this sweet little house.

Swampscott/Clifton

Swampscott and Clifton are south of Salem and are residential communities made up of mostly upscale homes. You won’t find hotels in these towns but there are a few vacation rentals worth considering.

There are several historic homes in this area that you can visit such as the John Humphreys House, built circa 1700, and the Mary Baker Eddy Home from the mid-1800s, as well as the Swampscott Fish House, a historic fishing supply storage building that was built in 1896.

Several beaches, such as Eisman’s Beach, Fisherman’s Beach, King’s Beach, and Philip’s Beach are great for morning or afternoon walks.

Rentals

Romantic Ocean and Boston Horizon Views from an Outdoor Hot Tub
Living Room with Wide Windows
Photo by VRBO

This 1,500 square foot, the oceanfront house sleeps two in one bedroom and you can enjoy great views from the hot tub year-round. You can walk along the beach during the day and sit by the fire at night. It’s in a quiet neighborhood and is perfect for a weekend or week-long getaway.

Magnificent Ocean View House with Great Amenities
Three Story House
Photo by VRBO

If you like sunrises, you’ll love this house. You can look out over the ocean from the balcony and watch the sun greet you each morning of your stay.

You can also walk on two different beaches within walking distance. Enjoy air conditioning, WiFi, and laundry facilities in the house; the home has four bedrooms and sleeps four.

Lynn

Lynn is the eighth largest city in Massachusetts, so it’s a bit busier and larger than the other towns on this list.

However, it’s still a great location to stay for visits to Salem because it’s close by and affordable. Further, if you also plan to visit Boston, it puts you in a location that is central to both destinations.

This city was settled by Europeans in 1629 but Native Americans lived in this area for thousands of years prior to their arrival.

Because of the protected location of this coastal city, it grew quickly in many ways, and soon became a center of trade and industry for the European settlers.

In the 1800s, Lynn was known for shoemaking; later, General Electric was its claim to fame. Today, after a period of decline in the late 20th century, Lynn is on the up and up and is a popular suburb for people who work in Boston.

Like Swampscott and Clifton above, you won’t find many hotels in Lynn, but there are some great vacation rentals in town.

History buffs will enjoy visiting and touring historic homes like the Lucian Newhall House and another of Mary Baker Eddy’s homes; nature lovers will love hiking in the 2,200-acre Lynn Woods Reservation nearby.

Rentals in Lynn, MA

Two-Bedroom Apartment Near Kings Beach
Front Yard of a Three Story House
Photo by Airbnb

This second-floor, mid-size, two-bedroom apartment has a kitchen, bathroom, and living room. It’s just twelve miles from Salem by train and you can also get to Boston by train in 25 minutes.

Amazing Lower Level Loft
Building of Amazing Lower Level Loft
Photo by Airbnb

This basement loft is open and spacious and sleeps seven guests in two bedrooms with one bathroom to share. It’s located in downtown Lynn near the train station and comes with a free parking space and a full kitchen.

Getting Around Salem, Massachusetts

Getting around Salem, Massachusetts and the surrounding areas is easy. If you’re staying in Salem, then you can walk to many of the places you’ll like want to go.

However, if you want to be able to explore a bit more, or if you wish to stay outside of Salem, it helps to have a car.

Whether you drive your own car or get a rental car, this area is fairly easy to navigate and you will be able to find parking quickly in most places.

But, don’t forget that Salem and its neighbors are suburbs of Boston, so you may encounter a lot of traffic depending on the day of the week and the time of day that you’re trying to travel. Be aware and plan accordingly.

You can also take a train to Salem from Boston. Trains depart from Boston’s North Station; you’ll take the Newburyport/Rockport Line to Salem Station.

The ride is under $8 each way and takes about thirty minutes. In the summer and fall, you can take the ferry from Long Wharf to Salem for $25 in each direction. If you need to get around northeast Massachusetts after arriving by train or ferry, Ubers and cabs are available.

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