Salem Trolley Tour – the easy way to see Salem

by Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders
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The Salem Trolley Tour experience

Salem, Massachusetts

What is the first thing you think of when you hear about the city of Salem in Massachusetts? Most likely the Salem Witch Trials. But did you know this part of history is less than a year long, and over 400 years ago? Not to diminish the horrors, importance and significance of this time, but there is so much more to Salem than the witch trials! Taking a ride with the Salem Trolley Tour means you get to learn about all the fascinating things that have occurred in this part of New England!

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image of the red trolley of Salem trolley tour

How to get to Salem

If you are coming from Boston there are numerous ways to arrive.

By car, although driving in Boston might want to be something you avoid. There are multi storey car parks in Salem which are easy to navigate. It would be advised to get there early, particularly on weekends, as they do get very busy. There is a car park right next to the  National Park Service Visitor Centre, which is where the Salem Trolley Tour starts from.

The other two options are a bus, which takes approximately an hour or a ferry. Which while exciting, is also a tad expensive.

The final option from Boston is the train which leaves from Boston North Station to Salem on the Rockport line. A standard ticket costs around $8.

Salem Trolley Tour

If you are limited on time in Salem, this is a fantastic way to see much of the city. It has 14 stops along the way, which each show one of the highlights of the city.

image of the red Salem trolley tour on the streets of Salem

The Salem Trolley tour starts and ends at the National Park Visitor Centre. However, you can also hop on and pay for your ticket on the trolley at some of the other stops. The great thing about the Salem Trolley tour is that your ticket is valid all day, and you can jump on and off as much as you like.

You can either take the entire tour round once and then stay on to go back to somewhere which interests you. Or you can get off at each stop that takes your fancy, explore, and then jump back on to the next trolley that passes. There are 6 flag stops along the route, where you can ‘flag’ the Salem Trolley Tour to re – board!

The full tour takes one hour, and each trolley has a very knowledgable guide on board to give you all the information you might need as you make your way through the city. Skip was the guide on the Salem trolley tour I took and despite the on board PA system not working and traffic jams we encountered he worked so hard to keep us informed for the entire tour. Plus – such a sweetheart!

image of the inside of a Salem Trolley Tour

Tours are run daily from April through to October with the last tour leaving the visitor centre at 4pm.

Where does the tour visit?

There are 14 stops along the 8 mile route, each showcasing a different part of the Salem history. These include the Witch Trial Memorial, Salem Maritime Site, the House of the Seven Gables,  Philips House, Hamilton Hall and Chestnut Street. Just to name a few!

You learn so many interesting facts about Salem along the way. Such as seeing the oldest sweet shop in Salem, the building that now sits on the wharf which was moved there after being purchased for $1! And the site of the original monopoly factory.

image of the blue water at the wharf of Salem

After the tour ends, make sure to go back and visit the bits that interested you most! And, as you will soon discover, there is so much more to Salem than a single years worth of history. Despite what tourism might say!

Salem Trolley Tour also run special tours at seasonal times like Halloween and Christmas, so do check these out if you are visiting Salem around this time!

Blogger transparency: I was offered my tour on the Salem Trolley tour with compliments but, as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own! 

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