Salem Trolley Tour – the easy way to see Salem

by Charlie - Where Charlie Wanders
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(Updated May 2024)

The Salem Trolley Tour experience

Salem is a city located on the north shore of Massachusetts, in New England, and is most famous for the Salem Witch Trials in 1692. Howver, the trials lasted for less than a year 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!

Undoubtedly your first instinct will to want ot visit the city in October, and it iwll be an fascinatining time to go, with lots going on in the city. But, it will also be SUPER crowded, making hotels expensive and find places to park and eat tricky. Instead, consider visiting off season. Or, if you still want the fall vibes, consider the shoulder month of September. No matter waht time of year you visit, Salem Trolley Tours will be the perfect way to see the best of the city, ensuring you have a fab trip.

Salem is perfect for a long weekend, or short break, as it is small but packed with things to do. Its walkable, so start with a Salem Trolley Tour and work out the places you want to return to.

You can also include Salem as a stop on a larger New England roadtrip – I highly recommend Kennebunkport, Maine and Vermont, with Salem being a final stop before flying home from Boston.

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. Located right next to the National Park Service Visitor Centre is a car park. Handily, this is where the Salem Trolley Tour starts from.
  • You can catch a bus, which takes approximately an hour.
  • Alternatively there ferries from the city. 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.

How long does the Salem Trolley Tour take?

The full tour takes one hour, if you decide not to get off. However, the beauty of a Salem Trolley Tour is that you can hop on and off. 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!

Tours are run daily from April through to October with the last tour leaving the visitor centre at 4pm. The first tour leaves at 10am, so get there early to make sure you can make a full day of it.

What information will the Salem Trolley Tour give?

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

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

How much does a Salem Trolley Tour cost?

Tickets for adults are $25 andSeniors (60+) are $24. There are also tickets available for children (6-14) at $15 and children 5 and under are free (when accompanied by an Adult).

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!

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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