A November 2006 trip
to Salem by notso62
Quote: My parents and I went on a day trip to visit historic sites in Salem.
From the outside, The Salem Beer Works looks a bit industrial. The large vats where they brew beer on site are visible from the street and do not really add a welcoming air to non-beer aficionados. Despite this, I convinced my parents that it was worth a try because I had heard good things about this restaurant.
Once inside the Salem Beer Works, the restaurant looks like a typical sports bar with dark wood, beer insignia, sports decor and big screen televisions everywhere. It isn't bad, but if you're looking for something fancier this is not the place for you.
My parents and I were politely greeted at the door during the lunchtime hour and seated at the table of our choice in the restaurant. Once seated, the waitress presented us with a menu the size of a small novel- there must have been 50 pages of items to choose from. From Italian fare to typical hot dogs and hamburgers to salads, to veggie burgers, this restaurant's menu had a little bit of everything- not just the bar staples that we were expecting giving the restaurant's appearance. Everyone in our diverse party was able to order exactly what they felt like eating - which is a rare occasion indeed!
The prices at the Salem Beer Works are more than reasonable with the more expensive entrées topping out at about $15. Most burgers and sandwiches were below $10. Happy hour specials with free appetizers and drink deals are the norm for the Salem Beer Works on certain nights.
The service at the Salem Beer Works was nice, personable and attentive. The waitress did not forget about us even though she seated us in a quiet corner far away from the action of the restaurant (at my parents request). All in all I have to say that we were pretty pleased with our choice to have our meal at the Salem Beer Works and would not hesitate to go back here on another occasion when we happen to be in Salem.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 11, 2006
Salem Beer Works
278 Derby St.
Salem, Massachusetts 01970
It is highly recommended that you call ahead if you are interested in going to the Witch Museum during their busy season (October mostly). Even on the weekday that my parents and I went, we had to find other things to do when we waited for our reserved time because of the school groups that were going through that day. The curators of this museum did a very good job of making sure families did not get mixed in with the school group tours though.
The Salem Witch Museum is basically a two part exhibit. The first part tells the story of the first instances of "Bewitching" in Salem up to the end of the infamous trials. The story is told in a large theater with wax figures around the stage surrounding the audience being illuminated when it was their scene. Maybe not the most interesting way to present this information, but not terribly scary either so safe for young children.
The second part of the exhibit discussed (via tour guide and more wax figures - though this time in a traditional museum setting and not a theater) modern perceptions of witches and witchcraft in the United States. The final thing we were asked to think about on our way out were witch hunts as they apply to our modern lives (i.e. McCarthy and his Black List, etc). Very interesting spin.
The Witch Museum is small and there might be better places to get the Salem Witch experience - but it is well kept, well guided, and safe for children. They also have a fun gift shop for little Witch souvenirs for friends and family (like almost every gift shop in Salem has).
The Witch Museum is conveniently located next to the Town Green in Salem; caddy cornered with the famous statue of the area's first settler. Parking is relatively easy on the square in metered spots during the day.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 25, 2006
Salem Witch Museum
19 1/2 Washington Square North
Salem, Massachusetts 01970
Situated next to the water of Salem's harbor, the House of Seven Gables is well worth the visit just for the views it offers of the beautiful historic coastline. The gardens outside the House are well curated and even in the late fall some flowers were still blooming. The walkways and small outer buildings feel right with the historic time period of the house and it is easy to see why this area is such a photo-op place for tourists.
The other houses on the property are not on their original pieces of land, but it is just as well to keep these building preserved as part of the historic site. Nathanial Hawthorne's birthplace is small, but a great addition to the House of Seven Gables property given the connections between Hawthorne and both houses.
The ~$10/person admission covers entrance into the historic houses and a guided tour of The House of Seven Gables and Nathaniel Hawthorne's birthplace. Our tour guide spoke very quickly, but thoroughly knew her Hawthorne facts and details of the houses. Surprisingly, the houses do not feel as though they've been preserved to the maximum potential. Most pieces are of furniture are not original to the property and some don't even feel as if they are from the right time period. I'm sure this is a work-in-progress, but I would've thought things would be in better shape than exhibited.
Small stairways and steep climbs abound on the House of Seven Gables tour- if you're out of shape or particularly wide you may want to sit parts of it out. Our tour guide was impatient with people for not wanting to climb the perilous looking staircase. I didn't blame the people on our tour, but I made it up the staircase without much ado.
To give this tour extra meaning, visitors should be sure to read the Hawthorne novel before their trip here. My mom was inspired to buy the book after our tour, but she felt that she was missing out on some of the details of the tour without having read the book beforehand. I will be curious to see if she wants to go back after reading the book for further insight.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 12, 2006
House of the Seven Gables
115 Derby Street
Salem, Massachusetts 01970