Witches and wildlife in Massachusetts
We were greeted with beautiful blue skies as we left the Hawthorne Hotel on the morning of our second day. We ate a quick breakfast at a local café before heading for the Salem Waterfront. On the way to the waterfront we recognized some of the local attractions, like the House of the Seven Gables and the Bewitched statue. It was such a beautiful day for exploring, but we had a schedule to keep so we quickly made our way to the Friendship of Salem.
The Friendship of Salem is a reconstruction of a 52-metre three-masted Salem East Indiaman built in 1797. It’s a fully functioning ship, but it mostly stays close to the yard so visitors can come aboard. After a quick tour and with places to be, we left the Friendship and ventured over to the famed Salem Witch Museum. The Museum instantly transported us back to the year 1692. The life-size exhibitions, detailed timelines, dramatic lighting and realistic narration helped us experience the rich history of the town and learn the truth behind the myths and Salem’s past.
After our enlightening visit at the museum, we stumbled upon the hidden gem, Salem Willows Amusement Park. It wasn’t on our itinerary, but we couldn’t pass up the chance to enjoy the quaint waterfront park. After all, it’s not every day you get the chance to play retro arcade games while listening to the ocean!
One morning is just not enough time to fully experience the city of Salem, but the road was calling us yet again! The next stop: Marblehead, Massachusetts! More specifically, The Landing at Marblehead, our lunch destination! Lunch consisted of prize-winning clam chowder, fresh New England seafood and lots and lots of laughs. The staff treated us with true New England hospitality and we left there a few friends richer!
With little time before we had to journey to our next destination, we decided to explore the iconic marble beaches and Marblehead Light Tower at Chandler Hovey Park. From the park we had a beautiful view of the harbour. At the encouragement of our Canadian friends, we ventured down to the water to check out the local wildlife. It only took flipping a few rocks in the shallow water to find green crabs, rock crabs and all sorts of other little critters!
After our impromptu wildlife lesson, we hit the road to Plum Island in Newburyport! While walking the serene beach, we met friendly locals who showed us their boat and gave us a little history lesson. It turns out Plum Island was named for the wild plums that grow on its shores. We didn’t spot any today, but I think I speak for the whole group when I say we can’t wait to go back someday and continue our search!
For tonight’s accommodations, the team had to split up so we got to experience two awesome inns located in Newburyport. Half of us called the Garrison Inn home for the night. The luxurious inn has been welcoming guests since 1850 and it really shows in the warmth of the staff and the attention to detail. Relaxing in our rooms surrounded by gorgeous antiques was the perfect way to unwind after our busy day. The other half of our team spent the night at the charming Compass Rose Inn. The federal-style mansion is nestled in historic downtown Newburyport close to the water, so it truly is a hidden gem!
Day 2 knocked our socks off and now we’re ready to get some rest and do it all again tomorrow!