Navigating Salem in October: A Survival Guide

Salem is a wonderful place to experience the culture and history of the North Shore. For those of us that live here, there are lots of great local places to go for a good meal or a great time: Salem Willows, Pickering Wharf, Museum Place. Any local knows, however, that going into Salem between September 30 and November 1 is to take one’s life in one’s own hands. We’ve put together a survival guide for local students, employees, and people who may have just moved to the area and may not know their way around yet. Here’s the best way to avoid all of that traffic.

Salem Witch House, the best way to navigate around salem

The best way to get into downtown Salem, due to the large amounts of tourists and very limited parking, would be to use public transportation or a car service. The T is running additional trains to Salem; however, parking at the garage will be at a premium. MBTA bus routes running to Salem:

    • Bus #450 from Haymarket, Boston
    • Bus #455 from Wonderland Station
    • Bus #456 from Central Square, Lynn
  • Bus #459 from Terminal C, Logan Airport
  • Bus #465 from Liberty Tree Mall (Best Buy), Danvers

You can find more information about MBTA bus routes, fares, and T schedules at

Destination: Salem State University from Danvers

Heading through Peabody is a great way to avoid major Salem traffic on North Street. From 114E in Danvers, take a left on Walnut Street across from Bill & Bob’s, which will cut out the Peabody Square light. Take a right onto Howley Street and a left onto Boston Street. Follow until the end and take a right onto Highland Avenue at ASAP Drains; then left onto Jackson Street at the next light (takes you next to Salem High) and right at the stop sign onto Jefferson Ave. At the end of Jefferson, take a right onto 1A S and the E lot entrance will be on the left.

Destination: Vinnin Square from Danvers

Same as above. Follow past the E lot entrance; Vinnin Square will be about a mile ahead.

Destination: Salem Willows from Danvers/Beverly

The best way to get here is to go through Beverly. Take Rte 62E past 128 and the Cummings Center. At the end (Super Sub), take a right onto Cabot Street. There’s also a lot of great shops and eateries in downtown Beverly! Follow Cabot Street over the Beverly-Salem Bridge. Take a left at the light, going by another Bill & Bob’s, onto Bridge Street Neck. At the next light, take a left onto Webb Street. At the next light (H&H Propeller), take a left onto Fort Avenue. Follow Fort Avenue to the Willows.

If you have to drive in downtown Salem, be sure to leave extra time for travel, especially on weekends. Parking will be at a premium; expect to pay anywhere from $20-$40 to park for the day. Be sure to check with the Salem Parking Authority at for up to date information.