Submitted by DecentCockroach t3_10knd3x in massachusetts

I'm doing a visit with my parents for like 3 days next month. We're into coffee shops, museums, nice views, cute/lively streets. We do have to be in Salem for a wedding, but I'm not sure if we should get a hotel in Boston or Salem (I hope it'll be easy enough to get to Salem on the day of).

What do you recommend? I definitely want to see both Salem and Boston, but I'm not sure how we should book our accommodation.

Thanks in advance!



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Pale-Conversation184 t1_j5ryp0o wrote

I’ll disagree with everyone here so far. Stay at the harthorne in Salem. Every time I have guests here there’s plenty of things to do for three days to keep yourself entertained. You won’t have to deal with waiting on the train on the weekends and walking across Salem in the freezing cold. Plenty of good restaurants and coffee shops to check out. If you get bored go to Beverly right across the bridge.


lodger238 t1_j5svn9v wrote

Or Marblehead right next door. Very historical, all those things OP mentioned.

You can see this at Abbott Hall.


emicakes__ t1_j5s42dw wrote

I think salem being dead adds to the reasons to stay in salem lol. You get to experience all the charm of the town and see all the tourist things without the tourists/crowds. Great place, lots to do. Beverly 1 town over also has a ton of good bars and restaurants if you want out if salem for a night. Plus you can still hop over into Boston to visit for a day or 2


cleverphishreference t1_j5s2pgu wrote

If you’re going to a wedding, go to the wedding- I definitely do not recommend visiting Boston and trying to travel to Salem for more than one single event over the course of three days. Just a wedding might be fine if you have a car and the weather cooperates, but you’ll spend a miserable amount of your trip driving if there are also rehearsal events or post-wedding lunches or quick visits with family at their hotels or anything like that.


Funkybeatzzz t1_j5rptfu wrote

February isn’t known as the tourist season in Boston. This is even more true in Salem. Salem will probably be dead that time of year. Stick to Boston. Should be no trouble finding a cheap place to stay. You can take the train and go to the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem for a day if you want. Make sure to double-check they’re open, though.


masswholer t1_j5rqbcr wrote

I agree. See what is going on in Boston compared with Salam. There is way more to do in Boston. I really like the Peabody-Essex Museum, but I love the MFA.


goPACK17 t1_j5u75gl wrote

It is easy enough getting back and forth between Salem and Boston via the commuter rail. Boston obviously has exponentially more to do, but based off your description, it sounds like Salem would be very much up your alley.


AcceptableBad1574 t1_j5t7qog wrote

Salem! Stayed at the Merchant for my last birthday. Amazing coffee shops, little boutiques and pubs. You won’t be disappointed.


puesclarojoder t1_j5t909t wrote

Stay in Salem. You’ll get to experience it without the tourists


AboyNamedBort t1_j5utiko wrote

If you stay in Boston get a hotel near North Station so you can easily catch the train to Salem. Don't drive. It'll cost more money and the train is quicker.


Bada__Ping t1_j5rq9ll wrote

Stay in Boston. You can take public transportation right to Salem. Salem is great and fun for bar hopping this time of year but there is way more to do in Boston in the winter.


tusk354 t1_j5u7oct wrote

Salem .

boston is lame, and if you end up in the wrong part, dangerous .

Salem has all kinds of cool stuff , check out the salem visitors center, for where to go, and what to do .


goPACK17 t1_j5ue18g wrote

Tourists aren't going to randomly end up in Roxbury or Mattapan 🙄. Even if they do, the most dangerous parts of Boston are incredibly tame relative to dangerous neighborhoods in other major cities.


tusk354 t1_j5wpyc8 wrote

I think anyone in any of the murder towns would disagree .

Follow the red line to alewife, lemme know what you find there .


goPACK17 t1_j5x6izn wrote

I have actually! I visited a friend in a neighborhood nearby about a month ago. Took the train to Alewife and walked from there, and geez has that entire neighborhood changed. Brand new luxury apartments and trendy retail spots (this was at night too!).

If Dorchester is what we have to compare to the high crime neighborhoods in cities like Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Maryland, DC, ect, then Boston is in pretty good shape.


ZoeyRockey13 t1_j5ua94k wrote

You never know with the weather here in February. Incase it snows you should stay in Salem closer to the wedding. Boston is a nightmare to travel through during a storm. Not to mention the trains can be a headache.


xterm11235 t1_j5yrbdi wrote

Salem has a ton to do that is all walking distance. Plus as others have said the surrounding towns also have a lot. You can take the train into Boston for a day trip and not have to panic when trains are delayed to get to the wedding if you stayed in Boston the whole time.


GregtheHamster t1_j5rve0m wrote

Boston is your best bet, You can still find witchy attractions in Salem this time of year, but only on the weekends, and it’s not the same experience as summer or fall. But still worth the day/night trip if you have always wanted to go.


suzi-r t1_j5ugmna wrote

Agreed. Loads to do in both places. Schedule a separate Boston trip for another 3 days off later.


TheGrandExquisitor t1_j624o1w wrote

Lot of kitsch in Salem. Choose wisely. The witch stuff is overdone. Peabody Essex Museum is fantastic though. The Witch Museum....well, it is stuck in 1970 and that is also when it was last dusted.


pjm8786 t1_j5s2jb2 wrote

Going to throw the hat of our fair city Cambridge into the ring here. If you want cute streets, coffee shops, and museums we’re hard to beat. Much quieter than Boston but plenty to do at a slower pace. We’re also on the red line of the T (the subway here) so getting into Boston proper only takes 20 minutes and $2.40. Enjoy the wedding and don’t forget Boston’s overeducated little brother across the Charles


TheSpaceman1975 t1_j5se6ug wrote

Boston by a mile. Salem is cool, go have a nice lunch.

But stay in (and explore) Boston.


Nicksucksathiking t1_j5up0qo wrote

Neither both places are miserable tourist traps.