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With Halloween right around corner, what better time than the present to talk about Salem, Massachusetts?  While it is a beautiful New England town and known to many for its literary and seafaring history, if you mention the word Salem, most people immediately think WITCHES.

Here are some of the things that families shouldn’t miss as they step back in time while on a visit to Salem.  Located on gorgeous Washington Square, the Salem Witch Museum is a must-do.

Settled since the early-1600s, Salem has one of “the best” cemeteries in the U.S.  The Old Burying Point Cemetery on Charter Street has the grave of one of the judges from the infamous Witch Trials - John Hathorne - who was a relative of writer Nathaniel Hawthorne and other historic figures including a Mayflower passenger.

House of the Seven Gables.

The House of the Seven Gables is a 2.5-acre attraction featuring 17th and 18th century period homes, spectacular gardens and inspiring views of Salem Harbor, Derby Wharf, and the tall ship, Friendship. Literary buffs will feel like kids in a candy store as they make their way through this Turner-Ingersoll Mansion where Hawthorne was born in 1804. The museum shop itself is housed in a house from the 17thcentury.

• The legendary Peabody Essex Museum was founded in 1799 features exhibitions of American art and architecture and is made up of numerous parks, period gardens and 22 historic properties, including Yin Yu Tang, a 200 year old house that is the only example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States.

Salem’s harbor. (Photo courtesy: Linda-J.-Orlomoski.)•

For someone who just can’t get enough of those infamous Witch Trials, make a detour to the “Witch House.” It’s actually the only building with direct ties to the witch trials because it is the 17th century home of Judge Jonathan Corwin.  If you follow the Red Line on the sidewalk you will be walking along what is known as the Salem Heritage Trail.  While walking through historic downtown Salem, you can’t miss the Hawthorne Hotel, which opened in 1925 and offers Nathaniel’s restaurant.

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