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organised tour or do it yourself?

Stirling, United...
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organised tour or do it yourself?

Looking forward to a day visit to Salem from Boston, but can't make up my mind weather to join a tour or take the ferry from Boston and see the sights on our own!

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North Shore, MA
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1. Re: organised tour or do it yourself?

You can easily see Salem on your own, and it's a short walk from the ferry landing to the sites. There's a red line painted on the side walk (like the Freedom Trail in Boston) to help visitors, but Salem is small and easy to get around. Here are links to some websites that may help you in planning:

http://salem.org/

http://www.salemweb.com/

http://www.nps.gov/sama/index.htm

http://pem.org/

Not sure when you are visiting, but the Salem Ferry usually doesn't begin service until late May (usually Memorial Day weekend), and last year mid-season, the Ferry reduced service to Fridays through Sundays because of budget concerns. Please check the schedule first! If the Ferry isn't operating, Salem is an easy day trip from Boston via the Newburyport/Rockport line of the commuter rail.

http://www.bostonsbestcruises.com/salem-ferry

mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/rail/lines/…

Hope you'll enjoy your visit!

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2. Re: organised tour or do it yourself?

In Salem, I would not do an organized tour. There are too many different things sites to see and you may or may not be interested in everything on the tour. It is easy enough to walk it yourself. Salem has a great visitors center..one of the best I've seen anywhere.

North Shore, MA
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3. Re: organised tour or do it yourself?

One other approach to visiting Salem is to use the Salem Trolley, a narrated tour with hop-on/hop-off privileges for the day. It usually begins service around late May and picks up passengers at both the ferry landing and train station.

http://www.salemtrolley.com/

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Salem Trolley
Salem Trolley
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Salem, MA
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4. Re: organised tour or do it yourself?

We spent 5 nights in Boston, then picked up rental car at Logan and headed for a week in NH. That first day we stopped in Salem and walked around. It is walkable. We also stopped in Gloucester then spent night in Biddeford. We also visited Concord, minuteman trail on way back to Logan. The 4 days in Boston were too busy to day trip to either.

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Stirling, United...
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5. Re: organised tour or do it yourself?

We will be there in July so the ferry will not be a problem, thanks to everyone, you've confirmed what I had thought. We will 'go it alone' we've been planning this trip for such a long time and we are really looking forward to it. After leaving Boston we're off to Hyannis for a week and then New York for 5 days. Many thanks for the help.

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6. Re: organised tour or do it yourself?

The Ferry should be running daily in July, but please do check to be sure. If it's not, the train is a fine alternative. Sounds like you have a great trip coming up!

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7. Re: organised tour or do it yourself?

You best check times, ferry may take longer than train. depending on where you are staying

North Shore, MA
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8. Re: organised tour or do it yourself?

Travel time on the Salem Ferry is longer, about twice as long, just under an hour vs. about 30 minutes by train. Travel time to North Station for the train and to Long Wharf North for the Ferry probably won't differ much. Some visitors choose to take the train in one direction and the Ferry in the other. The Ferry is certainly the more scenic ride!

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Salem Ferry
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9. Re: organised tour or do it yourself?

We got our boat ride and views of Boston harbor on the ride to Charleston, and it was included whatever kind of pass we had for the T. we walked back

Edited: 4:46 pm, February 20, 2012
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10. Re: organised tour or do it yourself?

Would definitely do the Salem trolley hop on/hop off. Costs about $15 or $20, I believe and it's worth it. My trip to Salem (we were going back and forth from Beverly where we were staying to Salem, Boston, and other nearby places). Suggest walking yourselves and try visiting the Burying Point (oldest cemetery), Gallows Hill Park, and Salem Common. Visit the Pirate Museum and Witch History and definitely Count Orlok's Wax Museum, if it's still there (a little scary if you're by yourself). That would be a full day.

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