Free Things to Do in Salem, Massachusetts

Looking for some fun things to do in Salem, Mass but want to stay within your budget? Check out some of the many free things to do in Salem.

You may be surprised to know that many of the most popular places to visit in Salem are actually free. From checking out memorials to exploring the local national parks and historic cemeteries, there are many free yet fun things to do in this historic city.

The following is a list of free things to do in Salem:

Salem Witch Trials Memorial:

Address: Liberty Street, Salem, Mass

The Salem Witch Trials Memorial is a memorial in downtown Salem that is dedicated to the victims of the Salem Witch Trials. The memorial is free and open to the public.

Built in 1992 on the 300th anniversary of the Salem Witch Trials, the memorial consists of a rectangular stone wall with 20 stone benches engraved with the names of the convicted and their execution dates.

Salem Witch Trials Memorial Salem Mass
Salem Witch Trials Memorial, Salem, Mass

In the center of the memorial is a group of black locust trees which are believed to be the types of trees the victims were hanged from.

Engraved in the stone slabs at the entryway of the memorial are quotes from the accused taken directly from their trial records, such as “On my dying day, I am no witch” and “God knows I am innocent.”

The memorial is located in the downtown area so it is easily accessible to the public and close to other popular tourist attractions.

Old Burying Ground Cemetery:

Address: 51 Charter Street, Salem, Mass

The Old Burying Ground Cemetery is historic 17th century cemetery in downtown Salem. Many notable people are buried in this cemetery, such as Salem Witch Trials Judge John Hawthorne and Mayflower passenger Captain Richard More.

The cemetery was the first established in Salem and is located directly next to the Salem Witch Trials Memorial and next door to many historic houses such as the Pickman House and the Grimshawe House.

The cemetery is free and open to public from dawn to dusk.

Proctor’s Ledge Memorial:

Address: 7 Pope Street, Salem, Mass

Proctor’s Ledge Memorial is a memorial dedicated to the 19 people hanged during the Salem Witch Trials. The memorial was built in 2017 at the base of Proctor’s Ledge, which is the location where the executions took place in 1692.

The memorial consists of a semi-circular granite wall with 19 stones engraved with the names and execution dates of the nineteen victims.

Proctor's Ledge Memorial, Salem, Mass
Proctor’s Ledge Memorial, Salem, Mass

The memorial is a free and open to the public. It is located next to a sidewalk in a quiet residential area about 1.5 miles from downtown Salem so it is not within walking distance of some of the other attractions and you will probably need to drive directly there to see it.

There is free parking available along Pope Street and at the Walgreens at the corner of Pope Street and Boston Street.

Salem Maritime National Historic Site:

Address: 160 Derby Street, Salem, Mass

The Salem Maritime National Historic Site is a national park dedicated to preserving the maritime history of Salem. The site consists of 16 historic structures that you can tour for free (reservations are required) which include:

​The Derby House

Derby Wharf

Derby Light Station

Friendship of Salem tall ship

Hawkes House

Narbonne House

Pedrick Store House

The Public Stores warehouse

Salem Custom House

Scale House

St. Joseph Hall

West India Goods Store

The site also offers free guided tours by park rangers of the various structures or of the park itself (reservations required.) The park is located at Salem Harbor which is within walking distance to downtown Salem.

Winter Island Maritime Park

Address: Winter Island, Salem, Mass

Winter Island Maritime Park is a park on an island off the coast of Salem. The island is connected to the mainland through a small land bridge called Salem Neck so it is easily accessible by car or trolley.

Free Things to do in Salem, Mass

The park features a public beach and boat launch, a historic colonial fort and lighthouse and offers free parking and free restrooms.

Howard Street Cemetery

Address: Howard Street Cemetery, Salem, Mass

Howard Street Cemetery is a historic 19th century cemetery. In 1692, the cemetery was an open field where Salem Witch Trials victim Giles Corey was pressed to death by Sheriff Corwin and is reportedly haunted by Corey.

The cemetery was later established in 1801 and is now home to the graves of Revolutionary War veterans, local ship captains and Irish immigrants who escaped the famine in Ireland in the 1840s.

Howard Street Cemetery, Salem, Mass
Howard Street Cemetery, Salem, Mass

The cemetery is located withing walking distance to downtown Salem and is next door the old Salem jail. The cemetery is free and open to public from dawn to dusk.

Salem Willows Park

Address: 165 Fort Ave, Salem, Mass

Salem Willows Park is a historic 19th century park that features three free beaches, picnic areas as well as free outdoor concerts and festivals in the summer.

The park is located about 2 miles from downtown Salem so it is not really within walking distance but it has plenty of free parking available.

Check out the Events page on the park’s website to see all upcoming concerts, festivals and events: willowsarcade.com/calendar

Sources:
“Landmarks.” Salem.org, salem.org/museums-attractions/landmarks/
“Museums and Attractions.” salem.org, www.salem.org/museums-attractions/