Salem & Marblehead Architecture Stroll

I’ve lived in Boston for four years...and only just visited Salem for the first time a few weeks ago. Living in the city can make anything more then a couple miles out seem like a huge trek to make (and not a super budget friendly one—looking at you beantown pricing!)

That aside, I can only say that I definitely will be back to this quaint historic town. Architecture has long fascinated me (I almost studied architecture and interior design before choosing a school with a robust history program). And this year has helped me re-embrace my love for architectural design.

There are dozens of Salem guides and visit tips, so rather than duplicating what already exists I want to share my favorite finds while spending a day in the spooky city. If you're planning a visit to Salem, this guide, and this one were both helpful for figuring out where to start.

The Witch House

First Church in Salem. The congregation began with the first settlers in 1629, but this building didn't exist until the 1800s.

The Famous Ropes Mansion (featured in 'Hocus Pocus')

A lovely garden plot sits behind the Ropes Mansion.

From here we turned into the McIntire Historic District where some of the grand homes of Salem line Chestnut Street.

Each home not only has a beautiful entryway, but the historic elements are proudly preserved. My favorite part is that many of the buildings sport signs that detail who made them (the ones in Marblehead often include who they were made for and their occupation).

Built for Robert Cowan, fancy painter, 1795.

From here we went towards the water to see the House of the Seven Gables.

It wasn't clear if we needed reserved tickets or if we'd even be able to go inside the structures with a ticket, so we opted to just enjoy what we could see from the side streets.

A stroll through the neighborhood to enjoy the design styles? Beautiful, inspiring, safe, and a year round activity!

The John Ward House is typically open to the public as a house museum as it is a National Historic Landmark. Built in 1684 by John Ward, several additions were added over the next fifty years, and the house originally stood a few streets from its current site. The structure is an example of early architecture or 'First Period' architecture in the colonies. You can't tell from here, but the door must have only been 4 feet tall!

Site of the Witch Trials

A memorial sits next to the Witch Trials Museum house, commemorating several of the many lives lost to the tragic Witch Trials.

From here, it was on to Marblehead!


Old North Church (Parish gathered in 1635)

Marblehead sits on the Atlantic, more exposed than Salem and its fishing history is evident throughout the town in minute details decorating the homes.

Can you spot the fish sitting above the threshold?

Or this fabulous door knocker.

Ginger cookie from Blue Canoe Cafe — perfect for a coffee and cookie, or really anything on their menu.

If you’re in the area, I highly recommend visiting Salem and Marblehead for some good New England charm!

2 thoughts on “Salem & Marblehead Architecture Stroll”

  1. More gorgeous photos. I have been to Salem with Tanya and Robert and Adam. I don’t think I was ever in Marblehead.
    The architecture is so typical New England but the history, especially of Salem, always makes me queasy.

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