Ice cream, lobster rolls, street performers, nautical knickknacks—they’re all here in ample supply. But this historical North Shore city also boasts more-refined charms, including buzzed-about restaurants, two new breweries, and boutiques galore. Add in the sculpture-lined Clipper City Rail Trail—a paved pathway that runs from the commuter-rail station to the downtown area—and you have the perfect mini break from Boston.
Come Halloween, Wiccans and warlocks flood this North Shore town, where stores like Witch's Hide, Magic Parlor, and the Broom Closet cater to the trick-or-treat set. Fortunately for the rest of us, the retail and dining scene here has evolved beyond the kitsch. Brimming with eateries, thrift shops, and boutiques, Salem has become a worthy shopping destination in any season.