Monday, March 31, 2008

Hooray for April 1st!


The trolleys are running, and tomorrow The Witch Dungeon, Witch History, and New England Pirate Museums will open for the 2008 season. These are three indoor experiences, so don't let New England's chilly spring habits keep you away. If you plan to visit all three sites, you can purchase a combination pass that will save you a little money.

WITCH DUNGEON MUSEUM - REOPENING APRIL 1st. 16 Lynde St. Award winning live re-enactment of a Witch trial followed by guided tour of the Dungeon. Open daily 10:00am to 5:00pm, April through November. Contact: 978-741-3570 http://www.witchdungeon.com/

WITCH HISTORY MUSEUM - REOPENING APRIL 1st. 197-201 Essex St.The stories of 1692 are told through a live presentation followed by a guided tour downstairs where you will see 15 life size scenes depicting these stories. Open daily 10:00am to 5:00pm,April through November. Contact: 978-741-7770
http://www.witchhistorymuseum.com/

NEW ENGLAND PIRATE MUSEUM - REOPENING WEEKENDS IN APRIL A guided tour through the Museum where you will view historical artifacts, experience the adventures of New England sea-robbers, board a pirate ship and explore an 80ft cave. Open daily 10:00am to 5:00pm, May through October, weekends in April and November. Contact: 978-741-2800
http://www.piratemuseum.com/

Discover the magic of witches and pirates in Salem!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Waves & Witches

I love this - excerpted from TransWorldNews article I found online. I only included the paragraph about Salem (Yes, I know, I'm self-serving. What can I say? It's a living!) if you want to read the rest, follow the link!

Massachusetts Bed and Breakfasts Attract Financially Savvy Travelers
Laguna Beach 3/27/2008 06:00 AM GMT (TransWorldNews)

Be Merry in Massachusetts – traverse this entire state -relax in some wonderful B&B’s, dine on some scrumptious gourmet breakfasts and still have money left over for souvenirs! While most travelers know the benefits of off-season travel – fewer tourists, shorter lines and friendlier prices – the bed and breakfasts listed below also participate in iLoveInns.com Buy-One-Night-Get-One-Night-Free Program so there are substantial savings possible.

Waves & Witches
Although not as well-known as Cape Cod, the North Shore of Massachusetts offers its own great artistic ocean communities. While Salem is best known for its witch trials and great Halloween celebrations, there is so much more. First, drop your bags at the historic Salem Inn with a range of inviting rooms, many with period antiques and working fireplaces. To begin, there is a stunning harbor to explore. Then continue on to great boutiques, restaurants for every budget, the classic House of Seven Gables- fascinating for young and old; and the amazing Peabody Essex Museum, which is truly a voyage through culture and art.Or head to the next town, Marblehead, where you can watch spectacular sunrises over Castle Rock at the lovely Seagull Inn Bed & Breakfast. You will start the day with homemade baked goods and fresh coffee and perhaps end the day at the local Landing Restaurant with its fresh seafood.

Everybody loves this bag!

In Salem, green is the new black!

The Salem Main Streets environmentally-friendly tote bag is the bag to have. Each bag purchased is a step towards less paper and plastic waste and towards promoting downtown Salem. More than 30 Salem businesses are participating in the green-bag promotion.

Get yours for $2.00 at Angelica of the Angels, Artemesia Botanicals, The Broom Closet, Crunchy Granola Baby, Maria's Sweet Somethings, Pamplemousse, Picklepot, Pyramid Books, Salem Cycle, Treasures Over Time, and The Trolley Depot.

You couldn't ask for a hipper, more environmentally friendly souvenir!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Coffee Time Bake Shop


Isn't this a great cake? This is the cake that Coffee Time Bake Shop provided for a reception Destination Salem held last week at the National Park Service Salem Regional Visitor Center. We were celebrating the launch of the 2008 Salem Visitor & Travel Guide, and we were celebrating the 70th birthday of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site.
Coffee Time heard there was a birthday party, and you can't have a birthday party without a cake, so here is the stunning cake - which was equally delicious, I must add. The Custom House is hand-"painted" in frosting, as is the lighthouse (Derby Light). The Friendship image is scanned onto the cake. Along the front it read, "America's First National Historic Site."
Thanks to Rob and his team at Coffee Time for this great cake. If you haven't been to Coffee Time, make it a stop as soon as you cane! The season for Paczkis (My favorite Coffee Time treat - a double rolled, stuffed "donut" that is made only during Lent!) is over for this year, but that doesn't mean the cases aren't filled with donuts, cakes, cookies, real cream bismarks, and other decadent treats. They whole wheat chocolate chip cookies are really good, too, and I consider them guilt-less because they are made with whole wheat flour. (Please don't ruin my delusion by telling me how much butter and sugar go into the cookies!) Come fall I won't be able to get enough of their glazed cider donuts.
Discover the magic of treats in Salem!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Destination Salem in the News

This post is more industry-related then it is going to inspire you to pack up and visit Salem, but I'm going to write it, nonetheless. The Salem News ran a great article in today's paper about the increase in Salem's hotel/motel tax revenues. Here is a link to the article: Salem sees big boost in hotel taxes.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Trolleys are running - It must be spring!


There are three sure signs that spring is coming in Salem: 1: St. Patrick's Day, 2: Daylight Savings, 3: The trolleys start running again. And, Hooray! - because the trolleys returned to the streets of Salem last weekend, and they had visitors aboard! I'll say it again, Hooray!

There is a lot to do in Salem during the winter: Movies, museums, shopping, dining, art & culture abound year round here. But it's still warmer and sunnier in the spring, and when visitors return to Salem there is a great buzz to the City. The great thing about living or working in a destination city is that there are always people around you who just love where you live or work.

To you, the visitor, I say Thank you! When you choose to come to Salem (presumably instead of going somewhere else), you bring your enthusiasm for this place and it rubs off on the rest of us. It's hard to be grumpy when we're surrounded by people who are happy to be here. And visitors are happy to be here - happy to learn things in the museums, happy to have fun at the attractions, happy to shop, to dine, to eat. It's a vacation - long or short - and it's a good time for everyone involved!

April 1st is the real kick-off to the 2008 season in Salem. But the trolleys started running on March 21. CityView Trolleys are running Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays (and daily during school vacation week, which is April 21 - 25). The first one-hour tour is at 9:30 am and the last tour starts at 4:30 pm. Tickets are available on the trolleys and on-line. If you have any questions, call CityView Trolleys at 978-594-0969. They are in the process of updating their web site, so a phone call may be the best bet for the most current information.

Whether you are coming from near or far, we look forward to welcoming you to Salem this season. There's a lot of magic here - come discover it for yourself!
(PS: I have to note that the picture above was taken last May - our trees and flowers are not blooming yet.)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Visit Destination Salem on Facebook!


Destination Salem is a new group on Facebook. Most of the information you will find there, you can find on Salem.org, but on Facebook you can post your feedback, your photos and videos of your trip (trips?!) to Salem, and invite your friends to learn more. Join the Destination Salem group on Facebook, and invite your friends!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Salem Around the World

Salem happily welcomes visitors from around the globe. International visitors enjoy the Salem experience because we have a lot to offer that is unique. People from around the world are fascinated by the Salem Witch Trials. The Federal, First Period, and Colonial Revival architecture is a huge draw for many people (I once had a visitor from Spain comment, "Why do you build all of your houses with wood? Don't you have a lot of fires?"). The Peabody Essex Museum has incredible exhibits from around the world - including an Asian Export Art Collection that is one of the finest anywhere. People recognize Nathaniel Hawthorne and want to learn more about his story - and his stories. We have a National Park Service Site, lighthouses, great shopping (especially if you are from from any other country, since the dollar is so weak right now!) and dining. We are a very fortunate destination.

Local historian Jim McAllister likes to say that Salem has "an embarrassment of riches." We really do. Lucky us!

We have a page on www.salem.org that features an International Welcome. While I can't speak in 7 languages, other people have prepared brief introductions to Salem for our international guests. So, if you are one of the 5,371 people from outside the United States who visited Salem.org during the this year, please visit the international welcome page and let us know what you think.

So, whether you are from Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy, India, France, Spain, Germany, Australia, Mexico, or Ireland - welcome! Enjoy the website, and plan your visit. We'd love to show you the magic of Salem!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The 2008 Salem Visitor Guide - Hooray!


It is always an exciting moment when the new visitor guide arrives from the printer. This year is no different! I am thrilled to present to the world the 2008 Salem Visitor Guide & Map.
We've made lots of changes to the annual visitor guide - and we've made them all for you, our visitors. (OK, truth be told, the changes were made for the businesses in Salem, too. We're making them look a lot better, and we're making Salem look like a really cool place to visit and explore. So, I guess you could say the new visitor guide benefits everyone.)
The guide is bigger than it's ever been before. It has editorial about the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, Salem's Great Entrepreneurs, and Romantic Salem - Nathaniel & Sophia Hawthorne. We have added a three-page calendar of events, and big, beautiful photography.
Salem is an enchanting destination. It is a city steeped in history, art, culture, and culture. It is a destination buzzing with unique shops, award-winning dining (as the Salem Ferry ad says, "Eat like royalty. Eat like a local!"), and fun-fun-fun attractions. In fact, there's so much to do, you should book an overnight at one of our hotels or inns!!
Explore www.salem.org and browse the pages of the visitor guide, request your copy of the guide be sent to you, and plan your visit with listings and links to the businesses listed in the visitor guide. If you have any questions, or need more information, you can email us at info@salem.org.
Discover the magic of Salem in the 2008 visitor guide - and join us this season. We would certainly love to have you!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Salem Maritime National Historic Site!

The Salem Maritime National Historic Site is 70 years old today. The first National Historic Site, Salem Maritime was designated on March 17, 1938. (The picture is from a school field trip to the Custom House, ca. 1955.)

Here's a bit about the history of Salem Maritime:

Salem's waterfront has been greatly altered since the days of its prominence, when more than 30 wharves and dozens of ships lined its shoreline, but the historic site preserves intact an important section of that old waterfront. Its buildings and wharves, most of which date to the port's most prosperous years, formed the heart of historic Salem's commercial district. After the decline of Salem shipping in the late 19th century, the structures were left unprotected and unrestored until 1938, when the area was designated a National Historic Site. The site is located on Derby Street, Salem... [From "Salem: Maritime Salem in the Age of Sail, National Park Service Division of Publications, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C., 1987. Page 140]

And the future is bright! Since NPS published the guide mentioned above, Salem Maritime has become home to the tall ship Friendship, an addition that brings Salem's maritime heritage to life for visitors and residents of Salem and thousands more who get to see and board her when she visits other ports. Salem Maritime is also home to the NPS Regional Visitor Center, which tells the stories early settlement, maritime, and industrial stories of Salem and the Essex National Heritage Commission. Salem Maritime is currently building the Pedrick Storehouse, a building that was scheduled for demolition in Marblehead before NPS saved it, deconstructed it, and is now reconstructing it on Derby Wharf. The site also includes the Custom House (1819), Derby House (1762), The Scale House (1829), Narbonne House (1670), Derby Wharf (1762), Derby Light (1871), Central Wharf (1791), Hawkes House (1780), and West India Goods Store (good shopping!). The regional visitor center is housed in the Salem Armory (ca. 1880's).

The www.nps.gov/sama web site is wonderful, informative, and comprehensive. You will find history, information for planning your visit, printable walking tours, and downloadable audio tours of the site.
Salem is fortunate to have the Salem Maritime National Historic Site as its centerpiece. It brings a magic all its own to the heritage and future of Salem, Massachusetts.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sophia's in the News


I just love having fantastic, unique retail in Salem to write about. More than that, I love that the local newspapers - particularly the Salem Gazette - share my appreciation for retail in Salem. This week the Salem Gazette has a wonderful feature about Sophia's, a "unique Essex Street shop inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne's artistic wife Sophia Peabody.

Sophia's is a beautiful shop, filled with unique gifts (for yourself and for others!). Kristin D'Agostino does a great job describing the shop, and its owner Marie Cardillo.

Visit the shop on line at http://www.sophiasofsalem.com/.

Here is an excerpt of the article:

Journeys of the heart:
Local artist, entrepeneur recalls life's winding road
Thu Mar 13, 2008

Salem - In following her heart throughout life, Marie Cardillo has often traveled to strange and fascinating places. Her passion for art and business led her to open an Essex Street shop three years ago, which she named after Sophia Peabody, the artistic young wife of Nathaniel Hawthorne, whose family once lived in the 19th-century building across from the Hawthorne Hotel.

Before purchasing the shop Cardillo knew nothing of the building’s ties to the infamously creative Peabody sisters, and had only a general idea of what she would sell. The 50-something entrepreneur, an artist herself, was instantly inspired by Sophia’s story.

“She was the first woman in America who ever sold paintings for large sums of money,” she says. “She would paint lampshades and sell them when [she and her husband] needed extra money. Then Hawthorne would resurrect himself and she would go back into the background again …”

Cardillo discovered the two women shared an independent nature, a love of flowers and a passion for travel. Using these traits to guide her, Cardillo filled the shop with things Sophia might have carried home from her European travels: Handmade pocketbooks, Italian stationary and exotically perfumed French soaps and candles.

“Marie has a vision no matter what she approaches,” said Amy Carlson, a friend and colleague of 10 years. “When she got the shop I went in the first day and it was just nuts and bolts, but she knew exactly what she wanted to do … She can take something plain and turn it into something gorgeous.”

What makes the shop unique is the way Cardillo ties merchandise together, using a keen sense of design and whimsy to make visitors feel they’re on a treasure hunt. Tiny blue robins eggs peek out of finely woven bird’s nests; colored perfume bottles flicker in front of a sunny window. An old-fashioned dress form stands in one corner adorned with bits of fabric and lace Cardillo sewed on by hand.

And standing in the midst of these enchanting things, Cardillo resembles a kind of Victorian mannequin herself, spectacles perched on elegantly powdered nose, silvery hair swept up in a puffy Gibson Girl-like knot that she admits often garners stares from strangers.

“The hair wasn’t intentional, it just happened,” she says. “I forget how odd it is till I notice someone looking at it and I think, Oh my God, maybe I should do something normal.” Smiling, she adds, “But what else would I do?”

In addition to running the shop, Cardillo works part-time for Beverly-based Health and Education Services, a job she’s held for 10 years, helping mentally ill people find affordable housing. With a bachelor’s degree in business and a year of social work training, Cardillo has had many jobs through the years, including realtor, small business consultant and several years spent working for Salem’s Chamber of Commerce. Opening a shop has allowed her to indulge her natural talents for design and business while still staying true to desire to help people.

“If I just had this,’ she says, “just a little shop … I’d have a very narrow worldview … Doing other things gives you more vision or perspective.” For the rest of the article, visit the Salem Gazette.


Friday, March 14, 2008

People Bring out the Magic of Salem

It takes a lot of people to make a destination like Salem come alive. First of all, Salem is a historic port. Before the American Revolution, Salem was a hub of British trade for the entire Atlantic Ocean, from Canada to the Carribbean, and across to England and the Mediterranean. With the shackles of Britain removed by the Revolution, entrepreneurs from Salem pioneered trade with the rest of the world, and brought back millions of dollars worth of goods from the Far East.
Backing up to the 17th Century, the Salem Witch Trials have served as a continual reminder to protect the rights of the accused. In 1692, 20 innocent people were judged guilty and put to death for witchcraft merely on the words of some young women who claimed that they were being pinched,poked, and shoved by unseen beings controlled by their former friends and neighbors.

Salem's native son Samuel McIntire carved out a new architectural style in the 18th-century, contributing mightily to the Federal style and, along with his colleagues, leaving Salem with an incredible and incomparable collection of Federal architecture, wood carving, and decorative arts.

Today, Salem has historic inns, contemporary hotels, restaurants that serve food from every corner of the world - not to mention great New England fare, great shopping for everything from high-end cosmetics to women's fashion to jewelry to spells to ritual supplies. I didn't mention t-shirts and souvenirs. You can get souvenirs in Salem, too. That could be a whole other blog post - what is a "souvenir"? Because it means something different to pretty much everyone.

(I have to mention here that the first souvenir trading spoons were sold in Salem. Salem is home to lots of firsts. More on that later, too.)

I could go on and on Salem's many attributes - what local historian and favored resident Jim McAllister calls "An Embarrassment of Riches" - and they truly are. But what is most important is how this Embarrassment of Riches is presented and made relevant so that you and I want to visit and explore and come back again. That is where the people come into play. The reenactors, the business owners, the front desk staffs, the servers, the Rangers, the tour guides, the trolley drivers, the Ferry concierge. All of these people are absolutely key to your having not only a good experience in Salem , but an experience you will share with your friends and family, thus encouraging them to visit Salem and encounter the same wonderful people.

So, as we in Salem gear up for a new season, I want to tip my hat to all of the people who make Salem's history come alive, who make contemporary Salem fascinating and fun, and who successfully roll out the welcome mat for our visitors from near and far every day.

Click through to this fun montage that my fabulous web producer from Pickering Publishing put together. It features some of these very important people who bring out the magic of Salem. When you're done watching it, you can browse the web site and find something great to do in Salem this weekend!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spring Fling this Saturday!


If you're looking for something to do this weekend, head to Old Town Hall for Spring Fling: A Garden of Earthly Delights!

I could tell you all about it, but it's probably easier to let the official description do the talking...

Fashioned after the Bacchanalia - a religious festival in honor of the wine god Bacchus – Spring Fling will feature a tasting of over 50 fine wines and international and domestic craft beers. Local breweries Ipswich, Cape Ann Mercury and Harpoon, among others, will be pouring their spring offerings. Professionals will be on hand with an assortment of fine wines from around the world.

Salem Restaurants such as The Old Spot, GuluGulu Cafe, 62 on the Wharf, Rockafellas and more will tickle and tantalize your palate with delectable culinary delights! North Shore Artists will be offering an eclectic variety of art to please your eye and warm your home. Boston singer-songwriter Katrin Roush will be performing live - often compared to Bonnie Raitt, Katrin is spellbinding on stage, both soulful and passionate. A siren to awaken the gods of spring!
Meet familiar characters from myth and legend and enjoy the goddesses and nymphs that wander the "Garden of Earthly Delights." Seek out The Oracle of Delphi to hear your fortune. Traditional ancient attire is encouraged! This is Salem, after all. Experience the intoxicating power of this celebration on March 15th from 3 - 6pm at Old Town Hall in beautiful, historic downtown Salem, Massachusetts. Tickets $20 advance/$25 door available at http://www.pmousse.com/

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"Slices of Art"


The Salem Gazette ran a great article about local artist Jeff Bowie, who owns The Picklepot, and Artist Trading Cards - which sound very cool. Check out the article below, and visit The Picklepot on Washington Street to find really great art, jewelry, beads, and conversation!

Slices of art: For these creators, it's the little things that count
By Wendy Snow-Lang/Art of Salem
Sun Mar 09, 2008

Salem - “Artist Trading Cards.” What the heck are those? Think of baseball cards, or a deck of playing cards. Officially, 2 1/2-by-3 1/2 inches in dimension, usually with a stick of stale bubble gum included.

Now think of that same piece of card with a miniature work of art hand-created on it. And free! (But without the bubble gum.)

Let me explain: In 1997, it is rumored, an M. Vanci Sternimann in Switzerland began trading sessions of miniature works of art with other artists. This form of artistic expression has been traced back to the Impressionists of the late 1800s as one of their forms of hand-created business card. I

n Salem today, Jennifer “Jeff” Bowie, owner of Picklepot: A Contemporary New England Craft Gallery on Washington Street, has continued this artistic tradition. She hosts monthly meetings at her store on the first Wednesday of the month. The cost is $10 per session for use of her space and her tools, and usually there are themes.

Provide your own 2 1/2-by-3 1/2 pieces of board, whether paper, cardboard, wood, metal, plastic or other. Or use old baseball cards, or an incomplete playing deck. Or use whatever Jeff has in store. You can create them by yourself, or with others.

You can join the many Internet groups devoted to Artist Trading Cards, or go on your own. Artist Trading Cards are never expected to take more than 10 minutes to complete, though you can take much longer if the Muse hits you. But there is no payment, so how much time do you want to devote to the creation of a card? The point is to have fun, to be creative!

Cards can be crude or refined. They can be anything that suits the fancy at the time of creation. Card artists tend to be gatherers. They collect “stuff.” The stuff they collect can be anything: bits of colored paper, magazine images, children’s stickers, pieces of shell, strands of wire or thread, pieces of lace —anything that catches the imagination. Glue or trace or draw or paint these things onto a piece of paper or board that’s 2 1/2-by-3 1/2 inches, and you’re good to go — start trading.

How do you trade? Many online groups exist. Start at Yahoo Groups. Jeff Bowie started an online group Monday night called NorthShoreATC. She also told me of ArtistTradingCards and ATC_World on Yahoo Groups. Go to Yahoo.com, then click on Groups in the left-hand column and type in the above names.

The group that physically meets at the Picklepot once a month consists of about eight people. A theme is usually picked for the meeting, sometimes revolving around that month’s major holiday. Jeff showed me a loose-leaf binder she has filled almost to bursting of cards she has traded or created since last September, when she first started her trading card group.

Many of the cards she owns are from around the country. I saw addresses from California, Florida and Ohio. And this was a small sampling from what I saw. On other cards, there is no clue as to where they came from; one day an envelope will arrive at your doorstep with a group of cards enclosed. You have just “traded” with someone out there in the country. You are not required to, but are expected to, by courtesy, send some of your own to the sender.

Many of the cards Jeff showed me from her loose-leaf binder were cutesy and amateur; others were miniature works of art. Jeff says she likes to create her cards while watching TV at night. Often the backs of the cards are as impressive as the fronts. Many card artists have their own stamps made with their name or logo and space to fill in details like card title, date, theme, etc.

Most cards are “expected” to fit into standard baseball trading card binder pages, but some creators can go wild and make 3-D cards that won’t fit into them. Some make their cards out of metal or wood. Pottery has not been left out, either. I haven’t heard of any cards that can be eaten, as in made out of dough, but I’d bet someone has done that! Artist Trading Card Cookies!

Since I come from a more “mercenary” background of art, in which I create paintings in the hopes to sell them; the idea of just “giving away” art I create is rather foreign to me. Which is why I found this subject so intriguing. It’s a great way to “get your feet wet,” as it were, into the art field, if you are so inclined.

And you may be, so I would suggest a visit to the Picklepot, 143 Washington St., or NorthShoreATC@yahoogroups, or any of the other online groups I mentioned above.

You may find yourself a new, creative calling, and many new friends!

Wendy Snow-Lang is the owner of the Art Corner and the author and illustrator of a published comic book, “Night’s Children.” She is the moderator of the North Shore Writers Group, which meets every other Wednesday night at the Art Corner. Wendy is a founding member of the new Salem Arts Association, which is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the arts in Salem and on the North Shore. Call her at 978-745-9524 if you are interested in the writers group or the arts association. You can also contact Wendy if you are a Salem artist or art venue of any sort and are having an exhibit, so she can send out one of her Art Press Corp Reporters to cover your event.

Buy Ferry Tickets Today!


There is no better way to get to Salem (or from Salem to Boston) then The Salem Ferry. I'm a huge fan of the train, and MBTA service between Salem and Boston (on the Newburyport/Rockport Line of the Commuter Rail) is great, but the Ferry is an exciting excursion on the open water - and there's nothing better then that!

The Salem Ferry connects Salem at Blaney Street, which is a block east of The House of the Seven Gables, to Boston at the New England Aquarium - across the street from Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, and a short walk from The North End. It's a 45-minute trip aboard the high-speed Catamaran Nathaniel Bowditch.

The Salem Ferry offers Cruise-and-Dine packages in Salem and Boston, and - new for 2008 - you can buy your tickets on line! People are already booking passage aboard the Salem Ferry for the 2008 season. Visit http://www.salemferry.com/ for tickets and schedule information.

Salem has a rich maritime history, and you can feel a part of it when you board the Salem Ferry. View Salem from the water and you will know how the great entrepreneurs and explorers of the 17th and 18th centuries felt when the set out on a journey. You'll pass Winter Island, Misery Island, Marblehead Neck, Children's Island and Baker's Island in Salem Harbor. Enjoy a snack (or a cocktail) from the galley on board as the boat cruises at 30 knots toward your destination, be it Boston or Salem. The Salem Ferry begins operation on May 23, and I can't wait!

Discover the magic of Salem by sea!

video

Monday, March 10, 2008

Capt.'s Celebrates Turning 4


Salem has great dining. I may have mentioned that when I first came to Salem in 1998, there were a handful (and no more!) of restaurants to choose from. Now, I could eat in a different restaurant - and taste different ethnic treats! - every day of the week.

One local favorite is turning 4, and wants you to celebrate with them! Capt.'s on Pickering Wharf offers great food, wonderful ambiance, and terrific views of Salem Harbor. They have a great promotion on their web site right now - $25 coupon for your next dinner for 4. They also have a menu of specially priced "Winter Warmers" - comfort food like Macaroni & Cheese, Shepherd's Pie, Chicken Pot Pie that will take away the chill. Daylight Savings or not, we still have a few more weeks of winter in New England! Register for the coupons at http://www.capts.com/Coupon.aspx. You can view Capt.'s menus on their web site, too.

Discover the magic of great dining in Salem!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Salem Waterfront Hotel in The Boston Globe


There is a great review of The Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites in The Boston Globe today. The article gave a great sense of how contemporary and comfortable the hotel is. Having the Waterfront Hotel as an accommodation option is definitely a benefit for travelers and those of us who need to accommodate guests. It gives an option in town for people who are not seeking a historic hotel or bed & breakfast experience.
I really wanted the article to mention (but I realize it was a review of the hotel, not an endorsement of visiting Salem!) is the Waterfront Hotel's proximity to the shops and restaurants of Pickering Wharf, as well as its proximity to all of the attractions and sites in downtown Salem. Salem is a small city, and all of the sites are easily within walking distance of each other. That puts the Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites, and all of Salem's downtown accommodations, in the perfect location for exploring this bewitching seaport!
The Salem Waterfront Hotel can be found online at www.salemwaterfronthotel.com/. For information on all of Salem's accommodations options, visit Salem.org.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Enter a Giveaway for Two to Visit Salem!


The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, also known as MOTT, is running a sweepstakes right now for a trip for two to visit Salem. It's an exceptional prize package (if I do say so myself). Click here to enter the sweepstakes. I've copied the details of the package below.

Discover the magic of Salem in 2008!

Explore the interesting nooks and crannies of Salem, America's Bewitching Seaport. Be sure to enter now through March 31, 2008.

What a great weekend this would be! I wish I could enter! The sweepstakes runs until March 31. Here's the link again to enter: http://www.massvacation.com/specialOffers/win-salem.php.

Good luck!



Thursday, March 6, 2008

Thinking Pink was Great for Salem!


I have to start by saying that I was exhausted by day's end yesterday. Things have been really busy at Destination Salem, and I was ready to call it a day by the time Girls' Night Out crept up on the clock. But, I rallied. I'm a true professional and if my job suggests that I should go out and sample wines and browse beautiful clothes, cosmetics, and gifts for the home, so be it!

And what a great event it was. Congratulations to Salem Main Streets and The Wellness Center for organizing what I hope is a (somewhat) regular event in Salem. I stopped by some of the stores I know and love on Essex and Front Streets, and then had the delightful experience of finding new places to love on Derby Street.

We went into Radiance Aveda first and received a tour of the fairly new salon/spa as well as mini-make-overs and hair analyses! Looking beautiful, we stopped by New Civilitea, which is a wonderful tea shop (don't ignore the scones) and I fell in love with a pomegranate green tea. After that, it was off to Rouge Cosmetics, where I was set up with some skin care samples and great pointers for how to use products.

The evening ended at Strega, where complimentary appetizers were passed - that Strega Pizzeta is to die for! And then a number of people headed off to Salem Film Fest, while I finally got to call it a day at 8:30 pm. It was a great evening that did what I suspect it wanted to - introduced me (and others!) to businesses that can now cultivate us into regular, devoted customers.

Discover the magic of Girls' Nights Out in Salem!




Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Plan Your Visit to Salem Online


When one is marketing and promoting a destination that's high season is June through October, winter is spent scurrying about preparing the new visitor guide, refining the web site, working with publications and businesses to make sure our audience (you) is receiving our message. It may be a bit quiet on the streets in Salem, but behind closed doors there is much work being done to create pieces that will make YOU want to come HERE.

And I'm very happy to say, the pieces are falling into place! The Salem.org web site has been undergoing a much needed overhaul to ensure it is not only user-friendly, but helpful. (Hence the addition of this blog.) A key component of the web site has been put into place this week, and that is the comprehensive listings of businesses in Salem. They are organized categorically and alphabetically, and they include links to the attraction's, restaurant's, accommodation's, shop's web site.

Pictures are coming soon to the enhanced listings, but for now you will find a great list of businesses in Salem who are ready to serve you! I want to thank Pickering Publishing for all of the great work they have done on the Salem.org site.
The 2008 Salem Visitor & Travel Guide will be out this week, and a printable pdf will be posted on Salem.org as well. I'm sure I'll be talking about that incredible accomplishment in the next couple of days!
In the meantime, browse all of the business listings... Use the calendar of events... Brush up on Salem's history. Discover all that Salem, Massachusetts has to offer, and discover the magic of Salem.org!

Monday, March 3, 2008

C'mon Ladies - It's Girls' Night Out in Salem!

Let's fight those winter doldrums with a night on the town, shopping and playing in Salem! Mayor Kimberley Driscoll and Salem Main Streets have organized a Ladies Night in Salem on Wednesday, March 5 that will encourage all of us to shop, eat, and Think Pink.

The Wellness Community is co-sponsoring the evening, and they will be distributing brochures and information to support people who are affected by cancer. The Wellness Community at Sue's Circle of Hope in Salem provides professionally-led support groups, educational workshops, nutrition and exercise programs, and mind body classes to help people affected by cancer learn vital skills that enable them to regain control, reduce isolation and restore hope regardless of the stage of their disease.

Show your support for Cancer research when you stop by A Touch of the Past on Washington Street - two Salem women who are participating n the Avon Cancer Walk will be at A Touch of the Past seeking sponsorship for their walk.

The Mayor will be visiting businesses on Washington Street, Essex Street, Front Street, and Derby Street before ending the evening at Strega on Lafayette Street. (If you want to know the Mayor's tentative schedule for the evening, let me know and I'll post it.) Many of the businesses will be providing complimentary refreshments, and socializing is encouraged!

So, you and your girlfriends should come on out to shop and dine on Wednesday, March 5 from 5-7pm. See you then!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Friendship's Mighty Volunteers

Yesterday Captain Jim Fox, who is the volunteer captain of Salem's replica tall ship Friendship was recognized for his contributions to Salem and the region with a Hospitality Award, given at the annual Governor's Conference on Travel & Tourism. Captain Fox leads an incredible group of volunteers who not only keep Friendship ship-shape, but who actually sail her to ports of call including Gloucester, Newburyport, Boston, and Newport.

The Boston Globe ran a wonderful article about the shipwrights who donate their time to Friendship last year. I recommend reading The Old Men and the Sea.

The original Friendship was built in 1796-1797. The three-masted, square-rigged, 342-ton vessel was an “East Indiaman,” the type of merchant ship that made Salem a leader in trade with the Far East in the years after the American Revolution. The model used to construct Friendship is on display at the Peabody Essex Museum. The National Park Service has a bulletin about Friendship available on their web site, www.nps.gov/sama. Friendship is open for visitation year-round.

Congratulations to Captain Fox on his award, and many thanks to Captain Fox and all of the volunteers and NPS staff who contribute so much to ensure Salem's maritime heritage is alive and well on Derby Wharf.