Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A busy schedule at J. Mode

I was just on J. Mode's web site, and there is a lot going on at our favorite Front Street Boutique! Girls' Night Out is coming on September 10 - and it looks like a great time! Lots of tastings, fashions, and gift certificates. It's definitely something to check out.

If you can't make it on the 10th, J.Mode celebrates Ladies Night every Thursday until 7pm, with treats and specials. You can follow J. Mode on Facebook to know the specials in advance, or just plan to stop by before or after the Salem Farmers' Market!

There is also a Kinross Cashmere trunk show in September (we may not be thinking about cashmere today in the 90 degree heat, but fall is coming!), and Feng Shui color sessions on September 30.

Visit JModeFashions.com for all the details and complete information on this fabulous boutique in Salem.

Something different at Salem Theatre Co.

Salem Theatre Company and Exquisite Corpse Dance Theatre
present The Book of Lilith

Salem Theatre Company and Exquisite Corpse Dance Theatre present an original theatrical bellydance production The Book of Lilith, based on the story of the ancient Middle Eastern goddess and demoness. From her beginnings as handmaiden to the Great Goddess, initiating men into Her mysteries through sacred eros, to her appearance as First Woman in the Garden of Eden - come with Lilith as she flies across the ages through dance and artistry.

Exquisite Corpse Dance Theatre is led by Artistic Director Aepril Schaile and also includes, for this full-length premiere performance, dancers Amelia Kurpeski, Libby Rowe, Shaina Rae, and Samara Martin.

Performances are September 3 and 4 at 7:30pm and September 5 at 3:00pm at the STC Theatre, 90 Lafayette Street in Salem.

Tickets are $25 and are available for purchase online at www.salemtheatre.com or at the door (if available).

Monday, August 30, 2010

Destination Salem's Photo Contest

It was another beautiful weekend in Salem! Were you here? And did you take any pictures?

Do you have the next cover image for the 2010 Salem Visitor Guide? If you do, submit it to Destination Salem's 2010 Photo Contest!

Visit Salem.org for details and submission information.

The deadline for submissions in 2010 is December 1, 2010. The Destination Salem Marketing Committee will review all submissions and select ten (10) finalists, which will be posted online for a public evaluation and vote. The winning photographs will be announced on December 17, 2010.

FABULOUS PRIZES! Cherry Blossoms, Pierce-Nichols House Fence, Federal Street, Salem, MA. Photograhper: Jane Cappuccio Stauffer

First Prize: $100 and the image will be featured on the cover of the Salem, Massachusetts 2011 Visitor & Travel Guide!

Second Prize: $50 Salem Gift Certificate

Third Prize: $25 Salem Gift Certificate

  • The deadline for submission is December 1, 2010.

  • Images should be submitted in a high-resolution (at least 300 dpi at 5”x7”) digital format.

  • Photographs must be submitted in .jpeg, .jpg or .tif format via e-mail to destinationsalem@gmail.com or on disc to Destination Salem, PO Box 630, Salem, MA 01970.

  • High resolution scans of photographs are acceptable.

  • Each photograph must be accompanied by a submission form.

  • Winners will be announced on December 17th, 2010 on Salem.org.

RULES & REGULATIONS The House of the Seven Gables, Salem, MA Photographer: Lisa Poehler
  • All amateur photographers – except members of the Destination Salem staff, board of directors, and their immediate families – are eligible. Amateur photographers earn less than 25% of their annual income from their photography.

  • All photographs must be taken in Salem.

  • All photographs must be of sites that are open to or available to the public.

  • All photographs become the property of the Salem Office of Tourism & Cultural Affairs, Inc. /dba/ Destination Salem and may be used in promotional, marketing, and/or advertising materials including, but not limited to, the Salem Visitor Guide, Salem.org, The Guide to Salem Haunted Happenings, and Haunted Happenings.org.

  • Photographers will get a photo credit if or when their image is used.

  • Minor adjustments including slight color adjustment and minor digital enhancements are permitted. Images should not be significantly altered, however, and may be disqualified if the image does not look authentic.

  • The photographer submitting the photograph must hold all rights to the photograph.

  • Photographs that feature a recognizable person (or people) must include a model release from the subject or, in the case of a minor, the subject’s parent or guardian.

    Friendship of Salem, photographed by Len Burgess

  • Images previously published or pending publication or that violate or infringe upon another person’s copyright, are not eligible.

  • Each photographer may submit no more than three (3) images. Only one prize will be awarded to any one photographer.


Destination Salem:

Salem City Hall, P.O. Box 630, Salem, MA 01970.

(978) 741-3252; fax (978) 741-7539; Salem.org

e-mail questions to: info@salem.org

Please email submissions to destinationsalem@gmail.com.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The antique and classic boats are coming...

I love this event. I think (correct me if I'm wrong) this is the eleventh year the Antique & Classic Boat Festival is being held in Salem. It happened for a few years prior to discovering Hawthorne Cove Marina, and it has enjoyed great success and visitation since coming to Salem.

The festival is this weekend - August 28 and 29 - at Hawthorne Cove Marina on White Street. The marina is one block from the Salem Ferry landing at Blaney Street, and one block from the House of the Seven Gables on Turner Street.

And have you seen the weather forecast? Sunny splendor! The rains are gone!

So, check out the Antique & Classic Boat Festival web site at boatfestival.org, and their Facebook page. They are expecting some great boats this year, including a vessel belonging to Billy Joel. In addition to the visiting vessels, there will be a craft fair, activities for children, and music.

The more than 40 participating boats are expected to include 1920s-50s motor yachts, mahogany speedboats, sloops, yawls, schooners and a 19th century gold-leaf canoe. A bit of something for everyone!

Admission is a $5.00 donation (children under 12 are free).

Monday, August 23, 2010

The answer to the question, "Where should I start when I visit Salem?"

We hear this question a lot at Destination Salem: "We've never been to Salem. Where do we start?"

Here, for you today, is the answer I have given dozens of times over the phone.

First: Park in the garage. Set your GPS for 2 New Liberty Street, Salem, MA 01970 and head to the Museum Place Mall. It costs $1.50/hour, cash (and on peak weekends in October it's $20 cash upon entry), and once you're there, you don't have to worry about your car for the rest of the day.

Visit Salem's Parking Department on Salem.com for complete parking information.

After you park and lock your vehicle, head out of the garage and across Liberty Street to the National Park Service Regional Visitor Center. Here is where you can get oriented to Salem and the region and all of the sites, museums, and history you are about to encounter.

The Visitor Center serves as a primary interpretive point for both Salem and the Essex National Heritage Area. You will find exhibits that interpret the Early Settlement, Maritime, and Industrial heritage of the region, as well as information and brochures to help you find sites and museums that are dedicated to telling each specific story.

The Visitor Center also offers a free, 27-minute film, Where Past is Present, that offers a terrific and beautifully filmed overview of the founding of Essex County and the early days of the nation, through the fishing and maritime history and into the industrial heritage of the nineteenth century. The film will help you make connections between the sites in the region, and, perhaps, the places from where you come. Translations of the film are available in French, Spanish, German and Russian. Click here for more information on the film, including its schedule.

The visitor center itself is housed in the drill shed of the Salem Armory, which was the headquarters of the Second Corps of Cadets. The Armory Park adjacent to the visitor center is a great place to relax, watch the people go by, have a picnic, or wait for a trolley or walking tour - as many of them originate here at the visitor center.

The Visitor Center provides maps and brochures galore, as well as trained Rangers and volunteers who can help point you in the right direction. Equally as important, the restrooms are clean, which may be your first priority after driving into Salem! Begin your trip at the Salem Regional Visitor Center and you will be oriented for a great day exploring Salem, or days exploring the region.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Salem Jazz & Soul Festival This Weekend

The 4th Annual Salem Jazz and Soul Festival takes place at the Salem Willows this weekend!

This is a free, family-friendly festival of fabulous music! There will be music, music education classes, an arts and crafts fair, and a kid's play tent.

This year, they've added a 21+ BEER GARDEN! (Positive ID required). ( Thanks to the City of Salem, the Willows neighborhood and Ipswich Ale for making the beer garden possible.)

Check out the schedule, the FAQs, and other information on the Jazz & Soul Festival at SalemJazzSoul.com. Better yet - check out the festival!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Salem Farmers’ Market Celebrates MA Farmers’ Market Week

The Salem Farmers’ Market is celebrating Massachusetts Farmers’ Market week August 26 with a series of events. There will be a cooking demonstration by local chef, Tony Bettencourt of Sixty2 on Wharf with a guest appearance by Jenny Johnson of TV Diner and music by cellist Simon Linn-Gerstein.

Scott J. Soares, Commissioner, MA Dept. of Agricultural Resources and Julia E. Kehoe, Commissioner, MA Dept. of Transitional Assistance will attend to officially recognize the market for the implementation of the SNAP Program. The market is now a participant in the SNAP program and accepts the EBT card at the market. Mayor Driscoll and State Representative Keenan will also join in the events recognizing MA Farmers’ Market week at the Salem Farmers’ Market.

The Salem Farmers’ Market is every Thursday through October 21 from 3 – 7 p.m. in Derby Square on Front Street. Farms at the market include: Clark Farm, First Light Farm, Gibney Gardens, the popular Salem egg farmer Maitland Mountain Farm, Long Hill Orchard, Simone Farms, Wally's Vegetables, Flats Mentor Farm, Cider Hill Farm, and West River Creamery. Non-farm vendors include: Rowand Seafood, Rowell Fishing Company (the Danvers lobsterman), Ellies Salad Dressing, Rawberts Organic, Coven, When Pig’s Fly and Salem Soapworks as well as numerous rotating art vendors.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Salem Maritime mourns loss of beloved Friendship Captain

At Salem Maritime National Historic Site, the replica tall ship Friendship’s lower yards are tilted, or “cockbilled,” and a black streamer is flying from her mainmast in a traditional form of shipboard mourning.

Captain James Fox, the beloved captain of Friendship, died on August 17, 2010, following a battle with cancer. He will be missed by all the National Park Service staff and volunteers who worked with him since Friendship first arrived in Salem.

“Captain Fox was one of the first and most passionate supporters of getting Friendship to the national park in Salem," said Salem Maritime Superintendent Patricia Trap. “He signed on as a volunteer to captain the ship to Salem in 1998, and from then on devoted thousands of hours to be sure that the ship safely fulfilled her mission as a floating ambassador for the National Park Service, the Essex National Heritage Area, and the City of Salem.”

Captain Fox was instrumental in getting Friendship through her U.S. Coast Guard Certification requirements to allow passengers to sail on the ship. “With Captain Fox’s leadership, we are now ready to embark on a new chapter in Friendship’s history—developing a sailing program for the general public,” stated Trap. “We will miss him.”

n his memory, a plaque with the names of the captains of the original and the modern day Friendship will be placed on board the ship that he helped to bring to life. "Wherever Friendship sails from now on, he will always be with us," said Colleen Bruce, Chief of Marine and Special Programs at Salem Maritime National Historic Site.

* * *
Our thoughts and condolences go out to Captain Fox's family, his friends, and the volunteers and staff at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site.

* * *

The image above, taken by Leighton O'Connor, shows the Friendship with its masts tilted in the sunset on Wednesday night.

For more information on the tall ship Friendship, visit nps.gov/sama.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Get your Schooner Fame tickets on the Salem App!

The Schooner Fame is now selling tickets on the Salem Guide iPhone App! The Schooner Fame joins other iPhone App ticket sellers: Salem Trolley and the Phillips House. Buying your tickets on the App is easy and paperless... definitely worth checking out!

While you're on the App, make sure to check out the great deals - there are some notable dining deals for the Regatta in the Salem Waterfront Hotel, and Nathaniel's at the Hawthorne Hotel.

A great article in the Columbia Daily Tribune!

The Columbia Daily Tribune in Columbia, MO, ran a fantastic article about visiting Salem in their Sunday paper. You can read Bewitched by Salem, written by Haley Adams on ColumbiaTribune.com.

Here's the article, in case you don't want to click through. (You should click through, though. The pictures are lovely.)

Bewitched by Salem

Massachusetts city is big on Colonial history, New England charm.

If a trip to New England is in your family’s future travel plans, you might want to add Salem, Mass., to your itinerary. You probably learned about its infamous witch trials in American history class, but Salem is more than a middle school field trip.

“There are 41,000 people living here,” said Kate Fox, the executive director of Salem’s tourism office, Destination Salem. “I think that adds to the vibrance of Salem. It’s not just a preserved place; it’s a living and breathing city.”

Like its equally historic big brother, Boston, Salem offers lobster dinners, photo-worthy landmarks and scenic harbors, but it is a quainter sampling of New England.

“We’re a much smaller scale than Boston,” Fox said. “You can get a sense of New England without being intimidated by a big city.”

The first thing you’ll notice is how old Salem looks. Since the first settlers came to the area in 1626, Salem has preserved much of its Colonial feel with narrow streets, brick sidewalks and historic buildings. But with a Dunkin’ Donuts on nearly every corner, the city has adapted to modern life while maintaining its roots.

Salem’s history is the main draw for most of its tourists, particularly its witch history. Although the current Salem was not the exact spot where the Salem witch trials of 1692 occurred — they actually took place in Salem Village, a nearby town now called Danvers — Salem is still known as the witch city of the United States. The city is full of reminders of the heritage, like the gift shops with witch souvenirs or the museums devoted to the trials. Even the Salem Country Club, located in the bordering city of Peabody, uses a witch on a broomstick for its logo.

Because of the haunted theme that floats through Salem, the city is a major Halloween destination. Of the 800,000 tourists that visit Salem every year, Fox said, more than 200,000 of them come in the month of October. Fox also said hotels usually sell out for October weekends by February, so people can make sure they have a place to stay for Haunted Happenings, a whole month of events devoted to Halloween and witches.

But even if Salem is most known for its witch background, the city has more to see.

Another thing that’s hard to miss is the ocean. As part of Massachusetts’ North Shore, Salem is one of many cities north of Boston with picturesque ocean views and small beaches scattered throughout the area. Being on the coast also brings another New England staple: seafood, which Salem has plenty of. If you’re looking for a sit-down seafood meal, try Pickering Wharf, a group of shops and restaurants that overlook Salem Harbor. For a more casual food stop or a snack, try the Salem Willows. Stop by E.W. Hobbs, where you will find its famous — and delicious — popcorn, or try Cappy’s Seafood for fried clams. Fried seafood tends to be more expensive than most other fried treats — a plate of fried clams at Cappy’s is about $13 — but a seafood meal straight from the ocean is worth the extra dollars.

Another draw is the renowned Peabody Essex Museum, famous for its collections of Asian art, maritime art and other pieces from all parts of the globe. The city also is known for its literary history as the birthplace of famed author Nathaniel Hawthorne and as the current home of best-selling writers including “The Lace Reader” author Brunonia Barry.


The Witch Attractions To get an overview of the witch trials, visit the Salem Witch Museum. You’ll learn all you need to know about the events. Another popular spot is the Witch House, the only building in Salem with direct ties to the trials. Visitors can take tours throughout the year, but in October, the Witch House offers Eerie Evenings, when guests listen to spooky ghost stories. There is also the Witch Dungeon Museum, where visitors can see re-enactments from the witch trials. For a free witch stop, try the Salem Witch Trials Memorial, a tribute to 14 women and six men accused of and executed for witchcraft in 1692.

House of Seven Gables

The house is Salem’s oldest mansion, and it inspired Hawthorne’s book, the “The House of Seven Gables, ” If your feet are tired after the tour, take a rest in the backyard gardens that overlook the water.

Peabody Essex Museum

The PEM receives recognition not only for its art collection but also its gift shop, where shoppers can buy anything from a porcelain vase to a candy wrapper wristlet. Keeping with its Salem surroundings, the museum area includes a maritime art collection, and it also includes the Yin Yu Tang house, a structure once belonging to a Qing dynasty merchant in China that was rebuilt in the museum.

Salem Willows

If you need a break from a day of history, head to the Salem Willows, home of an arcade, fun rides for kids and good food. In addition to the popcorn and clams, you can find salt water taffy, pizza and even Chinese food. Have a picnic in one of the gazebos that overlooks the harbor, but watch overhead for seagulls that are known to dip in and take food without permission.

Salem Maritime National Historic Site

As part of the National Park Service, the Maritime National Historic Site features buildings and wharves from Salem’s time as crucial port to the United States. Once you get there, you’ll see Salem’s tall ship, the Friendship, a replica of the original with the same name from the 1700s.

A few tips to remember

Take the trolley first. Fox recommended first-timers take the Salem Trolley tour to see all that Salem has to offer before committing to certain attractions. From April to October, the trolley runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and each narrated tour lasts one hour. One ticket lasts all day and can be used as a shuttle to many popular landmarks.

Drive carefully. New Englanders have a reputation as awful drivers, but it’s not all their fault. Because some of the roads have been around since the first settlers came, many streets are narrow and appear poorly planned compared with the more organized roads of the Midwest. Watch out for random stop signs you’re not expecting.

Stay in Salem. There are no chain hotels in Salem, so try one of its local hotels, inns or bed-and-breakfasts. Most of them are in close proximity to the city’s attractions. “Salem’s a great place to stay overnight because you can stay downtown and walk to everything,” Fox said.

Want to see Boston on your trip?

Boston is only a ferry ride away. Ditch your rental car and take the ferry from Salem to Beantown. The 45-minute trip provides views of the New England coastline, and a tour guide on the boat will point out notable sights. Be prepared for a lot of wind, but seeing New England from the water is much better than the highway.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Blount Small Ship Adventures visited Salem for the second time last Friday. Here's the Grand Caribe in port adjacent to the Salem Ferry.

Salem was the final port of call of a 14-day itinerary for the Grand Caribe. We were thrilled to have the passengers and crew in town, and hope they had a great time.

Blount returns for their final visit to Salem on September 2 when the Niagara Prince will be in port for the night.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Six ways to raise your spirits in Salem this weekend

Usually I compile my list of Six in Salem as a recommendation, a thought, food for a whim. But this weekend's programming in Salem is SO OUTSTANDING that I'm writing this one as a "don't miss these six" list.

There's a definite buzz in the air, and the humidity is low, which makes it easier to hear (feel?!) the buzz! Salem's hoppin', so come on over.

1. Essex Street Fair, presented by the Salem Chamber of Commerce. It takes two words to get my family to the Essex Street Fair: Kettle. Corn. But there's oh-so-much more to it than that. Crafts, jewelry, paintings, stained glass, street performers, face painters, strolling musicians, and fun, fun, fun. The Essex Street fair stretches the length of Essex Street from Hawthorne Boulevard to Washington Street, and the hours have been stretched this year to 10am-6pm on Saturday and 10am-6pm on Sunday.

2. Tour the visiting tall ship Peacemaker, docked at Central Wharf until August 22. Tours of this 400-ton barquentine are free to the public between 10am-9pm on the weekends and 10am-7pm during the week. Central Wharf is part of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site. nps.gov/sama

3. The Ninth Annual Phillips House Car Meet is on Chestnut Street this Sunday from 12pm-3pm. There will be a great assortment of cars, including the two Pierce-Arrows and Model A Ford that are part of the Phillips' collection. This is a free event.

4. Improv on the Bricks! Join the Salem Theatre Company for their 3rd annual improv comedy bash. Bring a lawn chair! Bring padding! This is the perfect way to add hilarity to your Saturday. Saturday and Sunday at 3:30pm. (It's worth noting that Maria's Sweet Somethings is RIGHT THERE, next to the bricks, selling dozens of excellent flavors of ice cream. And it's a known fact that ice cream is the perfect accompaniment for comedy.)

5. Crowninshield-Bentley Open House at the Peabody Essex Museum. In conjunction with Heritage Days, the PEM is offering free public tours of the Crowninshield Bentley House every hour on the hours. Period kids games will be presented in the yard ona drop in basis. The PEM opened the 1727 Crowninshield-Bentley House to public tours in June of this year.

6. Eat outside. Have you seen the weather forecast? Find a table street-side at Gulu Gulu Cafe, Caffe Graziani, Green Land Cafe, Asahi, The Lobster Shanty, or Rockafellas and enjoy great food and libation while watching the world walk by. Or, find a table waterside at The Black Lobster, Finz, Capts, or Victoria Station and relax while watching the tide change and the boats make their way in and out of Salem. Ahhhhhh.

These are my pics for the weekend, and there are many more events to choose from. Visit the calendar on Salem.org for more inspiration, or just head down to Salem and see where your mood takes you. It's going to be a great weekend! Enjoy.