There is a bit of irony associated with Salem. As the legendary home of the witch hunt, the town has become a center for alternative spiritual practices. Recently, (September, 2016) it became the home to the Satanic Temple, an organization that promotes a form of satanism that doesn’t revolve around the worship of a personified figure. What’s cool about the town is the response of the city council president, Josh Turiel. He told the Salem News [LINK] that he had “no objection to any religious group who wants to be here. I just want them to be good citizens, obey the laws, and mind their own business. And leave people alone who want to be left alone.”
Some folks at Tulane University published some analysis on the 1692 Salem Witchcraft trials. [LINK] If you want some history, that’s a good place to start.
Beyond witchcraft, there is a thriving tourist scene in the town. Much of Essex Street through downtown, along with a few offshoots, has been converted to a red brick walk street. During nice weather, which is very relative given it’s New England, restaurants put up umbrellas and outdoor tables and life moves outdoors.
Salem is located in northeast Massachusetts, on the water. Salem Harbor has become a historic site, with its own stretch of tourism. While the dock space in the area is limited, the harbor is shallow. During peak season, hundreds of boats will moor away from shore. Water taxis will shuttle people into town and to the surrounding communities.