• Salem Maritime National Historic Site

    Salem Maritime

    National Historic Site Massachusetts

Plan Your Visit

An ebony, ivory and brass sextant used for navigation.

Before GPS, navigation was done by hand with tools like this sextant. 

NPS photo

Please allow one to three hours to visit our site - all tours and programs are free. We offer hour-long tours of the site guided by one of our rangers, several self-guided exhibits and two free orientation films. During the summer, the tall-ship Friendship of Salem is self-guided and staffed by rangers and volunteers. For more information on our tours and hours, click here. For complete visitor information on most Salem attractions please visit Salem.org.

From the creak of Friendship's rigging as she gently rolls in a gust of wind to the scent of spices wafting out of the West India Goods Store, Salem Maritime NHS recreates the Golden Age of Salem. For a few exciting years when the country was young, Salem was one of the most important ports in the United States. On our tours, in our special programs, and through our Junior Ranger program, you can walk in the footsteps of Elias Hasket Derby, America's first millionaire; Nathaniel Hawthorne, one of America's great authors; or one of the thousands of sailors who left from Salem for adventures at sea and in ports around the world.

Did You Know?

Portrait of Nathaniel Hawthorne, circa 1855.

In addition to being a world-famous author, Salem native Nathaniel Hawthorne also held three government positions: Measurer for the Port of Boston, Surveyor of the Port of Salem, and U.S. Consul to Liverpool. The Custom House in Salem where he worked is now part of Salem Maritime NHS. More...