Top 10 Tips for Visiting Salem Maritime

Groups of people walking on path with water and boats in the background.

NPS Photo

With a busy summer season upon us, we want everyone to have a positive park experience. A little advance trip planning can ensure that your only surprises are happy ones. Plan like a park ranger and use these insider tips to have a great visit to Salem Maritime National Historic Site!

Temporary closures and modified operations are currently in place. Review our Basic Information for visitor center hours of operation and Alerts & Conditions for current information on closures. 

There is no entrance fee to visit Salem Maritime National Historic Site. Everybody is welcome to walk through and enjoy the park as often as they please! 

Will you visit by car, train or boat? There are multiple forms of transportation you can use to get to Salem Maritime National Historic Site. If traveling by car, be aware that there is no visitor parking lot, but there is metered street parking and city garages. Consider public transportation with train, bus and ferry options available to get you into Salem, Massachusetts. 

Download the free official NPS App to access Salem Maritime’s self-guided tours, things to do, and more! The quality of cell phone service depends on your provider, so consider downloading content before your visit so that you can access it offline. 
At the Salem Armory, rangers and volunteers are ready to answer any questions you may have about Salem Maritime National Historic Site and other places of interest throughout the Essex National Heritage Area. Watch a park film, explore our rotating exhibits, purchase a souvenir and don’t forget to get your passport stamp!  
National Recreation Trails are land and water based trails that provide close to home recreation opportunities to rural and urban communities and economic development through tourism. The Derby Wharf National Recreation Trail is 0.38 miles long reaching into Salem Harbor and ending at the Derby Light Station. Step back in time as you pass the Pedrick Store House and the replica tall ship Friendship of Salem on your walk. 
Take time out of your busy day to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the Colonial Revival Garden. Located behind the Derby House is a formal garden typical of those favored by wealthy eighteenth century merchants with over 150 varieties of heirloom annuals, perennials and bulbs. 
The Derby Wharf area provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy a New England sunrise over Salem Harbor. We have adirondack chairs along the waterfront available for visitors to sit back, relax, and take in the view. 
Explore Salem Maritime with your leash-holding companions. Weave around historic buildings, enjoy a walk on Derby Wharf, or take in some sunshine on the lawn. Follow the B.A.R.K. Ranger Principles and have a “pawsitive” experience with your pet in national parks! 
Managed by the Essex National Heritage Area, the 90-mile Essex Coastal Scenic Byway links 14 coastal communities from Lynn to Salisbury. Travel the byway to experience the region's rich history and culture with access to Salem Maritime National Historic Site, scenic views, period architecture, and recreational opportunities—all at your own pace and in your own time. 
Keep exploring! Massachusetts is home to 15 national parks and 3 national trails. While you’re in town, check out our sibling park only 9 miles away, Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site

Salem Maritime National Historic Site

Last updated: July 1, 2021