Tour and Program Descriptions
Free ranger-led tours and programs are offered year-round. Tours are free, but require a first-come first-served reservation by stopping in the Visitor Center or by calling (978) 740-1650. Reservations open at 9:00 AM each day and can only be made the day of your tour. We recommend signing up as early as possible.
Groups of 10 or more should email or call (978) 740-1662 to make an advanced group reservation. If your are a teacher interested in education programs visit our Education page for more information.
The U.S. Custom House in Salem
Visit the U.S. Custom House that was built in 1819 to House the offices of the U.S. Customs Service. During the height of Salem's East Indies trade, the Customs Service in Salem collected millions of dollars in taxes on incoming cargo. These taxes provided vital financial support for the new United States government. For three years this building was the workplace of the famous American author Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne's experiences during his stint in the Custom House inspired his most famous novel, The Scarlet Letter.
The Derby House and Narbonne House Tour
This tour is a ranger-led program that leads visitors through two distinct historic homes. The Derby House, constructed in 1762 was the first home of Elias Hasket and Elizabeth Crowninshield Derby. It is an exemplary example of a wealthy merchant's Georgian home and is furnished to reflect the Derbys' 20-year long residence in the house. (The Derby House is currently closed undergoing repairs and routine maintenance.) The Narbonne House, built in 1675, spans nearly 300 years of history as a home of successful businessmen and their families. The Narbonne House is unfurnished and contains displays of some of the nearly 150,000 archaeological artifacts excavated from the home's backyard.
The Tall Ship Friendship of Salem
Friendship of Salem is a replica of a cargo vessel built in Salem in 1797. Tours of the Friendship visit the main deck and the 'tween deck of the vessel. You will learn about the lives of the sailors who traveled the world, bringing exotic goods to Salem during the height of the East Indies trade. (Friendship of Salem is currently at dry dock in Gloucester, Massachusetts undergoing repairs and routine maintenance.)