Tours, Programs, and Activities

 

November 2016 Schedule

The grounds of Salem Maritime National Historic Site remain open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during the winter. However, the Visitor Center hours and ranger-led tours are reduced.

Visit the Salem Visitor Center: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Wednesday-Sunday, 2 New Liberty Street, Salem, Massachusetts, 01970
Tour the Custom House: 1:00 PM, Wednesday-Sunday
Tour the Derby and Narbonne Houses: 2:30 PM, Wednesday-Sunday

(Tours are free, but space is limited and require reservations. Please call 978-740-1650 or stop by the Visitor Center on the day of your visit to reserve your spot(s) on a tour.)

Movies at the Visitor Center:
"Where Past is Present: A History of Salem;" 27 minutes, 10:15 AM, 12:00 PM, 4:00 PM (FREE)
"To the Farthest Port of the Rich East: Salem Maritime History;" 17 minutes, 2:00 PM (FREE)
"Salem Witch Hunt: A History of the Salem Witch Trials;" 38 minutes, 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM (ADULT: $5.00, SENIORS/KIDS: $3.00)

The Friendship of Salem is currently undergoing repairs and routine maintenance at dry dock in Gloucester, Massachusetts. We hope that the Friendship will return to Derby Wharf in 2017.

 

Special Exhibits & Events

In addition to our regularly scheduled programs, Salem Maritime hosts and participates in a variety of events in the community of Salem and beyond. Visit the Calendar to learn about upcoming events.

Exhibit on Display: Climate Change and Salem Maritime National Historic Site

Located in the Visitor Center, "Climate Change and Salem Maritime National Historic Site," is a collaboration between silk painter/environmental planner Susan Quateman and photographer/designer Leslie Bartlett. The exhibit combines photographs, silk paintings, and the latest climate science research to tell the story of how climate change is affecting our national parks, including Salem Maritime. The exhibit will be up through December 2016. View the event brochure (4.7 MB PDF) and begin thinking about this important topic. Interested in how the National Park Service is responding to climate change and what you can do to help? Learn more about climate change and your national parks.

 

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 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
The Friendship of Salem is currently undergoing repairs and routine maintenance at dry dock in Gloucester, Massachusetts. We hope that the Friendship will return to Derby Wharf in 2017. The 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.

 

Self-Guided Activities

Audio Tour
Listen to an audio tour and follow along with the accompanying map as you travel the site.

Walking Tours
Browse through a number of themed walking tours and site bulletins including African American heritage sites and the history of Salem architecture.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

160 Derby Street
Salem, MA 01970

Phone:

(978) 740-1650

Contact Us