The historic city of Salem, Massachusetts, has a lot to offer visiting boaters, although public dockage is not one of them.

That said, boaters looking to go ashore for a few hours and explore the downtown museums, shops, restaurants and historic sites can do so quite reasonably by renting a mooring from Salem Water Taxi and getting a ride to Pickering Wharf. Cost is $20 for the mooring rental and the round-trip shuttle (overnight stays are $45/night). Hail the Water Taxi on VHF 68 or call (978) 745-6070.

Brewer Hawthorne Cove Marina (978-740-9890) also rents transient moorings and slips. This marina is relatively close to the downtown area, and a few steps from the House of the Seven Gables (plus a shed dormer that isn’t mentioned).

The House of the Seven Gables (plus a shed dormer).

A third option is Pickering Wharf Marina (978-744-2727), which offers slips in the heart of downtown. If you plan to eat at Finz, a great seafood restaurant right on the harbor, you can sometimes arrange free dockage on Pickering Wharf through the restaurant.

Tasty food at FinZ.

Among the many things to see and do in Salem are a visit to the highly acclaimed Peabody Essex Museum, the Salem Witch Museum, the Custom House Museum and the tall ship Friendship. There are restaurants of every description (we highly recommend the Howling Wolf Taqueria for Mexican food), plus interesting shops, such as Joe’s Fresh Fish Prints, (978-498-4187), on Pickering Wharf.

Joe Higgins of Joe’s Fresh Fish Prints.
The Peabody Essex Museum.
Famous Derby Wharf.

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