Salem Maritime National Historic Site
After a winter of hibernation we were itching to get outside, and visiting Salem Maritime National Historic Site was just want we needed. This is, what I would consider, an urban park but it is nestled right along the shoreline of Salem Harbor which provides a good balance of nature to the park.
The visitor center was packed full of activities for kids. Logan enjoyed dressing up as a pirate and a sailor and looking at all of ship models on display.
After making a stop at the Visitor Center we opted for a shorten self-guided tour through the city, towards the waterfront. Our walking tour consisted of the following sites: Custom House, Hawkes House, Derby House, and Narbonne House. While we did enjoy the history of the park, we preferred looking at the architecture of the buildings and the quaintness of the community they were in. The only site we were able go inside of was the back of the Custom House, but the walk around this historic downtown area was really lovely.
At this point, most visitors would tour the Friendship of Salem, which is a replica tall ship, reminiscent of the ships that were typically docked here in Salem Harbor, but it was under repair during our visit. Instead of the touring the ship, we opted to take the 1 mile round-trip walk out to the Derby Wharf Light Station which has been a functioning at the end of the pier since 1871.
When most people think of Salem, Massachusetts they think witches and Halloween. What they forget is the at one time Salem was the one of the largest seaports in the New World and a center for trade between China, the West Indies, Europe, and beyond.