What an incredible trip we had to Salem this past weekend – perfect riding weather, scenic roads, and such an historical, and spooky town! Such a great way to kick-off our favorite season!
The only unfortunate part – we only had two days and 400+ miles ahead of us.
So, we left late Friday night, and took the ferry to New England. We had a chilly ride into Fall River, but we were determined to see the Lizzie Borden House. (See photos below). After a long and cold ride, we were starving and ready to eat at the first place we found – conveniently a hip, cozy, Mexican joint. I had tasty, yet unique veggie tacos which were more like a Mexican salad in taco shells. Clayton enjoyed his jalapeno pork tacos. And they’re warm, homemade chips hit the spot. We rode a bit further to stay in a remote AirBNB in the middle of MA. Although it was literally a room in someone’s house – it was cozy and offered us a good night sleep to be able to enjoy our long weekend ahead.
Sidenote: I was so glad we got a jump on the ride Friday night. It allowed us to have the time and energy to fully enjoy Salem on Saturday.
Saturday morning, we found an adorable little café, Nellie Rose, and had a filling breakfast (eggs, a grilled muffin, breakfast tacos and tater tots!) before heading north toward Salem. Unfortunately, the Scenic app that I use to map out our rides had a bit of a failure and took us straight through the ghetto of Boston rather than the picturesque coastal route, but it was still a very enjoyable ride. And we made great time! We were checked into our Salem BNB by 3pm.
Our host was absolutely lovely, making sure we had all the amenities we could possibly need, a Salem guidebook for our keeping, and she showed us a map to help us acquaint ourselves. Luckily, we were in beautifully renovated historic home from the 1800s located blocks from the water adding to the authenticity of our trip!
We had a very relaxing time exploring Salem, which despite the crowds, was very manageable as every place was well prepared to keep visitors spaced for COVID concerns. Although we didn’t have the required reservations to see some of the more popular attractions like the Witch Museum, there was still so much to experience just leisurely wandering around at our own pace – plenty of Halloween decorations, an old graveyard, small shops with handmade goodies, a tarot card reading (which due to COVID spacing and glass partitions, made it nearly impossible to hear the masked, “aging” tarot card reader) great food (like apple cider sangria, dirty pumpkin chai lattes, wood fired pizza, and vegan mac & cheese) and lots of great people watching – I mean, people wearing elaborate costumes. An added comment from Clay: “What was odd to me was that a lot of the lines were to get into a gift shop or a candy shop rather than a historic house or building. Hey, that ‘I got stoned in Salem’ shirt is not gonna buy itself, right!? In all fairness we found some pretty cool stuff and loved the people watching!” Ok so the people watching was definitely a shared interest – it really was THAT good! Ha ha ha ha!
I was also very fortunate to score us two spaces on a very highly-rated “ghost tour” for Saturday evening. It was very important to be to find an experience that wasn’t boring and loaded with only historical facts, nor did I want one that was over-the-top cheesy. I didn’t want a “commercialized, mass market” tour with a guide dressed in an eccentric costume (because there DEFINITELY are those for anyone interested). I was looking for something extra special. And that’s definitely what I found with Witch City Walking Tours. I reached out to the tour owner, Beth, a week prior to our visit and she so graciously made accommodations for me and Clay to join her “Mysteries and Murders” tour which we were fortunate to have hosted by Beth, herself. Although advertised for 60-90 minutes, she ended up taking us on a two-hour walking tour of Salem at night. It was everything I’d hoped for – spooky, historical, informative, relevant - all while chatting with us, giving us personalized information that interested us, and also offered some Salem “insider tips” to make the remaining part of our visit even better. She was enthusiastic, passionate, and knowledgeable about the “darker” lore of Salem. This was undoubtedly a highlight of our brief trip to Salem. I would highly recommend Witch City Walking Tours for anyone looking for something above and beyond the mainstream ghost/witch tours.
Ok, pitch aside, we had a wonderful time exploring Salem, and even got to briefly connect with some family before leaving on Sunday. Our ride from Salem to the Cross Island Ferry in New London was absolutely incredible. This time our Scenic app worked flawlessly and I planned the most picturesque ride along the coast, then through the winding roads of the countryside with the color-changing leaves. We even had time to have a delicious dinner in Mystic, CT – the perfect ending to a perfect trip.
Although this was a quick trip, and we can’t wait to return to explore more of Salem, we felt like we had an amazingly successful adventure putting 450+ miles on the bikes, spending lots of time together, and seeing a new place full of mystery and history.
I couldn't end a blog about an amazing trip without calling out some of my favorite gear that made this trip even more comfortable - allowing us to efficiently pack, stay warm and comfortable on such a journey. Thanks to my AMAZING new jacket from Blackbird - The Fly By Night Jacket - which was super durable for long hours on the road, nice looking enough to wear EVERY WHERE (even when not on the bike) and had just enough extra room for layers - including a heated vest from Gerbing - which made all the difference on those chilly night miles. Also, each time we travel with our waterproof Kriega bags, we remark about how incredible they are - light weight, durable, so easy to get on and off the bike, unobtrusive (and don't ruin the "look" of our beautiful rides) and roomy enough for all the essentials - and in this case, some souvenirs as well. Lastly I think the MVP was my thigh bag from TripMachine. That went EVERYWHERE with me - and it often MADE the outfit. Considering I was looking less than stellar after so many miles on the road, this bag ALWAYS improved my look, carried everything I needed to freshen up (riding or walking) and it got oh so many compliments. Loving this bag more and more with every use!
Enjoy the photos below and leave a comment!