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Salem is one of Massachusetts' most well-known historic cities, located on the Atlantic coast and considered one of the most important seaports in the history of Puritan Americans. With a long and storied past, the Salem of today is now an interesting mix of historic sites and a vibrant downtown district that features numerous restaurants, coffee shops and local cafes.
The History of Salem
Salem is most widely associated with its infamous Salem witch trials in 1692, but this historic city has an eventful past that includes far more. Home to a thriving shipbuilding, fishing and maritime trade industry in the 18th century, Salem was the birthplace of the National Guard. Novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem in 1804 and penned the famous American novel "The Scarlet Letter" in the Custom House, which is still open to visitors today.
Living in Salem
One of the most unique aspects of living in Salem is the local culture, which features many nods to the city's historic witch trials. Local schools, the police department and athletic teams all either feature names or logos that are connected to the idea of sorcery as a part of Salem's history. The city is also a major tourist destination, attracting an especially large number of visitors during Halloween.
However, there are plenty of other attractions and amenities in Salem that aren't tied to the witch trials, and every-day life in the city is fairly typical of any other suburban community. You can enjoy a number of local parks and nature preserves, which are often especially scenic during the fall months, when the many trees' leaves transform into vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow. Salem Willows is a popular oceanfront community and amusement park that dates back many years. Many locals visit the area during the warm summer months, and it's a popular place to view Independence Day fireworks. Salem Willows is also home to Hobbs, which has a reputation as one of the best places on the North Shore to enjoy popcorn and ice cream.
Salem Public Schools manages the public schools in the city, including an early childhood center, elementary, middle and high schools and a prep school. There are also several private schools in Salem, including independent, alternative schools.
Salem State University is one of the state's largest private universities, spread across five campuses and including residential facilities. You can enroll in one of many degree paths or the school's continuing education program.
Resources for Moving to Salem
Here are a few resources that can make your move to Salem a bit easier:
- Utilities: The city's water department manages distribution of water services, billing and service set-up. National Grid is Salem's primary energy provider.
- Garbage and Recycling: The city is divided into several collection zones that determine the schedule for trash and recyclables collection.
- Transportation: Salem is a pedestrian-friendly city that also offers plenty of public transit options, including the MBTA commuter rail and the Salem Ferry.
Parking: Residential and visitor parking permits can be purchased through the city's parking department.
Homes in Salem are much older than the national average, and the market includes a number of historic properties. The median home price in Salem is considerably higher than the national average, but far more affordable than the nearby housing market of Boston. You'll find a variety of properties in Salem, providing plenty of options in terms of price, size and style.