Hop on the Commuter Rail from North Station and before you know it, you’re arriving in Witch City itself. Start the day at Brew Box on Essex Street. Founded by two female coffee enthusiasts, Brew Box’s goal is to offer coffee as an “experience.” And that experience is customizable depending on what you’re looking for: Purists can expect a perfect cup of filtered drip coffee, while those looking to shake things up can sample the Iced Cereal Milk Latte or another flavored concoction.
Notch Brewing Biergarten
After a morning exploring Salem’s spooky sights like the Witch House and the Salem Witch Museum, grab a table at Notch Brewing’s Biergarten on the South River for lunch. Notch has gone completely al fresco this fall, exclusively offering seating in this spacious biergarten. Reservations are required; check in with the host outdoors when you arrive and they’ll show you to your table, where you can place your order online. Notch is dedicated to brewing session beers, making this spot a smart choice for a lunchtime libation. When your beers and snacks are ready, you just pick up them up at the contactless service counter.
Deacon Giles Distillery
After lunch, continue soaking up Salem culture at the Peabody Essex Museum. Book your tickets in advance to see their timely exhibit on the Salem Witch Trials. Then walk off lunch, heading toward Salem’s very own craft distillery: Deacon Giles Distillery. Their “Speakeasy Lab” (i.e. the barroom) offers a clear view of the distilling process, with a spirit production line behind a large glass wall. They distill gin, vodka, rum, and canned cocktails, while you sip craft cocktails and snack on shareable bar bites.
Far from the Tree Cider
After imbibing in those local spirits, swing by the nearby Far from the Tree Cider to pick up a pack of local ciders to bring home as the perfect souvenir. They also have a first-come, first-served patio, which is a great option when other reservation-only spots in town are booked up.
East Regiment Beer Co.
On your walk back to the train, refuel at one more New England craft brewer. East Regiment Beer Company is located in the heart of downtown, only a three-minute walk from the station. With a heated and covered patio, this spot is ready for guests all season long. Whether you’re a porter, IPA, or lager lover, there’s a beer—or a flight—for you at East Regiment. Pair it with one of the satisfying grilled cheese sandwiches.
All photos by J.Q. Louise