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Less than 20 miles northeast of Boston and four years older is the historic city of Salem. Best known as the place where, in 1692, twenty innocent victims were hanged and stoned to death as witches, Salem flourished during the 17th and 18th centuries as its merchant vessels circled the globe, bringing home great wealth. Arriving by boat is still the best way to visit Salem, especially during October, when parking lots overflow with Haunted House traffic. The Salem ferry from Long Wharf runs through Halloween. Grab a seat, smell the salty air, see the seaside estates of Marblehead, and 45 minutes later you arrive in Salem, stress-free. Your only worry is what costume to wear. Round trip is $27 for adults, $22 for children. Last ferry from Salem is at
8 p.m. on Saturdays. www.bostonharborcruises.com/salem-ferry/schedule-rates/