Sep 202015

The National Park Service is looking to possibly shake up the look of Derby Wharf at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site and it wants your input.

Derby Wharf ExhibitsResidents & tourists alike have come upon “interpretive exhibits” along Derby Wharf which consist of five units of vertical text/image panels, a small mast and yard arm, an outdoor stage, and a collection of eight hands-on activities. They were installed in 2010. But time & tide (and weather) have taken their toll on them.

According to the NPS website:

The National Park Service proposes to remove or modify a collection of outdoor interpretive exhibits on Derby Wharf at Salem Maritime National Historic Site in Massachusetts. The principle component of the proposed action is the removal of exhibits that are damaged, inoperable, in poor repair or potentially unsafe for public use. A portion of the exhibits not meeting this criteria are also being considered for removal due to their effects on the park viewshed and visitor experience.

The questions posed are:

1. Do the exhibits enhance or detract from the visitor experience and views along the wharf?
2. Should the outdoor stage adjacent to Derby Beach be removed or relocated? If so, why?

The Salem Maritime National Historic Site was designated in 1937 as the first National Historic Site in the National Park system. The nine-acre site includes the homes of merchants and mariners, the Salem Custom House in which the famous author Nathaniel Hawthorne worked, and a replica of the three-masted cargo vessel Friendship of Salem.

The time to offer comments ends on 9/22/15. How do you feel about those exhibits?

Nov 162014

Top 50You may have missed this item this week, so it bears repeating: WCVB in Boston reported on a survey by numbers-crunching company NerdWallet that puts a bright spotlight on Salem and neighboring communities.

Granted, it’s our job at Salem Main Streets to say how great downtown Salem is as an entertainment, dining, and daytrip destination. Same rationale applies to Destination Salem and other local groups dedicated to promoting Salem to the masses. So, it is nice when someone else says it, and with tons of statistics.

According to WCVB “NerdWallet crunched the numbers for the 61 communities in Massachusetts with more than 20,000 residents to find those demonstrating growth in jobs, income and population. The most recent data — from 2009 to 2012 — was used.”

Here are some cities and towns in our area:

#50 Gloucester
#49 Danvers
#45 Boston
#40 Peabody
#32 Marblehead
#15 Beverly
#14 Lynn

And in 13th place (where else would the Witch City be?) is Salem. We are in the Top 20; almost the top 10. All this goes to say that besides being a nice place to visit, Salem is a good place in which to live, and getting better. Thanks NerdWallet for sharing!

(For the curious, 1st place was awarded to Westfield Ma.)

Image courtesy of Pong at

Jul 082014

Northshore MagazineWhere is one of the great places on the North Shore to get a quick or extended bite to eat (Salem, MA) ? Opinions differ as much as tastes do, (Salem, MA) but according to North Shore Magazine’s readers, many of their favorites (Salem, MA) in the recent Best of North Shore survey are in…. you guessed it, Salem, MA.

And it’s not just food that we scored high in the hearts and minds of BONS responders. Salem establishments in other categories also ranked quite high.


A&J King – Best Bakery (BONS & Readers’ Choice)

Scratch Kitchen – Best BBQ

The Ugly Mug – Best Breakfast

Red’s – Best Breakfast (Readers’ Choice)

A&B Burgers – Best Burger (Tied? Runner-up?  – with Lexie’s on State)

Passage To India – Best Indian (Readers’ Choice)

62 Restaurant – Best Italian

Brodie’s – Best Lobster Roll (Taster’s Choice)

Longboards – Best Lobster Roll (Taster’s Choice)

Grapevine – Best Mediterranean

King’s Roast Beef – Best Roast Beef

Turner’s Seafood – Best Seafood, Prepared

Opus – Best Sushi

Life Alive – Vegetarian (BONS & Readers’ Choice)


Tavern in the Square – Best Sports Bar (Readers’ Choice)


A&J King – Bake Shop, Pastry (Readers’ Choice)

Ye Olde Pepper Companie – Best Confectionery

Harbor Sweets – Best Confectionery (Readers’ Choice)

The Cookie Monstah (featured at Salem Farmers’ Market) – Best Cookies

62 Restaurant – Best Dessert

Coffee Time Bake Shop – Best Dessert (Readers’ Choice)


Paxton – Best Barber Shop, New School

North Shore Boot Camp Company – Best Boot Camp (and great pic of Brandi Dion!)

Hawthorne Hotel – Best Hotel (Readers’ Choice)

Rouge Cosmetics – Best Makeup Application (BONS & Readers’ Choice)

Yoga Sakti – Best Yoga Studio (Readers’ Choice)


Witch City 5K – Best Community Walk/Run (Readers’ Choice)

Kernwood Country Club – Best Country Club (Honorable Mention)

Salem Willows Park – Best Family Hangout, Indoor (Readers’ Choice)

Haunted Happenings – Best Festival, Fall (Readers’ Choice)

Salem Film Fest – Best Festival, Spring

Salem’s So Sweet – Best Festival, Winter (BONS & Readers’ Choice)

CinemaSalem – Best Movie Theater (BONS & Readers’ Choice)

Peabody Essex Museum – Best Museum (BONS & Readers’ Choice), Best Tourist Attraction (Readers’ Choice)


Petite Etoile – Best Baby Clothing

Modern Millie – Best Consignment (Readers’ Choice)

Roost – Best Gifts

Rouge – Best Makeup Selection

Mighty Aphrodite – Best Maternity Clothing (BONS & Readers’ Choice)

The Barking Cat – Best Pet Boutique (Readers’ Choice)

Mud Puddle Toys – Best Toy Shop (BONS & Readers’ Choice)


Tri-City Sales – Best Kitchen Appliances (Readers’ Choice)

Landry & Arcari – Best Rugs (BONS & Readers’ Choice)


Admiral Concierge – Best Concierge (Readers’ Choice)

Green Clean – Best Cleaning Service (BONS & Readers’ Choice)

So when you think about going somewhere for food and more, no need to give a second thought. Salem has it all in a convenient package. Don’t take our word for it. Take the word of lots of people on the North Shore.

Jan 042014

Small Biz Salem genericYou have been talking about launching your own business for the last year; you’ve been dreaming about it for longer than that. We are of course biased in support of the diverse Salem Ma Downtown District as your future location. So don’t take our word for it. However, Small Business Trends has mapped out the “Top 50 Small Business Shopping Destinations to Visit” and not one but six Massachusetts communities are on it— including Salem:

… retail has become big box stores and moved to strip shopping centers and malls. But there are still communities across the United States that have thriving small business districts where local entrepreneurs abound. We’ve identified 50 of the standouts…”

While the survey may have as its purpose to give shoppers a bird’s eye view of small business friendly destinations, it is also a close-up on communities which are successful incubators for budding owners of such businesses— notably Salem Ma.

From the January 2012 report of the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy:

Small businesses continue to be incubators for innovation and employment growth during the current recovery. Small businesses continue to play a vital role in the economy of the United States. They produced 46 percent of the private nonfarm GDP in 2008…”

That could be your business.

And, according to the US Census Bureau Data (2009):

There were 5.8 million employer firms in the U.S. Firms with less than 20 workers made up 89.7 percent of these businesses.”

Salem stands ready to support you. Salem Main Streets. The Salem Chamber of Commerce. The City of Salem. Destination Salem. We are rich in organizations to answer every question and help you along the way. We actively support and work with our businesses through festivals, events, and national activities such as Small Business Saturday.

And then there are the businesses along the Downtown District themselves. Best resources of info. Don’t take our word for it. 2014 is here. Resolve it’s time to stop thinking and time to act on your dream.