2020 Massachusetts Press Trip
Discover the Magic of Salem
June 8-11, 2020

To be rescheduled in 2021

Folks enjoying rose wine in Salem Pub

Salem, Massachusetts is most known for the Witch Trials of 1692 when 20 innocent men and women were condemned, accused of being witches. A lesser known yet equally significant chapter of the American story features the sailors, merchants, and privateers from Salem who ventured all over the world from to bring new and exotic goods home to America. This was the beginning of the spice trade and the great age of sail which gets credit for our remarkable museums, architecture, and culinary connections to the sea.

This three-day familiarization tour will fill you in on Salem’s local history and culture, art and creativity, insider tips and secret foodie finds, as well as Salem’s illustrious maritime spice trade history and, of course, the Salem Witch Trials history and the significance of social witch hunts today.

Accommodations are being hosted by the historic Hawthorne Hotel, the contemporary Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites, and the new (opening June 1!) Hampton Inn. In your application, please let us know which type of accommodations you prefer. We will try to match accommodations with the style and audience, but really, there is no bad answer here!


Day 1, June 8 
Please plan to arrive by 5:00 PM

Dinner at Turner’s Seafood – the New England seafood dinner you are expecting from a coastal town in Massachusetts, served in the historic Lyceum Hall, where Alexander Graham Bell placed the first long distance call.

Salem Night Tour – We’ll walk off dinner on a walking tour through Salem’s historic streets and dive into the city’s legends, lore, and history after dark.

Front of Peabody Essex Museum in Salem MA

Day 2, June 9

We will start with a hearty breakfast at Red’s Sandwich Shop, which is located in the historic London Coffee House, which dates back to the 17th century and was the meeting place of patriots before the Revolution.

After breakfast, The Salem Trolley will take us on a narrated tour of Salem’s historic districts, architecture, and lighthouses. We promise you will learn stories you never knew were rooted in Salem!

The trolley will drop us at The House of the Seven Gables, believed to be the oldest timber framed mansion in North America, where your tour will include architectural, literary, maritime, and social history of the house, the families that called it home, and Salem. 

We will depart The House of the Seven Gables on foot on a Salem Food Tour. Our dynamic guide, Karen Scalia, will draw delicious connections between Salem’s spice trade history and the shops and restaurants of today. There will be chocolate, wine, cheese, and chowder tastings (and more!) as we wind through Salem’s historic waterfront and downtown districts.

Dinner will be served at Ledger Restaurant, where Chef Daniel Gursha will serve modern New England cuisine that is guaranteed to impress your taste buds. 

Front of Salem Witch Museum and Salem Trolley stopped in front

Day 3, June 10

It’s time to do a deep dive into the Salem Witch Trials at the Salem Witch Museum. We will start the day learning what happened during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 and, in the museum’s second presentation, we will learn about the evolution of the word “witch”.

We will then walk to the renowned Peabody Essex Museum, America’s oldest continually operated museum, which was founded by sea captains in 1799 and today – inspired by those global explorers – connects art and culture from around the world to Salem. Our tour will be in two parts: A highlights tour of the galleries followed by a Shelter to Showpiece tour of the museum’s historic houses.

After lunch (TBD) we will explore Salem’s Punto Urban Art Museum, a collection of 85 large scale murals by 40 world-renowned artists that is changing the perception of Salem’s “Point” neighborhood through art.

We will end day three on a Sunset Sail of Salem Harbor aboard the Schooner FAME, a replica of an 1812 Privateer.

If you’re up for it, we will stop into Notch Brewing for an American Session Beer, brewed right here in Salem.

Salem Schooner FAME, an 1812 Privateer out to sea with full sails

Day 4, June 11

After you have breakfast in your hotels we will gather for a bit of magic and history. We will start at 10:00 AM at The Witch House, the only site still standing in Salem with direct ties to the Witch Trials of 1692.

From The Witch House, you will have your choice of

We will gather for lunch at Bit Bar – a restaurant featuring classic arcade and pinball games in a former jail.

After lunch you are welcome to continue exploring Salem independently with a VIP Pass to attractions or depart Salem for your next adventure.

The House of Seven Gables in Salem, MA

Trip Notes

Open to IFWTWA Regular Members with a strong USA readership, priority given to publications in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Connecticut, however all writers are encouraged to apply. Dues must be current and your IFWTWA profile must be 100% updated.

Per the host, “Travel cost reimbursement up to $500. Flights will be taken care of by the host. For those coming by car, gas receipts may be submitted to the hosts.” Applicants acknowledge that IFWTWA is not responsible for reimbursement of any travel expenses. We trust that the host will honor their commitment of up to $500 per person for travel expenses in a timely manner. If they do not, each participant is responsible for their own follow up and collection of their money.

Up to 8 journalists will be chosen by the host after initial vetting by IFWTWA.

Fam tour starts at 5:00 PM on Monday, June 8 and ends at 1:00 PM on Thursday, June 11. Accommodations provided June 8-11, 2020.

You are required to do social media prior to and during the trip and are required to produce at least one article within six (6) months.

If you are selected for this media trip, your cost will be $50. This money goes directly to support the income goals of this organization. No money goes to the host or IFWTWA coordinators. Activity and restaurant tips are generally paid for by the host, however, you may want to bring additional money to tip other entities such as the hotel maid service.

Deadline to apply is March 6, 2020. Participants will be notified by March 30th. 

To be rescheduled in 2021

IFWTWA vets all applications prior to submittal to the Host. Vetting includes verification of member's association status and member profile. Dues must be current at the time of application and during the time the media trip will take place.