Salem Willows (Salem, MA)

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Date Visited: July 23, 2016

Location: 167 Fort Ave, Salem, MA

Hours: The website for Salem Willows shows their hours as being daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. but you can get in to the park before 11.  We got their just before 10 and there was already some people there.  I think the hours are the hours of operation for the restaurants and other businesses in that area.

Cost: Free

Parking:  There are about 60 metered parking spots.  The meters cost 25 cents an hour.  There is also about 50 additional free parking spots in a nearby lot and off street parking is available.

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: Family friendly, arcades, restaurants, willow trees, harbor, scenic walking path, grassy areas to grill, relax and for kids to play, jetty, place to rent surfboards and other aquatic sporting goods

As I entered Salem Willows I couldn’t help but think of my childhood of carnivals and traveling shows.  My friends and I would be so excited when the fair came to town.  Now, the fair is always in town.  In these days of sit down eateries and chain restaurants, it was refreshing.  If you d go, try the slushies or get a cone at Cappy’s!

Salem Willows has changed so much since its original opening in 1880.  Willows Pavilion which featured a skating rink and restaurant dominated the landscape.    Now, the area where the takeout food vendors are located still keeps the name of “on the line”.  But, the restaurants are much different.  In place of the sit down, grand restaurants stand take out vendors and ice cream shops.

There is also a stage for bands and other entertainers to perform.  Named after former  Salem resident and veteran, the Robert F Hayes Band Stand holds a summer concert series every year as well as holding other events.

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But, there is so much more to Salem Willows than nostalgic stroll past the smell of flour dough and the buzzing and ringing from the vendors and arcades.  Salem Willows is also, as the name would suggest, known for all of the willow trees planted to offer shade and beauty to the area.

The mostly shady loop around the bay and back too the parking area is an easy half mile walk.  Along the way there are benches to sit on and a jetty to fish off or just enjoy the views. The views from the bay were very pretty.  A variety of flowers and scenic views frame the busy blue waterway.

There was a lot of activity on and in the water at Salem Willows.  That is a man swimming in the last photos

There is also a place to rent surf/paddle/body boards and other watercraft and flotation devices.

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Salem’s love of art is evident even in the most unlikely places.  These trash cans and rocks displayed some of the street art of Salem.  I especially like the art on the rocks.  Each block has a different symbol of the area painted on them.

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Salem Willows is a great place to bring your dog for a short walk.  Dixie, a 4 year old Maltese, was enjoying the seasonal weather and cool breeze when she stopped to pose for photos for me.

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Video of “on the line” from Salem Willows

 

 

About New England Nomad

Hi I'm Wayne. Welcome to my blog. I am a true New Englander through and through. I love everything about New England. I especially love discovering new places in New England and sharing my experiences with everyone. I tend to focus on the more unique and lesser known places and things in New England on my blog. Oh yeah, and I love dogs. I always try to include at least one dog in each of my blog posts. I discovered my love of photography a couple of years ago. I know, I got a late start. Now, I photograph anything that seems out of the ordinary, interesting, beautiful and/or unique. And I have noticed how every person, place or thing I photograph has a story behind it or him or her. I don't just photograph things or people or animals. I try to get their background, history or as much information as possible to give the subject more context and meaning. It's interesting how one simple photograph can evoke so much. I am currently using a Nikon D3200 "beginner's camera." Even though there are better cameras on the market, and I will upgrade some time, I love how it functions (usually) and it has served me well. The great thing about my blog is you don't have to be from New England, or even like New England to like my blog (although I've never met anyone who doesn't). All you have to like is to see and read about new or interesting places and things. Hopefully, you'll join me on my many adventures in New England! View all posts by New England Nomad

16 responses to “Salem Willows (Salem, MA)

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