|Boat, Train, Bus & Car to Salem MA|
|MBTA Commuter Rail trains and buses take you from Boston to Salem every 20 to 30 minutes, but it's more fun to take the fast Salem Ferry at least one way.|
From late May through late October, the Salem Ferry operated by Boston Harbor Cruises speeds between Boston's Long Wharf (map) and Salem about five times daily in each direction. The voyage takes about 45 minutes. More...
The trip to Salem's Downtown Depot, the town's train and bus station, takes about 30 minutes. Trains run about every 20 minutes during rush hours, every half-hour during the day, every hour at night and on weekends. More...
Buses leave Haymarket every 30 minutes during rush hours, every hour during the day Monday through Saturday, every 90 minutes on Sunday. Here's the schedule...
Bus 459 (Downtown Crossing—Salem Depot) connects Boston's prime shopping district with Salem Depot via Logan Airport and Lynn. It departs Boston from the corner of Otis Street and Summer Street (map). Here's the schedule...
Under good traffic conditions, the bus trips take just over an hour and end at the Salem Downtown Depot (MBTA Commuter Rail station), about 10 minutes' walk from Salem Common and most Salem attractions.
A more direct route, via US 1, is not usually faster.
The most direct route, via MA Route 1A, is slowest because it passes through many towns (and many traffic signals) along the way. MA Route 1A North becomes Lafayette Street in Salem.
Note that routes and highway signs on the North Shore can be confusing. Routes are filled with turns, and signs are inconspicuous or missing. You may have to stop and ask the way at least once.
Boston: 17 miles (27.5 km) SW
Gloucester: 16 miles (26 km) NE
Marblehead: 4 miles (6.5 km) SE
Rockport: 22 miles (35.5 km) NE
—by Tom Brosnahan