In 1799, Salem’s weathered seafarers founded the East India Marine Society and began to assemble “natural and artificial curiosities” brought back from their journeys to Asia, Africa, and other distant lands. Over the following centuries, the collection grew, and while it did, the Society evolved through various shapes until it became the Peabody Essex Museum. Today, more than 1.8 million of these works invite visitors to explore the world in a facility that underwent a $200 million transformation in 2003.
The majority of works now rest in a Moshe Safdie–designed glass-and-brick building, focused around a sunny atrium whose various architectural silhouettes echo local forms. This new building joins the East India Marine Hall, built by the seafarers’ society in 1825 and dedicated in a ceremony attended by President John Adams. Today, that National Historic Landmark hosts society-member portraits and a number of the hall’s original objects; in other galleries, paintings and sculptures by Japanese, Indian, and Chinese artists hang on the walls or perch in glass cases like pies with personal-space issues. Guests can also tour Yin Yu Tang, the only complete Qing Dynasty house outside of China and a 200-year-old structure with intricate carvings.
In 2013, the Peabody Essex Museum will add exciting new displays to its rotating special exhibitions, from Faberge treasures to impressionistic masterpieces from the likes of Monet, Renoir, and Manet, as well as modern African-American art and contemporary art from India. After marveling at the skill and diversity of the artwork, visitors can drop by the Atrium Café or the Garden Restaurant for a bite to eat.
Captain William Webb bellowed to his crewmen, "Ready cannons, bring her to starboard!" as they rounded on the English ship Concord. He wasn't born a soldier, but the English had press-ganged some of his closest friends into slavery on their warships, stolen his family's livelihood, and set his home of Salem, Massachusetts, on the path to financial ruin. Like many other merchants, fishermen, and ship owners, Webb and his crew outfitted whatever boats they could find to fight the English during the War of 1812, and the 70-foot Fame was no exception. The original Fame went on 11 more journeys before being wrecked in 1814 and now lives on as a luxurious home for the retired actors of The Little Mermaid.
The Fame seen around Salem today is a direct replica of that heroic ship, built exactly as the original was in the early 19th century. Passengers on the ship's daily public sails relive the experience of navigating the Atlantic in an traditional, wooden, gaff-rigged schooner. The boat also plays host to weeklong camps, during which kids learn how to sail, tie essential knots, and read charts and maps before camping out for an evening of dumping tea in the ocean.
At Salem Wax Museum, visitors come face-to-face with some of the area's most iconic figures, including author Nathaniel Hawthorne, ruthless witch-trials judge Colonel John Hathorne, and accused witch Tituba, who sparked the city's witch hysteria in the late 17th century. But even outside the museum's doors, guests find themselves surrounded by eerie evidence of the past. Behind the building sits the final resting place of other Salem figures at Burying Point, supposedly the second oldest burial ground in the US. Right next to it, the Witch Trials Memorial commemorates the period of time where accused witchcraft ran rampant.
Throughout the year, the museum transforms the entire scene with themed seasonal attractions. In October, for instance, it sets up terrifying exhibits such as Frankenstein's Castle and houses that pass out toothbrushes instead of candy on Halloween.
The commercial passenger boat known as the Endeavour doesn't just roam the waters of Salem Sound: it also has the rare permission to land at the sound's islands. It's fitting, then, that it also has a second name: Sea Shuttle. At regular intervals, this flat, open-air boat ferries passengers between the Salem Willows Park pier and the lush Misery Islands. Managed by the Trustees of Reservation, the islands greet visitors with rugged, rocky shores, panoramic views of the ocean, and a verdant terrain of woods and meadows crossed with hiking trails and filled with loitering teen seagulls. Though it functions primarily as a ferry, Sea Shuttle also explores local wildlife; its nonprofit Sea Station division uses the vessel for marine education.
B&S Fitness Program is composed of four different fitness-related branches, all of which are overseen by cofounders Brandi and Steven Dion. At North Shore Boot Camp Company, Brandi and Steven, along with their staff, lead indoor and outdoor boot-camp classes at locations across Massachusetts. On the track, they coordinate marathons and triathlons throughout the year for B&S Event Management, and hit the races themselves as part of a running team called SpiderOne Racing. Since every team needs a home base, the duo also operates B&S Sport Science, a 10,700-square-foot facility devoted to research- and technology-based services such as ACL rehab and personal training.
Mahi Mahi Harbor Cruises & Private Events was started in 2006 on a 55-foot sightseeing boat affectionately known as The Finback. Every day, she carries passengers on scenic tours through the North Shore. Bordered by Salem, Marblehead, Machester-by-the-Sea, Beverly, and the Misery Islands, the sound?s scenic shores are dotted with lighthouses, mansions, and greenery as verdant as a national Shrek convention. Narration helps passengers brush up on their local history as they nosh on fresh meals and sip tropical drinks from the onboard tiki bar. Larger groups can cruise the same waters on the company?s newly refurbished boat, The Hannah Glover, which accommodates up to 150 guests and boasts two bars.