The Salem Insider

Insiders guide to food, entertainment & living in Salem Massachusetts for tourists and residents.

Trolley Tours in Salem Massachusetts

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Categories: business, seasonal, tourism, travel

Spring is here and that means the hibernating tourism establishments are coming out of their winter slumber. The first notable sign is the local trolleys coming back to our streets.

See Salem from a Trolley Tour

There are two tour company’s that operate in Salem, City View Trolley Tours and Salem Trolley. I noticed both companies were out this past weekend. City View has taken up residence in an empty retail space on Essex Street and is looking for employees if you need a cool April through October job. Both Companies start their regular schedule next week, in the beginning of April.

Salem Trolley
(c) jdong

Salem Trolley
8 Central St.
978.744.5469

Salem’s original narrated Trolley Tour, the red Salem trolleys that you see around town have been here since 1982. For a flat fee you can board this trolley and take a one hour 8 mile ride around town. One reason tourists love the trolley is because with your ticket you can get on and off the trolley all day long. It is so convenient for someone who isn’t familiar with all the side streets of Salem and still wants to maximize their sight seeing time.

Salem Trolley’s fleet consists of two handicapped accessible trolleys and two traditional ones. Their service runs from 10am to 5pm and a map of stops and times is available here on their website. You can also charter a trolley if you are having an event in Salem.

Ticket prices (available at select locations in town)
Adults $12
Seniors $10
Kids $3
Toddlers free when accompanied by an adult so don’t let your 1 year old ride the trolley by himself.
They also have a variety of combo packages.

City View Trolley
(c) City View Trolley Tours

City View Trolley Tours
PO Box 729
Salem MA 01970
978.594.0969

City View is the new kid in town and is easily recognized by their silver trolleys. Their business has been running in Boston for over 25 years, but they just came to Salem a few seasons ago. With nine stops, including one at the Salem Ferry, the City View tour is a one hour narrated historical ride. Like it’s competition, you can get on and off all day at whichever stop you wish. Unlike it’s competition, City View offers service to the ferry and MBTA Commuter Rail station. A full map of stops is available here on their website.

Ticket prices (available onboard or online)
Adults $12
Students & Seniors $10
Kids $5

Seeing Salem MA from a different perspective

Regardless of which Trolley company you decide to try, they are an excellent way to learn more about Salem. I always suggest to new visitors and locals alike to give it a ride at least once a year. Each driver has a different perspective and is knowledgeable about different aspects of Salem’s history. One driver might know more about the maritime history where another might have a better understanding about the early settlers and witch-related items. Either way you slice it, seeing things from a new angle is always a treat.

4 Responses

  1. amy says:

    Use the cityview tours! they were great!

  2. Dan says:

    I was in the city for 2 days and took both trolleys. The cityview people seemed like they started their job on my tour. Not very good at the information they gave out. The Salem trolley was so so much better. Their guides were expirenced and very happy to help with suggestions in the area. If you go, take the Salem Trolley. If you want to waste your money and time take the City View Trolley.

  3. Michele says:

    Actually, both trolleys stop at the Ferry landing. City View follows the route established by The Salem Trolley. Also, the Salem Trolley prices are different from what you’ve listed; $13 for adults (15-59), $12 for seniors (60 and up), and $5 for children (6-14, 5 and under is free). They also offer a combo ticket with Haunted Footsteps walking tour.

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