With a colorful and captivating past Salem is still making history, and one of the best ways to see everything the coastal village north of Boston has to offer is by camping.
Best known for the witch trials of 1692, which resulted in the execution of 14 women and five men, the area spawned literary classics like “The Scarlet Letter” and “The Crucible.” Today, Salem is a draw for history buffs, occult travelers, and festival goers. Here are our picks for 5 of the best places to spend time in an RV or tent near Salem.
Winter Island Park
Winter Island Park, situated on the shores of Salem Harbor only two miles from downtown, is Salem’s self-managed campground. This park boasts the honor of also being the closest campground to Boston. There are 22 tent sites with electricity and 28 RV spaces. The place is part of Salem’s history as the location of the town’s first tavern, first shipyard, and home to a circa 1643 fort—renamed Fort Pickering—which is now a public park and urban campground. Because of its proximity to town, ground fires are prohibited but guests can bring raised fire rings.
50 Winter Island Rd
Jellystone Park™ Cranberry Acres
A Jellystone Park campground is as much a destination as the destination itself on any vacation. This Massachusetts camping resort is packed with activities. Campers enjoy an interactive water playground, mini-golf, and even gem mining. Nature lovers get active on Ben’s Pond or the nature trails. Gamers compete in Arcade Alley or the laser tag course. Active sports and activities like gaga ball, volleyball, and horseshoes complement a series of daily and weekend activities. RV owners can choose between back-in and pull-thru premium options. Tent sites are limited. Cabins offer all the amenities of home for families up to 8 and most are pet friendly. 20 Shoestring Rd, Carver
Winding River Campground
Hank, the friendly face at Winding River Campground, invites everyone to step back in time, but enjoy all the amenities of today in this New Hampshire resort campground 40 miles north of Salem. The new Town Center looks like old timey Main Street and is home to the general store, Hank’s Cantina Restaurant, and the arcade. RVs, pop-ups, and tents are all welcome at this family campground featuring loads of activities and fun—like the bounce pillow, gem mining, live music, and outdoor movies. Winding River has six cabins with electricity and HVAC, private baths, and places to cook. 190 Court Street, Exeter, NH
Cape Ann Camp Site
Gloucester, home of Cape Ann Camp Site, is the Whale Watch Capital of the World and serves as a great jumping off point for those looking to explore coastal Massachusetts. Situated 15 miles up the coast from Salem on the banks of the Annisquam River, this campground appeals to nature lovers. More than 200 sites for everything from tents to big rigs are nestled into the surroundings. There are six toilet and shower buildings and a small campsite store stocked with ice and wood. Open seasonally from May through October, the campground is pet friendly and only a short drive to Boston. 80 Atlantic St, Gloucester
An hour’s drive from Salem into New Hampshire puts a family of six at the Normanton Farms Coleman-outfitted camp site operated by a former South African farmer who made his new home in the Granite State. This single site camp overlooks the Merrimack River north of Nashua and is popular with river enthusiasts and anglers. Well behaved pets are allowed. This campsite is equipped with a Coleman skillet, lobster pot, small pot, grill tongs, and spatula for use with the campfire or propane grill. Flashlights and lanterns are also provided. Across the river is the town of Merrimack. Charles Bancroft Hwy, Litchfield, NH