|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 Fast Ferry at least one way.|
From mid-May through October, the Salem Fast Ferry operated by Boston Harbor Cruises speeds between Boston's Long Wharf (map) and Salem four or five times daily in each direction. The voyage takes about 55 minutes. More...
The train trip from Boston to Salem Depot (map), 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...
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. It's great to have a GPS or smartphone map app.
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