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Peabody Essex Museum, Salem

4.6
#2 of 66 in Things to do in Salem
Specialty Museum Museum
One of the oldest and largest art museums in the U.S., Peabody Essex Museum houses close to 2 million pieces. Originally founded in 1799, the museum now has 22 different buildings. Explore themed exhibits, including art pieces from Africa, Oceania, America, and an extensive collection of Asian art. Check the museum's schedule of events for information on the frequent temporary exhibits, family craft days, and music festivals. Peabody Essex Museum is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our world travel planner, Salem Edition.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
1,560 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • I've been to PEM 2 or 3 times now, and it's one of the best museums around. Their exhibitions are sometimes unexpected but always interesting, and I end up feeling so enriched when I leave. If you're ...  more »
  • We went to this Museum in early August. We saw 2 major exhibits at the museum. the Chinese House and the Cruise exhibit. There was an extra charge for the house but it is well worth it. You get an aud...  more »
  • We were attracted by the posters and adverts for the horror and sci-fi exhibition which started only a day before our very short visit to Salem. The PEM itself is a very cool looking building, well-lo...  more »
Google
  • Outstanding variety of artists, genres and medium. They have a whole section on maritime art- both historical and modern. Upstairs contemporary exhibits were really fun and captivating. The kids section with hands- on exhibits was fun for adults as well. I really loved the sand dune in a coffee table... Kinda hoping I can get someone to build me one. Endlessly fascinating to watch.
  • There are a variety of special exhibits going on that change every few months along with continuing exhibits with art relating to the area's history and its connection to China through trade. In the atrium there is a lovely gift shop and a comfortable area to grab a bite to eat, or just get something to drink.
  • Cool exhibits! You won't be bored, definitely check out the lunar exhibit. The art and all the information offered makes it worth it. The food there is expensive though, but there are lots of places to eat close by.
  • I'm not really a "museum" guy, but we wanted a little break from the witch stuff. I was pleasantly surprised. Plenty to see here and interesting as well. A lot of history and real artifacts. Very nice staff.
  • The PEM is such a great museum. It tells the history of Salem's trade with the Far East as well as having amazing special exhibits. There are lots of paintings by New England masters, models of ships, figure heads, and many Asian artifacts. All of the exhibits are well curated and the rooms are pleasant to be in. The museum is laid out well and the collection is prolific.

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Where to stay in Salem

There are a number of accommodations within walking distance of downtown, enabling you to make the most of Salem’s nightlife and dining options. Those who want a room rich with character should look to the outskirts of the city. There you can find a number of charming bed and breakfasts, several of which are in restored century-old homes. A house or apartment rental is ideal if you're on vacation for a longer period of time.
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