Salem has a wide variety of restaurants including outdoor cafes, ethnic eateries and fine dining establishments. For shoppers there are malls and department stores, an open market, a waterfront village, as well as a downtown retail district. Salem boasts of a wealth of museums, historic sites and attractions. For more information about dining, visit SalemMassDining or Salem Chamber of Commerce restaurant members.

Salem also hosts a vibrant artist community. There are many local artists and musicians whom have shops downtown and perform on the City streets, open spaces, and pedestrian mall. On a nightly basis, one can stop in at a local restaurant or nightspot and listen to some of the most creative music north of Boston. World famous artwork is displayed at the Peabody Essex Museum and you can learn about the extraordinary people and amazing stories behind Salem at the Salem Museum. The work of local artisans can be found displayed in many downtown shops including Artists' Row.  

The City of Salem has long had a commitment to the promotion of art and culture. The Salem Cultural Council is a local agency of Salem residents that supports public programs and educational activities in the arts, sciences and humanities. Each year, this group awards grants to local artists and cultural organizations. Local artists and theaters, such as CinemaSalem, the Salem Theatre Company, the Salem State Center for the Arts, the Griffen Theater, The Rebel Shakespeare Company and the Salem Jazz & Soul Festival provide entertainment and learning opportunities to residents and visitors alike. The Salem Arts Association, Inc. is an entirely volunteer-run nonprofit arts organization. The SAA seeks to bring art, in all its forms, to the community and bring the community, in all its diversity, to the arts in Salem, Massachusetts.