Pickering Wharf (tel. 978/740-6990; www.pickeringwharf.com), at the corner of Derby and Congress streets, is a waterfront complex of shops, boutiques, restaurants, and condos. It's popular for strolling, snacking, and shopping, and the central location makes it a local landmark. Tiny Front Street, a block from the retail-rich Essex Street pedestrian mall, is home to several shops that cater to needlecrafters. I especially like Seed Stitch Fine Yarn, 21 Front St. (tel. 978/744-5557; www.seedstitchfineyarn.com), which is across the street from the Boston Bead Company, 10 Front St. (tel. 978/741-2323; www.bostonbeadcompany.com).
You can't go more than a couple of blocks downtown without passing a fortune-telling parlor, and several shops specialize in witchcraft accessories. Bear in mind that Salem is home to many practicing witches, mystics, and others who take their beliefs very seriously. Crow Haven Corner, 125 Essex St. (tel. 978/745-8763; www.crowhavencorner.net), and the Broom Closet, 3 Central St. (tel. 978/741-3669; www.broomcloset.com), stock everything from crystals to clothing.
Confection Connection -- Shops throughout New England sell the high-end chocolate creations of Harbor Sweets, Palmer Cove, 85 Leavitt St., off Lafayette Street (tel. 800/243-2115 or 978/745-7648; www.harborsweets.com). The retail store overlooks the floor of the factory; tours begin Tuesday and Thursday at 11am (call ahead to confirm). The deliriously good sweets are expensive, but candy bars and small assortments are available. Closed Sunday except before candy-intensive holidays.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.