Boston & Salem: Accessible Travel

Boston

I must admit that I am a fan of Boston.  I have loved American history since my school days (in Argentina!) and find it fascinating that I get to relive parts of it when I visit Boston.  Plus, who wouldn’t like such a vibrant, historic and progressive American city?  Now that states have begun to open up (and with Covid rates really low and vaccination rates high in Massachusetts), you could see tourists everywhere in Boston.  We were part of them.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is a unique city as it tries to blend the old and the new.  It is here that we found it quite challenging to recommend navigating the city without a guide or someone who could point to all the “new roads” if you or your loved one has difficulty with motor skills.  There were certain areas that needed to remain untouched for historical reasons, and some of them were extremely difficult to navigate for those of us without physical disabilities.  They would be impossible to navigate for those who have motor difficulties.

If you are interested in travelling to Boston, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to enjoy the historical sites, wonderful views of the Back Bay, and wonderful heritage of food.  Make sure that you have someone with you who can test the area and most of all, avoid the “old” area of town.  Stick to the new construction, which is all ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant, and you should be able to absorb the beauty of this wonderful city.

The Public Gardens

Boston is a bustling city that is still a little quiet due to Covid, but could become quite crowded in the summer months.  If you or your loved one can become easily overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the city, Boston offers a lot of different spots that can serve as oasis.  Those are some of the hidden parks, squares, and lots of restaurants and cafes that can offer you a moment to unwind, relax, and enjoy your surroundings little by little.  Make sure you include them in your itinerary and you should be able to avoid the noise of the crowds.

Salem

Salem, Massachusetts

Salem is about a 45-minute drive from Boston, and a must-see if you like quirky, fun cities, that have something unique to offer.  We had a wonderful meal at Gulu Gulu café (lots of vegetarian and vegan options!), walked the pedestrian walkway, had hot chocolate at Kakawa Chocolate House, a must-visit if you love hot chocolate, and spent about 30 minutes doing the Witch Hunt Museum tour.

Gulu Gulu Cafe

Salem is an accessible city, with plenty of opportunities for people with limited mobility and motor difficulties to navigate and not have to miss a beat.  There is a lot of sensory stimulation around, from the colors, noises (music, cars, people, etc.), and the ambiance.  But there are lots of places to stop and relax.  If you have limited mobility, are easily scared, or have sensory issues, then perhaps skip then With Hunt Tour and walk the pedestrian walkway.  There are plenty of places to stop and take a few minutes to unwind.

Salem, Massachusetts

The Bottom Line

Visit Boston!  Visit Salem!  They are both fun and vibrant cities that are longing for tourists to return!  Just remember our advice:  Stay within the new sections in Boston, and if you want to visit the oldest and more historic areas, go with someone that can point the alternative routes.  Keep in mind that you may need to find a park or restaurant to sit down and have a bite to unwind.  You may have to do the same if you visit Salem, with fewer physical barriers if ambulating the city.  Most of all, enjoy yourself and have fun!

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