Weekend festivals, family art projects, special exhibitions; the Peabody Essex Museum is a place to gain insights into other cultures and make art come alive. Dating back to 1799, the original founders were sea captains from Salem who had traveled past either the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn. Housing the collection of objects and art they brought back from their far flung travels and merge it with that of the Essex Historical Society became the goal of the PEM. Today the diverse works representing art and culture from around the globe is one of the finest in the world. Exhibitions are presented in a unique way, linking contemporary and historical, past and present together for new understanding. Worth the trip alone is The Yin Yu Tang house, rebuilt inside the museum, which will immediately transport you to 18th century China. In addition, the gift shop is top notch and a small cafe is on site.