Experience Cape Ann
Named four centuries ago to honor the mother of England’s King Charles I, Cape Ann offers today’s traveler the essence of seaside New England in a compact and easily traversed area. From the sweeping coastal marshes of Essex and the scenic harbors of Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea and Rockport, to Gloucester’s welcoming beaches and Rockport’s rugged shores, Cape Ann truly has it all.
Savor a relaxing front porch view of the Atlantic Ocean at an historic inn or upscale hotel along Rockport’s and Gloucester’s shores; walk along beautiful, wide open beaches; or find unique and fun shopping opportunities. Choose among a host of dining options from boiled lobsters and fried clams in the rough to fine al fresco dining in town or by the sea. Shop among boutique stores and galleries, or cast off and sail or cruise around spectacular harbors and beyond to Stellwagen Bank for whale watching and deep sea fishing. See world class art, dig into history and enjoy the stories of our earliest settlers, some of whose homes have endured to this day.
As the birthplace of the fried clam, this charming town along the scenic Essex River and marshes yields some of the finest seafood on Cape Ann. Whether you care for a cup of clam chowder or a plate full of steamed or fried clams, you will not be disappointed. But the quiet town of just over 3,000 residents has much more to offer than great seafood. Antiquing, a premier Essex attraction for generations, remains a favorite pastime for the locals as well as visitors. Shipbuilding has been part of Essex’s heritage for more than 400 years, and draws people from far and wide to admire what it takes to build beautiful wooden ships, some still sailing Cape Ann’s harbors and waterways today! A visit to the Essex Shipbuilding Museum is a must to truly appreciate the rich ship building heritage of this small community. Kayaking or taking a cruise down the Essex River will surely give you a unique view of the tidal salt marsh as you meander with the river out toward Conomo Point and Ipswich Bay.
America’s oldest seaport, this city of nearly 30,000 residents has a storied heritage. By the mid-19th century Gloucester had become the fishing capital of North America, and fishing is still a way of life for many in the community today. Local restaurants rely on their hard work at sea and the fresh catch they bring in daily. Like their Essex neighbors, Gloucester shipwrights built many of Cape Ann’s earliest ships and schooners, dating back to 1713. Take a stroll on the HarborWalk along Gloucester’s authentic working waterfront; enjoy the panoramic vistas of Gloucester Harbor at the Fishermen’s Memorial Statue (“The Man at the Wheel”) on Stacey Boulevard or from Stage Fort Park; or tour Rocky Neck and its art colony and cultural district. Get on the water for a fun sail or cruise around the harbor, or venture farther off shore and enjoy the best whale watching and deep sea fishing in New England. We invite you to experience the fullness of Gloucester’s remarkable history, abundant attractions and unmatched scenic beauty.
Founded as Jeffrey’s Creek in the mid-1800s, this town is located at the southern end of Cape Ann. In 1989 the state legislature made the name official as a means to differentiate the town from its larger neighbor to the North. Visits to Singing Beach, aptly named because of how the sand resonates when you walk on it, Masconomo Park along Manchester Harbor and Tuck’s Point are all well worth your time. Attractive retail shops, restaurants and galleries fill the town of just over 5,000 residents. The Manchester Historical Museum’s Trask House is a must-see to get the complete story of this town known for its beautiful historic architecture.
This picturesque seaside village, located at the most northeasterly part of Cape Ann, features beautiful parks and beaches, historic lighthouses and art galleries galore. Rockport’s walkable downtown is filled with quaint shops that include bookstores, candy and gift stores, cafés and ice cream shops as well as art galleries, specialty shops, jewelers and many places to dine. A leisurely stroll along Main Street and Bearskin Neck will give visitors every imaginable opportunity to buy that perfect keepsake to remember and cherish their time on Cape Ann. Visit Halibut Point State Park or walk along Rockport’s scenic shores
Check out capeannvacations.com for more information on visiting the area.