7 Reasons Why You Need to Visit Cape Ann in New England

7 Reasons Why You Need to Visit Cape Ann in New England

March 8, 2016

Cape Ann is about 30 miles northeast of Boston and includes four different communities: Gloucester, Rockport, Essex, and Manchester-by-the-Sea. While all four share a coastline, each town offers a unique flair, perfect for making new memories. Here are just seven reasons, though there are probably many more, to visit Cape Ann for your next getaway trip. 

A Picturesque Escape

Rockport was first established in the 1800s as a port for fishing. You can still spot remnants of the fishing village as the town is decorated with colorful fisherman shacks, art studios, and restaurants. 

Explore Motif #1, a red fishing shack that housed fisherman supplies and daily fish catches. When the U.S. Naval Fleet docked in Rockport, many locals came to the shack to meet up and watch ship launches. In the 1930s, it transformed into an artist’s studio but now serves as a historic site. 

Delicious Lobster and Fried Clams 

In Gloucester, you’ll find the USA’s oldest seaport filled with lobster boats and trawlers. Rockport also has its fair share of lobster with local fishermen supplying fresh lobster to the local restaurants. Stop by Woodman’s of Essex and feast on fried clams, onion rings, and steamers.

Filled with History

Queen Anne of England inspired the naming of Cape Ann in 1623 when Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. These early settlers arrived here in search of better fishing areas; Gloucester Harbor became the fishing center for New England

Visit Hammond Castle Museum, located on the coast of Gloucester. Inventor John Hays Hammond, Jr. constructed the medieval-style-like building in 1926 to house his private collection of artifacts from ancient Rome through the Renaissance. 

Photo image of the Hammond Castle Museum in Gloucester, MA

Overlooking Gloucester Harbor, Beauport is the summer home of interior designer Henry Davis Sleeper. This famous antiquarian and collector was one of the first professional interior designers in the United States. The home includes 40 rooms filled with period furniture, glassware, books, ceramics, hooked rugs, and silhouettes. There are so many more historic sites to explore within Cape Ann. 

Artist Goldmine

Besides historical activities, Gloucester is also home to one of America’s oldest continuously working art colonies. Rocky Neck Art Colony is where many local artists have studios and galleries. This is open to the public, and checking out the local art will give you the perfect peek into the culture of Cape Ann. You’ll also discover the Gloucester Stage Company right around this area, a place where critically acclaimed performances take center stage. 

Beautiful Beaches for Boating and Swimming

Roam the gorgeous beaches in the Cape Ann region. From Singing Beach in Manchester-by-the-Sea to Long Beach and Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, there are so many beaches to choose from to get your feet wet or get a nice tan.  

Fun Outdoor Recreation

Have you been on a whale watch trip? Well, now you can in Cape Ann! Gloucester offers a variety of whale watches and harbor cruises to choose from like Maritime Heritage Charters, Cape Ann Whale Watch, and 7 Seas Whale Watch. If you’re interested in hiking, explore the Halibut Point Reservation, Crane Wildlife Refuge on the Crane Estate, or Ravenswood Park.

Accessible via MBTA Train

What’s even better about Cape Ann is that it is easily accessible by train. To get anywhere within the Cape Ann area, you can take the Newburyport/Rockport line on the commuter line. This line stops by Rockport, Gloucester, and West Gloucester.   

Come and visit Cape Ann where arts, culture, history, and culinary delights come alive.