Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock/DubovaSunrise @ Back Harbor, Cape Ann, MA Brad Pierce (OWNER OF CAPE ANN INN) This is the guy that enjoys golf while your vacation is ruin

Families will love:

  • Fantastic views of the ocean
  • Sailing, whale watching and seafood galore
  • Seafaring villages

Having lived in Boston for much of my adult life, I spent my summers on Nantucket, Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard, never once considering to head north of the city to hit the beaches. When I heard talk of Gloucester, I immediately thought of the movie "The Perfect Storm," and how the seafaring town was the home of the fishermen lost at sea during a futile fishing trip. ... more
Having lived in Boston for much of my adult life, I spent my summers on Nantucket, Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard, never once considering to head north of the city to hit the beaches. When I heard talk of Gloucester, I immediately thought of the movie "The Perfect Storm," and how the seafaring town was the home of the fishermen lost at sea during a futile fishing trip. When I finally ventured to Cape Ann, Massachusetts with kids in tow, I was pleasantly surprised by the surroundings, from the seemingly never-ending blue-beyond-blue ocean views to the lighthouses and rocky shores visible from nearly all vantage points, to the artist galleries and boutiques of Rockport, to the maritime-loving town of Gloucester, which clearly honors its history and fallen fishermen.

Cape Ann, jokingly referred to as "The Other Cape," is 45 minutes north of Boston and consists of Essex, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Gloucester and Rockport. The area is littered with both sandy and rocky beaches, coves, harbors, bays, salt marshes and state parks. It makes sense when the area has 25 miles of coastline, 18 beaches, nine parks and seven lighthouses. Smaller than Cape Cod, it's easier to explore all of Cape Ann without too much driving. Gloucester, the biggest town on Cape Ann, is a key seaport for fishermen, as well as the headquarters of Gorton's Seafood. "America's Oldest Seaport" features a Harbor Walk showcasing the town's history, and takes visitors to the Gloucester Fishermen Memorial honoring more than 10,000 fishermen who have lost their lives at sea since the town's inception in the 1600s. The Gloucester Fishermen's Wife Monument also honors those left behind when their loved ones were gone for months on end, some to never return. In Rockport, Bearskin Neck is filled with artist and photographer galleries, boutiques and seafood restaurants galore. This area of Rockport, along with Gloucester's Rocky Neck area, were both named Massachusetts' first cultural districts. To get the best first look at Cape Ann, enjoy the 40-mile drive along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway before hoofing it in the various towns.

Written by Lissa Poirot less

Cape Ann (Rockport & Gloucester), MA Planning & Tips
Traveling Family with Baby

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