Massachusetts: Cape Ann

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Cape Ann, Massachusetts - Gloucester, Rockport, 
Essex & Manchester-by-the-Sea

Cape Ann is Massachusetts' "other" cape, less famous and much smaller than Cape Cod, but no less interesting. This promontory of land just 30 miles northeast of Boston includes the city of Gloucester and the towns of Rockport, Essex and Manchester-by-the-Sea. This cape's close proximity to Boston offers some interesting vacation possibilities, as many visitors find lodging here and take day trips into Boston using the train. Conversely, if you're lodging in Boston, a side trip to Cape Ann is a must. Whatever your choice, Cape Ann is a great vacation or getaway spot.

Cape Ann was the second stopping point of the Pilgrims. A splinter group from Plymouth seeking good fishing grounds landed here in 1623, and dubbed it "Cape Anne" after Queen Anne of England. What they found here quickly changed the course of American history. Gloucester is a sheltered, deep-water port, a safe place to keep a vessel even in harsh winter storms. It's also located within a day's sail of George's Bank, one of the richest fishing grounds. Fishermen were heard to say that the water was so thick with fish you could simply reach down and scoop them out with your hand. With these natural advantages, Gloucester soon became America's premier fishing port. Fishing activity has recently been slowed by over-fishing and government regulation, but Gloucester remains an active port where fishermen and lobstermen go out to sea daily.

Gloucester See Gloucester Gloucester is America's original seaport, and still active and lively, after more than 375 years. This remarkable small city offers its famous harbor and waterfront, restaurants, art, museums, whale watching cruises, historic walks and much more.

Rockport See Rockport You hear the phrase "quaint seacoast village" so often that it becomes a cliche, but this description fits Rockport well. An enjoyable place to spend a day, weekend or vacation, Rockport welcomes tourists from around the world and day trippers from greater Boston for a variety of reasons.

EssexSee Essex This scenic small town has retained much of the character and charm of its nineteenth century heritage, when it was the shipbuilding capital of America. Essex offers a lot for visitors including cruises on its beautiful winding river, dozens of antique shops and famous seafood restaurants, quiet charm and beautiful scenery.

ManchesterSee Manchester-by-the-Sea Manchester is a beautiful New England town with a nice downtown area, picturesque harbor and wonderful beach. The quietest of the Cape Ann communities welcomes visitors with a number of shops, restaurants, a local museum and scenic landscapes.

Activity Highlights

Download a map of Cape Ann.