In these times where "big box" stores are pulling business away from downtown areas, Gloucester has a vibrant, bustling downtown with a variety of shops, great restaurants, art galleries, museums and attractions. There are a number of reasons for this, the largest of which is that the harbor is also here. In any typical town or small city (Gloucester is a city of approximately 28,000) you would have a downtown retail/business area with stores and offices, and larger industry would be separated in an industrial park. What makes Gloucester different is the harbor. Fishing and related industries are reliant on the waterfront, so the downtown becomes a mix of entertainment, art, culture, dining, retail and industrial. It's part of what makes Gloucester unique and interesting. The downtown area is great for walking. We say "area" because it is more than just Main Street, as you'll see. You could be easily interested and occupied for as much as 2-3 days with everything it here. It is not "touristy", but tourists find it interesting and scenic. We have organized it for you so you can make the best use of your time, and see and learn as much as possible. Parking is reasonably easy to find - most of it is metered, so bring quarters. By the way, if you find this guide useful, please mention it to your innkeeper.
There is a great map you can find at just about every inn or information booth, called the "Gloucester TourMap". It has a detailed map of the downtown, with stores, restaurants, bathrooms, parking areas and everything else you might want to know. Along with this guide, you'll have all you need to experience and enjoy the harbor and downtown.