Western Avenue (Route 127) at the eastern end of Stacy Boulevard
Near Gloucester’s famous Fishermen’s Memorial Statue (The Man at the Wheel), Pavilion Beach on Gloucester Harbor is the perfect site for beachcombing and for gazing upon the plethora of watercraft as they head out to the channel. Located a short walk from downtown Gloucester, the beach is perfect for a quick dip before a trip to many of the nearby restaurants and shops just waiting for you to explore. The beach, a mix of sand and stone, does not have lifeguards on duty.
- Alcohol is prohibited.
- Limited public parking is available along Stacy Boulevard. Free public parking is also available at the nearby Saint Peter’s parking lot, located at the intersection of Rogers and Commercial Streets and adjacent to the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center located at 33 Commercial Street.
South Street, Rockport
This is a long, secluded, rocky beach separated from Long Beach by a short, seasonal foot bridge. Smooth sand is minimal at high tide. Normally a quiet beach, Cape Hedge Beach is located about 2 ½ miles from Rockport’s many unique shops and restaurants.
- Very limited non-resident parking is available along South Street. Please observe posted parking restrictions.
- Directions: From downtown Rockport follow Route 127A south for approximately 3 miles to fork at Cape Hedge Inn. Continue straight on South Street for approximately 400 yards to its terminus at Cape Hedge Beach.
60 Spring Street, Essex
Cogswell’s Grant, established in 1636 and now a historic house museum, became the summer home of collectors Bertram and Nina Fletcher Little in 1937. The eighteenth century farmhouse displays their celebrated collection of American folk art, including portraits, redware pottery, painted furniture, shaker boxes, hooked rugs, weathervanes and decoys. Everything is arranged exactly as the Little family lived with it. The property has been operated as a farm continuously for nearly four centuries and offers beautiful views of the marsh and Essex River. Special events include Kite Day in April and the Lipizzan Stallions in September. The museum is open for guided tours June 1 through October 15, Wednesday through Sunday, 11 am to 4 pm.
(Thatcher Road to Rockport Road; this beach is shared by Gloucester and Rockport)
About a mile long (hence the name), this beach offers one of the best views of Thacher Island’s twin lighthouses. Investigate the tide pools or take a casual stroll, soaking in the sun. The beach is lined with quaint New England beach houses and inns. Alcohol is prohibited. Enjoy the day at Long Beach and then head into town for a fresh lobster dinner.
- Directions from Gloucester: Continue past Good Harbor Beach on Thatcher Road (Route 127A north) for approximately 300 yards to the fork at Rockport Road. Continue straight on Rockport Road past the ice stand toward Cape Ann Motor Inn. Parking is available at privately operated parking lots (rates vary) located off Rockport Road, a short walk to the beach.
- Directions from downtown Rockport: Follow Route 127A south for approximately 5 miles to just beyond the Gloucester line, and then take a sharp left onto Rockport Road at the ice cream stand. Then follow directions above.
Essex Historical Society & Shipbuilding Museum
66 Main Street, Essex
Shipbuilding in Essex began before 1668. More than 4,000 wooden vessels have been launched from the banks of the Essex River. Visit the Essex Shipbuilding Museum to learn the story of how the determination and enterprise of a small village of New Englanders developed the American Fishing Schooner – a vessel that powered the fishing industry and changed maritime history. The Essex Shipbuilding Museum is open April through December. Summer hours: Memorial Day Weekend to October 31, Wednesday to Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. Off season hours, April to Memorial Day Weekend and November 1 to mid-December: Saturday and Sunday – 10 am to 5 pm. Guided Tours: Adults $10, $8 Seniors, $5 Children, under 5 years old free. Self-Guided Tours: $7.
White light flashing every 5 seconds.
Directions: Eastern Point Light is easily reached by following Eastern Point Boulevard to its end.
Eastern Point Lighthouse was erected on Gloucester’s Eastern Point to mark the harbor entrance in 1832. The current brick tower was built in 1890 and is 36 feet tall with a focal plane of 56 feet. In addition to the light, there is a large lighthouse station, which continues to serve as housing for the U.S. Coast Guard. One of the station’s more famous occupants was Winslow Homer. The noted artist spent a year living at the light in 1880.
Checkout some of the different sailing opportunities on Cape Ann! Companies below vary from educational and historic sails to private charters. There’s no better way to take advantage of Cape Ann’s beautiful location than to get out on the water!
Frayed Knot Sailing
Ashland Ave, Manchester
23 Harbor Loop, Gloucester
33 Harbor Loop at Maritime Gloucester
Defiance Sail Charters
211 East Main Street-Beacon Marine Basin, Gloucester
Schooner Thomas E. Lannon
63-R Rogers Street
A National Historic Landmark
White light flashing five times at 20 second intervals.
Also known as Cape Ann Light Station, the Twin Lights are the only surviving multiple lights on the coasts of the United States. The original 45-foot towers were constructed and lit in (1771 or 1789), making them among the oldest of America’s lighthouses. The stout 124-foot granite towers (with a focal plane of 166 feet) seen today replaced the original lights in 1861. The two towers, North and South, were constructed and placed so that when a ship puts sights on both towers, they point to true north, allowing sailors to check and adjust their compasses.
The Thacher Island Association provides a free boat service from Rockport Harbor to the island during the summer, with advance reservations. For more information visit thacherisland.org.
Route 127 to Beach Street, Manchester
This immaculate beach will have you singing as you look at the clear blue waters and white sands. Enjoy a thirst quenching Slurpie or Italian ice at the snack bar.
- The parking area is for residents only so you may have to walk from the train station or the center of town to enjoy this beach. Just under a mile, everyone does it!
- $5 walk-on fee.
- Directions: Route 127 to downtown Manchester to Beach Street (near the commuter rail station). Singing Beach is located at the end of Beach Street.
Good Harbor Beach
Route 127A (Thatcher Road)
With shining white sand stretching out into the Atlantic and picturesque views of Thacher Island’s twin lights, beautiful Good Harbor is one of the most popular beaches on Cape Ann. At low tide, one can take a leisurely stroll out to Salt Island while at high tide one can enjoy body surfing or styrofoam boogie boards (all other floatation devices and surf boards are prohibited). Lifeguards are on duty daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
- Carry In – Carry Out policy for trash, so all visitors should bring
a trash bag with them.
- Alcohol is prohibited. Concession stands are open during the summer so patrons may purchase food, drinks, toys and other items as needed.
- Restrooms and showers are open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm each day.
- Parking (buses prohibited) is available during the week at a rate of $25 per vehicle, and on the weekends and holidays at $30 per vehicle. Non-resident parking is limited so arrive early in order to get a parking space, especially during the summer months. Gates open at 8:00 am and are locked at 9:00 pm. The beach is handicapped accessible.
- Directions: Take Route 128 North into Gloucester. Follow the signs for East Gloucester/Rockport, and continue on through two rotaries. At the first traffic light take a left onto Eastern Avenue (Route 127 N) and follow for approximately ½ mile to the Shaw’s Plaza on your right. Turn right at the end of the plaza onto Barn Lane. At the end of Barn Lane turn left onto Thatcher Road and the beach lot will be approximately ¼ mile on your right.