Beaches of Cape Ann (2023)

JUMP TO TOWN


GLOUCESTER

Starting Memorial Day weekend, 2023, Gloucester non-residents will be required to make advance reservations for parking at Good Harbor Beach, Wingaersheek Beach, and Stage Fort Park using the Blinkay app. Visit www.facebook.com/gloubeaches for up-to-date information.

Good Harbor Beach
Good Harbor Beach

Good Harbor Beach

With shining white sand stretching out into the Atlantic and picturesque views of Thacher Island’s twin lights, Good Harbor Beach is one of the most popular on Greater Cape Ann. At low tide, take a leisurely stroll out to Salt Island while at any tide one can enjoy great swimming and body surfing.

  • Lifeguards are on duty daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
  • Restrooms and showers are open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily.
  • Parking is available during the week at a rate of $30 per vehicle 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., $20 from 3 – 5 p.m.; and on weekends and holidays at $35 per vehicle 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., $25 from 3 – 5 p.m. For the latest beach information visit facebook.com/gloubeaches.
  • Gates open at 8 a.m. and are locked at 9 p.m. The beach is handicapped accessible, and a beach wheelchair is available.
  • Route 127A (Thatcher Road)

Wingaersheek Beach

Hugging the shore of the Annisquam River and extending out toward Ipswich Bay, Wingaersheek Beach is a long expanse of sand, dunes and tidal flats with a warm and cozy charm. Adults and kids alike enjoy exploring the numerous tidal pools and climbing the large rocks that adorn the beach. A long sandbar is exposed at low tide and makes for a perfect beach stroll.

  • Lifeguards are on duty daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
  • Restrooms and showers are open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily.
  • Parking is available during the week at a rate of $30 per vehicle 8 a.m.–3 p.m., $20 from 3 – 5 p.m.; and on weekends and holidays at $35 per vehicle 8 a.m. –3 p.m., $25 from 3 – 5 p.m. 
  • Gates open at 8 a.m. and are locked at 9 p.m. The beach is handicapped accessible, and a beach wheelchair is available.
  • Route 133 to Concord Street (Exit 54) to Atlantic Street

Cressy’s Beach at Stage Fort Park

Located on the lower side of historic Stage Fort Park, Cressy’s Beach is a rocky beach with breathtaking views of Gloucester Harbor. Families and couples spend countless hours during the summer enjoying cookouts, picnics and playing Frisbee on the park’s expansive lawns.

  • Dogs are allowed in the park yet are prohibited on the beach.
  • Restrooms are located within the park as well as at a privately owned restaurant located adjacent to the park.
  • Parking is available at Stage Fort Park at a rate of $20 per vehicle weekdays and $25 on the weekends and holidays.
  • There are no lifeguards.
  • Route 127 (Western Avenue) to Hough Avenue

Half Moon Beach at Stage Fort Park

Half Moon Beach is a quiet, intimate, crescent-shaped beach located at historic Stage Fort Park. Surrounded by a rocky hill and ample shady spots, it offers more seclusion from the rest of the park.

  • Lifeguards are on duty daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
  • The beach is handicapped accessible.
  • Dogs are allowed in the park yet are prohibited on the beach.
  • Restrooms are located within the park.
  • Parking is available at Stage Fort
  • Park at a rate of $20 per vehicle weekdays and $25 on the weekends and holidays.
  • Route 127 (Western Avenue) to Hough Avenue

Pavilion Beach

Near Gloucester’s famous Fishermen’s Memorial Statue (The Man at the Wheel), Pavilion Beach on Gloucester Harbor is a popular site for beachcombing and boat-watching. Just a short walk from Gloucester’s downtown, this beach is the perfect spot for a summer swim before (or after) a visit to near by restaurants and stores. A mix of sand and popplestones,

  • Pavilion Beach does not have lifeguards on duty.
  • 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.
  • Western Avenue (Route 127) at the eastern end of Stacy Boulevard

Niles Beach

Located on Eastern Point Road in East Gloucester, Niles is primarily enjoyed by residents (a resident sticker is required for beachside parking). It’s a quiet, family beach with breathtaking vistas spanning Gloucester Harbor to the Boston skyline across the horizon.

  • Lifeguards are on duty daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. from Father’s Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. 
  • Portable restrooms are available seasonally.
  • Eastern Point Road, East Gloucester

Plum Cove Beach

Located near Lanesville, Plum Cove is the perfect beach for families with small children. The cozy beach overlooks Ipswich Bay and offers a quiet day away from the crowds. It’s an ideal spot to enjoy a picnic and watch the sunset.

  • A resident sticker is required to park at Plum Cove Beach. 
  • Lifeguards are on duty daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. from Father’s Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
  • Washington Street (Route 127) in the northern part of Gloucester, near Lanesville

Beach Rules

  • All Gloucester beaches have a Carry In/Carry Out policy for trash—all visitors are advised to bring a trash bag with them.
  • Alcohol is prohibited.
  • Concession stands are open at Good Harbor and Wingaersheek beaches during the summer so patrons may purchase food, drinks, toys, and other items as needed.
  • Surfing, inflatable objects, and all other flotation devices are prohibited when lifeguards are on duty. Styrofoam boogie boards are allowed.
  • Dogs prohibited April 1 through September 30.

ROCKPORT

Long Beach
Long Beach

Front Beach

Sandy Bay acts as the beautiful backdrop for Front Beach, the perfect spot for all the swimmers and sunbathers in your group. When you’re finished with your day at the beach, restaurants and shops are just steps away. There are also many inns and B&Bs nearby providing beachside accommodations.

  • Paid on-street parking is available adjacent to Front Beach, and long-term parking is available in a privately operated lot across the street. In July and August, the CATA Park & Ride (Blue Gate Lane off Route 127) provides free parking and a daily trolley shuttle ($1 per person) directly to downtown Rockport and Front Beach.
  • Route 127A, Main Street to Beach Street, Downtown Rockport

Back Beach

Home to one of the best scuba diving areas in the region. Dive in and discover the submerged world beneath the ocean. This sandy and rocky beach is perfect for divers, swimmers, and walkers. On summer Sunday evenings, the Rockport Legion Band performs free outdoor concerts at the bandstand located just across the street from Back Beach.

  • Paid on-street parking is available along the entire extent of Back Beach.
  • Route 127A, Beach Street in Downtown Rockport

Old Garden Beach

This small sand and popplestone beach is a favorite among families with small children. An adjacent municipal park offers a beautiful view over Sandy Bay and grassy areas for picnics with friends and family. Old Garden is another favorite location for divers. The small beach parking area is restricted to those with resident parking stickers.

  • Please observe posted parking restrictions. Old Garden Road and adjacent side streets are restricted to resident-only parking on weekends and holidays. Limited on-street parking is available nearby.
  • Old Garden Road, Rockport

Pebble Beach

Water-smoothed popplestones and pebbles blanket this picturesque crescent beach. Search among the rocks for shells or bring your binoculars to capture views of Cape Ann’s sea-loving birds and the Boston skyline to the southwest. There is a rocky reef just offshore where divers enjoy the underwater life at 20- to 30-foot depths.

  • Limited parking is available on Penzance Road adjacent to the beach. Please observe posted parking restrictions.
  • Penzance Road, Rockport

Cape Hedge Beach

This is a secluded stretch of rocky beach separated from Long Beach by a short, seasonal foot bridge. Smooth sand is minimal at high tide. A quiet oasis, Cape Hedge Beach is located about 2½ miles from Rockport’s shops and restaurants. 

  • Very limited non-resident parking is available along South Street. Please observe posted parking restrictions. The Cape Hedge and Long Beach parking lot is restricted to residents only. Please observe posted parking restrictions.
  • South Street, Rockport

Long Beach

About a mile in length and lined with quaint New England beach houses, Long Beach offers one of the best views of Thacher Island’s twin lighthouses. Investigate the tidal pools, enjoy a casual stroll or jog, and soak in the sun. Enjoy the day at Long Beach and then head into town for a fresh lobster dinner.

  • Parking is available in a private, seasonally operated lot, accessible from Rockport Road, off Route 127A in Gloucester. The Cape Hedge and Long Beach parking lot is restricted to residents only.
  • Route 127A (Thatcher Road to Rockport Road)

Beach Rules

No smoking of any type allowed on any of the Rockport beaches.


MANCHESTER-BY-THE-SEA

Singing Beach
Singing Beach

Singing Beach

The sands resonate with your footsteps as you stroll this immaculate beach. Bask in its clear blue waters amid stellar vistas and enjoy a thirst-quenching Italian ice at the snack bar.

  • The parking area is for residents only (from mid-April through mid-October). Walking from the train station or the center of town is just under a mile—everyone does it!
  • $10 daily / $35 seasonal walk-on fee.
  • Visit manchester.ma.us for additional details.
  • Route 127 to Beach Street, Manchester

IPSWICH

Crane Beach
Crane Beach

Crane Beach

Crane Beach, managed by The Trustees, is a spectacular North Shore gem, and enjoyable in every season. This white, sandy beach stretches four miles along the shore with dunes, boardwalk trails and even a pine forest for hiking and birdwatching. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, a refreshment stand, bathhouse, beach store, first aid and EMT office, and restrooms are available for beachgoers.

  • In season, lifeguards are on duty daily 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Open daily from 8 a.m. until sunset. The entrance gate closes 20 minutes prior to sunset.
  • From October 1 through March 31, dogs (a fee for non-members) and horses are permitted on the beach (a fee for non-members).
  • Advance passes are required for weekends only beginning May 1, 2022 and are required daily beginning May 16, 2022. For more information and to obtain a day beach parking pass, please visit thetrustees.org/place/crane-beach-on-the-crane-estate.
  • Route Route 133 to Argilla Road, Ipswich

Pavilion Beach

Located near Great Neck Park, this small, sandy town beach is perfect for families with young children who enjoy exploring the seashore. Don’t forget to bring a pail and shovel. Public parking is available Monday through Friday. Parking lot and nearby roads are restricted to residents only on weekends and holidays.

  • No lifeguards on duty.
  • Carry In/Carry Out policy for trash.
  • No alcohol and no fires.
  • Little Neck Road near Great Neck Park