Category Archives: Gloucester

Beaches of Cape Ann (2023)



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 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
  • 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.


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.


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 for additional details.
  • Route 127 to Beach Street, Manchester


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
  • 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      

Gloucester & Rockport Named Two of Twelve Most Charming Towns in Massachusetts

Excepted from World Atlas

“From picturesque seaports in the south to quaint country villages in the north, Massachusetts is home to some of the most charming towns. The small-town vibe gives one a sense of nostalgia and fondness as you explore forgotten classic Americana that evoke feelings of warmth and joy. From tales about haunted homes to beautiful beaches where you can swim, fish, or watch amazing sunsets — the towns here have stories from long ago that beckon curious minds toward them.”

Gloucester – Fishing Community And Captivating Coastline

Gloucester is renowned for its long-standing fishing culture and captivating coastline. Its docks have been in operation since 1623, making it one of America’s oldest fishing communities. The historic city offers a unique opportunity to explore the rich maritime heritage of Massachusetts, as visitors can take a stroll along the docks and admire the stunning harbor views.”

“For a glimpse into Gloucester’s past, visit the Gloucester Fisherman’s Memorial, dedicated to honoring those lost at sea. Additionally, seafood lovers can sample some tasty local favorites, such as clam chowder or lobster rolls! With its picturesque views and enthralling atmosphere, it’s no wonder why Gloucester remains one of New England’s favorite destinations.”

Rockport – Picturesque Harbor And Quaint Galleries

Rockport is a picturesque harbor town with plenty of charm. Its rocky coastline and historic homes make it a popular spot for visitors to explore. It also features 30 galleries featuring the works of 400 unique artists making it an active art community.”

“One of the most popular attractions in Rockport is Bearskin Neck, where you can take in stunning views of Rockport Harbor. Not only is this area great for sightseeing, but there are also restaurants, shops, and other activities available along the neck. If you’re looking for a charming New England getaway that offers stunning views, quaint galleries and beautiful scenery, then Rockport is your ideal destination!”

63rd Annual Gloucester Sidewalk Bazaar

The 63rd annual Gloucester Sidewalk Bazaar is scheduled to take place this weekend, Thursday through Saturday, August 4th to 6th on Main Street in downtown Gloucester.

This year’s event features over 55 participating merchants, vendors and non-profits. The Sidewalk Bazaar is the largest Gloucester marketplace event of the year, known for days of bargains, music, food, and discounts, along with new and exciting merchandise by a variety of merchants and vendors alike.

Entertainment will be provided all 3 days by a selection of musicians. Acoustic musician A.J. Fronce will be located at the Parson Street Stage. Arnie Rosen, musician, and vocalist Deanna Brunetti will perform at the Cape Ann Savings Pocket Park. The Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team will be on hand to show and tell about their gallery of snakes. Cape Ann Bible Church will be with us again, providing games for young children.  

For the ultimate “taste of Gloucester” experience, Nana’s Fried Dough will be on deck this year, along with all the wonderful Gloucester Main Street restaurants.

Enjoy the waterfront and experience the 2022 Gloucester Sidewalk Bazaar.


A Hassle-Free Way to Plan Your Perfect Trip to Gloucester

Planning the perfect day in Gloucester, MA just got much easier! Discover Gloucester is excited to unveil the digital Gloucester Plan Your Visit Tool: an interactive way to map out everything you don’t want to miss in the Gloucester area. Designed with partners at Visit Widget, this tool provides a new way to explore what Gloucester has to offer, including hotels, restaurants, activities, boating, shopping, and more. 

“The ‘Plan Your Visit’ tool makes it easy for visitors to plan ahead, before arriving in Gloucester, but it’s also easy to use on-the-fly when they are here in town. From discovering attractions to finding a great restaurant for dinner, this addition to our website will make planning your time here easy and fun,” says Discover Gloucester Board Chair Michelle Williams of Atlantic Vacation Homes. 

Discover Gloucester has created 12 themed experiences with videos to serve as inspiration for your trip. View it all at once or search by categories like Beaches/ Lighthouses, Hotels/Motels, and Ice Creams/Sweets. No need to waste another sheet of paper – planning is now digital. With this trip planner, the Discover Gloucester team can help you get organized and maximize your time. Visit to get started! 

“This tool provides one easy place to construct a trip itinerary that captures your unique vision for your visit. Browse a detailed list of options, and pick your favorites, plotted out on a map that you can access from your mobile device, and seamlessly share with friends and co-travelers,” says Discover Gloucester Executive Director Tess McColgan. 

See an event you don’t want to miss? Click “Join” and the event will be added to your plan. That restaurant everyone keeps telling you about? Click “Add to Plan” and you won’t forget to try it. Want to invite some friends? Share your plan with them directly or via social media, email or SMS. Enjoy the experience of charting your visit to gorgeous Gloucester, MA.

This project was made possible by a grant from Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism and My Local MA.

Flowbird Parking Gloucester

Gloucester Parking Kiosks Mobile App

Going Online with Flowbird Parking App on Friday, May 27

Visitors to Gloucester have the option to pay at any one of the 79 solar powered parking kiosks or on the Flowbird mobile app. The system is setup for Pay by Plate parking where parking enforcement is managed by the driver’s license plate number. All transactions made at the pay stations, and on the Flowbird app, are sent in real-time to the City’s enforcement system.

Gloucester has utilized Flowbird parking kiosks in off-street parking lots for almost 10 years. This new implementation expands the use of parking kiosks to on-street locations, replacing the City’s single space parking meters. Drivers now have the convenience of paying with their credit card at the kiosks, or on the Flowbird app, which is available for iPhone or Android or at The convenience of the Flowbird app helps drivers avoid citations by offering text notifications when time is about to expire and the app also provides time extension functionality.

Sargent House Museum

The Sargent House Museum Among Six Institutions to Receive Works by Emily Sargent

Little-known sister of John Singer Sargent was a life-long watercolorist

GLOUCESTER, May 1, 2022 – The Sargent House Museum today announced acquisition of 15
watercolor paintings by Emily Sargent, a late 19th-early 20th century American artist and sister of famed portrait painter John Singer Sargent. The Sargent House Museum is one of six institutions including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the Tate Gallery in London, and the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology at Oxford University, to receive the artworks in a distribution by the Sargent family.

Emily Sargent
Emily Sargent – painted by John Singer Sargent

Emily Sargent, born to American parents in Rome in 1857, painted throughout her lifetime but rarely exhibited. Much of her output was presumed lost after her death in 1936, but a cache of some 440 works was found in the attic of a Sargent family home more than 60 years after her death. Following the 1998 discovery, the works remained in family hands until the current distribution.

The Sargent House Museum’s plans to exhibit the watercolors are now in progress and will likely include photographs, maps, letters and period costumes highlighting Emily Sargent’s extensive travels through Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. These locations provided the inspiration for many of the newly acquired works, most of which date to the early decades of the 20th century.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to select paintings from this distribution and delighted with this gift of Emily Sargent works,” said Amanda Hurd, past president of the Sargent House Museum board of directors and current chair of the collections committee. “The Emily Sargent works add an important component to our collections, and we look forward to sharing these beautiful watercolors with the public,” Hurd said.

The current donation reflects a long-standing relationship with the Sargent family. In 1927 Emily Sargent donated three of her watercolors to the Museum; her sister Violet Sargent Ormond donated a fourth Emily Sargent watercolor the same year. Emily Sargent also donated her brother’s portraits of their father, Dr. FitzWilliam Sargent, in 1924 and their mother, Mary Newbold Singer Sargent, in 1927. Charles Sprague Sargent donated a charcoal portrait of himself by his cousin John Singer Sargent in 1919, when the historic Sargent home became a museum.

The Sargent House Museum, a 1782 Georgian house overlooking Main Street in Gloucester, holds family portraits and sculptures; works by Fitz Henry Lane and others; New England furnishings dating to 1740; antique linens, decorative fabrics, clothing, and fine embroidery pieces; and housewares by Paul Revere and other well known early American silversmiths.

The Sargent House Museum shares its collections with the public in celebration of the house’s original occupant, Judith Sargent Murray, an early advocate of women’s rights. The Museum hosts tours of the house, walking tours of the historic downtown Gloucester neighborhood, exhibits of works by emerging women artists of Cape Ann, and webinars on women’s issues. Go to for additional information.

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