Category Archives: visit Cape Ann

Rainy Day Activities on Cape Ann

A rainy day on Cape Ann is never a reason to despair. With a plethora of museums, galleries and shops to choose from, you’ll easily fill your day. Local favorites include Hammond Castle: Beauport, the Sleeper McCann House; Manchester Historical Museum; and the Essex Shipbuilding Museum. If you’re looking for something a bit more relaxed, take the family to Cape Ann Lanes for some bowling or visit Cape Ann Art Haven to tap into your creative side. Great memories will be made no matter what activity you choose.

Experience the Waters on Cape Ann

Cape Ann is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and also boasts the Annisquam and Essex rivers, offering endless opportunities to sail, power boat or plan on-river activities. Even if you only have a hour or two, rent a kayak or stand up paddle board, You can also stop by one of the local beaches to swim, snorkel or surf. Have an afternoon to fill. Have an afternoon to fill? Book a whale watch, lighthouse tour, schooner sail, river cruise, private boat or fishing charter. There are so many water adventures available, we recommend turning your “day on Cape Ann” into “A few days.”

Eat All Day

Many day-trippers return time and again to Cape Ann simply for the food, the freshest seafood, shellfish and fired clams you’ll find anywhere. Indulge! You can always walk it off on one of the beautiful Cape Ann beaches. Or are you looking for something a little different? Experience the community’s vibrant tradition of Mediterranean cooking ay many Italian and Portuguese eateries, or explore Gloucester’s ever-expanding range of cruise lines spanning from Lebanese to Indian to Chinese. You’ll get hungry just reading through all the wonderful options.

Shop Local

Cape Ann’s four coastal communities each have their own unique downtown shopping areas. Explore treasure-filled antique and gift shops in Essex along the Essex River. Discover the heart of historic Gloucester on Main and Rogers streets, Lexington Avenue and Rocky Neck. Indulge in the galleries in Rockport and add to your art collection, or leisurely weave in and out of Manchester-by-the-Sea’s numerous harborside shops. Each town reflects thew talent and personalities of the area’s artists and shop owners.

Beaches of Cape Ann: Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester

Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester

(Photo Credit: Paul Aquipel,

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.
Good Harbor Beach

(Photo Credit: Carol McKenzie)

Gloucester Beaches

(Photo Credit: Paul Aquipel,

Cape Ann Beaches

(Photo Credit: Paul Aquipel,

Gloucester Beach

(Photo Credit: Dwight Hebert)

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