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Gloucester (Massachusetts)

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Gloucester is a city in Massachusetts. One of the country's oldest settlements, established in 1623, it serves as America's oldest seaport. Although the sea has recently contributed less and less to the city's economy, Gloucester is still a true New England fishing center as immortalized in the movie The Perfect Storm. Rocky Neck, The longest continually operating Art Colony in North America is also in Gloucester.

Get in[edit]

Gloucester is America's oldest seaport. Established in 1623, the city's roots are tied to the sea. Even with the decline of fishing due to heavy federal regulations, the city has an active waterfront. It also hosts great museums and sites. The Cape Ann Museum has the largest collection of Fitz Henry Lane paintings in the country, Hammond Castle, built by John Hayes Hammond, the father of remote control, Beauport, built by Henry Sleeper and a National Historic Landmark, the Sargent House, home of Judith Singer Sargent, one of the country's first feminists and the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center, telling the story of the fishing industry and featuring the oldest continuously working railways in the country. Gloucester's City Hall was built in 1871 and has examples of the finest WPA murals in Massachusetts. Gloucester also features a diverse selection of fine restaurants and a delightful downtown.

By car[edit]

From Boston take I-93 or Route 1 to Route 128. It's about 35 mi (56 km).

By train[edit]

The MBTA [8] commuter rail runs from North Station in Boston to Gloucester via the Newburyport/Rockport line. The trip takes about an hour and costs $7.25 one-way.

By bus[edit]

Cape Ann Transportation Authority, (CATA), Phone: +1 978-283-7916, [9], runs buses on Cape Ann including special routes during the summer.

Get around[edit]

  • Gloucester Visitor Information Center, Off Rt. 127 at Stage Fort Park, Phone: +1 978-281-8865. Seasonal. Get a free brochure on the Gloucester Maritime Trail which describes four self guided walks.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Fisherman's Memorial Statue, Stacy Blvd. Iconic statue of a typical storm-dressed "Old Salt" at the wheel commemorating the over ten thousand Gloucester fishermen who have been lost at sea.
  • Rocky Neck Art Colony, Rocky Neck Av. off East Main. The oldest art colony in America, with galleries of local artists, bars and restaurants.
  • The Arts Map (Cape Ann Cultural Map and Directory), [1]. The Cape Ann Arts Directory and Mapping will help you find and travel the shores and inlands of Cape Ann artists, studios, museum, cultural organizations and venues. It will also connect you with worldwide listings on The Arts Map.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • 7 Seas Whale Watch Inc. (Whale Watching Tour), 63 Rogers Street, 888-283-1776, [2]. "7 Seas Whale Watch Inc." alt="" address="63 Rogers Street" directions="US 95 North (128 North) from Boston" phone="888-283-1776" url="" hours="8:30/12:30" price="" lat="" long="">7 Seas Whale Watch has been leading Gloucester whale watching tours for over 26 years. We are located on Cape Ann, just a forty-five minute drive north of Boston, in the heart of historic downtown Gloucester, MA. Cape Ann's geographic location is directly between two major whale feeding grounds, which are the summer home to numerous whales, dolphins and a wide variety of sea-birds, giving us the fastest access to the very best whale watching in New England - An exciting educational activity for the entire family.  edit
  • Moby Duck Tours, Phone: +1 978-281-3825, [10]. Seasonal. One hour tours in amphibious vehicles. $16/$10.
  • Hammond Castle [11]. Castle overlooking the Atlantic Ocean since 1929, now a museum open to the public, once served as John Hayes Hammond, Jr's laboratory and home, inventor and pioneer of remote control. Hammond held over 400 patents and built a weather chamber in his home where he tried to control rain, snow, sleet and wind inside his lab.
  • Stage Fort Park The site of the city's first establishment, with giant bronze plaque to prove it, the fort retains the original cannons used for defense pointing towards Gloucester Harbor. A good place to enjoy a picnic, have a swim at two of the parks beaches, or wander through the maze of stone step remains of the original fort. Gloucester's Visitor and Welcoming Center is also found here.
  • Sweet Dream Sport Fishing (Sport Fishing Charters), 75 Essex Ave (At Cape Anns Marina Resort Slip H8), 617-803-1197, [3]. Experience professional and top rated sport fishing charters from Gloucester MA. Join the F/V SWEET DREAM Sport Fishing crew catching School Tuna, Giant Bluefin Tuna, Cod and Haddock, Halibut, Striped Bass, Bluefish and Sharks. We feature Giant Tuna Fishing Charters, fishing on the famous Stellwagen Bank, Tillies Bank, and Jefferies Ledge.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

The main downtown area of Gloucester holds a number of local shops and restaurants for many tastes. Although the downtown area has lost the department stores it used to have, recently many new shops and eateries have opened. The area is a pleasant walk around, and it's easy to drop in and visit shops for Souvenirs, such as the Weathervane and the House of the Raven. The area is changing daily, into a more tourist friendly venue for visitors attracted to a still operational fishing port. Although the city has suffered from the loss of the fishing industry, residents have moved towards recognizing other avenues that the city can survive economically, including tourism, while still maintaining the active fishing community. The main street area has recently begun sprouting condos downtown, and a new retail spot has arisen in the former Browns Mall, where the Green Life Natural Living Store, and a kitchen specialty store are new additions to the retail scene. There is a sporting goods store called Palazolas, as well as a few bookshops, and antiques stores.

For more typical needs beyond souvenirs and an enjoyable downtown section, there are two main plazas in town, one on Eastern Avenue, and one on Bass Avenue which hold supermarkets and drug stores, along with other outlets.

  • House of the Raven (House of Raven), 141 Main St., 978-281-1624, [4]. M-F 10:10AM-5:30PM, Sat till 5PM, Sun closed. Custom picture framing on-site. Master framer with 30 years experience. Fine gold, sterling silver jewelry, gifts, cards, and souvenirs.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Latitude 43, 25 Rogers St, 978-281-0223, [5]. 11:30 AM- 1 AM. Coastal Cuisine with a modern twist. Award-Winning Sushi in a sunken in sushi pit! More than just a restaurant...a destination!  edit


  • Sugar Magnolias, 112 Main Street (downtown), Phone: +1 978-281-5310. This is one the most popular places for breakfast in town, fresh, interesting takes on breakfast foods.
  • Morning Glory, 25 Western Ave., Phone: +1 978-281-1851. Has an outdoor deck overlooking the harbor on Stacy's Boulevard.
  • Charlie's Place, 83 Bass Avenue, Phone: +1 978-281-5002. Serves a nice breakfast, inexpensive.
  • Two Sisters Coffee Shop, 27 Washington Street, Phone: +1 978-281-3378. Have some nice Swedish Nisu bread.

Lunch & Dinner[edit]

  • Amelia's, 78 Thatcher Road, Phone: +1 978-281-8855. Hit up Amelia's for a nice simple sub, or some fried seafood. Possibly permanently closed - per Eater Boston/Yelp/Google
  • Causeway Restaurant, 78 Essex Avenue, Phone: (978) 281-5256. Not fancy, huge portions, lower than average prices.
  • Destino's Subs & Catering, 129 Prospect Street, Phone: +1 978-283-3100. Some of the best subs in town, grab a cheesesteak.
  • Sclafani's Bakery, 49 Washington Street, Phone: +1 978-283-6622. Famous for their Italian subs on fresh baked bread.(Lunch Only)
  • Charlie's Place, 83 Bass Avenue, Phone: +1 978-281-5002. Nice place to get an inexpensive casual sit down lunch.
  • Maria's, 35 Pearl Street, Phone: +1 978-283-7373. Tasty local sit down pizza place with thin crust pizza.
  • Sebastian's Pizza, 56 Washington Street, Phone: +1 978-283-4407. Really great local pizza.
  • Virgilio's Bakery, 29 Main Street, Phone: 978-283-5295. Try the St. Joseph sandwich, also a great selection of Italian grocery products.

More Upscale Dining[edit]

  • Madfish Bar & Grille, 77 Rocky Neck Ave., Phone: +1 978-281-4554. Right on the water in Rocky Neck, Also a great bar w/ live Reggae band on Sunday nights in the summer.
  • Studio Lounge & Deck, 51 Rocky Neck Ave., Phone: +1 978-283-4123. Outdoor Deck, right on the harbor.
  • Passports, 110 Main Street, Phone: +1 978-281-3680. Extremely popular restaurant located downtown.
  • Duckworth's Bistrot, 197 East Main Street, Phone: +1 978-282-4426, [12]. Upscale Restaurant located in East Gloucester.
  • Franklin Cape Ann, 118 Main Street, Phone: +1 978-283-7888. Gloucester Branch of a Boston restaurant, great bar for cocktails.

  • Alchemy, 3 Duncan St., Phone: +1 978-281-3997, [13]. Popular funky restaurant, with a wood fired grill, that they make their own pizzas in.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Latitude 43, 25 Rogers St, 978-281-0223. 11:30 AM- 1 AM. (43,) edit
  • Cape Ann Brewing Co., 11 Rogers St, 978-282-7399, [6]. 11:00 AM- 11 PM Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-12 am Friday-Saturday. (43,) edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Lanes Cove House Bed & Breakfast and Vacation Homes, 6 Andrews St (Rte 95 North, to 128 North, to Grant Circle. Take the 3rd exit to 127 North and follow that for 4.5 miles. Bear left on Andrews St.), +1 978-282-4647, [7]. checkin: 3:00 pm; checkout: 11:00 am. A beautiful restored 1800s Victorian, with 3 lovely guest rooms. a roomy upscale vacation home for families, and a trendy small apartment for a couple. $120 per night. (42 North,70 West) edit

Hotels and motels[edit]

  • Atlantis Oceanfront Motor Inn, 125 Atlantic Rd., Phone: +1 800-732-6313, Phone: +1 978-283-0014, Fax 978-281-8994, [14]. Nice views, terrace or balcony, pool. $$$
  • Best Western Bass Rocks Ocean Inn, 107 Atlantic Rd., Phone: +1 800-WESTERN, Phone: +1 978-283-7600, [15]. $$$$
  • Blue Shutters Beachside Inn, 1 Nautilus Rd., Phone: +1 978-283-1198, [16]. $$
  • Cape Ann Marina Resort, 75 Essex Av., Phone: +1 978-283-2116, [17].
  • Cape Ann Motor Inn, 33 Rockport Rd., Phone: +1 978-281-2900, [18].
  • Captains Lodge Motel, 237 Eastern Av., Phone: +1 978-281-2420, [19].
  • Colonial Inn, 28 Eastern Point Rd., Phone: +1 978-281-1953.
  • Fairview Inn, 52 Eastern Point Rd., Phone: +1 978-281-1758.
  • Good Harbor Beach Inn, 1 Salt Island Rd., Phone: +1 978-283-1489.
  • Ocean View Inn, 171 Atlantic Rd., Phone: +1 978-283-6200.
  • Sea Lion Motel, 138 Eastern Av., Phone: +1 978-283-7300.
  • Twin Light Manor, 107 Atlantic Rd., Phone: +1 978-283-7500.
  • Vista Motel, 22 Thatcher Rd., Phone: +1 978-281-3410.
  • Wingaersheek Motel, 46 Concord St., Phone: +1 978-281-0100.


  • Cape Ann Campsite, 80 Atlantic St., Phone: +1 978-283-8683, [20]. 230 sites.

Get out[edit]

A trip to Rockport makes a nice day.

Routes through Gloucester
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