Close your eyes and picture the perfect New England beach community. Picture the fresh seafood. Imagine cracking a bright red lobster shell and drizzling butter on top of juicy lobster meat. Think of sinking your toes into miles of beautiful beaches and looking out to the water to find the horizon spotted with majestic lighthouses that have been guiding ships to New England for over a century. Now open your eyes and take a look at Cape Ann.
Whether it is a family vacation, a trip for two, or your love for the beach, Cape Ann is a beautiful New England destination for the summer… or any season.
Cape Ann encompasses Gloucester, Rockport, Essex and Manchester-by-the-Sea and is America’s oldest seaport and art colony.
Located only one hour from Boston, it is a premier vacation spot for anyone looking for a quick getaway, or an extended trip.
Miles from Boston (roundtrip): About 60
Travel Time: About 2 hours
Beautiful North Shore Beaches
Cape Ann has a 25-mile coastline, which allows visitors to choose where they want to soak up the sun. Crane Beach is one of the several beaches vacationers can choose from. What makes this four-mile stretch of beach so special is its white sand and the scenery. The sands stretch along Castle Neck and provide a breathtaking view that will show you what it means to be the perfect New England beach.
Good Harbor Beach, dubbed one the most popular beaches north of Boston, is a destination where beachgoers can sunbathe, swim and even check out the beach’s salt marsh that is protected by picturesque sand dunes. Good Harbor Beach is such a popular spot because of its vast size. Even on the hottest of days, you can enjoy the ocean without being surrounded by huge crowds.
Are you taking kids on your trip? Not a problem. Wingaersheek Beach is considered a kid-friendly water spot. The beach’s waters are relatively warm and the sloping land creates wading areas during low tide for small children who do not want to venture out. Most importantly, there is a snack bar and bathrooms… two very important things when traveling with children.
Lighthouses are a beautiful part of New England and several of them pepper the coastline of Cape Ann. Each lighthouse in the region provides a very unique view, and all of them promise to show you what New England lighthouses are all about.
But the lighthouses are not only for visitors to experience, they still act as stations for the Coast Guard and have been helping guide boats and ships through New England for more than 100 years.
Some of the areas lighthouses have even housed famous people. The Eastern Point Lighthouse acted as a home for the artist Winslow Homer in the late 1800s.
Whale watching is a signature piece of Cape Ann. The region is known as the “whale watching capital of the world.” Jump on a boat and on your way out sea, check out Cape Ann’s protected lands that are home to hundreds of species of birds and wildlife.
Some tours out of Cape Ann even guarantee whale sightings. Dolphins and fun fish can also be seen while on your trip off Cape Ann’s shores.
Not only can you go on a whale watch while you’re on vacation, you can rent boats, go kayaking, sailing and even go on a fishing trip!
Coolidge Reservation, located in Manchester-by-the-Sea, is a 64-acre reservation that is part of historic Coolidge Point. The reservation offers a beautiful ocean lawn view and large trees that provide shade to all the reservation’s visitors; it’s also a beautiful spot for a picnic! Look out from the reservation’s Ocean Lawn and see the breathtaking view, which includes Black Beach, Kettle Island and the Trustees’ Great Little and Little Misery.
Visitors can also take a one-mile walk on a trail that will take you around Clarke Pond, Magnolia Beach and the Ocean Lawn.
Cape Ann is a beautiful destination that should be on your vacation list. If you want a perfect New England beach getaway — whether you are going away with family or your significant other — head to Cape Ann. You will not be disappointed.