Gloucester Beaches

Cressy’s Beach
Located at the lower end of Historic Stage Fort Park, this rocky beach overlooks Gloucester Harbor. This is a great place to spend the day as you can sit and observe the activities on the Harbor, have a picnic or cookout, play games in the park, or just relax with a good book. Restrooms are located nearby in the park and there is a privately owned restaurant that is open to the public. Parking is available in the park lot at a rate of $10 per vehicle weekdays and $15 weekends and holidays. Alcohol is prohibited in all areas of the park and beach.

Good Harbor Beach
Located on Thatcher Road, Rte 127A, Good Harbor is a beautiful beach with lovely, white sand facing the Atlantic. At low tide, one can walk out to Salt Island while at high tide one can enjoy body surfing or boogie boards. Lifeguards are on duty Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day from 9:00am to 5:00pm daily. Surfing, inflatable objects and all floatation devices with the exception of Styrofoam boogie boards are prohibited during the hours lifeguards are on duty. Alcohol is also prohibited. Gloucester has adopted a Carry In – Carry Out Policy for Good Harbor and Wingaersheek beaches so please be prepared to carry out any trash with you when you leave. Food, drinks, beach toys, and other beach necessities are available at the concession. Restrooms and showers are available as well from 9:00am to 6:00pm daily. During periods of inclement weather, all facilities may close early. Parking is available during the week at a rate of $25 per vehicle, and on the weekends and holidays at $30 per vehicle. (After Labor Day, beaches may be open with reduced rates charged, weather permitting.) Space is limited so you will need to arrive early on a nice day in order to get a parking space. The gates open at 8:00am and are locked at 9:00pm. The beach is handicapped accessible with approximately 16 handicapped spaces in the lot and a drop off space near the footbridge. A beach wheelchair is available – ask at the collection booth upon arrival or ask the lifeguards. Buses are prohibited from the parking lot and any large groups must receive a permit ($25 per permit). D

Half Moon Beach – Half Moon is a small quiet beach located in historic Stage Fort Park. It gets its’ name from the crescent shape of the beach. Lifeguards are on duty Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day from 9:00am to 5:00pm daily. Restrooms are located nearby at the Visitors Center and there are plenty of areas to enjoy a picnic or cookout. Parking is available in the parking lot for $10 per vehicle weekdays and $15 weekends and holidays. Alcohol, floatation devices, and inflatable objects are prohibited. The beach is handicapped accessible with a concrete ramp leading down to the beach area.

Niles Beach
Located on Eastern Point Road in East Gloucester, this beach is enjoyed primarily by residents. Parking is limited and restricted to vehicles with a current City of Gloucester beach sticker. portable toilets are available and lifeguards are on duty from Father’s Day weekend to Labor Day from 9:00am to 5:00pm daily.  Alcohol, floatation devices, and inflatable objects are prohibited

Pavilion Beach
This beach is located on the Eastern end of Stacey Boulevard in the area known as “The Fort”. Parking is very limited and there are no restrooms. portable toilets are available a short distance away on the Boulevard. Alcohol is prohibited and the beach is not guarded.

Plum Cove Beach
Located on Washington Street in the northern section of the City, this small, quiet beach has been enjoyed by families in Lanesville for many years. It is a great place to bring small children due to the small confines of the beach. Parking is limited and restricted to vehicles with a current Gloucester beach sticker. Lifeguards are on duty Fathers Day weekend to Labor Day from 9:00am to 5:00pm daily. Alcohol, floatation devices, and inflatable objects are prohibited.

Wingaersheek Beach
Situated in the western part of Gloucester at the end of Atlantic Street off Rte. 133 and Concord Street, this beautiful beach runs along the Annisquam River and Ipswich Bay. At low tide the beach extends out for hundreds of yards and a long sandbar is exposed that makes for a great place to walk. Lifeguards are on duty Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day from 9:00am to 5:00pm daily. Surfing, inflatable objects and all floatation devices are prohibited during the hours the lifeguards are on duty. Alcohol is prohibited on the beach and Gloucester has adopted a Carry In – Carry Out policy at Wingaersheek and Good Harbor beaches so please be prepared to carry out any trash with you when you leave. Food, drinks, beach toys, and other beach necessities are available at the concession. Restrooms and showers are available as well from 9:00am to 6:00pm daily.

During periods of inclement weather all facilities may close early. Parking is available during the week at a rate of $25 per vehicle, and on the weekends and holidays at $30 per vehicle. After Labor Day, beaches may be open with reduced rates charges, weather permitting. Space is limited so you’ll need to arrive early on a nice day in order to get a parking space. The gates open at 8:00am and are locked at 9:00pm. The beach is handicapped accessible with approximately 16 handicapped spaces in the lot. A beach wheelchair is available – ask at the collection booth upon arrival or ask the lifeguards. Buses are allowed only during the weekdays at a rate of $40 per bus to park. Buses are not allowed to drop off groups and park elsewhere without first paying the parking fee. All groups attending must make a reservation and receive a permit (fee is $25 per permit) before coming.

Everyone loves lighthouses. Visitors to Cape Ann can see six different lighthouses, built as aids to navigation for fishermen:

Annisquam Lighthouse. Gloucester
Built in 1897. A Coast Guard family lives at the station, which is closed to the public. The lighthouse is visible from Wingaersheek Beach and from parts of Annisquam.

Eastern Point Lighthouse, Gloucester
At the entrance to Gloucester Harbor, sits a spectacular 2,250’ granite jetty, known as DogBar Breakwater, or just the Breakwater. Visitors can enjoy the walk to the end, with lovely views of Gloucester Harbor on one side and the open ocean (and the Boston skyline) on the other. The lighthouse station itself is owned by the U.S. Coast Guard and is closed to the public. The breakwater next to the lighthouse is open all year, with good views of the lighthouse. There is a fee for parking in the adjacent lot owned by Mass Audubon, as part of the Eastern Point Wildlife Sanctuary.

Ten Pound Island Lighthouse, Gloucester
Built in 1821 to help mariners find their way into Gloucester’s inner harbor, Ten Pound Light can be seen from many points along the waterfront.

Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse, Rockport
Straitsmouth Island, including the keeper’s house, was donated to the Massachusetts Audubon Society as a preserve for seabirds. Thacher Island Association is the owner of the lighthouse. There is no boat landing on the island and landing is not allowed.

Thacher Island Twin Lighthouses, Rockport
Located on Thacher Island, the two towers, “twin lights” were built in 1771 and are the only currently operating twin lighthouses in America. The island encompasses 50 acres and is open to visitors via a small shuttle operating from Rockport harbor.

Gloucester HarborWalk

Easy downtown walking trail with 42 “story point” markers illustrating the history and culture of Gloucester. The HarborWalk trail winds through the downtown area including the harbor, working waterfront, butterfly gardens, and many points of interest. ghwalk.org

Dogtown & Babson Boulder Trail

Miles of trails, huge granite boulders and dense woods, old cellar holes. Boulders inscribed with inspirational phrases. Map available at Cherry Street entrance and local bookstores. Dogs welcome.

Stage Fort Park

Site of Gloucester’s first settlers’ fishing stages (used to dry fish) from 1623. Lovely park overlooking Gloucester harbor encompasses two beaches, children’s playground, baseball field, basketball, volleyball and tennis courts. There are picnic tables and cooking areas (Bring your own grill), a visitor center and bathrooms. A gazebo on the hill hosts summer concerts and can be rented for wedding ceremonies. Home to the new Gloucester Dog Park. Leashed dogs are allowed in the park but not on the beaches. Owners must pick up after their dogs. There is a fee for parking. 

Ravenswood Park

Miles of hiking trails through fern gullies, boulder strewn deep woods, June blooming mountain laurel and swamps. Visitor Center (open weekends 10-3), street and mountain biking, snow shoeing and cross-country skiing. Free parking. Rt. 127/Western Avenue, Magnolia.

Red Rock & Calvary Boulder Field

Short hiking trail to 360º views of Cape Ann. Rock climbing. Free parking, Rt.133 exit 14 off Rt.128

Halibut Point Reservation

Gott Avenue, Pigeon Cove, Rockport. Scramble across ledges scarred by the granite industry and examine tide pools teeming with marine life. Hiking trails overlooking Ipswich Bay. Views to the Maine coast.

Beaches, Parks & Lighthouses Map

RSS Tides.info: Gloucester Harbor, Massachusetts