FAQs

Below, you will find several ‘frequently asked questions’ that we often receive from visitors around the globe as they prepare for their travel plans to Gloucester and Cape Ann.  We hope that many of these topics address your needs and concerns, however, if we’ve missed anything, please be sure to send us your questions via email at [email protected] so that we can assist you!

Where is Gloucester?

Gloucester is a coastal city on Cape Ann, about 40 miles North of Boston in
Massachusetts. Founded in 1623. It’s known as America’s Oldest Seaport and today continues to boast an authentic working waterfront. Cape Ann consists of four communities, Gloucester, Rockport, Essex and Manchester-By-The-Sea. Other neighboring towns include Ipswich, Beverly, Salem and Marblehead. Gloucester is home to award-winning beaches such as Good Harbor Beach, Wingearsheek, Long Beach, Half Moon Beach and Niles Beach. Many artists found their inspiration from Gloucester’s light and water reflections ~ Fitz Henry Lane, Winslow Homer, and Edward Hopper. Popular Summer activities include: Whale Watching, Schooner Sails, Boutique Shopping, Strolling Rocky Neck Art Colony, Sunsets, Swimming, Stand Up Paddle, Deep Sea Fishing, Biking, Hiking, and Fresh Seafood. Winter activities include museums, galleries, fireside dining, live music, bowling, shopping, lectures, classes and courses.

How do we get there?

Logan International Airport in Boston, MA, is the closest airport. It is a 40- to 45- minute drive from Logan to downtown Gloucester, depending on traffic. Visit MassPort.com for more information. Manchester Airport in Manchester, NH, is approximately 50 minutes away by car. Visit FlyManchester.com for more information. Massachusetts Transit Authority (MBTA) has a commuter rail that leaves North Station in Boston and heads North to Gloucester and Rockport several times a day. Go to MBTA.com for Commuter Train Information.

Driving by Car is pretty easy, as Gloucester is the last exit on Rt 128 heading North. you’ll find lots of parking in Gloucester, many kiosks will allow you to park for 8 hours at a time.

How old is Gloucester? What is the history behind this city?

Gloucester has a rich history. It is recognized as America’s oldest seaport with an authentic working waterfront and is also home to the oldest working art colony in America, Rocky Neck Art Colony. Gloucester was established in 1623 and named Gloucester after Gloucester, England, where many of the first settlers originated. Our town was also an important shipbuilding center as the first schooner was built here in 1713. As fishing has been the epicenter of our history, we have lost thousands of fisherman over the years. In an effort to honor those who are lost at sea, the Man at the Wheel was erected. The statue, located on the south side of Stacy Boulevard, was finished in 1923. Circling the monument are plaques with the names of those lost at sea from 1716–2001.

What is the weather typically like in Gloucester?

Here in Gloucester it is typical New England weather, which means it can change in an instant. Since we are located right on the seashore, we recommend bringing along a light sweater, in case of a coastal breeze, and keep your eyes on the local weather stations. Summer temperatures often reach in the 80’s during the day, 60-70s at night. Click here for the weather in Gloucester right now!

Where can I park? How much is parking? What about beach parking?

Gloucester has plenty of street parking available for visitors throughout downtown, which has either metered spots, or parking kiosks. Kiosk parking generally covers 8 hours of parking at reasonable prices. There are open parking lots on Rogers Street and at St. Peter’s Square, as well as Main Street with ample metered parking. Stage Fort Park has plenty of parking weather you wish to stay in the park and enjoy the beaches there, or choose to park and take the shuttle to Good Harbor Beach. Beach parking can cost anywhere from $20 to $40 depending on when you visit. For more beach parking information visit our page here.

I am coming in an RV, where can I park?

If you are coming and staying in an RV we recommend making a reservation through Cape Ann Camp Site. Here you are able to stay in a beautiful wooded area, enjoy nature, and keep your RV.

How many beaches are in Gloucester?

Gloucester is home to some of the best beaches in the north shore! We are home to Good Harbor Beach, Wingaersheek Beach, Cressy’s Beach, Half Moon Beach, Niles Beach, Pavillion Beach and Plum Cove Beach. Beach parking varies from weekdays to weekends, and beach to beach. Our beaches tend to fill up very quickly in the summertime, as we are a premier destination for summer fun. We recommend arriving early to grab a spot as we do reserve spots for our residents. On hot or busy days when the beaches are at capacity, residents only with beach stickers will be admitted. Please plan your visit to our beaches accordingly! For more beach parking information visit our page here.

Are there discounts for excursions/hotels?

Yes, we have just released our newest promotion, Christmas in July where visitors can use different codes, offers and promotions during the winter months!

Is there public transit in Gloucester?

Cape Ann offers public transit to visitors in the form of busses and shuttles. The CATA offers rides around Gloucester, Rockport and Magnolia. For more information on bus fares, stops and schedules please visit their site here. In Gloucester we also have Commuter Rail Service on the purple line which starts from North Station in Boston and takes you through the North Shore from Chelsea, to Salem, to Manchester-by-the-sea, to Gloucester, with the last stop being Rockport. For more information on the T and times, please visit their site here.

How fresh IS your seafood?

Being America’s oldest working seaport, we pride ourselves on how fresh our seafood is. We catch all different kinds of seafood, ranging from Haddock and Pollock, to Lobster and Tuna. If you take a walk by our marinas, you will see many hardworking fisherman loading up from their morning catches. Here in the city of Gloucester we also have Gloucester Fresh which is an initiative to promote locally sourced seafood here in Cape Ann. Want to meet some fisherman who helped catch that Haddock you ate this afternoon? Take a look here! If you are interested in more of our seafood, we recommend taking a self-guided Seafood Tour of Gloucester.

What is there to do?

We have an extensive list of festivals that occur throughout the year, that can be found here. Those include music festivals, art festivals, cultural events, and the annual Gloucester Schooner Festival… We also have a hearty list of daily events that appear on our website’s calendar that is updated regularly. To view that calendar, click here. These events range for all age groups, all interests and many are free events. Some of our staple activities include a sunset schooner sail, taking in an awe inspiring whale watch, visiting one of our beaches, stroll Main Street for unique shopping, visiting Rocky Neck and meeting artists in their elements, a visit to Cape Ann Museum, Maritime Gloucester, the Hammond Castle — nature walks in Dogtown or Ravenswood, there’s an endless supply of beauty and wonder here in Gloucester!

Is some of the cast of Wicked Tuna here? Can I meet them?

Yes, the cast of Wicked Tuna are from Gloucester but they are busy fisherman and are always on the move. We cannot guarantee that you will run into them, but you can visit their boats and take a look. The Cape Ann Marina is home to some of those boats, also, The Gloucester House has two Wicked Tuna boats at their docks. Visitors often get a chance to meet with Wicked Tuna captains — they are always welcoming and full of great stories! Should you wish to going fishing with the, some of the captains offer fishing charters!

How can I experience the sea?

Being a city along the shoreline has many benefits, such as being able to offer many ways to experience our beautiful ocean. There are whale watches, schooner adventures, andbeaches/lighthouses tours, kayak rentals, Stand Up Paddle, Yoga on the Beach, and more…And of course, there are several restaurants that offer the freshest seafood along the shore.  You can sit and watch the world go by, as you enjoy your meal. Feel free to click any of the inks above to plan your visit today. If you just want to have a gorgeous seaside view visit our page for waterfront dining options.