Founded in 1623, Gloucester has a strong sense of community, steeped in culture and tradition that can only be found in one of the oldest working seaports in the world. Fishermen have roamed the streets for centuries and the brave that went down to the sea in ships are memorialized on Stacy Boulevard by the iconic Man at the Wheel statue, stoically overlooking the enormity of Gloucester Harbor. The Man at the Wheel symbolizes Gloucester's ancient fishing heritage and pays homage to those lost at sea, there have been many. Gloucester is surrounded by water. Some "Glosta" natives call their home "the island", given that the heart of the city is separated from the mainland by the Annisquam River, winding its way gently south from the sun-soaked shores of Ipswich Bay, into bustling Gloucester Harbor. Water views are everywhere from small, urban in town harbor views to the vast, breathtaking ocean views of the renowned back shore.
The Jewel of the North Shore
| Sunset off Gloucester Harbor |
Gloucester has arguably the best beaches anywhere on the east coast. Wingaersheek Beach is perfect for everybody. Sand flats go on forever at low tide where Ipswich Bay meets the northern mouth of the Annisquam River. Many arrive by boat, capping off a lazy cruise from the south end of the river. If you want waves and soft sands, head to historic Good Harbor Beach in east Gloucester. GHB has it all, facing the open ocean to the southeast, you can take on the North Shore's best waves, on display nearly every day. Body surfing is a long time GHB tradition and surfers are seen all year long, including the winter months. Brr! At low tide, you can walk the sandbar out to Salt Island and explore. But you better make it quick, before the incoming tide traps you out there! The GHB sunrise is captivating and glorious. For you early risers, it's a pretty and soulful way to start the day as the sun slowly appears over Salt Island. It will stay with you. Looking for a world class sunset? Plum Cove and Niles Beaches are two of the best. Plum Cove Beach overlooks Ipswich Bay in north Gloucester and is one of the few ocean sunsets on the east coast. Every Plum Cove sunset is different as the sun drops below the horizon across the bay, replaced in the sky by a palette of reds and pinks, compliments of mother nature. Niles Beach is on the outskirts of Gloucester Harbor making it a perfect spot to watch the sun drop behind the city over the harbor. Simply stunning with sailing schooners drifting about. It's a gentle, warm sunset, illuminating the entire harbor, perfect for an end of the day meeting spot to plan your evening.
Good Harbor Beach
| Good Harbor Beach |
Gloucester's nightlife is vibrant and diverse. Main Street is charming and original, running from the world famous Gortons of Gloucester to everyone's favorite, Virgilio's Bakery in Gloucester's west end. Stop in for a fresh sandwich on a St Joseph's roll! The bread of the Fishermen. You can find any treasure at the many stores and shops along Main Street. Stop at the Lone Gull for a serious cup of coffee and some light conversation. Then enjoy one of the many restaurants and all the fresh, local seafood you can imagine. Whether it's Minglewood down on the waterfront, The Franklin Cafe on Main St, or taking in the sights of St. Peter's Square from the window seats at Drift. Main Street is alive with countless dining options including American cuisine, Italian, and my favorite, Machaca Taco and Tequila Bar on Rogers Street.
Saint Peter's Fiesta
| Photo Courtesy of DiscoverGloucester |
Community events pop up throughout the summer including Main St block parties, outdoor movies, parades, bands and fireworks over Stacy Boulevard. Gloucester's most treasured annual event is the St Peter's Fiesta, held the last weekend in June every year. Traditionally, the fishermen dock their boats and gather in St Peter's Square for the blessing of the fleet. Four days of fun and games! With the fiesta comes a grand stage with live entertainment, a carnival, seine boat races, and the internationally famous greasy pole. The Greasy Pole is an entertaining three-day competition where walkers attempt to scoot along a 40-foot, greasy pole over the water and retrieve the flag at the end. The winner and the flag are then carried throughout the streets in celebration. The Greasy Pole competition originated in Sicily around the 19th century.
Gloucester has it all. Just 25 minutes north of Boston, it's perfect for a day trip. But be careful, you may not want to leave!
If not, I'm happy to help you find your summer getaway, or your forever home.