Escape to the Cape

Just shy of an hour drive from Boston Logan International Airport, you’ll find the beautiful communities that make up Cape Ann. Warm welcomes, open doors, slow conversations and a creative hustle are what you can expect on your next visit to this charming town.

We’ve listed a few of our favourite places worth visiting the next time you’re in Cape Ann.


Emerson Inn

1 Cathedral Ave., Rockport;

Parts of this 36-room beauty, including the library, evoke the bygone days when its namesake, the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, stayed here. Situated by the ocean, with a bar that puts its Prohibition-era dry status to shame, this grand hotel offers the perfect setting to pen your next chapter.

Emerson Inn



Ocean House Hotel

107 Atlantic Rd., Gloucester;

Real estate developer George O. Stacy built this Colonial Revival “wedding cake house” in 1899 for his wife, Jane, but she didn’t care for the isolated locale. He kept the property and rented it to families, who returned time and again to take in the ocean views. It remains a favourite spot for families and couples alike.

Ocean House Hotel



Bearskin Neck, Rockport

An eclectic mix of storefronts and art galleries starts at the centre of town and continues out to a breathtaking spit. Among the finds: jewellery from the Wicked Peacock accessory boutique and saltwater taffy from Tuck’s Candy and Gifts.

Bearskin Rock, Rockport


The Market Restaurant

33 River Rd., Annisquam;

In 2010, they launched their restaurant with a focus on local fare. It’s open from mid-May to mid-October.

Market Restaurant


Woodman’s of Essex

121 Main St., Essex;

If you crave fried clams, you must try these. Legend has it that Lawrence “Chubby” Woodman invented the dish here over 100 years ago. His family, who swear by the story, still run the seafood restaurant five generations later.

Woodman's of Essex



The Essex Shipbuilding Museum

66 Main St., Essex;

This facility preserves over 300 years of local shipbuilding. Essex constructed some 4,000 wooden vessels — including more two-masted fishing schooners than any other town in the world — and many families who toiled to achieve that feat still live in town. “My grandfather’s fishing boat, which I worked on as a kid, was built right where I park my car,” says curator Justin Demetri. “If you come from a Gloucester fishing family, chances are you have some connection to that history.”

Essex Shipbuilding Museum


Essex Walking Tour

The easy, self-guided Historic Essex Walking Tour, with 16 points of interest, provides a fine introduction to the area’s shipbuilding past. Pick up a free map from the small boxes along the Main Street route.

Essex Walking Tour

Read more onboard your Porter flight, in Issue 66 of re:porter magazine.