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.
1 Cathedral Ave., Rockport; theemersoninn.com
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.
Ocean House Hotel
107 Atlantic Rd., Gloucester; oceanhousegloucester.com
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.
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.
The Market Restaurant
33 River Rd., Annisquam; themarketrestaurant.com
In 2010, they launched their restaurant with a focus on local fare. It’s open from mid-May to mid-October.
Woodman’s of Essex
121 Main St., Essex; woodmans.com
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.
The Essex Shipbuilding Museum
66 Main St., Essex; essexshipbuilding.org
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 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.
Read more onboard your Porter flight, in Issue 66 of re:porter magazine.