Gloucester (Massachusetts)

Gloucester is a city in Massachusetts. One of the country's oldest settlements, established in 1623, it serves as America's oldest seaport. Although the sea has recently contributed less and less to the city's economy, Gloucester is still a true New England fishing center as immortalized in the movie The Perfect Storm. Rocky Neck, The longest continually operating Art Colony in North America is also in Gloucester.

Get in

Gloucester is America's oldest seaport. Established in 1623, the city's roots are tied to the sea. Even with the decline of fishing due to heavy federal regulations, the city has an active waterfront. It also hosts great museums and sites. The Cape Ann Museum has the largest collection of Fitz Henry Lane paintings in the country, Hammond Castle, built by John Hayes Hammond, the father of remote control, Beauport, built by Henry Sleeper and a National Historic Landmark, the Sargent House, home of Judith Singer Sargent, one of the country's first feminists and the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center, telling the story of the fishing industry and featuring the oldest continuously working railways in the country. Gloucester's City Hall was built in 1871 and has examples of the finest WPA murals in Massachusetts. Gloucester also features a diverse selection of fine restaurants and a delightful downtown.

By car

From Boston take I-93 or Route 1 to Route 128. It's about 35 mi (56 km).

By train

The MBTA commuter rail runs from North Station in Boston to Gloucester via the Newburyport/Rockport line. The trip takes about an hour and costs $7.25 one-way.

By bus

Cape Ann Transportation Authority, (CATA), Phone: +1 978-283-7916, , runs buses on Cape Ann including special routes during the summer.

Get around



Gloucester was voted "Top 5 whale watching destinations in the World" by the World Wildlife Fund as several species of whales migrate to the shores of Gloucester every year to feed on the abundant natural resources. Whale watching enthusiasts can expect to potentially see humpback whales, northern right whales, minke whales, blue whales, fin whales, sperm whales, pilot whales among other whale species.


The main downtown area of Gloucester holds a number of local shops and restaurants for many tastes. Although the downtown area has lost the department stores it used to have, recently many new shops and eateries have opened. The area is a pleasant walk around, and it's easy to drop in and visit shops for Souvenirs, such as the Weathervane and the House of the Raven. The area is changing daily, into a more tourist friendly venue for visitors attracted to a still operational fishing port. Although the city has suffered from the loss of the fishing industry, residents have moved towards recognizing other avenues that the city can survive economically, including tourism, while still maintaining the active fishing community. The main street area has recently begun sprouting condos downtown, and a new retail spot has arisen in the former Browns Mall, where the Green Life Natural Living Store, and a kitchen specialty store are new additions to the retail scene. There is a sporting goods store called Palazolas, as well as a few bookshops, and antiques stores.

For more typical needs beyond souvenirs and an enjoyable downtown section, there are two main plazas in town, one on Eastern Avenue, and one on Bass Avenue which hold supermarkets and drug stores, along with other outlets.



Lunch & Dinner

More Upscale Dining



Hotels and motels


Go next

A trip to Rockport makes a nice day.

Routes through Gloucester

END Rockport  N  S  Manchester Beverly
END  N  S  Manchester Peabody
Beverly Manchester  SW  NE  Rockport END

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