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Where's The Beach On Cape Ann? Right Here - With Maps & Directions From Your Room

 Lighthouse on Cape Ann's Annisquam River. 

Good Harbor Beach — Gloucester

Cape Ann is fortunate to have a number of wonderful, sandy swimming beaches. Some are large and sandy; others are hidden away and more intimate. Whatever your beach pleasure, you'll find it on Cape Ann. Here is a brief description and some helpful hints in hitting the beach. For maps and directions from your room see the list at the bottom of the page.

Stage Fort Park Beaches, Half Moon and Cressy's Beaches, Route 127, Gloucester
There are two beaches here as well as a large wonderful park. This is a great family picnic area, with plenty of room (acres) to roam around. There are walking trail, picnic areas, rocks to walk on, a ball field, bathrooms, lifeguards and a large parking lot. Parking is free for residents and paid for visitors. Stage Fort Park is a great place to take the kids to walk around and amuse themselves for a few hours even if it's not a beach day. There are two beaches here:

 Lighthouse on Cape Ann's Annisquam River. 

Half Moon Beach — Stage For Park, Gloucester

Half Moon Beach: Facing Gloucester Harbor, this is a relatively small sandy beach with good swimming. It's a very pleasant setting with a high rocky knoll behind. Because the park surrounds the beach you can get out of the sun easily if you want. The view across the harbor as you sit on the beach is picturesque and constantly changing with a parade of distant whale watch, fishing and sailboats going by.


Cressy's Beach
is a bit different. This beach is a combination of sand a rocks, and is underused because it isn't visible and it's a bit more of a walk from the parking lot. If you want to be on a less crowded beach, this is for you. This is a better place to go for reading and relaxing than swimming, but the water is clear and many people do swim here.

Pavillion Beach, Stacy Boulevard, Gloucester: Located just off of Stacy Boulevard, the location of the famous "Fisherman Statue." As you face the statue, turn right and you'll walk onto the beach by staying close to the water. Most visitors don't come to know of this small downtown harbor beach because it's not one of the most popular. However, this is a good place to relax and the swimming is good, although the surface is a mix of sand and cobbles along the water's edge. If you get shut out from the major beaches, you will enjoy this harbor beach. The ambiance is not as "away from it all" as other beaches. Here you'll enjoy a beautiful harbor view and a parade of boats, but behind you is a residential neighborhood and commercial buildings. There is no parking lot and no facilities. There is a public rest room at the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, which is in the brick building just behind the beach, at 33 Commercial Street. You can park on the Boulevard near the Fisherman statue and walk a short distance to the beach. The Boulevard has ice cream, variety shops and a couple of restaurants if you get the munchies.This is a good alternative beach, never crowded except for the Fiesta in late June, and then it's mobbed. No charge to walk on.

Wingaersheek Beach, West Gloucester: This and Good Harbor are the two most popular beaches around. Wingaersheek is long, wide, sandy and flat. Surrounded by Ipswich Bay, the Annisquam River and sand dunes, this is a beautiful setting that includes a view north to the New Hampshire shoreline. At lower tides there is a gradual drop off for a long distance that allows kids to walk and play for a distance in shallow water.  Get there early on a hot day or the parking lot will fill up and you'll be shut out.

Long Beach: Gloucester and Rockport: Located off Route 127A and running across the Gloucester/Rockport line off Thatcher Road, this beach is long (of course), flat and sandy. The beach faces east, with a nice view of the twin lighthouses on Thacher's Island.From Gloucester you drive by Good Harbor Beach and when you get to Rockport Road you'll see a fork with an ice cream stand. In this area there are a few small private paid parking lots a short walk from the beach. There is no public parking on the Gloucester end.To approach from Rockport, keep going on Route 127A to Seaview Street, where there is a parking lot, but you will require a non-resident beach sticker. The seasonal sticker is valid only for Long Beach and Cape Hedge Beach. To get one you can either go to Rockport Town Hall and buy one ($100) or get a mail form at the town of Rockport website, www.town.rockport.ma.us. Parking is limited so get there early on hot days.The Rockport end of the beach has its own lifeguards. Gloucester lifeguards patrol the Gloucester end. You can walk from Long Beach and pass a large rocky outcropping onto Cape Hedge Beach. This is a long, beautiful beach walk from either direction.

Cape Hedge Beach, Rockport
: Continuing down Route 127a into Rockport, if you turn right at the Cape Hedge Inn you can find your way down to a small parking lot for Cape Hedge Beach. Again, unless you're a resident you'll need a seasonal sticker (see above under Long Beach), and parking here is very limited. However, this is a beautiful beach, not found by many people. There are no services here.

 Lighthouse on Cape Ann's Annisquam River. 

Front Beach — Rockport

Front Beach, Rockport: Front Beach is a nice beach on Sandy Bay, pointing toward the east. There is only street (metered) parking here, so you park someplace walk (not easy on Rockport weekends) or have somebody drop you off. Or, if you're really clever you can drive your car to the Park & Ride lot on Route 127 near the Rockport Information Booth, park and pay the small fee, and ride the trolley to the beach. The beach is also within an easy walk from the Rockport village, and from many of the inns and hotels nearby. There are lifeguards in the high season and public bathrooms are nearby. Another nice thing is that it is near a number of restaurants, eateries and shops, so you can combine some beach time with browsing and dining.

Back Beach, Rockport: Located on Route 127, just north of the Village area, this is more of an explorer's beach than a swimming beach. Scuba divers often dive from here, and the surface is generally a combination of rocks and sand. If you want a place to sit and enjoy the breeze, but not necessarily diving in the water, this is a really nice spot.

Old Garden Beach, Rockport: This intimate, very small beach is more secluded, small. There is a small parking area, but for residents only. Limited on street parking can be found in the area, but this beach is an easy bike or walk from town. There are picnic benches with a great view. This is a beautiful place, but small and not very accessible.

Thank you to the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce for providing updated information for this article.

Beaches Nearby Pleasant Street Inn

This is the ultimate guide to Cape Ann Beaches! Most beaches have maps and directions from your hotel or inn directly to the beach!

Beaches

Back Beach
75 Beach Street, Rockport, MA 01966

Back Beach is just north of Front Beach on Beach Street. The surface is a combi... more >>

Front Beach - Downtown Rockport
11 Beach Street, Rockport, MA 01930

Front Beach is a nice, beach on Sandy Bay, pointing toward the east. If you are ... more >>

Good Harbor Beach
77 Thatcher Road, Gloucester, MA 01930

Located on Thatcher Road, Rte. 127A - This is a beautiful beach with lovely, whi... more >>

Half Moon Beach
80 Western Avenue, Gloucester, MA 01930

There are two beaches here as well as a large wonderful park. This is a great fa... more >>

Long Beach - Gloucester and Rockport
33 Rockport Road, Gloucester, MA 01930

Long Beach: Gloucester and Rockport Located off Route 127A and running across ... more >>

Old Garden Beach
Old Garden Road, Rockport, MA 01966

This intimate, very small beach is more secluded. The small parking area is for ... more >>

Pavilion Beach
60 Western Avenue, Gloucester, MA 01930

Located just off of Stacy Boulevard (Western Avenue, just west of downtown Glouc... more >>

Singing Beach
295 Beach Street, Manchester, MA 01944

A wonderful beach, known for the unique fact that the sand "sings" (actually it&... more >>

Wingaersheek Beach
Atlantic Avenue, Gloucester, MA 01930

Situated in the western part of Gloucester on Atlantic Street off Rte. 133 and C... more >>