Cape Ann is a beautiful summer locale, whether you’re looking for a tourist destination or some new ways to enjoy your home turf. There are tons of activities and sites to visit, from museums and art galleries to beauty spas and parks. But if you’re lucky enough to be on Cape Ann during the summer months, it would be silly to pass up the chance to see some of the incredible scenery… so grab your sunscreen and get outside to see the Cape with these five fun ways to adventure:
It just wouldn’t be summer on the Cape without a trip (or two… or twelve) to the beach. This is the coast, after all! Because the Cape affects the tidal actions, the water remains calmer than other beaches. Cape Ann has a beach for every taste; from small, hidden and intimate to lively and colorful. If you’re new to the area, here’s a very helpful list of Cape Ann beaches, complete with parking fees, restroom information, concessions, and swimming conditions. Don’t forget to pack your beach towel!
The World Wildlife Fund named Cape Ann one of the “Top 5 Whale-Watching Destinations in the World” for a good reason. Five miles off the coast is Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary where an undersea plateau helps drive nutrients and sea life up close to the surface. It is an 842 square-mile federally protected marine sanctuary that is ideal for whale watching. It is so popular among aquatic mammals that all whale-watching tour companies guarantee whale sightings. Here’s a list of companies operating in the area.
Stand Up Paddling and Kayaking
For a truly unique view of the cape, why not try stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking? The waters around the Cape are calm, and the cockpit of a kayak offers a safe and fun way to tour the area. Companies offer tours of the harbors and rivers around Cape Ann suitable for all ages. Even children can participate! There’s even a company that offers night-time stand-up paddling, complete with lights to see the fish below you!
Historic attractions and Lighthouses
Named by Charles I in honor of Anne of Denmark, Cape Ann was first mapped by explorer John Smith and later an English colony was founded in1623. Gloucester’s famous harbor and waterfront are said to be America’s original seaport. Museums and tours can be found here and tourists enjoy the many antique shops in the adjacent towns of Rockport, Essex, and Manchester-by-the-Sea. There are five lighthouses around Cape Ann, with the oldest dating to 1771. Only one is available for tours, but you can take a cruise around the Cape to see these historic landmarks.
Sailing and Fishing
Cape Ann is home to quite a few communities built on marine heritage. The fishing traditions of this area reach back to before the country was founded, and for good reason. The fishing around the Cape is just spectacular (remember that huge nature preserve just miles off the shore with all that marine life?), and there are plenty of charter companies that will help you catch “the big one”. But if you’re more interested in watching the marine life than catching it, why not hop on board with one of the Cape’s many sailing or boat charters? They’ll make sure you get to see Cape Ann in all of its summer glory. And for the truly adventurous, there’s even scuba diving!
Whatever your preference, Cape Ann has something for everyone this summer. So get outside!