Long Beach


Some claim that Long Beach, which straddles the Rockport–Gloucester border, is the best beach on the North Shore. It is lovely indeed – ideal for swimming, surfing, snorkeling and sunbathing – with a unique view of the twin lighthouses on Thacher Island. Unfortunately, there's no parking for non-residents unless you buy a sticker from the Rockport website (www.rockportma.gov).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Massachusetts attractions

1. Good Harbor Beach

1.06 MILES

East of East Gloucester, on the way to Rockport, Good Harbor Beach is a spacious, sandy stretch surrounded by dunes. Walk out to Salt Island at low tide.

2. Motif No 1

2.04 MILES

The red fishing shack decorated with colorful buoys is known as Motif No 1, since it has been captured by so many artists for so many years. (Actually, it…

3. North Shore Arts Association

2.27 MILES

With some 600 members, this vibrant local arts association has been hosting exhibits and performances since 1922. Visit the lovely harborside setting to…

4. Maritime Gloucester


Visit Gloucester's working waterfront and see the ongoing restoration of wooden boats, watch the operation of a marine railway that hauls ships out of the…

5. Cape Ann Museum

2.53 MILES

This small museum is a gem – particularly for its paintings by Gloucester native Fitz Henry Lane. Exhibits also showcase the region's granite-quarrying…

6. Gallery 53 on Rocky Neck

2.54 MILES

In a beautiful space overlooking Smith Cove, this cooperative gallery showcases the work of 30-plus Cape Ann artists.

7. Rocky Neck Art Colony

2.66 MILES

The artistic legacy of Gloucester native Fitz Henry Lane endures, as Gloucester still boasts a vibrant artists community at Rocky Neck Art Colony. In…

8. Rocky Neck Cultural Center

2.69 MILES

Built as a neighborhood meeting place in 1877, this Carpenter Gothic building now hosts exhibits and events.