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The North Shore & Cape Ann have fine beaches easily reached from Boston: Good Harbor Beach, Wingaersheek Beach, Long Beach, Coffins Beach, Crane Beach, Singing Beach & more.

Wingaersheek Beach on Cape Ann, Gloucester, Massachusetts



Summer crowds come to Cape Ann on Boston's North Shore for its fine beaches (map), and Gloucester has the best of them.

Check the Tides!

Tip: Check on the tides before going to the beach! Some beaches are considerably smaller—and therefore more crowded— at high tide.

Your day-at-the-beach experience can be more pleasant at low tide than high tide, so plan accordingly.

If you arrive at the beach an hour before high tide, you may have several hours of cramped space. If you arrive two hours before low tide, you'll have four hours of wide space. More...

Beaches in Town

Pavilion Beach is the one right in the town center off Commercial Street by the Beauport Hotel Gloucester and Stacy Boulevard near the Gloucester Fishermen's Memorial.

Stage Fort Park

There are also two small beaches in Stage Fort Park, south of the center of Gloucester: Half Moon Beach, the larger and most obvious, and Cressy's Beach, smaller, less known, rockier, but quieter (map). You pay to park your car in the park's lots, but after that the spacious park, its beaches and facilities are all yours without charge.

Good Harbor Beach

Good Harbor Beach, 2 miles (3 km) east of the Gloucester MBTA Commuter Rail train station, is the most popular beach near the center of Gloucester, and will be crowded if the day is really hot, but it's a big beach and at low tide there's plenty of room. Some Gloucester hotels, inns and B&Bs are within walking distance of Good Harbor Beach. More...

Long Beach

Long Beach, the northeastern extension of Good Harbor Beach just a bit farther along Route 127A (map), has its own parking facilities, but is narrower and not as picturesque. More...

Wingaersheek Beach

Although it's within the boundaries of the town of Gloucester, Wingaersheek Beach is 6 miles (9.7 km) north of the center of Gloucester on Ipswich Bay (map). Among the largest of Cape Ann beaches, especially at low tide, Wingaersheek is a good first choice for a fine day at the beach. More...

Coffins Beach

Coffins Beach, just northwest of Wingaersheek, is a broad stretch of sand nearly two miles (3 km) long facing northeast to Ipswich Bay. Reached by Wingaersheek Road, you can combine a visit to Coffins with one to Wingaersheek.

Pebble Beach (Private)

Northeast along the coast from Good Harbor Beach and Long Beach is Pebble Beach, within the boundaries of Rockport, but there's no public parking (residents only).

Rockport Beaches

Aptly-named Rockport northeast of Gloucester is too rocky to have many beaches, but the relatively narrow but convenient beach right in the town center is good for a dip if you're in town. More...

Crane Beach

Want a four-mile- (6.4-km)-long beach that's part of a nature reservation? Head for Crane Beach in nearby Ipswich MA. More...

Manchester Beaches

Singing Beach, in Manchester-by-the-Sea, 8 miles (13 km) southwest of Gloucester (map), is a fine beach, but expensive to use. More...

—by Tom Brosnahan

What to See & Do

About Gloucester



Crane Beach, Ipswich

Cape Ann

Boston's North Shore

  Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester, Massachusetts

A sunny Memorial Day at
Gloucester's Good Harbor Beach.




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