Gloucester, at the tip of Cape Ann, is a historic and culturally rich city on the ocean. Still steeped in the fishing industry, Gloucester has a sizable fishing fleet and a number of large scale fish packing and freezing facilities that are major employers of the community. There is a diverse economy as well, consisting of electronics... Show all »
Gloucester, at the tip of Cape Ann, is a historic and culturally rich city on the ocean. Still steeped in the fishing industry, Gloucester has a sizable fishing fleet and a number of large scale fish packing and freezing facilities that are major employers of the community. There is a diverse economy as well, consisting of electronics manufacturing, retail, professional offices and tourism. Visitors flock to Gloucester in the summer, drawn by the world class beaches like Good Harbor, Wingaersheek, Niles Beach and Plum Cove. There are whale watching excursions, festivals, fireworks shows, outdoor concerts and live theater productions too, but it is perhaps the breathtaking sight of the surf hitting the rocky coast that most attracts visitors to Gloucester.
Gloucester has been a fishing city for its entire history since settlers arrived from Dorchester, England in 1623. Since then, Gloucester, incorporated as a town in 1642 and as a city, in 1873 has seen waves of immigrants, each contributing to the diversity of this beautiful place. Scandinavians settled Lanesville in the mid 19th century and later Portuguese and Italians staked out enclaves in the downtown. Every June, there is Saint Peter's Fiesta, and a carnival atmosphere descends on Saint Peter's Square. There are still more celebrations throughout the summer in Stage Fort Park. Stacey Boulevard overlooks the harbor and crowds gather to watch the parade of tall ships and a July fourth fireworks shows.
The most well-known monument in this city is the weathered bronze statue of the fisherman looking out at the harbor. Recently, the city added a commemorative wall inscribed with the names of the Gloucester fishermen who perished at sea over the past four centuries. Many residents and visitors end their days with a recuperative walk on the beach or with a scenic drive along the Backshore, a road lined with hotels and spectacular homes that winds along the ocean. The dramatic views offered by the sea and saltwater marshes, and the natural light here have also attracted artists. There is an artist colony at Rocky Neck in East Gloucester. The neighborhood has a variety of working artist studios and galleries, as well as popular night spots and restaurants.
Most commercial activity is along Main Street, in Gloucester's revitalized downtown. Shops, antique stores, beauty salons, galleries and restaurants line the street, culminating at the west end with its Italian cafes, bakeries and pastry shops. Gloucester, though only 30 miles north of Boston and served by Routes 128, 133 and 127, as well as by a commuter rail station, is decidedly not a bedroom community of Boston. The unique character and vibrant local economy give the city and its residents a fiercely independent identity.