Things to do on Cape Ann in the FallOctober 29, 2021 / Art and Music, Food and Drink, Good to Know, History/Maritime, Outdoor Adventures, Things to Do & See
With permission to repost by Beauport Hotel Gloucester | edited by Elizabeth Carey
Whether you are active-minded or would like to sit and enjoy a sunset, the opportunities are endless. Everywhere you turn in Gloucester and Cape Ann you can find a spot to enjoy a bounty of Mother Nature’s beauty.
Take a Hike
Ravenswood Park: Located less than three miles from downtown Gloucester and open year round sunrise to sunset, Ravenswood Park offers ten miles of woodland paths and trails providing plenty of room to picnic, bird watch, walk, cross-country ski, or simply to appreciate the outdoors. Wander the child-friendly, two-mile Ledge Hill Trail among the magical-looking, fern-covered boulders, or trek to the overlook to Gloucester Harbor.
Thompson Street Reservation: Located less than four miles from downtown Gloucester. Experience an exceptional example of Cape Ann’s unique rugged landscape with exposed granite bedrock in one of the Greenbelt’s largest reservations. Stunning views of Gloucester Harbor and Ipswich Bay await those who climb Sunset Mountain and Eagle Rock. Vernal ponds, a red maple swamp and diverse natural communities thrive.
Aside from the great hiking trails and beauty of Ravenswood and Thomson Street Reservation, beautiful foliage is everywhere on Cape Ann. Enjoy a walk through Dogtown Common or Halibut Point State Park or view the scenic foliage vista across the water from Stage Fort Park. Gloucester is also a great base for your fall foliage trip that may include day trips to Maine or New Hampshire—Their borders are just about an hour away.
Sailing, Whale Watching and Fishing Trips
These great trips don’t have to stop just because Summer is over. Most vessels continue sailings through October when the weather cooperates! Gloucester is home to two Whale Watch companies; 7 Seas Whale Watch and Cape Ann Whale Watch. As well as several Deep Sea Fishing Charter companies. We encourage you to call ahead just to be sure that these businesses are still offering charters, and if so, take advantage of the beautiful nature that surrounds these ocean vessels.
Learn Local History and Culture
Cape Ann Museum is truly an American Museum: The Museum’s collections, displayed in an intimate and inviting setting, celebrate the rich story of Cape Ann’s evolving artistic and cultural history. The fine arts collection spans the full range of art made on and about Cape Ann, and uses the Museum’s Library and Archives, historic buildings and artifacts to ground that art in a powerful sense of place.
Hammond Castle Museum: First-time visitors are often surprised to see a true European castle on the New England shoreline. Hammond Castle was built in the late 1920s by scientist, inventor, and interestingly enough, an art connoisseur of the highest order, John Hays Hammond, Jr. (1888-1965). Sitting high on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the castle brings together a unique combination of art, architectural elements and culture, backdropped by many innovative technological applications, yet unknown and unseen by the visitor. Spiritualism Tours will continue through October, and be sure to check out their upcoming holiday events.
Cape Ann Cultural Districts
Cape Ann boasts FOUR designated Cultural Districts. Rocky Neck Cultural District, one of America’s oldest continuously working art colonies, has attracted such accomplished artists as Milton Avery, Nell Blaine, Stuart Davis, Childe Hassam, and many more. Rockport Cultural District boasts over 40 individual artist galleries and studios, as well as cultural institutions like the Rockport Art Association; Essex River Cultural District, this is where “the town meets the river.” The district meanders past ancient burial grounds, active shipyards and marinas, bustling restaurants, antique shops and galleries. The district offers vistas of Burnham’s Shipyard, the Essex Historical Society and Shipbuilding Museum, which houses an important collection of marine-related antiquities and much of Essex’s rich history, and the stunning Essex River with its salt marsh borders looking out to Hog Island and Crane Beach; and last, but not least Harbortown Cultural District. You do not have to go far to find one of the many art galleries, wearable art studios, museums or performance venues in the area.