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Local Attractions

The Arts

Hammond Castle Museum
A mile down the road toward downtown Gloucester is the Hammond Castle. John Hays Hammond, Jr., built his medieval-style castle between 1926 and 1929 to serve as his home and as a backdrop for his collection of Roman, medieval, and Renaissance artifacts. Visitors to Hammond Castle Museum are welcome to explore the castle on guided or self-guided tours of many rooms. One room is devoted to the stories and documentation of Hammond's many inventions (he had over 400 patents). Visitors may also enjoy the beauty of the castle grounds and a view of the Atlantic shoreline.

Cape Ann Museum
The Cape Ann Museum is located at 27 Pleasant Street in downtown Gloucester. Cape Ann has been a leading center for artists since the 19th century, the oldest seaport in the country, and the source of granite for building projects up and down the East coast. The Museum maintains and exhibits material relating to these major themes. In addition to its permanent collections, the Museum offers a rotating schedule of special exhibits throughout the year. It is known for being a particularly delightful museum for its size.

Rocky Neck Art Colony

America's oldest continuously operating art colony is one of the most charming spots on Cape Ann.  The picturesque galleries, coves, and wharves are not only home to many of the area's artists, but are inspirational to visiting artists. Just one mile from the end of Route 128, off Gloucester's East Main Street, you'll find Rocky Neck Avenue; turn right, park in the public parking lot and prepare to discover for yourself the charm and ambiance of the art colony. Rocky Neck has been luring artists to its picturesque shores for more than 200 years. Winslow Homer, Fitz Henry Lane, Childe Hassam, Edward Hopper, Maurice Prendergast, John Sloan, and Frederick Mulhaupt are but a few of the illustrious alumni. Contemporary paintings, both traditional and abstract, as well as many other specializations like batik, photography, jewelry, sculpture, and quilting, are available. Visitors are always welcome.

Beauport, Sleeper-McCann House
Beauport, as this amazing home is known to Gloucester residents, was the summer home of one of America’s first professional interior designers, Henry Davis Sleeper. Perched on a rock ledge overlooking Gloucester Harbor, Beauport became Sleeper’s retreat, backdrop for entertaining, professional showcase, and an inspiration to all who visited. After Sleeper’s death, Beauport was purchased by the McCanns, who left most of Sleeper’s arrangements and collections intact. The interior and exterior of the house contain Sleeper’s lifetime collection of curiosities, colored glass, folk art, china, and silhouettes in every nook and alcove. Each of the forty rooms is distinguished by a historical or literary figure, theme, color, shape, or object. The house is framed by newly restored Arts and Crafts-style terraces that include intimate garden rooms with dramatic views of the harbor.

Gloucester is home to a great many other historical buildings and contemporary galleries. The City Hall has an amazing collection of WPA murals that can be seen right on its walls during regular office hours. A talk with our innkeeper or a visit to the Gloucester Welcoming Center will help you to find and explore our trove of historical and artistic treasures.


Water Activities

Whale Watching
Gloucester is known for its whale watching adventures; the seas on Gloucester's shores and Stellwagen Bank abound with whale activity. Most commonly seen whales are humpbacks but it is not unusual to see a minke, and over the years 15 different species of whales have been spotted in our waters! Our four whale watch companies, Captain Bill's, Cape Ann, Seven Seas, and Yankee Fleet, are zealots for chasing whales, and are all extremely well-informed about them too (guests always ask us which company is the best and we're hard-pressed to choose one). Some of these companies, as well as other businesses, also offer deep-sea fishing trips and charters.

Schooner Sailing
Gloucester boasts two of the most beautiful schooners you'll ever see, both built in neighboring Essex by the inimitable Harold Burnham. The beautiful 65-foot Thomas E. Lannon is well-known to Gloucester folk and offers afternoon and sunset sails as well as charters. The upstart Pinky Schooner Ardelle is a gorgeous new addition to our harbor -- just launched in the summer of 2011 -- and offers prescheduled and charter sails as well.

There are a myriad of other water-based activities in the area too, including kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing, dory-racing, and stand-up paddling. Please feel free to inquire about equipment rentals and lessons in any of these sports.

Beaches

Inn Magnolia is two blocks from a private beach, for which we have passes, and we also offer discount coupons that take $10 off parking at Good Harbor and Wingaersheek Beaches, and $5 off parking at Stage Fort Park.

Good Harbor Beach, Route 127A, Gloucester
Good Harbor is one of the most popular beaches in New England. There is a small, very pretty tidal river that flows into it, and an island you can walk to during low tide (but don't stay too long!)   Even on very hot summer weekends Good Harbor is not overly crowded because the number of people who can go is limited by the size of the parking lot. Try to get there early because the parking lot fills up quickly on hot summer days.

Wingaersheek Beach, Atlantic Street, Gloucester
Situated in the western part of Gloucester on Atlantic Street off Route 133 and Concord Street, this beautiful, white sandy beach is contoured by the Annisquam River and Ipswich Bay. It features white sands, crystal clear waters, tide pools, and huge rocks in the water that you can climb around at low tide. Wingaersheek is a favorite for families with children because the water deepens very gradually.

Singing Beach, 295 Beach Street, Manchester-by-the-Sea
A wonderful beach, known for the unique sound of sand "singing" (actually it's more like a squeak) as you scuff your feet along the beach. It is said to be one of the few beaches in the world where this occurs.

Other beaches: There are a great many other, smaller beaches in the area (in Gloucester: Pavilion Beach, Niles, Plum Cove, and Cressy and Half Moon at Stage Fort Park; in Rockport: Long, Cape Hedge, Pebble, Old Garden, and Front and Back Beaches in town; and four-mile long Crane Beach in Ipswich).

  spacer18 Norman Ave., Magnolia (Gloucester), MA 01930    978-525-3642