Thanks to the recent film by the same title, Manchester-by-the-Sea in Massachusetts has become a household name. This cute and small town on Cape Ann is made up of scenic beaches, along with nice shops, restaurants, and other historical attractions. Its origins date back to the mid-1800’s, and despite a local population of just over 5,000 residents, Manchester-by-the-Sea is a great place to visit when you’re looking for solitude and beauty by the water.
If you happen to be in town on July 30, you won’t want to miss Festival by the Sea—a celebration of local art, music and food that draws in all of the townspeople. There is also a great shopping scene on Cape Ann, which consists of a variety of boutique sand stores ranging from art and hobby shops and bookstores to antique and consignment shops. Get a taste of the town’s rich history and history by paying a visit to the Manchester Historical Museum’s Trask House. Go for a stroll on Singing Beach, which earned its name as a result of the sounds the sand makes when one walks on it. Enjoy the scenery in Masconomo Park, which offers free concerts during the summer. Cape Ann is also famous for its five lighthouses along the coastline, which make for fun stops during the day. There are several golf courses for enthusiasts, including the Cape Ann Golf Course and the Rockport Golf Club. Other popular activities include whale watching and leisurely bike rides along the shore.
There are other quaint communities nearby that make for great day trips, including Essex, Gloucester and Rock Port. Essex played a big role in the shipbuilding industry and people from all over come here for the clams and award-winning local seafood. Another great place to stay is Gloucester, which is the country’s oldest seaport and home to gorgeous beaches and water activities, along with a flourishing artist community. The seaside village of Rockport is located at the northernmost tip of Cape Ann and is 37 miles from Boston, continuing to be an active harbor with a busy fishing scene. Many people enjoy coming to Rockport to shop as well, and enjoy the thriving artist scene.
There are a nice range of accommodations for visitors looking to rent a home while visiting Manchester-by-the-Sea. There are many beautiful seaside homes and cottages along scenic coastal Route 127, at the southern gateway to Cape Ann with access to Singing Beach. Due to their proximity to the town, the neighboring villages of Essex, Rockport and Gloucester also offer accommodations that visitors can rent, which include properties along the scenic Essex River just a stone’s throw away from the town center.
One of the most common and popular ways to get around town is via the MBTA Newburyport/Rockport commuter rail, which is spacious and comfortable and offers scenic views of the harbors, beaches and waterways. Other ways to get around include a rental car, rent a bicycle, or on-foot.
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