The City of Gloucester, founded in 1623, is a coastal community on Cape Ann with a proud ﬁshing heritage. It is a popular summer destination with its many beaches and seaside restaurants. There is so much to do and explore, not only in Gloucester, but the surrounding communities that make up Cape Ann.
Brier Cliff by the Beach is located approximately 660 feet to Good Harbor Beach (public) and Little Good Harbor (private- Brier Neck Association) yet outside of the flood plain, in the Brier Neck neighborhood www.BrierNeck.com
Arts & Culture
Cape Ann has long been known as a thriving artist community. Stroll through the galleries of Rocky Neck one of the oldest continuously operating art colonies in America. While you’re in Downtown Gloucester visit the Cape Ann Museum, with an excellent collection of maritime art as well as exhibits on both the ﬁshing and granite industries. In East Gloucester, overlooking the harbor, visit North Shore Arts Association boasting one of the largest and most diverse collections of paintings, sculptures and graphics on Cape Ann.
Not to be missed is the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport rockportmusic.org, a world-class 330 seat venue, offering the ﬁnest in classical, jazz, folk, pop and world music in a stunning seaside location. Gloucester Stage Company in East Gloucester provides a wide range of theatrical productions in an intimate setting throughout the season.
Beaches & Lighthouses
Just steps away from Brier Cliff by the Beach is Good Harbor Beach, one of Gloucester’s most gorgeous white sand beaches for swimming, surﬁng and strolling. At low tide, walk across the sand bar to Salt Island. Just north of Good Harbor, spanning from Gloucester to Rockport is Long Beach. Cape Hedge Beach in Rockport, and Niles Beach and Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester are all worth visiting.
Cape Ann Harbor Tours is a great way to see all six of the light houses on Cape Ann. Annisquam Lighthouse stands on the east side of the Annisquam River. It can best be seen from Wingaersheek Beach and also from nearby Lighthouse Beach. Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse, originally build in 1835 to help direct vessels into Pigeon Cove Harbor, can best be seen from the tip of Bearskin Neck. It is now owned by the MA Audubon Society as a wildlife sanctuary. Thacher’s Island (aka Twin Lights) are the only surviving multiple lighthouses on the coasts of the US. During the summer Thacher Island is open to visitors with a shuttle boat operating out of Rockport harbor. Eastern Point Lighthouse was built in 1832 to mark the entrance to Gloucester Harbor. Today it serves as active housing for the US Coast Guard and is closed to the public. You can walk the 2,250 ft Dogbar breakwater for a superb view. Ten Pound Island Lighthouse is located within Gloucester harbor and is named for the number of sheep pens (pounds) it could hold. It was the home of America’s ﬁrst coast guard station.
From lobster in the rough to ﬁne dining, you can ﬁnd it all on Cape Ann! Fine dining year-round favorites include Tonno, 1606 at the Beauport Hotel, and the Franklin Café. Summer Seafood favorites include The Studio and The Rudder on Rocky Neck, year round try the Seaport Grille and Minglewood Harborside directly on the city’s waterfront. LobstaLand located on the Causeway and Roy Moore Lobster Company for fresh steamed lobster are perennial favorites.
Just steps from Brier Cliff by the Beach is Surfside Subs and Ice Cream, a favorite for subs, pizza and a huge variety and hard and soft serve ice cream.
From boutiques to charming wine and cheese shops to hand-made jewelry, pottery and art of all varieties, you will ﬁnd it on Cape Ann. Stroll down Main St in Gloucester, Bearskin Neck in Rockport and check out Essex antiques along the Causeway. Discover Gloucester has a full listing of businesses and events throughout the year.
Sports & Adventure
Gloucester Schooner Festival
Taking place in the harbor and nearby waters of America’s oldest seaport, the Gloucester Schooner Festival honors the major role the fishing schooner has played in the heritage of Gloucester and the eastern seaboard. https://gloucesterschoonerfestival.net/