The ‘Different Cape’ on Boston’s North Shore Has Beautiful Mansions, Overstuffed Lobster Rolls, and No Crowds

Most summer season guests to coastal Massachusetts flock to Cape Cod, a quintessential maritime area that has lured politicians and celebrities for greater than a century. However in excessive season, it is commonplace to attend in standstill visitors for an hour or extra simply to cross the Sagamore Bridge from the mainland. For a local New Englander like me, the easygoing various is Cape Ann (usually known as the “Different Cape”) and the encircling North Shore, which features a dozen or so cities stretching from Boston to the New Hampshire border. Over time, I’ve often escaped to the North Shore’s boulder-strewn seashores and small harbors; right here, my recipe for an ideal keep, which I road-tested one attractive July weekend.

I started in Gloucester, this nation’s oldest seaport, about an hour’s drive north of Boston. In 1606, French explorer Samuel de Champlain arrived in what’s now Gloucester Harbor, which he known as “le beau port.” English colonists adopted, and by the early nineteenth century the world’s fishing and shipbuilding industries have been flourishing. The Cape Ann Museum ( paperwork this maritime historical past and likewise homes a powerful assortment by Luminist painters like Winslow Homer and Edward Hopper, who explored the results of sunshine on the coastal panorama. (The sunshine is alleged to be uniquely ethereal due to the granite’s reflective properties.)

Probably the greatest views in Gloucester is from the not too long ago renovated rooftop bar and pool on the 94-room Beauport Lodge (; doubles from $199), the place I spent the evening. After checking in, I ventured into city for lunch on the Seaport Grille (; entrées $16–$36), sampling a tequila-and-lemonade cocktail; a tangy, overstuffed lobster roll; and crispy onion rings with the pronounced taste of hops.

That afternoon I strolled Wingaersheek Seashore earlier than boarding the 64-foot schooner Thomas E. Lannon (; 90-minute journeys from $33). We sailed previous Hammond Citadel — constructed between1926 and 1929 by inventor John Hays Hammond Jr. within the type of a medieval European fortress — and Jap Level Lighthouse, which has guided ships by way of Gloucester Harbor’s treacherous ledges for greater than a century.

It was a brief drive to the city of Ipswich and its historic Citadel Hill on the Crane Property ( The two,100-acre seaside property — which has a number of gardens, a Stuart-style mansion, and a tree-flanked garden that slopes all the way down to Ipswich Bay — has had many lives, however is most frequently related to Chicago industrialist Richard T. Crane Jr., who bought it in 1910. You possibly can stroll the paths to Steep Hill Seashore and Crane Seashore, each protected habitats for the threatened piping plover. Earlier than lengthy, I might labored up an urge for food, so I headed to Nice Marsh Brewing Co. (; entrées $15–$28), in close by Essex, for a wonderful shrimp po’boy and hand-cut fries.

My lodge, the Emerson Inn (; doubles from $269), was inbuilt 1871 on a bluff in Rockport that overlooks Sandy Bay. Staying on the not too long ago restored 36-key property felt like a go to to the house of a rich, eccentric aunt — elegantly cosy, full with swishy mattress linens and freshly baked cookies. Someday earlier than daybreak, lightning scraped throughout the sky. Rain sheeted down over rolling waves and the wind whipped the inn’s flag towards its pole. I sat in mattress, listening to the speeding and retreating of the surf.

Even at 10 a.m., Rockport’s downtown was nonetheless waking up. I munched on a strawberry pastry from Helmut’s Strudel (69 Bearskin Neck; 978-546-2824) and wandered the rain-washed streets, passing homes painted in shades of weathered grey, butter, apricot, and lilac. I watched, transfixed, as a bufflehead dove into the water, on the lookout for meals, close to “Motif No. 1” — an enthralling pink fishing shack mentioned to be the constructing most painted by artists in america.

My last cease was Salem, essentially the most misunderstood metropolis on the North Shore — it is normally related to the notorious witch trials in 1692, however immediately Salem is fashionable, cultured, and eclectic. One spotlight is the Peabody Essex Museum (, which has a improbable assortment of Asian artwork, together with Yin Yu Tang — a 200-year-old Chinese language product owner’s home that was disassembled into hundreds of items, dropped at Massachusetts, and painstakingly reconstructed on the property.

I made a decision to attend out one other passing storm at Pentagram (, which locals had advised me was the perfect of town’s witchcraft retailers. In a curtained sales space, co-owner Leanne Marrama fanned trios of tarot playing cards over a marble tabletop. She associated the playing cards, precisely, to adjustments in my profession and a latest loss of life within the household. She drew once more and introduced, “You’ve got a particular connection to the North Shore.”

When the rain abated, I met my husband on the ferry wharf for a ship journey out to Bakers Island, 4 miles off the coast in Salem Sound. A lot of the 60-acre island is privately owned, however guests can take a day journey to the lighthouse station. They will additionally camp or, as we did, keep on the Assistant Keeper’s Home (; from $950 for 2 nights for as much as 4 individuals). We explored the strolling trails, traversing rocky slopes and paths lined with bittersweet and brambles, and climbed to the highest of the lighthouse, referred to as “Pa” Baker.

Within the fading gentle, we organized our dinner on a picnic desk: olives, sesame noodles, truffled cheddar, and marinated feta from the Cheese Store of Salem (; Carignan-Grenache wine from Pamplemousse (; and chocolate-covered butter crunch from Harbor Sweets ( Then, to the soundtrack of a clanging buoy bell, we devoured all of it.

A model of this story first appeared within the July 2022 difficulty of Journey + Leisure beneath the headline Shore Factor.

Related Articles

Back to top button