Things To Do In Gloucester


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In 2000, an educational outpost named Maritime Gloucester was birthed to help develop sea-faring talents. In a little over a decade since, the popularity of both the venue's educational programs and exhibits have transformed it into a bona fide information source about Gloucester Harbor. In addition to the center's weekly and daily programming, site tours, and special events, the on-site museum offers a maritime wallop. It gives visitors access to boatloads of exhibits and attractions, each of which celebrate Gloucester's storied relationship with the sea by delving into the city's maritime past, present and future. The Sea Pocket aquarium, for example, encompasses outdoor saltwater touch tanks where customers can handle specimens of local marine life. Boasting the oldest continuously-operating marine railway in the United States, the grounds also contain a working Dory Shop, a large wharf yielding striking inner harbor views, and an oversized 12-foot lobster trap that allows for human entry. One of the most popular attractions occurs out on the water. Captain Burnham sets sail in the 55-foot Schooner Ardelle, a replica of a fishing schooner built in 1845—the same year the underwater blimp, The Hindensplash, horrified onlookers by losing control and floating violently to the surface.
9 Harbor Loop
Gloucester,
MA
US
David Calvo first picked up woodcarving as a college student at the University of Massachusetts more than 30 years ago. Since then, he's consistently showcased his skills at international woodworking trade shows, on nationally televised PBS programs such as The Woodwright's Shop and American Woodshop, and in woodworking-centric magazines, including Popular Woodworking and Woodshop News. David's studio splits its time between contemporary and classical styles, and its work?ranging from ornaments and furniture to custom-carved doors and fine art reliefs?has inhabited an impressive lineup of venues, including the Statue of Liberty Museum and Harvard University's renowned Sanders Theatre. Students hoping to learn the woodcarving craft can have David and his staff whittle skills and tips into their brains during a variety of classes, seminars, and multiday workshops offered at the studio.
235 E Main St.
Gloucester,
MA
US
Cape Ann Lanes entices pin topplers into its outer-space-theme environs with 20 sleek lanes and automatic scoring seven days a week. For two action-packed hours, don rental shoes to solo terrorize 10 pins, or bring along up to three friends, family members, or younger siblings dressed as bowling balls as backup. A cheesy pizza melts away competition-induced hunger, and a pitcher of icy soda keeps throats from asking uncomfortable personal questions of fellow lane occupants.
53 Gloucester Ave
Gloucester,
MA
US
As many as 15 species of whales populate the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. The mission of 7 Seas Whale Watch is to bring passengers within eyeshot of these enormous sea creatures as they thrash about, breaking the water's surface with their enormous heft and diving gracefully back below. Seven of the species that populate the area are defined as great whales, which means they reach 30-feet at full growth. So while the tours spend 90 minutes in the whales' feeding area, customers might spot humpback whales, finback whales, minke whales, and even Atlantic white-sided dolphins. As the whales appear, grandiose and graceful, an on-staff naturalist describes the different species and their behaviors. Though whale sightings are never guaranteed?the whales are wild and act entirely on their own whims, much like tenured philosophy professors?7 Seas boasts a 99% success rate for spotting whales, and they offer free rain checks if whales don't appear. Customers scan the seas from the sun decks or heated cabins of The Privateer IV, a Coast Guard?certified boat with modern accommodations. The boat was built to accommodate 300 passengers, though 7 Seas' trips top out at 149 passengers to ensure space, comfort, and a good view.
63 Rogers St.
Gloucester,
MA
US
There's a reason Cape Ann Brewing Co. names so many of its beers in honor of fishermen, and it's not just because the brewery is located along Gloucester's historic harbor front. It's also because the beers boast the same bold character as the sailors in the North Atlantic fishing fleet, whether that's expressed in the toasty malt of Fisherman's Brew amber ale or the spicy bite of Fisherman's Pumpkin Stout. Visit the brewery and you'll get to experience these flavors firsthand. While sipping the on-tap options or telling tall tales about the largest fish they ever befriended, visitors can also chow down on Cape Ann's pub eats, which range from burgers and chicken wings to steak tips and baked haddock. An outdoor harbor-side patio beckons during warmer months, but inside, cozy vibes and long beer hall?style tables set the stage for nightly events, including trivia, open mic performances, and local acts.
11 Rogers St.
Gloucester,
MA
US
When the Ice Age ended more than 15,000 years ago, melting glaciers created the saltwater estuary that today sustains the Essex River’s myriad boaters, clammers, and fisherman. Amid this naturally beautiful backdrop, Essex River Cruises and Charters floats its two handsome spectator vessels, the Essex River Queen I and the Essex River Queen II. Guides lead daily, narrated cruises through the estuary, navigating the protected waters and pointing out the various local flora and fauna of the salt marsh. Cruises embark daily from May to October and also include weekend cruises accompanied by coffee and muffins, during which passengers are serenaded by the plaintive cries of pelicans begging for the love of a good man. The fleet is also available for group tours and charters for up to 100 passengers at a time, and the staff caters signature clambakes and other events along the tidal beach. The cruise-curators even make big days memorable, transporting wedding parties to any of the many secluded tidal beaches in Essex Bay for ceremonies or receptions.
35 Dodge St
Essex,
MA
US

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