"Glorious Cape Ann" Gloucester by Bunsch

Gloucester Travel Guide: 146 reviews and 490 photos

The Perfect Storm

Like many people, I both read Sebastian Junger's riveting book and then saw the movie, "The Perfect Storm". It was not until I actually went up to visit the Fishermen's Memorial in Gloucester that I somehow connected with the story on a visceral level, though. Just seeing the names at City Hall...and then seeing the myriad fishing vessels tied up, knowing that they venture out daily onto the sometimes treacherous Atlantic, often returning with catches that simply are not adequate to sustain their way of life. A good friend, a Gloucester fisherman in his youth, lost a couple of fingers while on George's Bank -- and counted himself lucky to be alive.

Fish sticks?

Gloucester’s deep water harbor attracted a group of Englishmen from the Dorchester Company, who landed here in 1623 to fish and to establish a settlement. Gloucester thus became the country’s first fishing port. By the late 19th century, Gloucester was a record-setting port for fisheries under sail.

When I lived in the midwest, growing up in the 1950's, ocean fish was most frequently encountered in the form of fish sticks, and that pretty much meant Gorton's. It turns out that Gorton's is a Gloucester institution, founded in 1849, and that the logo is actually a replica of the statue, "The Man at the Wheel" which stands at the Fishermen's Memorial Cenotaph. If you visit Gloucester, for heaven's sake enjoy some of the wonderful freshly-caught seafood and save Gorton's for some other time.

Scenery, indoors and out

Gloucester is also, of course, a stunningly beautiful coastal town. Many people come here, or to neighboring Rockport, to paint, sculpt, or engage in other forms of creative endeavor. That means once you've taken the obligatory drive along the Back Shore, you might want to stop in at one of the many galleries, or perhaps the Cape Ann Museum, to check out the local talent.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great seafood, funky shops, lots of art
  • Cons:Crowded summer conditions
  • Last visit to Gloucester: Jan 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (3)

Comments (1)

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Aug 16, 2009 at 4:56 PM

    Cape Ann, Gloucester and Rockport are some of my very favorite places for a get-away.


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