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Three Cape Ann Beaches Worth Exploring

Looking to hit the beach before or after your Essex River Cruise? We have you covered. We LOVE a good beach day and with the beauty of Cape Ann out our backdoor, there is not shortage of cool beaches.


Unfortunately, Essex doesn't have a lot of great public beaches, but our neighbors in Gloucester and Ipswich have some amazing ones. Here's three we love -



  • Good Harbor in Gloucester:

    • Located on Thatcher Road/Route 127A, Good Harbor is a beautiful beach with lovely white sand. At low tide, one can walk out to Salt Island, while at high tide, one can enjoy body surfing or boogie boards.

    • Lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily. Surfing, inflatable objects, and all flotation devices (with the exception of Styrofoam boogie boards) are prohibited during the hours lifeguards are on duty. Alcohol is also prohibited.

    • Gloucester has adopted a 'Carry In-Carry Out' Policy for Good Harbor and Wingaersheek beaches. Please be prepared to carry out any trash with you when you leave.

    • Food, drinks, beach toys, and other beach necessities are available at the concession. Restrooms and showers are also available from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm daily.

    • Parking is available during the week at a rate of $30 per vehicle, and on the weekends and holidays at $35 per vehicle. (After Labor Day, beaches may be open with reduced rates charged, weather permitting.)

    • Parking reservations are required for non-resident beachgoers and can be made via the reservation system. Cash will no longer be accepted at the gate for parking.



  • Wingersheek in Gloucester:

    • Situated in the western part of Gloucester at the end of Atlantic Street off Route 133 and Concord Street, this beautiful beach runs along the Annisquam River and Ipswich Bay.

    • At low tide, the beach extends out for hundreds of yards and a long sandbar is exposed, making for a great place to walk.

    • Lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day from 9:00am to 5:00pm daily. Surfing, inflatable objects and all flotation devices are prohibited during the hours the lifeguards are on duty.

    • Alcohol is prohibited on the beach and Gloucester has adopted a 'Carry In–Carry Out’ policy at Wingaersheek and Good Harbor beaches so please be prepared to carry out any trash with you when you leave.

    • Food, drinks, beach toys, and other beach necessities are available at the concession. Restrooms and showers are also available from 9:00am to 6:00pm daily. During periods of inclement weather, all facilities may close early. Parking is available during the week at a rate of $30 per vehicle and on the weekends and holidays at $35 per vehicle. After Labor Day, beaches may be open with reduced rate charges, weather permitting.

    • The gates open at 8:00am and are locked at 9:00pm. Parking reservations are required for non-resident beachgoers and can be made via the reservation system. Cash will no longer be accepted at the gate for parking.



  • Cranes Beach in Ipswich

    • Crane Beach on the Crane Estate is a 1,234-acre conservation and recreation property located in Ipswich, immediately north of Cape Ann.

    • It consists of a four-mile-long sandy beachfront, dunes, and a maritime pitch pine forest.

    • The beach is open year-round, and is free to Ipswich residents with the purchase of a yearly beach parking sticker. Non-residents must pay a fee to enter. In the summer months there is a refreshment bar, and the restrooms, showers and changing facilities are open year-round.

    • Dogs on a leash are allowed on the beach from October 1st through March 31st.


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