Dec 7th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Gloucester Popular Destination for Seniors

Gloucester is a city on Cape Ann in Essex County, Massachusetts. It is part of Massachusetts’ North Shore. The population was 28,789 at the 2010 U.S. Census. An important center of the fishing industry and a popular summer destination for senior citizen travelers, Gloucester consists of an urban core on the north side of the harbor and the outlying neighborhoods of Annisquam, Bay View, Lanesville, Folly Cove, Magnolia, Riverdale, East Gloucester and West Gloucester.

The official city website tells of the founding of the area when the French explorer Samuel de Champlain made his second trip to Cape Ann in 1606. He came ashore in Gloucester for a peaceful encounter with some of the 200 Native Americans who had settled in the area. Before he left, he drew a map of Gloucester harbor which he called le beau port. Eight years later, the English Captain John Smith named the area around Gloucester Cape Tragabigzanda after a Turkish princess. Later, England’s King Charles renamed it in honor of his mother, Queen Anne. In this area, the locals call Cape Ann the Better Cape.

A place to see, feel and taste history, Gloucester’s working waterfront and ineffable beauty have drawn fishermen, families, artists and senior visitors for over four hundred years. There is a plethora of attractions in Gloucester with beaches, birding, boat charters, deep sea fishing, diving and visiting lighthouses just for starters. Famous for fishing, Gloucester is worth visiting for its history, seafood restaurants, whale watch cruises, artists’ colony and historic houses.

Over the years, Gloucester lost so many of its sons to the ravages of the sea that the town thought it fitting to set up a memorial to them. The Gloucester Fisherman also known as “The Man at the Wheel” is one of New England‘s most famous statues, with the legend  “They That Go Down to the Sea in Ships, 1623-1923.

Seniors Seeking History Find it in Gloucester

Historically the town was an important shipbuilding center, and the first schooner was reputedly built there in 1713. The community developed into an important fishing port, largely due to its proximity to Georges Bank and other fishing banks off the east coast of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

Gloucester’s most famous and nationally recognized seafood business was founded in 1849 — John Pew & Sons. It became Gorton-Pew Fisheries in 1906, and in 1957 changed its name to Gorton’s of Gloucester. Besides catching and processing seafood, Gloucester is also a center for fish research. The joys, perils and tragedies of fishing from Gloucester were dramatically chronicled in Sebastian Junger’s book The Perfect Storm, and in the motion picture (2000) based on it.

Elegant or in the rough, senior citizens flock to Cape Ann to enjoy the freshest lobster available anywhere. Go down to the docks and see the lobster boats bringing them in. Cook them yourself or have it expertly prepared at your favorite restaurant.  If you don’t know how to eat a lobster, ask someone. Everybody who lives there knows how and most would be delighted to teach you. Lobsters are low in fat, high in vitamins and minerals and do not accumulate any “Red Tide” toxins. If you can’t get lobsters at home, Cape Ann offers many companies that will ship live lobsters to your door. My family loved the lobster stew served right on the dock at a fine seafood restaurant.  Fish-packing plants at quayside process the catch as soon as it’s brought in, and Gloucester’s daily seafood auction is the largest in the region.

For a romantic getaway, ocean adventure and fresh seafood, seniors can experience all this and more on Cape Ann.  In a single day, without leaving Cape Ann, you can

Gloucester is full of lobster traps..some very old, and a few new ones.  You’ll keep busy with the Beauport Museum, Whale Watching, Good Harbor Beach, Ten Pound Lighthouse, Main Street and lots more. You can find either spectacular ocean scenery, information on the area’s storied fishing past, fine dining, places to go bird watching or hiking, or just a quiet place to relax.  Yahoo Travel will find a good hotel for you in Gloucester.

Cape Ann is just north of Boston making it an ease day’s drive. So when you are done with Boston, take a short, pleasant drive or train ride NE of Boston to Gloucester and Cape Ann. If you love seafood, beautiful harbors, the smell of the ocean and fond memories of the east coast this blog is just for you.  jeb

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