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The Boston Globe

Magazine

Escape to Cape Ann

For a day trip, a weekend, or longer, Gloucester, Rockport, Essex, and Manchester-by-the-Sea have loads to offer, minus the travel hassles.

Cape Cod gets all the attention in the summer months. It also gets the traffic, and the crowds. But it certainly doesn’t have the lock on New England picturesque, even as far as capes go. About 40 miles north of Boston and made up of four towns — Rockport, Essex, Manchester-by-the-Sea, and Gloucester, which is actually a city — Cape Ann is 58 square miles of beaches, boats, and fried seafood, all easily accessible by car or, even better, commuter rail. Here’s everything you need to know to plan an easy, satisfying getaway that’s less than an hour from the city and blissfully Sagamore-free.

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