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Gloucester, Massachusetts, US

North of Boston and near the tip of Cape Ann, Gloucester is a picturesque fishing town with opportunities for seaborne adventures as well as charming sights on dry land. Established in the 17th century and one of the earliest settlements in Massachusetts, Gloucester eventually grew to be an important fishing town. In the 19th century, large numbers of Portuguese and Italian immigrants arrived in search of work on boats. Today, fishing is still central to the town’s economy—though tourism plays a large role too, with visitors drawn to Gloucester's small-town appeal as well as the chance to experience life around the harbor. A stop in Gloucester would be incomplete without getting out onto the water, and there are many whale-watching tours that depart from the piers. On land, a stroll along the harbor or a visit to some of its appealing restaurants and shops would be an ideal way to fill an afternoon. Gloucester's close proximity to Boston makes day trips into the city another option, while nearby communities like Salem and Rockport are great diversions into other New England towns with their own fascinating museums, restaurants and histories. A day in Gloucester is a journey into the heart of the historic Massachusetts seashore, with many ways to enjoy the richness of coastal life.