Cape Ann vs. Cape Cod — What’s the Difference?

If you are planning a summer vacation to Massachusetts, it’s possible that you have considered Cape Cod. But did you know there is a relatively undiscovered vacation destination in Massachusetts that has all the beauty and charm of Cape Cod, but is closer to Boston, less expensive, and less crowded? Instead of heading south of Boston (and getting stuck in the summer traffic), head north towards scenic Cape Ann. If you’ve seen the Oscar-Winning films “CODA” and “Manchester by the Sea,” you’ve already got a glimpse of the area’s amazing scenery.

Cape Ann is North of Boston, unlike Cape Cod, which is South.Jutting boldly into the Atlantic, Cape Ann is home to the nation’s oldest working fishing port and art colony, and the sea-faring communities of GloucesterRockportEssex and Manchester by-the-Sea. Often called Massachusetts’ “other, better cape,” Cape Ann offers everything the other Cape claims. In addition to fishing (we’re the home of the hit TV show “Wicked Tuna“), we’ve got fabulous vistasmiles of gorgeous coastlines, boating, hiking, biking, great shopping and fine restaurants, and much more. Not only that, Cape Ann is far more affordable, and located less than an hour’s drive from Boston and its international airport. The MBTA commuter train from North Station also goes straight up to Rockport (via Salem and Beverly), making Cape Ann much more accessible to the metro Boston area. Cape Ann really is one of the best places to visit in New England, and it is incredibly easy to get there.

Cape Ann, MA - Atlantic Vacation HomesCape Ann offers many museums, historic houses, art galleries and some of the finest antique shops in all of New England. We are home to two symphony orchestras and the internationally renowned Rockport Music, along with many jazz, blues and folk music venues and world-class theater. Recreational events for all the family take place throughout the year, including the Gloucester Schooner Festival which brings tall ships from all over the world to our shore, and many parades and festivals add color and excitement. The Bluefin Blowout and the International Dory Races are the sporting events, and numerous cycling and running events take place throughout the summer.

​Cape Ann invented whale-watching and the fried clam, and we remain leaders at both. Fishing charters abound, and scuba diving, biking, sailing, rowing, hiking, rock climbing, bird watching, and golf are all popular pastimes. Boredom is unknown and probably illegal. Why Cape Ann? Why NOT Cape Ann? 

Where to Stay on Cape Ann

Whale Watching in Gloucester MA

If you are choosing between Cape Ann or Cape Cod, skip the crowds and traffic of Cape Cod and head north instead! Atlantic Vacation Homes offers a wide variety of vacation rental homes across Boston’s North Shore that would be perfect for your Massachusetts getaway. To book your accommodations, simply view available rentals and enter your desired dates to get a quote. You can also call toll-free at (855) 853-9143 to speak with a Guest Experience Specialist.