If you’re looking for a memorable adventure, why not take a road trip along Route 127 to Cape Ann, Massachusetts? This idyllic road is a veritable delight for lovers of nature, history and seafood. From Salem to Rockport, each stop provides breathtaking scenery, unique historical monuments and an incomparable maritime vibe. Plan your trip down this magical road filled with surprises and marvels around each corner.
The proposed itinerary offers a more comprehensive alternative to the original Route 127, providing you with the ultimate experience of magnificent water views, charming villages, majestic lighthouses, white sand beaches, and fascinating historical sites.
The journey is only 32 miles long, but planning for a full day is recommended to truly appreciate the landscape. You can drive it in 90 minutes, but take your time to enjoy it fully. You can also use this itinerary for an entire weekend’s exploration of Cape Ann and stay one or two nights in one of its villages.
Start your adventure in Salem!
Your trip starts in Salem, famous for its 17th-century witch trials. But make no mistake, Salem has much more to offer beyond its sinister past.
This charming port town, only 45 minutes from Boston, is brimming with boutiques, restaurants and museums that attract visitors from around the world. Salem’s cobblestone streets are lined with historic houses and monuments commemorating famous people who have marked the city’s history.
Grab a coffee at the famous Jaho coffee shop and walk along the water’s edge for a view of Salem Harbour. Don’t leave without visiting the historic quarter, driving along pretty Essex Street and Derby Square.
If you feel like sunbathing, check out Waikiki Beach on Winter Island, just a 7-minute drive from downtown Salem. This beach gets its name from the famous Honolulu area beach because of its fine white sand.
First stop: Beverly
Your first stop on Route 127 will be the charming town of Beverly. Located only a few minutes from Salem, Beverly is often considered the cradle of the American Industrial Revolution as well as the US Navy.
Wander around the historic Beverly Farms neighbourhood and admire the superb 19th-century Victorian houses.
And if you feel like a snack, stop at Wrapture to munch on some wraps, fries, burritos, tacos, soup and salads with flavours from around the world. Beverly is the perfect destination for a rest stop before continuing your adventure on Route 127.
Second stop: Manchester-by-the-Sea
Continue to Manchester-by-the-Sea, a picturesque coastal town known for its enormous mansions overlooking the sea, providing breathtaking panoramic views.
Don’t be intimidated by this small community, one of the richest in the United States; it has a welcoming, relaxed, peaceful and serene ambience.
Wander around the downtown area and admire the local boutiques, art galleries and restaurants serving delicious local cuisine.
If you’re looking to relax, make your way to Singing Beach, another beautiful crescent-shaped stretch of white sand, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, or simply walking along the shore.
Third stop: Gloucester
The third stop on your trip is Gloucester, the oldest fishing port in the US. Visit the city’s lively port and see the colourful fishing boats docked there. You’ll see the emblematic "Gloucester Fisherman's Memorial," which pays homage to the fishermen who have lost their lives at sea.
Gloucester is also known for its role as the filming location of the movie "The Perfect Storm," directed by Wolfgang Petersen, which recounts the tragic events of 1991 when fishermen faced a deadly storm.
Wander around downtown Gloucester and discover this historic city’s colonial architecture. You can also visit the Maritime Gloucester museum to learn more about the region’s maritime heritage.
If you want to enjoy some outdoor time, go to Good Harbor Beach, one of the area’s most beautiful beaches. This small beach with white sand offers a magnificent view of the Atlantic Ocean and is perfect for swimming. Nearby, be sure to stop at Charlie's Place for a lobster roll, and other fresh seafood typical of the area.
Fourth stop: Rockport
For an even more picturesque driving experience, take a detour after Gloucester onto the secondary Route 127A. This narrow road winds through residential areas, providing superb panoramic sea views.
This road will have you hugging the coast, passing by Long Beach. Note the small artist studios along the way. You will arrive in Rockport, a charming harbour town in the northern part of Cape Ann. Rockport is famous for its colourful wooden houses and its picturesque fishing port.
While exploring the streets of Rockport, don’t miss Bearskin Neck, a small promenade lined with arts and crafts shops, as well as seafood restaurants. It’s the perfect spot to do some shopping and bring back unique souvenirs of your travels.
Don't forget to take a picture of the small red fishing shack in the Rockport harbour, known as Motif N°1, which is the heart and symbol of the town.
Rockport has lots to do; you can go whale watching, sea kayaking, and explore the trails on foot or by bicycle. For more relaxing activities, visit the local artist studios and antique stores.
Complete the Route 127 loop!
Leaving Rockport, continue along to Halibut Point! Perched on the edge of Cape Ann, Halibut Point used to be a quarry. Today, visitors can enjoy the quarry’s peaceful waters, which contrast with the powerful waves crashing on the coastline.
After exploring Halibut Point, continue your travels southward by taking Route 127 towards Plum Cove Beach. This picturesque beach is one of Cape Ann’s hidden gems, with its fine sand and spectacular ocean views. Take some time to relax on the beach, swim in the cool waters of the Atlantic or explore the rock formations.
To celebrate the end of your itinerary, make a gourmet stop at Willow Rest, a bakery and delicatessen located on Route 127. You'll find freshly baked goods, gourmet sandwiches, and a selection of local products, including artisanal cheese, meats, and fresh seafood. Enjoy this small store's warm and inviting ambience to relax and recharge before returning on the road.
Discover New England’s beauty for yourself!
By travelling Route 127, you will discover the wonders of the Cape Ann coast, from picturesque beaches to fishing villages through spectacular scenery.
This road trip is an unforgettable experience for foodies, nature lovers and history buffs. Before travelling to the USA, don’t forget to contact a soNomad agent to find the best travel insurance for you.