With pre-Revolutionary architecture and secluded beaches near Boston, this sprawling city is a rare combination of urban spirit and historic charm.
Regulars wait in long lines for a taste of the sausage-stuffed Rocky Neck omelet and famous pineapple fritters. 112 Main Street, 978/281-5310 or sugarmags.com.
Latitude 43 and Alchemy
These sister restaurants serve fresh-caught local fish in everything from chowders and entrées to sushi in cozy, firelit spaces decorated with subtle maritime flair. Latitude 43: 25 Rogers Street, 978/281-0223 or latfortythree.com. Alchemy: 3 Duncan Street, 978/281-3997 or alchemybistro.com.
Cape Ann Brewing Company
Just down the street, the family-owned business serves specialty craft beer (brewed on site) and delicious fish-and-chips.11 Rogers Street, 978/282-7399 or capeannbrewing.com.
Left: One of the unique shops in East Gloucester