Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blue Shutters Weighs in on Beach Debate

The Boston Globe and recently ran a story comparing North Shore beaches to Cape Cod beaches...and we couldn't help weighing in. You can probably guess where we stand on this debate, but here's our arguement (posted as a comment to the online version of the story earlier this week):

There's no question that the North Shore -- specifically Cape Ann is the winner. The first advantage is getting there: 45 minutes from Boston (by car or train) versus who knows how long to travel to Cape Cod. And once you're on Cape Ann it's much easier moving about the area to experience not only a variety of beaches (foremost among them, Good Harbor) but also the region's history, culture and character. The four towns on Cape Ann -- Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester-by-the-sea and Essex -- offer all this, without the hassle of Cape Cod crowds and traffic. And as for beaches, there's something for everyone here as well -- the long stretches of Wingarsheek, the beauty of Singing Beach in Manchester, the quaint in-town feel of Back Beach in Rockport. But for me, Good Harbor is by far the best -- you can splash in the waves on a long flat beach, walk along a sandy shoreline, sit among the dunes, float in a tidal river, gaze out at the unqiue twin lighthouses, stroll across a footbridge, explore the rocks and "lagoons" and wade over to an island at low tide. And there is a supermarket, ice cream shop and diner within walking distances -- and some very nice B&Bs right along the beach (you need to check out the view from the Blue Shutters Beachside). You won't find this combination anywhere else in New England.

On Tap for this Weekend: Whalefest, Downtown Block Party

As reported earlier in our online diary, there are all kinds of great events planned for this summer -- and one is kicking off today...the first-ever Whalefest Gloucester. Cape Ann has long been the perfect stepping off point for whale-watching -- our guests ALWAYS come back full of great stories of whales "performing" alongside their boat -- so it makes creat sense to celebrate these amazing creatures. This festival coincides Gloucester's Downtown Block Party this Saturday. This is all the more reason to come up to the Blue Shutters for a visit. There's still an open room tonite, and another on Saturday.

Rockport Music Hall Sounds Spectacular

We've gotten more rave reviews from folks who have attended performances at the new Rockport music hall. We haven't been inside ourselves yet, but hope to slip away for a performance sometime this summer. We can tell you that the view of the massive window overlooking the water is awesome. And guests who have been to performances report to us that the experience inside the hall -- both the visuals and, of course, the sound -- is spectacular. If you have a chance, check it out next time you're on Cape Ann -- or plan a trip to attend a performance (and stay at the Blue Shutters while you're here!)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Looking to Beat the Heat? We Have Rooms Available This Weekend!

It has been a busy week -- thanks in part to the steamy weather that brought more and more folks to the beach...and this coming weekend promises to be just as nice. The good news for those of you looking to make some last minute getaway plans -- we still have a rooms available on Saturday and Sunday nights. Call us before someone grabs these!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Special Events, Activities Unfolding All Summer Across Cape Ann

There is a full schedule of events and special activities unfolding across Cape Ann this summer -- and the Blue Shutters is a great stepping off point to enjoy it all.

There are some past favorites like Sidewalk Days in downtown Gloucester and the popular Farmer's Market, in a new location on Rogers Street.

And there are new events, like the first-ever "Run Gloucester" Road Race planned for August 22 -- part of a 'trifecta' of major road races along New England shorelines .

Here's a peek at these and other fun activities in store for this summer:

Manchester Arts Festival
July 24
Downtown Manchester

Seascape Festival
July 24-25
Gloucester Maritime
Heritage Center

Gloucester Sidewalk Days
August 5-7
Downtown Gloucester

Gloucester Waterfront Festival
August 14-15
Stage Fort Park

"Run Gloucester!
7-Mile Road Race"
Aug. 22

Cape Ann Farmers Market
Every Thursday
Rogers Street in Gloucester

Check out the Cape Ann Vacations website for details on these and other summertime activities, or call us for more information -- and we'll book your stay at the Blue Shutters.

July 4th Kicks off Summer in Style

The calander says summer begins on June 21. For many of us, the summer starts the first day we're able to sit on the beach in a bathing suit and dip our toes in the water (and that happened in May this year). But others see July 4th as the official launch of the season -- and for those who do, 2010 was not a disappointment. Here's a photo taken that morning -- from the sands of Good Harbor Beach, where crowds flocked to enjoy the warm weather and cooling breezes. It was a perfect beach day, and the week ahead looks to be even nicer. In fact, we're expecting many more days like this all summer long. While it's filling up, there are still plenty of spots left for a visit to the Blue Shutters. Call us so that you can join the beachlovers here at the Blue Shutters.