After our stay in Salem we headed down US Route 127 which is very scenic road in Massachusetts in order to see small coastal towns in the area. Our final destination for the day was Portsmouth, New Hampshire, but until we arrived there we saw a lot of really great towns. When you are on a road trip the main goal is to avoid the highways, so we tried or best to stay on the local roads. In between towns you can see lovely rural sights, amazing fall colors and a few glimpses of the Atlantic Ocean. In this post I will show you the towns: Manchester-by-the-Sea, Gloucester and Rockport, and the next post will cover the tows of: Newburyport and Portsmouth.
Manchester-by-the-SeaManchester was first settled by Europeans in 1629 and was officially incorporated in 1645. It was formed out of territory taken from Salem and Gloucester. The town lies along the North Shore of Massachusetts Bay, which in turn leads to the Atlantic Ocean. There are seven beaches lining the coast, and several small islands dot the coast, the largest being Kettle Island and House Island. US Route 127 also passes from west to east through town, traveling through the center of town.
GloucesterNext up on our road trip was Gloucester . It's the oldest fishing town in the USA. It has a very interesting history. The main street, though hidden behind the houses is very charming, but the most known feature of the town is the Fisherman's Memorial, located along the road in town. The statue reads "They that go down to the sea in ships 1623-1923". Gloucester is also a center for research on marine life and conservation. Ocean Alliance (a organization which is dedicated to the conservation of whales and their marine environment) is headquartered in the city.
RockportThe area that is now Rockport was simply an uninhabited part of Gloucester for more than 100 years, and was primarily used as a source of timber for shipbuilding. By the beginning of the 19th century, the first granite quarries were developed, and by the 1830s, Rockport granite was being shipped to cities and towns throughout the East Coast. Rockport had consisted primarily of large estates, summer homes, and a small fishing village while Gloucester was becoming increasingly urbanized.
Our stay in Rockport came to an end and we headed inland towards Newburyport where we had lunch. But more on that, as well as our second night on this trip in the next part.
End of Part Three
To be continued...