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How to spend a perfect weekend in Gloucester

There’s another Cape in Massachusetts besides Cape Cod.

Coin-operated binoculars enhance the view along Stacey Boulevard in Gloucester.
Coin-operated binoculars enhance the view along Stacey Boulevard in Gloucester. –Christopher Muther / Globe staff

GLOUCESTER — You can thank me later, but first let me share the exciting news. There are two Capes in Massachusetts! Who knew? Scrub that look of disbelief off your face and listen carefully. Not only is there Cape Cod, but there is something north of Boston called Cape Ann. I’m still in disbelief over my discovery. I felt like Leif Erikson in a Volkswagen Golf as I sped toward the Annisquam River and into this new Promised Land.

Fine, I wasn’t the first to discover Cape Ann and Gloucester; it was that show-off Mark Wahlberg who discovered it. But let’s forget semantics and get to the meat of the matter. As a Bostonian who returns to Cape Cod every year like a molting swallow to San Capistrano, Gloucester was off my radar. I’ve lived in Boston for 25 years and can count the number of times I’ve been to Gloucester on two little piggies.

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I suspect I’m not the only Bostonian who suffers from this syndrome. During the radiant days I spent in Gloucester, I came across beaches with breathing room and a charming downtown that was not choked with cars. I feel as if writing about Gloucester is like revealing some kind of obvious secret. It’s a perfect, New England-y summer escape.

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