The Maritime Heritage Center celebrates the seaport culture of Gloucester with a historic waterfront of real seagoing vessels, an aquarium, and exhibits explaining local fishing history. There is no admission fee for most of the attractions, but donations are always appreciated by this nonprofit organization. The schooner Adventure, a national historic landmark, is docked at the marina near the heritage center.

The Beauport Sleeper-McCann House (75 Eastern Point Blvd), another national historic landmark, is a uniquely decorated house that resembles something of a fairy-tale castle/cottage, with each room decorated in a different theme. The house is open to visitors from June to mid-September on Mondays through Fridays and seven days a week from mid-September to mid-October. Tours are given every hour on the hour from 10am to 4pm.

Another famous residence in the area is Hammond Castle, built in the 1920s to resemble a medieval fortress. The palace is now home to a large collection of Roman antiquity, medieval and Renaissance artifacts. A King Arthur festival is also held here in July with full-day scenarios played out by actors. Summer hours are generally 10am to 5pm Monday through Thursday and 10am to 3pm on the 3 weekend days.

The Cape Ann Historical Museum (27 Pleasant Street) celebrates the art, history and culture of Cape Ann. The museum houses a renowned permanent collection, a research library/archives featuring historic photographs, vessel logbooks and other archival material, and two historichouses. In addition, at least three major special exhibitions are installed during the year. The permanent collection includes fisheries and maritime galleries illustrating Cape Ann ’s preeminence in seafaring pursuits; an extensive fine art collection that includes: over 140 works by Gloucester native son Fitz Henry  Lane; 25 drawings by 20th century American painter Stuart Davis; important work by other major 19th and 20th century American artists including Maurice Prendergast, Milton Avery, John Sloan, Cecilia Beaux Stuart Davis and Marsden Hartley; and several works by many of the sculptors who have lived and worked on Cape Ann, beginning with Charles Grafly; a gallery dedicated to the granite quarrying industry that flourished on Cape Ann in the 19th century; a decorative arts collection that includes important 18th and 19th century American furniture; Paul Revere silver made for Gloucester’s First Parish Church; and a major archive of the work of the Folly Cove Designers; and, two historic homes and many historic artifacts of local and national significance.  A regular calendar of activities and events and educational programs are offered in conjunction with the collection and exhibitions. For hours, directions and up-to-date information, visit the website at www.capeannhistoricalmuseum.org