Holiday Lights and Cocoa Drives 2020 map #GloucesterMA 🚗☕🎄✨⛄Update 2 – Portuguese Hill, other stretch Essex Ave

NEW photos in this post include: the second stretch of Essex Avenue from Richdale heading up to Farnham’s; Portuguese Hill neighborhood; don’t miss Happy Santa indigo up on Perkins; Harrison; and sweet charm of Hartz. Check the map for updates. Still to come: East Gloucester, Annnisquam, Lanesville, Magnolia.

annual beauty Concord/Essex Ave

Holiday lights & cocoa drives Gloucester Mass as of Dec. 2, 2020

What a gift our neighbors have shared for the community! There are so many festive houses in Gloucester it’s easy to plan multiple merry excursions.

  • For families and friends, eyespy challenges could switch nightly. Can you find a Santa? A peace sign? Snoopy?
  • How about a Bring the Cuddlies Christmas Light Tour- children can help their toy friends see out the car window. This one may be a given: Happy to share photos of your precious travelers :).
  • Pick a specific route by color lights or house style.
  • Bring art supplies to sketch a view.
  • Older homes make it fun to wonder about what it was like in the past. For families that like Old Timey winter scenes–imagine New England Little Women, Little House on the Prairie, Winslow Homer, and Currier& Ives– pretend the car is a sleigh or horse and buggy. Find some dress up attire that looks vintage (or go all out and find some duds at Bananas). Add a hot water bottle for the feet. A towel or blanket can wrap around like a hand warmer muff. For fans of Louisa May Alcott, point to Braewood* on Essex Avenue (across from Pauline’s gifts) and Rocky Neck, where she stayed on Gloucester holidays. Picture a winter skating rink in front of the UU Church on Middle Street. *For more about the history of Braewood and Alcott in Gloucester, search “Braewood” in this prior post.
  • For the train and dinosaur train enthusiasts, all aboard! The express car might even time with the T or train.
  • Switch off date night driving so the passenger can enjoy a festive eggnog.

These are special outings just outside your door. Don’t miss them!

Illustration for Louisa May Alcott Jack and Jill, 1880 – distant town and harbor suggestion of Gloucester from a property like Braewood at the time

happy Santa indigo

More photos

Zombies Spotted on Good Harbor Beach !


Good Harbor Beach became Zombie Town on Saturday night, as the Blue Shutters Beachside Inn threw a Murder Mystery Night featuring a “walking dead” theme. The Blue Shutters innkeepers jumped right in along with guests of the inn – that’s Ed and AnnMarie Comer on the far left, Tony Sapienza on the far right and Patty Sapienza center front.

Tony, Patty, Ed and Annmarie

Check Out The Blue Shutters Beachcam on

Viva Blue Shutters — Another Great Food & Wine Tasting….with a Spanish Flavor

The New Owners At the Blue Shutters Inn have turned the place into a lively event center.

The latest from Tony Sapienza-

Viva Blue Shutters — Another Great Food & Wine Tasting….with a Spanish Flavor

When we planned our most recent Food & Wine Tasting around a Latin America theme (in celebration of Cinco de Mayo) little did we know that we’d have folks with South American roots as part of the crowd. So on Saturday afternoon when we began bringing out Chilean and Argentian wines and South American dishes like lamb and dried cherry quesadillas and grilled shrimp with almond romesco sauce, we were concerned that this might not stack up to their expectations. Well, we impressed even the girls with family from Argentina — as well as guests from Gloucester, GreaterBoston and New York. Speaking of Argentina, one of the more interesting dishes was Carne Arsado with Chimicurri sauce — it turns out the term "chimichurri" was based on the name of American cowboy Jimmy McCurry, who brought the recipe to the ranches of Argentina. So not only did everyone enjoy great food and wine — and lots of laughs and a few cigars after the tasting; we also learned something new. A big thank you to our wine expert Kathy Hill, from the Traveling Vineyard, and our visiting chef, Mark Sapienza from the Langham Hotel, for the wine and food (that’s Kathy in the photo here with Mark’s brother — and Blue Shutters innkeeper — Tony Sapienza showing off some of the dishes from Saturday night). We’ll start up our food and wine events again in the fall — we look forward to seeing everyone back for more tastings then.

anth and kathy

Blue Shutters Inn Food and Wine Tasting May 7th

Joey — here are some details on our upcoming Food & Wine Tasting Fiesta coming up on May 7….

making sliders

The Blue Shutters is having its final Food & Wine Tasting of the off-season on Saturday May 7, and there are still a few spots open. These Food & Wine Tastings are our most anticipated off-season events…and why not? You get to try some great wine paired with amazing dishes in a fun and friendly atmosphere overlooking Good Harbor Beach — and it’s our treat for those who spend a night or two at the Blue Shutters that weekend. And if that’s not enough of an incentive, consider this: we’re using our May 7 event to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, featuring wines and food items fromChile, Argentina and other countries south of the border. This all unfolds in the Main Room of the Blue Shutters, where you can compare notes with other wine and food lovers before retiring to one of our uniquely decorated rooms overlooking Good Harbor Beach. Once again, our Traveling Vineyard wine expert Kathy Hill and Langham Hotel chef Mark Sapienza are putting together the tasting menu for this afternoon. We’ll know more about their plans in a few weeks but to give you and idea of what’s in store, check out the items from our March tasting: Smoked Salmon Crostini; Chicken Rillettes with Apple Ice Wine and Toasted Baguettes; Fennel Salami, Speck and Duck Proscuitto with Fig and Cherry Moustarda Fruits; Meatball Parmesan Sliders; Manjari Soft Chocolate with Burgundy Cherries…all paired with yummy red and white wines (in the photo here you see Mark, his wife Donna and innkeeper Patty preparing those meatball sliders). No matter what Mark and Kathy serve up, this is definitely not your average Saturday afternoon snack. Call or email us today and reserve a room for this weekend — one night or two — and get in on this special event. We’re also offering a weekend discount — if you stay two nights that weekend, the second night is half-price! You won’t find a deal like this anywhere.


Tony, Patty, Ed and Annmarie

Mother’s Day is coming soon — May 8 — and we have a suggestion on how you can make this a special treat for Mom. That Saturday, May 7, we’re holding our Food and Wine Tasting — you’ll find details in the post below. Mom can enjoy great wine and amazing food items on Saturday afternoon and wake up to the beauty of Good Harbor Beach the next morning (in this photo you see our innkeeper Moms AnnMarie and Patty enjoying some wine at our last tasting event in March). We’ll make sure Mom has some flowers — our treat! There will be time to enjoy walks on the beach, and we’ll also have menus and recommendations for those interested in dining at one of Cape Ann’s many restaurants – and a guide to some of our favorite spots for drinks, shopping and entertainment while you’re here. Of course it would be even more special if you were there as well — or maybe you want to treat yourself to a Mother’s Day getaway. No matter who comes along, it’s sure to be a special weekend. And we’re making it even easier to spend a few days here — book a room Saturday and get Friday night at half-price. Call and make a reservation while there’s still space left.

annmarie and patty

Updates From The Blue Shutters Inn


Two updates from the Blue Shutters…plans for a Beachside Easter Egg Hunt on April 23 and more Specials for Knitting Lovers.

On Saturday April 23, we’re launching a new Blue Shutters tradition this Easter — our younger friends (and their parents) are invited to join us for our first Beachside Easter Egg Hunt. On that afternoon, we’ll let the kids search our lawn for treats left by the Easter Bunny. There’ll be plenty of time to walk the beach or check out other activities around Cape Ann.  Families who join us can make it a truly special visit and stay with us Friday night — we’ll be roasting marshmallows by the firepit that evening and there’ll be special Easter breakast treats  for the kids on Saturday morning. We encourage folks to call or email us to let us know if they can be there to celebrate Easter Shutters-style…and get a little taste of what’s in store as the warm weather arrives.

And for those knitting lovers…our Knitters Weekend sounded like such a nice idea that we extended our special offer to those who like to "sit and stich" across the entire month. April is offically Knitters Month at the Blue Shutters. The Coveted Yarn — a knitting lovers heaven just minutes from the Blue Shutters — has offered to extend a discount to knitters who visit us this month. And we’ll be featuring the Seaside Knitting Mysteries — set right here on Cape Ann — courtesy of author Sally Goldenbaum. Whether you are part of a group or looking for a quiet getaway with your knitting — whether you’re an expert or a novice — you’ll no doubt enjoy what we have in store. There are discounts for groups and for weekend stays — and the usual attractions that have made the Blue Shutters a favorite for knitters over the years.

Tony, Patty, Ed and Annmarie

Blue Shutters Inn Food & Wine Tasting — March 19 and May 7

From The Blue Shutters Inn Blog

Food & Wine Tasting Updates — March 19 and May 7

Check out the update below for details on our next Food & Wine Tasting, on March 19. If you can’t make it this weekend, you’ll have another chance later this spring — and we wanted to let folks know that there’s been a date change for this next event. We’re moving this second tasting to Saturday May 7 — it had been scheduled for April 30, but there were too many conflicts. We’ll still go with our Cinco de Mayo theme, featuring a selection of red and white wines and food items from Chile, Argentina and other countries south of the border. That’s also Mother’s Day weekend, and we thought this be a great way to show Mom how much you care. Think about it — bring her along so she can wake up Mother’s Day morning to the beauty of Good Harbor Beach, after tasting great food and wine the afternoon/evening before. There will be time to enjoy walks on the beach, and we’ll also have menus and recommendations for those interested in dining at one of Cape Ann’s many restaurants – and a guide to some of our favorite spots for drinks, shopping and entertainment.
For both of these events — around Saturday March 19 and Saturday May 7 — you can make it a weekend getaway and get a special Blue Shutters discount: book a room Saturday and get Friday night at half-price.
Call us for more details…and to reserve a room and a spot for one of these food and wine tasting events.

Taste of Latin America Event At The Blue Shutters Inn Benefits Ecuador Medical Relief

From the Blue Shutters Inn Blog

por cristo shopping small

With Good Harbor Beach as a spectacular backdrop, friends of the Blue Shutters, together with friends of Por Cristo, came together on Sunday November 14 to get a "taste of Latin America" — food and wine with a South American flair, scarves and jewelry from Ecuador, and conversations with some of the folks behind the medical missions to one of neediest parts of the world. Our open house spotlighting the work of Por Cristo was a hit, with dozens of guests who came to sample some Latin American cuisine (another big thank you to Langham Hotel chef Mark Sapienza) and check out the items Por Cristo’s Medical Services Director Deborah Clark brought back from her trips to Ecuador .  All the funds raised from sale of these items goes to support the work of Por Cristo. The organization’s executive director Joe Reardon was on hand to share more background on Por Cristo’s work — and the Blue Shutters innkeepers chipped in with wines from Argentina and Chile , and some regional music. Gloucester and Good Harbor Beach may be thousands of miles from Ecuador , but for few hours on Sunday we all got a "taste of Latin America " — and, more importantly, provided some support for a very good cause. Thanks to everyone who joined us — we hope you had as much fun as we did.