Take some time to explore Gloucester's nonartistic offerings, starting with fresh scones from Alexandra’s Bread (265 Main St.; 978-281-3064), where you should arrive early before baked goods start to sell out. Then head southwest for three miles on Route 127 to Hammond Castle Museum ($10), originally built by early-twentieth-century inventor John Hays Hammond Jr. as a present for his wife. Said to be haunted, the castle draws paranormal enthusiasts, but you're here to freely roam the manicured grounds and enormous halls embellished with oddities and medieval artifacts. Grab lunch back in town at bustling Destino’s and order the linguiça sandwich ($6.50), a soft Italian roll stuffed with the spicy Portuguese sausage that shows up on menus all across town as a testament to Gloucester’s Portuguese working-class heritage. On the side you'll get a cup of soup (often fish chowder) and access to the “salad” bar, usually a selection of creamy coleslaw and cool macaroni and potato salads (choose the latter). After lunch, head to Main Street to explore Mystery Train Records, which claims to have the largest selection of vinyl in New England. Next, take a right onto Duncan and circle around the Harbor Loop, searching for placards designating stops on the Gloucester Haborwalk, a well-curated, outdoor walking museum with more than 40 points of historical interest relating to T.S. Eliot, Joan of Arc, and more. Turn left onto Rogers Street and continue to follow the self-guided tour until you reach Cape Ann Brewing Co. Settle in with a pint of hoppy Fisherman’s Ale and traditional pub food on the sun-drenched back porch, where the blond wooden benches evoke German beer halls, and watch the bustling harbor grow quiet in the evening hours.
The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan
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5. Oddball Day
Published on Aug 15, 2013 as a web exclusive.