Alternative Summer Retreat in Gloucester
August 1, 2012

When someone tells you her family spends every summer in Gloucester and has for more than 20 years, you might assume they own a vacation cottage or rent a place. I certainly did a few years ago when I was discussing summer plans with a new friend.

Asked for details, she explained that she and her family have gone to the Cape Ann Camp Site, which is just minutes from gorgeous Wingaersheek Beach, for over two decades.

We’re not talking about fancy motor home or pop-up trailer camping here. They set up a tent in the same spot sometime around Memorial Day and break it down after Labor Day. To be sure, they have refined the experience with inflatable mattresses, a hammock, a cozy kitchen area, and some outdoor furniture. They even have a guest tent. It’s pretty amazing.

Though retired now, my friend actually commuted from her remote home while her kids attended the YMCA camp down the road. Her daughter is now a counselor-in-training.

There are lots of people who have RVs and return to the same place every year; many people do so at the Cape Ann camp. But tenting all summer long is pretty unusual. Truthfully, I’m in awe of this family. They enjoy many of the benefits of a beach vacation property with little of the overhead, or the impact to the environment. I love how little a footprint they leave.

Camp Ann built its camp sites in concert with the environment. All of its 200 sites are unique. Some are up hills or hidden away; some have awesome rock formations or views. Six toilet and shower buildings, a small campsite store, and a centrally located Wi-Fi signal, are among the amenities. One-night rates start at $32 per car with two people and on weekends and holidays, there are minimum required stays. Additional people, electricity, and sewer hook-up cost extra. Call for longer-stay visit rates.

Certainly, this isn’t for everyone, but when your friends come to visit and it’s standard to light a fire and roast marshmallows while you sit around talking, it seems like the epitome of summer fun to me.

AMC wants to hear from you! Do you spend any extended vacations camping? Tell us about it! Where do you go and why?







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