As Massachusetts Route 128 descends from the heights of the A. Piatt Andrew Bridge (having crossed the Annisquam River onto Cape Ann), it approaches a traffic rotary called Grant Circle. Passing through this rotary is another roadway, Route 127, part of the Cape Ann "circumferential" roadway. To travel this circumferential roadway in a clockwise direction, use the third exit off Grant Circle ( Washington Street ).
From Grant Circle , Route 127 makes its way in a general northerly direction through the hamlets of Riverview and Riverdale, and passes by Annisquam. Very spectacular views of the Annisquam River and some of its tributaries can be seen from the roadway in Riverview and Riverdale. Although boasting a beautiful view now and then, the Annisquam River offers no memorable diving.
Passing the Annisquam peninsula, Washington Street (Route 127) traces the Cape Ann coast facing onto Ipswich Bay ... Annisquam Shores , Davis Neck, Hodgkins Cove, Bay View Shores , Plum Cove, Lanesville Shores South, and Lanes Cove. Near Lanes Cove, Route 127 changes name twice...briefly to Andrews Street , and then to Langsford Street which parallels the coast of Lanesville Shores North . Route 127 becomes Washington Street again as it passes by Folly Point and Folly Cove. Entering the Town of Rockport , the road changes its name from Washington Street to Granite Street .
Turning east and southeast, Route 127 parallels the Cape Ann coast, passing Halibut Shores , Halibut Point, Hoop Pole Cove, Andrews Point , Ocean Bluff, Angle Point, Cathedral Rocks, Pigeon Rock, Pigeon Cove Shores , Granite Pier, Gull Cove, and Rowe Point. In the vicinity of Rowe Point, Route 127 ( Granite Street ) bears to the right while an intersecting street ( Beach Street ) leads down to Back Beach . Route 127 continues along Granite Street (which becomes Railroad Avenue ) to the intersection of Main Street , Broadway, Parker Street , and Upper Main Street . At this intersection (called Five Corners), Route 127-A begins as a left turn, and continues down Broadway turning right onto Mount Pleasant Street and passing by picturesque downtown Rockport. About two blocks up the hill, at McEachern Square , Route 127 changes its name from Mount Pleasant Street to South Street .
About 6/10ths of a mile from the center of Rockport (T Wharf), along Route 127-A, will be Marmion Way (a left turn). Access to Gully Point, Gully Point Cove, Gap Head, Gap Cove, and Whale Cove is from Marmion Way . Marmion Way swings by the coast and returns to Route 127-A at a point about 9/10ths of a mile from the center of Rockport Access to Flat Point, Paradise Cliffs, and Loblolly Cove is from Eden Road which leads off to the left from Route 127-A at a point about 1-1/4 miles from Rockport Center. Eden Road joins Penzance Road which passes by Loblolly Point, Emerson Point, Lands End, and Cogswell Farm Landing.
At a point about 1-3/4 miles from Rockport Center , Route 127-A leaves South Street and continues along Thatcher Road in a southwesterly direction. Access to Pebbly Beach is by way of South Street which continues beyond its Thatcher Road connection down to the coast...a left turn off South Street onto Penance Road parallels Pebbly Beach .
Thatcher Road (Route 127-A) passes by Cape Hedge Beach, Cape Hedge, and Long Beach, then crosses from Rockport to Gloucester and passes High Rocks, Briar Neck, Salt Island Shores, and Good Harbor Beach. In the vicinity of the southwest end of Good Harbor Beach , Thatcher Road crosses Bass Avenue and becomes Atlantic Road and continues along the east coast of the East Gloucester peninsula, while Route 127-A short-cuts to the Inner Harbor .
On the East Gloucester peninsula, Atlantic Road passes Bass Rocks and Atlantic Road Shores . At the end of Atlantic Road , Farrington Avenue crosses the mid-point of the peninsula to Eastern Point Boulevard , separating Eastern Point from the rest of Gloucester . Eastern Point boasts Brace Cove, Bemo Ledge, Brace Rock, Eastern Point Shores , and the Dog Bar Breakwater (shore based access to this part of the East Gloucester peninsula is restricted to residents and authorized individuals).
Eastern Point Boulevard heads north, becomes Eastern Point Road , and at Wonson Cove and Rocky Neck changes its name again...this time to East Main Street . East Main Street becomes a one-way street in the vicinity of the end of Gloucester Inner Harbor necessitating a right turn onto Sayward Street . A left turn from Sayward Street onto Bass Avenue will lead to the intersection of Route 128 (with a traffic sign announcing that Boston is 38 miles away). Heading along Route 128 for a distance of about 1-3/4 miles (passing through a traffic rotary called Blackburn Circle ), the Grand Tour completes its circumnavigation of Cape Ann by arriving back at Grant Circle .