If you're looking for a holiday spot this summer, look no further than Cape Ann, according to tourism officials.
Representatives of businesses there say they are excited about the summer season as they kick off Memorial Day weekend.
"In 2021, we're more optimistic," said Tony Sapienza, chair of the tourism council of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce in Gloucester. "People are feeling much more comfortable making trips."
Sapienza said the pandemic forced people to look for travel options closer to home — and that's when they discovered Cape Ann — located just 40 miles north of Boston.
"People came to think of Cape Ann as a different type of a destination. For those people who didn't want to travel out of state, they began to realize that they had a great option right in their backyard," he said.
These tourists — and many more — are coming back this year to enjoy the towns of Gloucester, Essex and Rockport.
The pandemic also taught area businesses lessons on controlling crowds, he said, which will come in handy as they closely watch the situation and follow the rules presented by the state.
"Masks are welcome. And in terms of crowds, you know, there is plenty of room at the beach," he said.
This segment aired on May 28, 2021. The audio for this segment is not available.