The Rockport Experience
Book a quaint and cozy inn, settle in, take a relaxing walk, explore art galleries and one-of-a-kind shops, and eat fresh seafood. You will feel Rockport's special magic and serenity seep into and restore you.
Rockport is actually the end of the line, which will add to your feeling of escape and sanctuary. There are two ways to get here. One is a commuter-rail train out of Boston's North Station; after about an hour-long ride (with increasingly beautiful sea and woods views out the windows), the city becomes a distant memory and you arrive at the final stop, emerging at this pretty New England village. Alternatively, you can drive 35 miles north of Boston by taking Rte. 95/128 until it forks off towards Cape Ann and Gloucester, and follow winding Rte. 127 to your destination. Once here, you will find miles of ruggedly scenic rocky coast, several small in-town sandy beaches, and a cluster of historic wooden homes and lanes abutting Sandy Bay. Rockport also features a small picturesque harbor (including the famous view of the little red lobster shack known as Motif #1), and plenty to enjoy along the winding Main Street and on historic Bearskin Neck.
But you must stay! A daytrip is too short and only hints at the beauty and possibilities for exploration and relaxation. Numerous lodgings are tucked into the village and along coves, from elegant Victorian inns to pleasant owner-operated motels to handsome bed & breakfasts to modest guesthouses - something for every taste and budget. In-town ones allow you to walk to everything, while outlying ones are enhanced by the sights and sounds of the sea. (Find the one that's right for you at www.innsofrockport.com.) To truly experience Rockport, reserving one of these is essential.
Rockport has preserved its simple and romantic character. The classic New England homes have picket fences, pretty flower gardens, front porches; some are colorfully painted. The charming downtown area has a surprisingly broad range of offerings for such a compact village, from an outstanding bookstore and intriguing gift shops to a brand-new music center (booking everything from chamber music to jazz in an intimate 325-seat hall with an ocean view). Home to a vibrant arts community, Rockport is also prized for its numerous art galleries and world-class art association. Restaurants, often with great views, range from fancy to casual.
If outdoor activities interest you, opportunities abound. You'll have easy access to bicycling and hiking; there are miles of trails in the woods of historic Dogtown, and Halibut Point State Park, at the northernmost tip of Cape Ann, has dramatic views. There are whale-watches and schooner excursions. You can try sea-kayaking, scuba-diving, fishing on your own, or arranging for a guided charter. And should you have the time and inclination, Rockport is a short drive from even more: the seaports and attractions of Gloucester and Salem, historic Boston, antiquing in the village of Essex, and the popular outlet stores of southern Maine.
One of the joys of staying here is the feeling of belonging you get. Returning from a stroll along a beach or from exploring the shops, you may walk past a beautifully tended little garden, up steps or onto a terrace or porch, to your room. The innkeeper may be on hand or you may have been given a key, but for the time being, your room at the inn is yours alone. In this way, it feels similar to visiting good friends - indeed, spontaneous friendships often form in the evening in the parlor or over fresh-from-the-oven muffins at the communal breakfast table downstairs. You and the other visitors will share your delight with the accommodations, the village, and the day's adventures; you'll likely meet fascinating, like-minded people, including European visitors, who find in Rockport and surrounding Cape Ann the classic New England experience. Your host, fulfilling the role of personal concierge, is happy to answer your questions and offer suggestions of places to see or dine. And when you are ready for quiet and privacy, you can retreat to your room.
So come to beautiful, magical Rockport. Linger for a memorable weekend, or treat yourself to a longer stay and settle in. This special little village in this spectacular setting will become a cherished part of your memories and a place to come back to, again and again.
Rockport Arts & Culture