Most visitors to Boston automatically head southwards to Hyannis and Cape Cod to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Not very many folks however, know about Rockport, a quaint seaside town by Cape Ann, which is a mere 37 miles north of Beantown. In your daytrip to Rockport, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see charming town filled with small art galleries. There’s also an unmistakable nautical character thanks in part to the dozens of fishing and lobster boats docked in its many marinas. Finally, Rockport is well suited for visitors looking for light adventure. There are diving opportunities in addition to swimming and kayaking. Not to mention hiking and walking trails available nearby that will reward the individual with breathtaking views of the sea.
A Daytrip to Rockport Massachusetts
An Artist’s Haven
Who would have thought that the most photographed and drawn image in the United States lie in this sleepy fisherman’s town? If you’re into the arts, a daytrip to Rockport will be a great option for you. The downtown area has a number of local artist galleries featuring images of traditional New England sceneries. As you walk around the main street in town, you’ll find houses and buildings with colorful flower boxes made from recycled scraps and signage tastefully done with used materials. Rudyard Kipling himself mentioned the town in his novel Captains Courageous, which was turned into a movie featuring Spencer Tracy.
Further up the shore, in Bradley Wharf, you’ll catch a glimpse of “Motif No. 1”, a replica of the original red fishing shack. The deep red color of the structure contrasts beautifully with the bright blue sea and white fishermen boats often found docked near the wharf. The balance of colors makes this building the most photographed and painted building in the world.
An Abundance of Fresh Seafood
One of the advantages of being a fisherman’s town is the abundance of fresh seafood. As a visitor on a daytrip to Rockport, this is definitely something you need to experience. Thankfully, the town has a number of unassuming eateries that feature plenty of fresh clams, lobster and shrimp without the markup that you’ll see dining in restaurants in Boston. These down home, local seafood shacks focus more on the quality and flavor of the food rather than the presentation itself.
If you love lobster, head over to Roy Moore Lobster, a small seafood eatery with waterfront seating. It sits next to the dock and also features a seafood market nearby. Order a boiled lobster, a cup of chowder and some sides for a lunch befitting the location. The place is also BYOB. If you happen to be in town a little early, hit up Red Skiff Restaurant, a staple for breakfast and lunch for both locals and tourists alike. The breakfast menu offers your traditional menu with eggs, meat and pancakes, but their lunch menu is where they bring out the regional specialties. Opt for a lobster roll and you’ll get large chunks of lobster claw meat on top of fresh baked French bread while their fried seafood platters include an option for scallops and clams.
Beaches and the Seaside
As you drive up to Cape Ann with your rental car for a day trip to Rockport, you’ll have a sense of what a local New England fishing town actually looks like. In contrast to the tourist-laden Cape Cod and Hyannis, Rockport is smaller and more intimate. The beaches will have children running around in their swimming gear gathering stones and playing with miniature boats rather than building sand castles. The most popular of the local beaches is likely to be Pebble Beach. With plenty of parking spaces and one of the longest stretches of uninterrupted sand; Pebble Beach is a favorite of sunbathers and swimmers. The water here is warmer than the nearby ocean beaches as well. Pebble Beach is also popular for entry-level divers. The rock reef located on the edge of the shore allows for diving up to 20 feet.
Those looking a bit of an adventure ought not to miss Bearskin Neck and Halibut Point State Park. The former is a section of the town that provides visitors with a number of boutique stores and gift shops. What’s not to miss is the walk to “the Point” where you’ll be treated with a great spot to watch the sunset. The latter on the other hand is about 15 minutes away from the town. What was once a granite quarry now features a number of trails that will lead you down a rocky beach. There’s a fee of $6 for out of town license plates.