There is an enchanting, peaceful seaside village, not too far away—called Rockport, Massachusetts. Located on Cape Ann, embraced on three sides by the Atlantic Ocean, it’s about an hour away from busy, crowded Boston, yet feels like it’s a world away. Reserve at a quaint and cozy inn, settle in, take a walk, explore art galleries and one-of-a-kind shops, eat fresh local cuisine, and you will feel the magic and serenity seep into and restore you. Rockport is that rare and precious find, the ideal yet affordable vacation getaway.
Rockport is actually “the end of the line,” which will add to your feeling of escape and sanctuary. There are two ways to get there. One is a commuter-rail train out of Boston’s North Station; after about an hour-long ride (with increasingly beautiful sea and wooded views out the windows), the city becomes a distant memory and you arrive at the last stop, this pretty New England village, Rockport. Alternatively, you can drive 35 miles north of Boston to the eastern end of Rt. 128. Once there, you will find miles of rugged, rocky coastline, several 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.”
You may discover that a daytrip is too short and only hints at the beauty and possibilities for exploration and relaxation. Numerous lodgings are tucked throughout 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 accommodations allow you to walk to everything, while outlying ones are enhanced by the sights and sounds of the sea. Find the one that is right for you here.
Rockport has preserved its simple and romantic character with many classic New England homes having picket fences, pretty flower gardens, and luxurious front porches. 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 beautiful music hall, the Shalin Liu Performance Center. Home to a vibrant arts community, Rockport is also prized for its many art galleries, world-class art association, and numerous restaurants with great ocean views, ranging from fancy to casual.
If outdoor activities interest you, opportunities abound. You’ll have easy access to bicycling, hiking, and bird-watching; there are miles of trails in the historic woods of 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, surf-fishing, or arrange for a guided charter.
One of the joys of staying here is the feeling of belonging you get. Returning from a stroll along the 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. Your host, fulfilling the role of personal concierge, is happy to answer your questions and offer suggestions of places to see or dine. 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 breakfast, as you and other visitors share the day’s adventures. You’re likely to meet many interesting travelers, including European visitors, who find in Rockport and surrounding Cape Ann the classic New England experience.
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.