If you’re looking for a picture perfect, classic New England town, then Rockport, Massachusetts is the destination for you. Located just one hour north of Boston, Rockport is an easy day trip that offers seacoast charm, fun shopping, tasty seafood, and colorful art.
Most of the action in Rockport centers around Bearskin Neck, a long street of old fisherman and lobster shacks that have been transformed into a picturesque shopper’s alley. You won’t find any name bands here; it’s all local artists and owners. So you can truly shop locally, and there’s something for everyone, from nautical gifts, to soaps and silversmiths, to home and kitchen accessories. One of my favorite stops is Rusty and Ingrid, where you can purchase fine art screen prints that are sketched and created entirely in-store. On my last visit, Rusty kindly offered to show us how he and his wife make each screen print by hand. It’s a fascinating process, and I couldn’t resist buying two prints before leaving. I also recommend the Rockport Candle Company where all the candles are hand-poured and where you’ll find inventive scents like Salt Water Taffy, Buttered Lobster, Summer Crush, and Cocktails by the Sea. When you’re done shopping, head all the way to the end of Bearskin Neck for incredible views and a walk out onto the rock jetty.
Feeling hungry? Rockport has many options for dining and dessert. If you’re craving seafood, head over to Roy Moore’s Lobster Company. You have two options: a full service restaurant (called Roy Moore’s Fish Shack) or the seafood market and eatery. Today, we went for takeout, ordering a lobster roll, fish cakes, and stuffed clams and then walking to the end of Bearskin Neck to sit on the rocks and enjoy the scenery. Who needs fine dining with these kind of ocean views?! For dessert, you could get ice cream, but I would recommend the apple or cherry strudel from Helmut’s Strudel Shop. During our last trip, we split a flaky delicious cherry strudel and savored every bite. Of course I ended up with powdered sugar all over me, but it was well worth it!
If you have a sweet tooth and are looking for something to bring home, then stop in at Tuck’s Candy Factory. They’ve been making candy on the premises since 1929, so you know it’s got to be good! There are two locations: one combines a candy counter and fun gift shop, while the other is strictly candy. At the latter, you might even catch them making salt water taffy, a classic New England treat!
Looking for other activities in Rockport? Try these add-ons:
- · Fit in some beach time. Front Beach is on Main St, while Pebble Beach is on Penzance Rd. Both are very small (so you’ll likely have a lot of company), and the latter is quite rocky. But they’re a close choice to cool off.
- · Visit the Paper House. It’s a house made entirely out of newspapers! Don’t ask me why. Just go because you know you’re curious now!
- · Spend some time at Halibut Point State Park. It was a once a quarry but now offers easy trails with incredible cliff and ocean views.
- See a concert or live music act at the Shalin Liu Performance Center. There’s no back stage here, just a stunning view of the ocean through huge windows right behind the performers. See their schedule by clicking here.
Rusty and Ingrids is located at 11 Main St.
The Rockport Candle Company is located at 45 Bearskin Neck.
Helmut’s Strudel Shop bakes and sells at 60 Bearskin Neck.
Tuck’s Candy Factory has two locations: gifts and candy at 15 Main St. and the other that sells strictly candy at 7 Dock Square.
The Paper House is located on 52 Pigeon Hill St.
Halibut Point State Park is located on Gott Avenue in Rockport.
The Shalin Liu Peformance Center holds shows at 37 Main St. in Rockport.
Click the map for driving directions to Rockport.