Sep 042016
 
Mmm... Rockport boat scenes are pretty.

Mmm… Rockport boat scenes are pretty.

Looking for a perfect short trip from Boston that feels a world away? Zip north just one hour, and the seaside haven of Rockport, Massachusetts shall embrace you with its salt air charm and fresh lobster.

Colorful buoy-decorated houses line the waterfront.

Colorful buoy-decorated houses line the waterfront.

As a lifelong Bostonian, I’ve happily visited Rockport every summer, and recommend it far and wide. My favorite thing to do in the town is a combination of wandering and eating. Below, feast your eyes upon the lobster roll I just consumed from the famous Roy Moore Lobster Company. I watched them haul in the lobster traps right outside the restaurant’s patio!

The famous lobster roll at the Roy Moore Lobster Co.

The legendary lobster roll at the Roy Moore Lobster Co.

Rockport is an “easy win” tourist destination, in that most of its best views, shops, and restaurants are conveniently clustered on Bearskin Neck: a finger of land surrounded by water on three sides. This means that all you need to do to have a good time is find that neck and mosey along it. Parking is available at the library nearby, or just take the Commuter Rail train in from Boston and walk to the center of town. On our trip this week, we beat the crowds by coming on a Thursday, and thus snagged street parking right in the center of everything.

Rockport, Massachusetts is a perfect seaside getaway just an hour from Boston, MA for a day trip or weekend travel, what with its charming shopping and delicious seafood.

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Where to stay in Rockport? Here are some of the best options. Click each to see rates and availability.

Rockport also boasts some incredible vacation home and condo rentals. and you can click here to see Rockport’s options on VRBO, one of my favorite sites for accommodations.

This bird knows how awesome Rockport is.

This bird gets how awesome Rockport is.

If you like art, do know that Rockport is a renowned artist town. Visitors can browse the many art galleries, or take advantage of the dreamy light to partake, themselves, in painting or photography. As you can see from all the photos I took for this article (while my husband kindly strolled around town with the baby), I got a bit snap-happy, myself!

One of many art galleries and stores in Rockport.

One of many art galleries and stores in Rockport.

If aquatic exploits are more your scene, be assured that Rockport has boating and swimming galore, with easy kayak rentals and a cute little beach. That said, when I’m in Rockport I’m usually too full of clams and fudge to squeeze into a boat or swimsuit, but I honor those who do! I suppose one could take packets of fudge onto a kayak, thus solving my dilemma.

Beyond the protected harbor lies the expanse of ocean.

Beyond the protected harbor lies the expanse of ocean.

Other food recommendations for Rockport: Top Dog has the best fried clams around (I should know — I ate about 50 of them), plus hot dogs covered in such creative toppings as… macaroni and cheese! Meanwhile, off of Bearskin Neck and right next to the train station is Studio Crepe, a new eatery that I highly recommend. I mightily enjoyed the Turkey Club crepe (pictured below), AND the Nutella and Berries dessert crepe. Yes, I ate two crepes, and I stand proud.

The luscious turkey, bacon, slaw crepe at Studio Crepe by the train station.

The luscious turkey, bacon, slaw crepe at Studio Crepe by the train station.

I could tell you about other points of interest near Rockport such as Halibut Point State Park, the Rockport Art Association, or The Paper House (a house made entirely of paper!), except… I couldn’t actually tell you anything about them because I spent the entire day happily wandering Bearskin Neck! I suppose that’s a vote of confidence for how fun and engaging the town itself is, eh?

I love how glassy the water is within the protected coves.

I love how glassy the water is within the protected coves.

Let’s close with some fun facts about Rockport. See the red fishing shack in the upper left of the first photo in that article, and in the middle of the picture, below? That is “the most often painted building in America,” Motif #1! Sure enough, the camera and the eye are drawn to its rich crimson walls reflecting in the glassy harbor water.

See the red building called Motif #1?

See the red building called Motif #1?

Interestingly, the Motif #1 of today is not the original 1840 structure. The original got smashed in the blizzard of 1978, but was so beloved that an exact replica (what we see today) was built the very same year. Now that you’ve identified it, you’ll see Motif #1 everywhere. It’s even in a painting in the dentist’s office in the movie, “Finding Nemo!”

So many yummy things to buy...

So many yummy things to buy…

Another fun fact: Booze was prohibited in Rockport from 1856 to 2005. Why? Because in 1856, a brigade of 200 enraged women blazed through town, smashing anything alcoholic they could find! This was entitled “Rockport’s Revolt Against Rum.” Catchy ring to that name.

I love the boats and harbors of Rockport!

I love the boats and harbors of Rockport!

On the topic of history, what I love about Rockport is that it’s capitalized on the charm of its fishing industry to both keep it alive, AND combine it with tourism to draw in people (like me!) who can’t get enough of eating fresh seafood, and ogling colorful buoys.

Our lobster was caught in these very traps outside the restaurant!

Our lobster was caught in these very traps!

Rockport is a sweet reminder that the useful can be beautiful, and the beautiful can be useful. That colorful fishing equipment makes tourists smile, and helps keep boating folk safe. Meanwhile, the rainbow houses pictured below bring cheer and extra visitors to the town, and I applaud the work the town has done to be as visually inviting as possible. May it bring new Rockport fans to town for many years to come!

Every corner of Bearskin Neck has delightful vistas like this.

Every corner of Bearskin Neck has delightful vistas like this.

So what do you think? Have you been to Rockport? If so, what would you add? If you haven’t been yet, does it seem like a place you’d like to go? Do share!

Walking out on this curving strip of rocks yields views!

Walking out on this curving strip of rocks yields incredible views.

I was a guest of Rockport’s restaurants (burp!), but all opinions and boat photo obsessions are my own. Affiliate links in this article support this site at no cost to you. Happy travels!

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  15 Responses to “Rockport, MA: A Seaside Getaway One Hour From Boston”

  1. My family lives in Rockport and I’ve been going up twice a year since I was born. I have to say, there is nowhere in the world quite like it.

    If you love ocean views, be sure to take a trip up to the Headlands, thought the Front Beach rocks and the breakwater on Bearskin Neck are also quite lovely!

    If you’re up again, be sure to check out Tuck’s Candies and Gifts on Main Street. My family owns the stores, so I am biased, but our salt water taffy is amazing!

  2. I was in Rockport for the first time over the summer. It is an adorable town. I want wait to visit again.

  3. I’ve been wanting to visit Rockport, MA for so long! 🙁 Beautiful photos of the scenery and food. Would you believe that I’ve never had a lobster before? It looks like I am totally missing out.

  4. incredible place Lillie, this is the my first priority in next vacation. hurray!!!! 🙂

  5. What an incredibly beautiful place! Thanks for the inspiration – bookmarking!

  6. We were there several years ago and took a picture of Motif #1 which we put on canvas and hangs in my bedroom. We did not know at the time it was famous, we just loved the shot. Heading back there next month.

  7. It’s been a long time since I visited Rockport, I remember all the colorful shops and beautiful vistas. I love marinas and this one is quite photogenic.

  8. L, you’d love the northern coast of Spain. No lobsters, but plenty of brightly colored fishing boats, fresh air and great eats! Rockport looks like it merits a long weekend.

  9. We were just in Rockport yesterday – it’s such a beautiful place to visit!

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