If you're shopping in Rockport and are looking to purchase a piece of local art--there is a lot of it available--I caution you to make sure what you are buying is actually local art, especially if it is a painting. Paintings of the New England seacoast make popular souvenirs and many shops and galleries in Rockport sell them. However some of the shops there sell paintings and prints which were actually created en masse overseas in places like China and Hong Kong. If you find a piece that you'd like to buy make sure to ask the salesperson where it was done and who painted it. If they don't know, or won't tell you, don't buy it. This rule applies even more strongly if the price for a piece seems unusually low when compared to those in other shops.
The Bearskin Neck shopping district has fallen off in quality over the years. People who come looking for world-class art galleries will be disappointed to find several galleries have gone out of business only to be replaced by souvenir shops. They're pretty schlocky places, but if you want stuff with lighthouses and lobsters on it or tacky t-shirts, you'll be OK. This is NOT to say that you should avoid a visit to Bearskin Neck, however. It's a very pleasant stroll indeed, especially when you get to the Helmut's Strudel shop at the end of the Neck. The baked goods at Helmut's are dynamite, and this is the only place on the Neck that has a restroom!
PARKING METERS AND ILLEGEL PARKING. THEY LOVE TO TICKET YOU AND THERE IS NOT MUCH DOWNTOWN PARKING.THERE IS A LOT WITH A COMUTER SHUTTLE ON 127 AS YOU COME TO TOWN....