Rockport Travel Guide

  • This summer's line up of performances
    This summer's line up of performances
    by Pawtuxet
  • Bed was very comfy - linens quite nice
    Bed was very comfy - linens quite nice
    by Pawtuxet
  • Ally's Eatery
    Ally's Eatery
    by Pawtuxet

Rockport Things to Do

  • Watch them make your Salt Water Taffy

    There is a very old business in Rockport called Tuck's Salt Water Taffy. At their store in the main square, you can watch them making the taffy as well as buying some to take home to friends. There is a second store "on the hill" where they sell their taffy, but also included is some mighty fine chocolates. Sugar free chocolate is delicious as...

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  • This place is so boring

    I spent the weekend in Rockport Massachusetts and it was a huge mistake. The town shuts down at around 5pm so when u arrived at 4pm on a Friday and saw the shops closing down I thought WTH. Then there were only 3 places to eat and I tried them all and the food was a combination of microwaved and leftover crap. I walked through the whole town in 2...

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  • Harbor Views

    Rockport's neck creates a beautiful natural harbor. The surrounding quaint town and boats decorated for Christmas (This is strictly seasonal!) just add to this.Oh, and the gorgeous light I had when shooting these photos was just the icing on the cake!

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Rockport Hotels

See all 23 Hotels in Rockport
  • The Seafarer Inn

    50 Marmion Way, Rockport, Massachusetts, 01966, United States

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

  • Bearskin Neck Motor Lodge

    64 Bearskin Neck, Rockport, Massachusetts, 01966, United States

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

  • Rockport Inn and Suites

    183 Main St., Rockport, Massachusetts, 01966, United States

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

Rockport Restaurants

  • New lunch spot

    Friendly and informative owner described his roasted turkey and special dressing (which he allowed me to sample before purchasing) and actually had a gluten free choice for my sandwich! What could be any better than that? It was delicious and fresh.His tiny lunch spot is right next to the information booth in the main square.

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  • The Fish Shack

    Why would you wanna eat anywhere BUT a place called "The Fish Shack" when in Rockport? Well, truthfully, so many of Rockport's restaurants are seasonal so the pickings were slim. It was a good choice as it's right on the water and all the seafood's fresh. (Better be, huh?) My chowder was lovely as was the lobster salad I ordered. I was a little...

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  • Austrian Streudel....yum!

    The struedel is wonderful....the coffee is excellent. You can take your treats out the back door to a deck which is shady and overlooks the Rockport inner cove. My "kids" had a good time together on this weekend. If you click the pic, you'll see Susan's giggle.My oldest and my youngest "child" sometimes regress....but it's nice to see them...

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Rockport Nightlife

  • The Theater comes to Rockport

    "Situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Main Street in Rockport, the Shalin Liu Performance Center lies at the heart of one of the country's oldest art colonies. It combines intimacy, extaordinary acoustical quality and a spectacular natural setting."Initial funding for this fabulous venue was given by a philanthropist... Shalin Liu... and there...

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  • Rockport is, uh, WAS a dry town....

    The deal is this: Rockport is dry. Period. If you want wine or beer with dinner....you can bring it with you and they will be fine with that. Or.....you spend the day around Rockport, and go "next door" to Gloucester (next town over....10 minutes) and visit the pubs, restaurants and bars which are plentiful enough. Including the bar where the guys...

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  • Forget about nightlife in...

    Forget about nightlife in Rockport; it's non-existent except for dining out. Rockport has been a permanently 'dry' town since the mid-19th Century. According to legend, there was a serious alcohol problem among the town's fishing families during that era. The husbands stayed home during the months outside of fishing season and ran up huge bar tabs...

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Rockport Transportation

  • Take the trolley

    Cape Ann Transport is a colorful trolley that circulates and brings you to the main square of Rockport.

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  • City girl takes train to Rockport

    One of my favorite pics is my daughter, Susan arriving on the commuter train from Boston to spend a few days with me in Rockport. This is the last stop on the commuter line. It's a lovely ride through beautiful little towns all the way along. The execs take the train out of the city to their mansions by the ocean.These were always such happy days...

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  • The Train From Boston

    If you're coming from Boston and you want to avoid Rockport's bad parking situation, or if you just don't feel like diving, you can take the train there from North Station. The trip takes about an hour, about the time it would to drive, and has several stops along Massachusetts' North Shore. The train station in Rockport is within close walking...

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Rockport Shopping

  • Find that PERFECT outfit!

    Sandcastles is such a fun store. They have clothing, crafts, souvenirs, and knick-knacks. If you can think of anything you'd like more than that in life, well........ then, you need to rethink your priorities!

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  • Pewter Baby!

    If you've ever longed to feel as if you died and went to Pewter heaven, then The Pewter Shop in Rockport is the place for you. Seriously, there are so many pretty items in this store. Although they're not all made of pewter, most of them are. And why go in there to buy something that's not made of pewter? You should be ashamed of yourself if you...

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  • interesting clothing for women and...

    Sand Castles can't be missed. It is located at the intersection when you enter the village...and is right across the street from the park with the information booth.I always make it a point to stop in cause I find something on sale every time I go. This year it was a couple of shirts and a handbag. Their sweaters are luscious, styles are current,...

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Rockport Local Customs

  • Fishermens' Coop ~ weighing in

    There is a co-op for the fishermen in Pigeon Cove. This is where the fish and lobsters are hauled in and weighed... then shipped off to local eateries or markets. How many crustaceans must move through this tiny place each day?

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  • Fishermens' Politics

    On my last trip to Pigeon Cove I noticed bumper stickers and signs all over the place proclaiming unfairness to fishermen in whatever legislation they were boycotting. Life is hard on the water... men work hard to put bread on the table... and they are obviously struggling with environmentalists' laws which make their work harder each year. There...

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  • Who supplied your lobsters?

    Ever wonder where those great lobsters come from when you're having dinner in a swank restaurant? These are the folks who bring them in. Hard work... lots of traps....

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Rockport Warnings and Dangers

  • Rockport is a Dry Town

    Rockport is a dry town, which means that no one can purchase or sell alcohol there. Up until this year this rule also applied to the town's restaurants, but after last fall's election some of them are allowed to serve wine. If you are staying in Rockport and would like to buy some wine or beer you'll have to drive over the town line into...

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  • Bring quarters for the meters -- or...

    Plenty of stuff to warn you about! I've also already told you that the Rockport police are radar-happy. But the meter maids are even worse! Avoid parking downtown if at all possible. The meter maids camp at the bumpers of cars waiting for meters to expire and the tow trucks are right behind them. Innkeepers try to warn their guests about it, but...

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  • You could be overcome by the air....

    If you are fishing at Flat Rock, you could become so filled with sea air and sunshine that you simply must get prone and take a mid day snooze. This place is all about relaxation.

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Rockport Tourist Traps

  • Buying Local Art

    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...

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  • The Bearskin Neck shopping...

    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...

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  • PARKING METERS AND ILLEGEL...

    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....

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Rockport What to Pack

  • Diving Checklist

    - Wet bag for wet stuff- Dry bag for change of clothes & camera - Wetsuit- Hood- Gloves- Booties- BC- Warm change of clothes & sweatshirt - Sunblock - Sport formula- Gatoraid/Juice- Powerbars/Munchies - Towel- Tarp- Mask- Snorkel- Fins- Regulators- Weights- Tanks- The Damn Flag- Dive knife or scissors- Underwater flashlight- Save-A-Dive-Kit...

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  • Packing List

    A beach bag or a satchel with an extra layer of clothes for boating. Weather has become unpredictable on Cape Ann, so dress in layers, especially when you're on a whale watching boat. You'll be surprised how chilly it can be out on the ocean, even in the summertime! Sunblock, suntan lotion, insect repellant. There are several chain drug stores on...

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  • Packing List

    No matter what time of year, bring a jacket! It gets cooler at nite in summer and of course is chilly in fall and winter. A sweatshirt or fleece would be sufficient in summer months. Don't forget your swimsuit and beach towel in the summer! Definitely bring your camera and film--it could be a little pricier once you get to Rockport, so I would...

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Rockport Off The Beaten Path

  • Lighthouses

    Beth and I found a number of lighthouses noted on the local maps. We decided to photograph each one...driving the winding little roads and lanes to reach the point of land which would give us the best vantage point. It was fun and beautiful. Met lots of locals along the way giving us tips about how to find things.

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  • Trees everywhere!

    In the plaza (normal), along Bearskin Neck (nice), and up on poles (okay, odd).But I like it and... why not?

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  • Check the salty fishermen's shacks of...

    I could wander amongst these weatherbeaten fishing shacks all day... sunning, taking photos, talking to the fishermen. Guess that "salty" flavor is under my skin.

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Rockport Sports & Outdoors

  • diver-x's Profile Photo

    by diver-x Updated Aug 18, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Rockport has the best scuba diving sites on Cape Ann. From May until October, the water is arguably warm enough for a 6.5 to 7 mil wetsuit, though many divers dive dry year-round. In May, water temperatures range from low or mid-fourties at the surface to high thirties at about 30 feet deep. In August to September, the water warms up to the high 50's at the surface to low fifties at 30 feet, and high fourties at deeper ranges. September is probably the most pleasant time to dive here. The water is at its warmest and the air temperature starts to drop, making for a much more pleasant gear-up & gear-down than in July or August.

    Visibility can range from about 5 to 40 feet, with an average of about 15 to 20 feet in the summer months. Visibility is much better when the water is cold.

    Lots of divers fish for lobster and flounder, though the legal-sized lobsters are getting harder & harder to find. Go to the MassOutdoors website to get more information about obtaining fishing & sport lobstering licenses.

    You see a wide variety of critters here on Cape Ann: Lobsters, rock crabs, hermits, giant snails, flounder, stonefish, lumpfish, monkfish, dogfish, cod, striped bass, and a variety of anemonies, sponges & more! Hopefully soon, I'll get an underwater housing for my camera to get some photos of the local underwater flora & fauna.

    Equipment: Most instructors recommend the 6.5 to 7 mil 2-piece farmer-john type wet suit. I've used this type of suit for the last 3 seasons and will switch to a one-piece jumpsuit with an additional hooded-vest combo as soon as I can afford it. The farmer-johns leak too much and you get cold water down your back. Brrrr!!! Just the one-piece without the vest (but with a separate hood) will be fine in Aug-Sept. Sometimes - but not very often - you can dive hoodless in shallow water in late summer.

    As always, a diver-down flag is required. Round about 3:00 or so, the Massachusetts Environmental Police make the rounds at the more popular dive sites, checking to see if divers are using their flags and asking to see your catch if you are fishing or lobstering. They'll give you a ticket if you're caught without your flag, or worse, if you've got an illegal catch.

    The only dive shop nearby is Cape Ann Divers at Cape Ann Marketplace on Rt. 127 in Gloucester. They are rather expensive and some of the staff can be rather unhelpful. But if you're stuck for an air fill, they're the only game in town. At last check, they charged $6 for a fill.

    They do have a very helpful web site and they also offer boat dives at a reasonable price. I've done the Chester Polling wreck dive with them and was very satisfied.

    Time to pack up! Diving Rockport.
    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Beaches

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Rockport Favorites

  • Candids

    I like to watch closely at what happens around the town when noone is looking...or to see the things others pay no attention to. A worker stepped out side the shop to have a smoke and I could see him from the place where Hoot and I were having chowder across the tiny inlet.At the end of the day a young couple walked the beach as the sun was...

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  • Main Street shops to placid waters in a...

    Maybe its the proximity and mixture of things all happening simultaneously that I like so much about Rockport. No time to be bored. You can go from oodles of people and non-stop shopping on Bearskin Neck, to a history lesson, a kayak paddle, exquisite photography subjects, fabulous fresh shrimp and lobsters... to the placid silence of the inner...

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  • Romancin at Flat Rock

    Flat Rock is a very romantic spot to listen to the surf...sit in the sun....day dream....or whatever....Seems to affect everyone the same way, no matter who I bring there. It's rather remote. You have to know where the tiny path through the underbrush is. There is a sign that marks it at the turn of Eden Road.

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