Looking Ahead To Summer In Rockport, MA
Quarantine Blues: 9 Things To Look Forward To This Summer In Rockport MA
So here at Addison Choate, we are definitely feeling the Quarantine Blues (sounds like a dark old Robert Johnson Song). We have been closed for two weeks and, like many friends, family, and colleagues we are starting to get a little restless.
We’re working on staying positive and using our time to handle a variety of projects and improve our guest experience here at our Rockport Inn. In that spirit, we thought everyone could enjoy a look ahead to post-corona times.
In this article we will take a look ahead to 9 Things to Look Forward to This Summer in Rockport MA.
Summertime and The Livings Easy in Rockport
Like us, we’re sure you’re just about ready to put coronavirus behind you and get out and enjoy the surroundings. The north shore of Massachusetts truly provides one of the perfect Summer getaways and is just a car ride away for travelers from New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and across New England.
Relax On The Local Rockport Beaches
New England beaches have a unique weather-beaten, craggy character. We like to think they’re a reflection of the inhabitants of the region. Rocky, salty, resilient, secluded, diverse, awe-inspiring, and invigorating. The beaches of Rockport are no exception.
Whether you’re looking for a place to quickly dip your toes, ride some waves, explore tide pools, take long sandy walks, or just enjoy some secluded tranquility, Rockport has you covered.
There are a number of fantastic beaches within town and even more just down the road in neighboring Gloucester, Ipswich and Manchester.
A few of our favorite beaches on Cape Ann include Long Beach, Cape Hedge Beach, Crane Beach, Singing Beach, and Wingaersheek Beach. Each beach has its own unique charm, and everyone seems to have their own personal favorite.
If you’re looking for additional resources on Rockport Beaches, we put together a more in-depth write up of our Top 5 Rockport Beaches here.
Retail Therapy on Bearskin Neck
One of our favorite things to do in Rockport is to visit Bearskin Neck. This charming coastal market rests on a rocky peninsula that juts out into Sandy Bay and is flanked on one side by Rockport Harbor and the other side by Back Harbor.
This authentic fishing village features a thriving artist colony, myriad small shops and boutiques, locally owned and operated restaurants, and some of the of the most iconic coastal views in all of New England. It’s worth the trip alone for the Rockport Harbor photographs.
Shopping on Bearskin Neck seems to act as a portal to an earlier time. It is a richer more personal experience than shopping at any of the open-air market/condo/gym complexes that seem to be multiplying faster than cases of coronavirus across the Commonwealth.
On the neck you get to enter a shop, meet the owner who is usually the curator, designer, or artist and get to have a conversation. You will learn about their craft and probably walk away with some new knowledge about the village of Rockport as well.
Some shops that we love on Bearskin Neck include One Ocean One Love, Scott Tubby Art, Soulstice, The Pewter Shop, Rockport Candle Company, The Art Nook, and Sea Bags. But there are so many fantastic shops to visit and truly something for everyone. The Cape Ann Chamber of commerce has a fantastic list of local shops.
Get Out Onto the Water – Boating & Kayaking
We all know the old sayings about boats – “it’s a hole in the water that you throw money into” and BOAT – break out another thousand! There is certainly some truth in the sayings, but there is truly no better way to enjoy a coastal visit than getting out onto the water.
On Cape Ann there are a number of fantastic charters that you can enjoy during your visit to Rockport. Whether you are looking to see whales, catch some fish or enjoy mother natures natural wind power, Cape Ann has you covered.
A few great options include:
Frayed Knot Sailing – harbored in Manchester, MA, Frayed Know Sailing offers the opportunity to get a hands-on sailing experience on a beautiful 50 ft Beneteau Oceanis. The sloop is available for day sails, overnight charters, and other corporate and group outings. Website: https://www.frayedknotsailingcharters.com/home.html
7 Seas Whale Watch – harbored in Gloucester, MA, 7 Seas Whale Watch offers the fantastic opportunity to get up close and personal with some mammoth marine mammals. Ahhhh we’ve got our alliteration fix for the day! Embark on a 12-mile journey out to Stellwagen Bank aboard the 108 foot Privateer IV. The ships dedicated and knowledgeable crew will ensure an informative and enjoyable experience. Website: https://www.7seaswhalewatch.com/
North Shore Kayak Tours – Looking to get a little exercise with your nautical adventure? How about a Rockport Kayak Tour form the North Shore Kayak Team. You can get some great guided tours out to Straitsmouth Island and Thatcher Island. Get up close and personal with some lighthouses and enjoy a beautiful Summer day on the water. Website: http://www.northshorekayak.com/
Beauport Cruiselines – If you’re looking to set out on the water in style you could hop aboard the Beauport Cruiselines, out of Gloucester. They offer boat rentals for special occasions such as weddings. But they also offer public lunch, dinner, and lobster bake cruises. You can enjoy beautiful views of Rocky Neck, Ten Pound Island while having a delicious meal and few cocktails. Website: https://beauportcruiselines.com/
Fishing Charters – if you’re in the mood to catch some fish there are also some fantastic boat rental and fishing charter options available on the north shore. Here is a link to a few of the most popular charters in the area.
Visit Local Cape Ann Attractions
Cape Ann is home to some fantastic local attractions that are great for visitors of all ages. Some can’t miss attractions include:
Hammond Castle – Built in 1925 by eccentric inventory, John Hays Hammond, Hammond Castle operates as a museum that is well-worth the price of admission. Tour the property, admire the architecture, the history, and the Roman, Medieval and Renaissance artifacts that were collected by the former owner. In the fall, the castle is transformed into a haunted house. Website: https://www.hammondcastle.org/
Cape Ann Museum – Founded in 1873, the Cape Ann Museum showcases and impressive collection of artwork from local artists such as Fitz Henry Lane and others that tell the story of the towns, culture and industries of Cape Ann. If you’re visiting Rockport this Summer, a trip to the Cape Ann Museum will provide an interesting backdrop to your journey.
Motif #1 – No visit to Rockport is complete without taking a few minutes to capture a photo of the iconic fishing shack affectionately dubbed Motif #1. One of the most photographed and painted buildings in the world, this shack has inspired thousands of artists, residents and visitors over the years. You can take a fantastic photo of Motif #1 from T-Wharf (by Sandy Bay Yacht Club). Or you can walk out to Motif from Bearskin Neck. Just take a right onto Bradley Wharf after you pass the Sea Bags store.
Take A Scenic Bike Ride
No question that biking the greater Rockport, Gloucester area is a great way to get outside, enjoy the salty ocean air, get some much-needed Vitamin D, and gain a better perspective on the local landscape. There are so many fantastic rides that you can enjoy on Cape Ann.
A few of our favorite Cape Ann bike rides include: Halibut Point, Bearskin Neck, Downtown Gloucester, Local Beaches, and the Route 127 Loop. If you are into mountain biking there are some world class trails systems across the north shore. From the Beverly Commons to Willowdale Forest in Ipswich and Dogtown in Gloucester there are trails to suit every skill level.
Right here at Addison Choate we offer Rockport Bike Rentals to our guests and travelers to the north shore.
Indulge in Some Delicious Coastal Cuisine
If you’re looking to enjoy some delicious seafood and other cuisine, Cape Ann has you covered. You can eat at many local restaurants that overlook the very waters (and in some cases the actual boats) that brought in the fresh catch of the day.
Rockport is well-known for its world-renowned lobster and you can get your fix at many local establishments such as Roy Moore’s, Feather and Wedge, and the Lobster Pool. There are also some fantastic seafood dining options in nearby towns such as Woodman’s in Essex, The Clam Box in Ipswich, and Lobsta Land in Gloucester.
If you’re seeking waterfront dining you can enjoy the view from The Market on the Annisquam, My Place By The Sea on Sandy Bay, Brackett’s Oceanview overlooking the Back Harbor and Minglewood Harborside on Gloucester’s Harbor Cove.
Regardless of which venue you choose, you are certain to get a fresh and delicious seafood meal that will help solidify the fact that you are indeed summering because is it really Summer if you haven’t had a steamed lobster or fried clams? Will leave this one as rhetorical.
Embrace Your Inner Slytherin With A Visit To Salem
If you’re visiting Rockport for a few days, we would highly recommend that you take the Rockport line commuter rail or take the 20-minute ride down to Salem, Massachusetts. The rail is just a 5-minute walk from our Rockport Inn.
The epicenter of all things Halloween, you can tour witch museums, acquire potion necessities, visit haunted graveyards, and witness a variety of hauntingly delicious performances.
But Salem is much more than a Rocky Horror Picture Show incarnate. It’s a quaint historic city that is teeming with local businesses, unique shops, fantastic dining, and the world-class Peabody Essex Museum. While in Salem you can also tour the famous House of Seven Gables. Built in 1668, the architecture is impressive, and it even comes with a hidden staircase.
Some Salem Restaurants that we highly recommend include: Turner’s Seafood (we love the Belgian Mussels and Raw Bar) Howling Wolf Taqueria (to get your Margarita fix) and Tavern on the Green for a historic vibe replete with wing-back chairs (the chowder is delicious).
Hit the Essex MA Antique Trail
If you love hunting down some classic treasures, you should definitely take the 10-minute drive over to Essex, Massachusetts. The antique trail in Essex is one of the best in New England, hands down. With over a dozen antique shops within a few miles, it’s a great place to spend an afternoon.
The antique shops in Essex truly run the gambit from high-end collectible artwork to thrift store bargains and just about everything in between. You can take some to explore the nooks and crannies and to meet the owners who have thoughtfully curated some impressive collections that are an absolute treat to peruse.
If you get hungry, Essex and neighboring Ipswich have some fantastic pit stops for refueling including, of course, Woodman’s, a north shore institution and birthplace of the fried clam. But a few other stops to consider include: JT Farnham’s, Blue Marlin, and the new Great Marsh Brewing Company.
We think that the antique trail is a fantastic way to spend a day, in just about any season, and we regularly recommend it to our Rockport Inn guests and friends.
Catch A Show At The Shalin Liu
One of the hidden gems of the North Shore, the Shalin Liu Performance Center is a beautiful and intimate 335 seat concert hall that features a floor to ceiling glass backdrop that overlooks Sandy Bay.
This intimate venue has fantastic acoustics and provides a great opportunity for artist-attendee connection. For such a small venue, the Shalin Liu has an impressive draw! Last year featured such acts as John Scofield, Branford Marsalis, Arlo Guthrie, Grace Kelly, Brian O’Donovan’s Celtic Soujourn and many others.
If you’re going to spend a portion of your Summer in Rockport MA, be sure to check the Rockport Music Calendar! It’s definitely one of our favorite things to do in Rockport, MA!
Looking Forward To Summer In Rockport MA
Like many of our friends and colleagues, we are looking forward to enjoying the post corona days. We think that this time has been a blessing in disguise. It has given us time to reflect, tie up loose ends, redesign our approach and move forward better than before.
We are looking forward to the upcoming Summer in Rockport MA and hope that you enjoyed our list of 9 great things to do in Rockport MA! We hope to see you soon.