Powered by Blogger.

Solo Traveling the Massachusetts North Shore: Rockport

Hey guys, it's been a minute since I posted about my time in Marblehead while solo traveling the North Shore last November. Before I knew it, after getting back, the holidays were already in full swing and I took some time to just be in the moment, and also, reflect on this whole, crazy year. But I'm back, feeling refreshed and so excited to talk about the rest of my trip, starting with Rockport.

If you'd like to see all the other towns I visited along the way during this trip, you can catch those recaps here:



Exploring Motif 1. Photo by Nina Weinstein Photography. 



When Josh and I last visited this region together about 6 years ago, we were feeling a little overwhelmed with the crowds in Salem, and quickly Googled another nearby location we could escape to. We wanted something on the water, and before we knew it, we saw Rockport on the map, we were off in less than 2 minutes. It was very spur-of-the-moment, which is unlike us (especially me) on a trip, but it ended up being the best part of the weekend. We fell in love with the town, the beautiful views, and just the overall vibe while there. And considering we were only there for a few hours, that's saying a lot.

Motif 1 on the Rockport coastline.


So, needless to say, when I was planning this trip, visiting Rockport was an absolute must. I almost ended up making it my home base, but after finding the Harbor Light Inn in Marblehead, I couldn't pass that up.

To read my last post, which was all about Marblehead, you can pop on over here.

Rockport is part of a little region of the state that's called Cape Ann, which also includes the towns of Essex, Gloucester and Manchester-by-the-Sea. During this trip, I also stopped in Gloucester and Manchester-by-the-Sea, but those will be their own upcoming post. 

ROCKPORT

Rockport is very small, and you can definitely see it in a day, or even an afternoon. But it's probably one of my all-time favorite maritimes towns I've ever visited. It's down to earth, walkable, filled with great restaurants and shops and picture-perfect coastal moments at every turn. The whole main downtown area seems to be on the water, so every turn you make, you can see fishing boats and buoys bobbing in the water. 

Two fun facts about Rockport: The first being that its most famous building, a red fisherman's shack on the water called Motif 1, is said to be the most painted building in the entire country. It was originally built in the 1840s, but was destroyed in a blizzard (of all things) in 1978. An exact replica of the original building was rebuilt, which is what stands today.


Motif 1 during a foggy morning.




When it was originally built, it was used as a fishing shack to store fisherman's equipment and their catches of the day. At one point in the 1930s, it was used as an artist's studio. Currently, it acts as a time capsule, of sorts, for the town, where local community members have donated paintings and artwork, fisherman's equipment and other artifacts that have history rooted in Rockport - all of which is stored in this little shack. The town maintains the building to keep it presentable, but also delightfully weathered (they even use a special red paint when touch-ups are needed that doesn't make the building doesn't look too new). The whole thing sounds like something straight outta Stars Hollow and for a brief moment, I considered calling Josh to ask if we could move there.

Photo by Nina Weinstein Photography. 

Photo by Nina Weinstein Photography. 


Suffice to say, visiting Motif 1 should be right at the top of your list. It's not especially grandeur or exciting unless you love New England maritimes experiences. But if that's your thing, you'll probably love it. And I saw a few people painting the building while I was visiting, so I'm starting to believe that it could, in fact, be the most painted in the country. 

Right around Motif 1 are some other adorable little fishing shacks covered in buoys, and lobster traps all over. You definitely won't forget you're in a fishing village, that's for sure.

Photo by Nina Weinstein Photography.

Photo by Nina Weinstein Photography.


Photo by Nina Weinstein Photography.


Photo by Nina Weinstein Photography.


Second fun fact: Rockport was also featured in the movie The Proposal. I'm going to be honest with you, The Proposal is one of my all-time favorite romantic comedies (I mean, one of our dogs is named after Betty White), and when we first visited years ago, and realized they had used Rockport as "Sitka, Alaska" for the movie, I had a total geek-out moment. You'll recognize Motif 1 as where Sandra Bullock first arrives, and has to begrudgingly climb down into the boat. The shop fronts were used for the town's Main Street in the movie, and some of the rocky coastline was also used, but altered with some CGI to make it look more like Alaskan wilderness.


Photo by Nina Weinstein Photography. 


There are buoys at every corner in Rockport, which is perfectly okay with me. 


Bearskin Neck is the main street that's full of shops and restaurants, and while some of them are catered to tourists with hats and t-shirts, many of them are actually really lovely. But what I love most about this little street is how unique it is. All the store fronts are unique and have character, and they're all different sizes and colors. You look at it and will immediately say, "That's Bearskin Neck in Rockport!" once you've experienced it. It's fun just to walk down the street. Bearskin Neck is right in the heart of the town, and also will lead you to Motif 1. You just have to walk down, and keep looking right, and eventually, you'll get a peek of the little red shack and be able to find your way right up to it. 

Is this not the cutest little ice cream shack you ever did see?
This little guy can be found right in town.


The beginning of Bearskin Neck, which has charm at every corner.

Roy Moore Lobster Co. is the place to eat in Rockport. When it's open, the doors are filled with menus
showcasing lobster dinners, fried seafood platters and all kinds of other seaside treats. 


I loved this darling little bookshop. 

Shop fronts are adorned with the perfect nautical touches. 


If you keep walking down Bearskin Neck, it will lead you to the water, as well as a really nice little rock wall/jetty. I have the most amazing memory from my trip here with Josh years ago when we found this. I was wearing a skirt and riding boots because I was trying to be all fashionable for our Salem trip, and as soon as I saw the jetty, I just started to walk down it and couldn't stop. I was so happy here because it was an accident that we even found it, or decided to go to Rockport that at all, and it was a perfect afternoon. And for some reason, I just loved my time standing on that jetty and taking in the views and the salty air.

Photo by Nina Weinstein Photography. 


Photo by Nina Weinstein Photography. 


When I was in Rockport, I decided to grab a takeout lunch and bring it to the jetty, knowing I could socially distance while eating. It was a perfect day - bright, sunny and warm enough, and I pretty much had the whole thing to myself and my lobster roll. 

What a perfect day and perfect spot for a socially distanced lobster roll lunch.


If you walk back down Bearskin Neck the way you came, and head into town the opposite direction, you'll continue to see cute little shops and restaurants, a little town square and further in, beautiful houses and streets to meander. I was so caught up with the Bearskin Neck section and Motif 1 that I didn't snap any photos during my walk through this part of town, but it was worth the short hike to get lost for a bit and enjoy the quieter part of town. 

Photo by Nina Weinstein Photography. 


Just outside of Rockport is Halibut Point State Park, and I was pretty sad I didn't have time to visit. It's said to have gorgeous walking trails and scenic views of the water, and next time, this will be at the top of my list to visit. Hopefully, I'll have Josh to join me for that. 

I'm so thankful that Rockport is just under 4 hours from where we live in Upstate NY. I'm already thinking about a quick little weekend getaway back to this area with Josh sometime. It's the perfect town for meandering with an ice cream cone, enjoying quaint town life, having long lunches, being seaside and soaking up nature. 

Photo by Nina Weinstein Photography. 


Have you been to Rockport? What did I miss so I can make notes for next time? Let me know in the comments. 

Many of these photos were taken by Nina from Nina Weinstein Photography, and guys, you definitely want to reach out to her if you're traveling in this area. Her photos speak for themselves, but on top of that, she was so enthusiastic about working with me to capture some moments from this trip. I can't recommend her enough.

* I traveled to this destination during the COVID-19 pandemic and took all necessary and optional precautions. While traveling anywhere during the pandemic, I take the responsibility of not only my own health, but also the health of those around me. I planned excursions and activities that were all outdoors, avoided coming within even 12 feet of another person, relied on take-out at restaurants where I could safety eat outside far from others, or back at my room at the inn where everything had been sanitized and aired-out. Safety during this trip was incredibly important to me, and please know that it was always at the forefront of my mind. 







* I traveled to this destination during the COVID-19 pandemic and took all necessary and optional precautions. During the limited traveling I have done during the pandemic, I took the responsibility of not only my own health, but also the health of those around me. I planned excursions and activities that were all outdoors, avoided coming within even 12 feet of another person, relied on take-out at restaurants where I could safety eat outside far from others, or back at my room at the inn where everything had been sanitized and aired-out. Safety during this trip was incredibly important to me, and please know that it was always at the forefront of my mind. 

Links included in my posts will sometimes be an affiliate link, which offers me a commission if you choose to use that link to make a purchase of something featured in my blog. The only time I ever use affiliate links is if I truly stand by the product, have used it and believe you may benefit from it as well. If I don't think something is worth your time, I simply will not link to it, or make it an affiliate link. Anything I earn from affiliate links is used to invest in my blogs to provide even more content for you.

No comments