Rockport, Massachusetts is a picturesque coastal town. The views of the water are just beautiful! The downtown area is lined with small shops, galleries, and restaurants.
A Daytrip to Rockport
One of my favorite things about living in coastal New Hampshire is that within an hour’s drive in any direction there are spectacular and fun things to do and see!
Last weekend we took a drive down to Rockport, Mass for the afternoon. We have been having such a spectacular stretch of Summer weather and it was the perfect day to visit this coastal town. The town was buzzing! The one downside of visiting Rockport is that sometimes it’s a little tricky to find parking on a Summer day. We drove around for a few minutes and found a good spot at the end of a side street.
I noticed that you could see the ocean through the trees and there was a walking path that led us right to a spot that overlooked the harbor. Honestly, what luck we had in finding that spot, or else we would have never been able to enjoy this view!
Motif #1 is THE iconic spot in Rockport. This red fishing shack at the end of Bradley Wharf is one of the most photographed and painted buildings in the country! The original building dates back to the 1800s but was damaged during the Blizzard of ’78 and had to be rebuilt.
You can also see it from the side to get another view by walking behind the row of stores on Bearskin Neck.
It was worth the stroll down that back alley just to see this iconic-looking fishing shack covered in old buoys and fishing nets!!
The Bearskin Neck shopping district is lined with small, quaint shops. Most of them have colorful shop signs hanging above their doors which just adds to the charm of the area.
One of my favorite shops is the Rockport Candle Company. They hand pour all their candles right in the shop too. My personal favorite scent is Summer Girl...and if you are not lucky enough to live near the beach this scent will give you an idea of what it smells like!! They also make room sprays, wax tarts & soaps.
I left with a bunch of different scented wax tarts and the Summer Girl room spray.
There are a few different shops where you can find clothing, souvenirs, and handmade jewelry. New England-based Sea Bags and Black Dog also have locations here.
What I love is the number of handmade artisan items at all the shops. I’m always blown away by how creative people are!
Just look at this wall of handmade blue pottery! The colors and the details of each piece were just so beautiful.
There were also fun, beachy shops scattered throughout! Hats, flip-flops, sunglasses…whatever you need for a week at the beach!
The Rockport area is so supportive of all kinds of artists. We loved ducking into the galleries and getting lost in the paintings and drawings. I also was drawn to the mobiles made from driftwood that we saw at one gallery…it’s on my list of things that I would love to make!
If you are a flower nut like me then you will enjoy strolling past the shops and houses just to see the summer blooms. Hydrangeas thrive in our New England seacoast regions and they were in full bloom this weekend.
The homes in this area are mostly close together (and have amazing views of the harbor on the other side) but you will see small gardens tucked in between houses.
Spending an afternoon in Rockport is the perfect way to spend a Summer day! Rockport is beautiful year-round and looks like a scene from a Hallmark movie at Christmas time!
There are quite a few restaurants and cafes right in the downtown area but we stopped at my favorite spot on the way home for dinner. Woodman’s in Essex, MA has been there for over 100 years and I have been going there since I was little…although I hated seafood then!!
Friends, I have to have their fried scallops once a Summer or it doesn’t even feel like Summer!!!!
Check out this Visit Rockport site for more information on the area and any upcoming events plus places to stay. Here’s a map of the area that we visited in Rockport.
We recently visited another beautiful spot along the New England coast! Fuller Gardens in North Hampton, New Hampshire. It has over 1,500 roses in bloom plus extensive perennial gardens to explore and you can see the ocean too! Another fun New England day trip.
cottage on bunker hill
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Wow, you certainly captured Rockport’s beauty and charm. I’ve lived here for over 40 years and never get tired of the amazing landscape, views, shops and galleries. Thank you for sharing our little “gem”of a town with the world.
Jennifer Howard says
I love Rockport!! Good friends of ours moved there a couple of years ago and it’s improved their quality of life a 1000%!!!
Janet Goodwin says
My husband was from Gloucester & every year when we visited there, Rockport was a must see visit. It is dear to this Wisconsin girls heart. Our last visit was 1990. Your pictures bring back fond memories. Thank you.
Jennifer Howard says
I’m so glad Janet! It’s such a pretty spot! I have good friends that bought a house there and they are so happy and enjoying life by the water!
Kim | Shiplap and Shells says
What a fabulous place to visit! I’m so glad you shared it with us. I’d love to feature it on my Saltwater Sounds post this Sunday.
So much fun! I love New England. I’m so excited to see you this week.
Looks like an amazing day trip! I think you’ll have to meet Big Al and I there for a scallop dinner! 💛
Jeanine Kesey says
Your post is so timely. My husband and I are planning a 10 day trip the end of August and we will be touring the coastal towns from Portland MA to Boston and then over to Vermont. We are from West Texas so it will be a dramatic change in scenery for us.