What is there to do in Rockport? Well, we’re glad you asked! Rockport MA is a quaint small town but offers many activities and things to see and do. There is truly something for everyone. There is no shortage of Rockport MA things to see and do and around the Cape Ann area. The list of Rockport Massachusetts attractions is long, but we’ve tried to capture the top ten things for your Rockport summmer vacation rental. If you think we’ve forgotten something and you’d like to drop us a note, we would be happy to share it.
Our Top 10 List:
1) Bearskin Neck
Undoubtedly one of the most visited places in the entire north shore of Boston, let alone Rockport, and one of the most unique places in the U.S. Bearskin Neck is a street peninsula that has many venues, restaurants, attractions, shops and scenic views. A trip to Rockport would not be complete without taking a stroll down Bearskin Neck, completed by taking in the scenic view at the end overlooking Rockport Harbor and Sandy Bay.
2) Rockport Beaches
Rockport has not one, but five excellent beaches for you to enjoy. Long Beach, Cape Hedge Beach, Old Garden Beach, Front Beach and Back Beach all have their own unique personality. You’ll find family friendly as well as more quiet and laid-back beaches to choose from. Unlike other beaches in Massachusetts, Rockport beaches are free. There is no charge to use our beaches.
3) Motif #1
Motif #1 has become the symbol of the town of Rockport Massachusetts. To the unfamiliar visitor, Motif No. 1 looks like a fishing shack, and it once was. It was built in the 1840’s, and housed fishermen’s supplies and daily catches for many years. When the U.S. Naval Fleet docked in Rockport, locals used the shack as a place for meeting and watching ship launches. In the 1930’s, it became an artist’s studio, before finally serving as a city-owned monument to the area’s veterans.
This once humble fish shack also has the notoriety of being the most painted building in the world. If you travel to faraway lands, don’t be surprised if you see a painting hanging on the wall of the restaurant or building you are visiting, that depicts Motif #1.
4) Outdoor Activities
Rockport offers many options for those who enjoy an active lifestyle. Rockport has many scenic biking and jogging routes (we have complimentary cruiser bikes for your use!). Travelers can find great hiking and sightseeing at Halibut Point State Park, or hike through Dogtown, an old historical settlement. There is great kayaking in Rockport as our harbor offers calm ocean, there is a rental center on Bearskin Neck if you need equipment. If golf is what you enjoy, you can play a round at the Rockport Golf Club. There are sailing lessons available at Sandy Bay Yacht Club. Divers flock to our beaches all throughout the season, if you like scuba diving, Rockport may the place for you. Of course our beaches are free, and the currents are mild and are great for swimming and boating. Come enjoy all that Rockport has to offer.
5) Shalin Liu Performance Center
Rockport’s Shalin Liu Performance Center is a major music and theatre venue and well known throughout the region. At the Shalin Liu you will see great artists from many different genres including folk, pop, rock, blues, classical, jazz and much more. Featured artists include Livingston Taylor, Arlo Guthrie, Grammy winner Paula Cole, Wynton Marsalis and many more. The Shalin Liu is a unique venue whose backdrop is Rockport Harbor, with soaring floor to ceiling windows behind the stage. Come enjoy a show.
6) Fresh Rockport Seafood
There’s no mistaking that the main attraction at our restaurants is our fresh Rockport lobster. The lobster you are served is caught locally and is known thought the region. Enjoy some of the best clam chowder you will ever have, as well as outstanding fried clams and other fried and fresh seafood. Our local restaurants are routinely featured in regional competitions for their chowder or as they say here “chowdah”. No visit to Rockport is complete without trying a lobster, lobster roll or a bowl of creamy chowder. Make sure it is on your checklist for your next visit!
7) Rockport Art Association and Local Galleries
The RAA is an absolute must when you visit. Don’t let the outside deceive you, the interior exhibit space is much larger than appears from the main entrance. You will enjoy multiple galleries of local art in oil, watercolor, sculpture, sketches and more. There is always something new to see and the quality of the works will be sure to impress you. Rockport is an artist community and there are dozens of galleries in the main downtown area. Many studios offer extended hours or have informal receptions with refreshments where you can meet the artists and discuss their work. Don’t miss out on the vibrant art culture here in Rockport and make it a point to put the Rockport Art Association and local galleries on your list for your next visit.
8) Twin Lights
Twin Lights is a pair of lighthouses just off the coast of Rockport. You can easily see Twin Lights on a sunny day and see the glow at night. The lighthouses are located on Thacher Island (note the “T” is missing) and during the summer, there are tours to go visit the island and lighthouses. There is also a museum you can visit which gives the history of the island, and displays various artifacts. A fun, scenic and informative day await you when you visit.
9) The Headlands
The Headlands is a rocky scenic overlook, with outstanding views of Rockport Harbor. There are benches to sit and take in the view, and ideal spots for a picnic. The Headlands is a quiet area very close to town and walkable from The Seaward. Be sure to bring your camera and pack a picnic lunch.
10) Little Art Cinema
The Little Art Cinema is a small venue located in the Spiran Hall in the center of town. You will certainly get a “small town” experience when you visit, and the films shown at the theater are excellent. You will routinely find films that have received accolades from major film festivals, as well as Golden Globe awards, Academy Awards and the like. The price is right and the popcorn is very reasonable. A fun movie experience awaits you.