Things to do
Rockport, Massachusetts is most famous as an art colony. The town was also a major granite shipper until the depression closed the quarries. Today, vacationers sunbathe on the rocks and beaches, take walks through the woods or along the shore, or watch the whales from boats out of Rockport or Gloucester. The Rockport Golf Club has a fine nine-hole Click Here For your Best Online Visitor Guide - Nearby Attractions - Plus Dining, Shopping & More course about three miles from the Emerson, and there are tennis courts less than a Live Web Cam View the live web cam at Rockport Harbor...mile from the Inn.

Rockport Town | Art Galleries | Beaches | Boating & Water Adventure | Golf | Lighthouses | Museums & Historic Sites | Performing Arts | Walking & Hiking | Whale Watching | Calendar

Rockport Town
With one of the most picturesque harbors in the nation, Rockport town is the epitome of quaint, New England charm. Embark on a Cape Ann whale watch in the hopes of seeing local marine wildlife. See Motif No. 1, the red, harbor-side fishing shack that is one of the most-painted (and photographed) buildings in the world. Stroll along the streets of downtown, and the famous stretch on Bearskin Neck, through a variety of antique stores, jewelry shops, clothes boutiques, and other shops. Dine at Emerson Inn or eat locally at one of the delicious little cafes.

There is so much to do, see, and eat on the North Shore of Massachusetts; you’ll want to extend your stay! Click here for detailed Rockport Shopping Information.

Art Galleries
A thriving artist colony, Rockport features many small art galleries and art stores offering works in various forms - from paintings, to sculpture, photography, and mixed media. Click here for a list of Rockport art galleries. The Rockport Art Association sponsors exhibitions, lectures, demonstrations, workshops and educational programs for children and adults throughout the year. The association also holds an annual art auction, usually in May.

Rockport offers a number of lovely beaches, each with its own character. A renowned scuba diver's spot, Back Beach is located between Main and Granite streets. It also offers great views. If you are looking more for peace and quiet, Cape Hedge Beach on South street is quietly tucked away – a perfect place for solitude. Front Beach is a busy beach on Sandy Bay – walking distance to downtown Rockport and its restaurants and shops. Long Beach, off Thatcher Road, is another long, protected stretch of ocean and sand, backed by a cement retaining wall and lined with summer cottages. From Long Beach you can easily view the twin lighthouses on Thacher's Island.

Boating & Water Adventure

Whether you are aiming to catch a giant bluefin tuna or just want a quiet sail, Rockport offers the perfect boating charter. We recommend the following companies:

Sport Fishing


More challenging than it first appears, the semi-private Rockport Golf Club (978-546-3340) has thick, tree-lined fairways that put a premium on shot accuracy. Although a 9-hole course, there are additional tees that can be used when playing an eighteen-hole round. Ask an innkeeper for information on public-use times. Open April 1 through November 1.

Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse was built in 1835 to mark the entrance to nearby Rockport Harbor. The relatively small lighthouse is maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard but the island itself is owned by the Massachusetts Audubon Society as a bird and wildlife sanctuary. The Twin Lighthouses, also known as Cape Ann Light Station, are the only surviving multiple lights on the coasts of the United States. The original 45-foot towers were constructed and lit in 1789—making them among the oldest of America’s lighthouses.

Museums & Historic Sites
The Sandy Bay Historical Society, housed in the 1832 Sewall-Scripture House at 40 King Street, features an extensive collection of local history and genealogical information. Permanent exhibits also include the works of deceased Cape Ann artists Fitz Hugh Lane, Aldro Hibbard, Alfred Wiggin and Charles Gruppe. The Paper House is a historical site that must be seen to be believed. Built in 1922 as a summer home by Mr. Elis F. Stenman, a mechanical engineer who designed the machines that make paper clips, the house still stands today as a monument to ingenuity.

Performing Arts
Visitors can enjoy exceptional musical performances and events year round, including classical, jazz, folk and world music— as well as HD simulcasts from the Metropolitan Opera and England’s National Theatre -- at the critically acclaimed Shalin Liu Performance Center conveniently located in the scenic seaport village of Rockport, Massachusetts. Summer brings the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, which offers orchestral concerts from string quartets, pianists, vocalists, and trios throughout June.

Gloucester Stage Company presents professional productions of intellectually stimulating and socially relevant dramas, comedies, and musicals. Plays developed at the Gloucester Stage Company have gone on to critical and popular acclaim on Broadway, off-Broadway, across the United States, and around the world. The Company has received numerous awards and citations including several Elliot Norton Awards (awarded by The Boston Theater Critic's Association) for individual productions and performances and a New England Theater Conference Award. Gloucester Stage Company is located in East Gloucester, MA on Smith's Cove adjacent the galleries and restaurants of Rocky Neck, the oldest art colony in the United States.

Performances from the students at the Windover Center for the Performing Arts whose works have included the creation and re-creation of original choreography, dance/ theater pieces, and full-fledged musicals with original music can also be enjoyed year round. In addition, the Windhover Dance Company has performed reconstructions of the dances of Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman, and it is the only company in New England dedicated to the work of these pioneer modern dancers.

Walking & Hiking
Walk the Words guided tours takes you through rock formations created by glaciers 10,000 years ago, the remains of Dogtown, a colonial village from the 1700s, and boulders inscribed with inspiring words from the Great Depression.

Halibut Point State Park is owned by the Town of Rockport and is open for public use. Here you can explore the park's trails and tidepools, picnic on its rocky ledges, enjoy its sweeping views, and learn about Cape Ann's historic granite industry.

Whale Watching
Spy a gentle giant out in the waters of Cape Ann. Humpback, Fin, and Minke whales, and even the endangered Right whale, feed here from mid-April through October. Other sea mammals, such as dolphins, and rare seabirds, including Black Guillemots, Manx Shearwaters, Greater Shearwaters, Sooty Shearwaters and Wilson's Storm Petrels also can be spotted. Many whale boats guarantee sightings. Click here for Cape Ann whale tour options.

Cape Ann Event Calendar


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