The coastal village of Rockport, Massachusetts was settled back in 1623 when it was still part of its neighboring city, Gloucester. In 1840 the residents of Rockport broke off to form their own town with their own unique identity. During the Industrial Revolution they were suppliers of stone and granite and became a popular vacation destination. Rockport has also been a long time artist’s colony. Today the rocky, New England beaches and downtown are still filled with tourists and there is no shortage of art galleries and studios.
I visited on what began as a chilly October morning, excited to finally wear a vest and boots. While the cool weather did not last long my excitement never wavered. The first thing I always like to do when visiting a new town is to drive around, taking in the surroundings and seeing where the action is. On this particular day my brother, Casey, and I happened to be there for Rockport’s Harvest Fest. There were tents with local farms and vendors, live music, and plenty of seafood.
We explored the shops in Bearskin Neck and took plenty of pictures of the historic Motif Number 1. Lunch was local beer from Cape Ann Brewing and a lobster roll at The Blue Lobster Grill. One of my favorite things about Rockport is how dedicated the locals are to their town. Our waitress provided not only excellent service, but an entire list of places she thought we might like to visit in the area. There have been some towns that I day trip in and feel like a total outsider, but Rockport was beyond warm and welcoming.
While there was a festival going on, the town never felt overcrowded. Everyone was polite and nice to each other. Every corner had an artist painting the scenery. I honestly felt like I was in a modern Norman Rockwell painting.
My next visit will definitely be an overnight stay. The village was so beautiful in the autumn I’m hoping to see it under a fresh blanket of snow. I would also like to try a lobster roll from Roy Moore Lobster, Co., visit Cape Ann Brewing and buy local art. There were so many studios we couldn’t possibly visit all of them in one day. Each studio/gallery was as unique as Rockport itself.
If you’ve ever visited Rockport and have a favorite store or artist please share in the comments!