In the midst of snowstorms and ferocious winds, the last weekend in February offered a great day to explore the North Shore.
Just under an hour from Boston sits Rockport, a seaside town that is one part ocean and two parts artist haven. Before I take you into the main streets of Rockport, I highly recommend starting your day along the water at Halibut Point State Park.
A few minutes north of the town, the park sits on a piece of coastline that juts out to the water with quirky, twisty tree-lined trails that lead past the old quarry to a rocky beach.
Various routes off of the main loop mean you can pick your own adventure for how long or short of a walk you want. Regardless of what you choose, you'll go past the quarry, down to the beach, and have a chance to look out at the ocean from the overlook. A great little hike if you're looking for something not too cumbersome — and if you like rock scrambling, this beach is for you!
Sit and listen to the water swell.
We may have lucked out with fairly mild weather for late February, but were ready to head into town after a few minutes by the water. Drive past the million dollar homes and inns that have undoubtedly welcomed guests for centuries as you wind your way down to the village.
Gorgeous New England architecture offers a backdrop to colorful main streets where you can glimpse the water between buildings.
Vibrant colors and signs point the way to chocolate shops, pewter wares, galleries, and freshly baked goods.
We wandered around, pointing out artwork and preserved markers of history.
At the end of Main Street, you can walk out onto Bearskin Neck, which leads out into the bay. Bearskin Neck is so named for an unfortunate bear who was caught by the tide in 1700 and subsequently died. This area of Rockport became a shipbuilding center for the next 160 years.
On a warm day, I'd suggest making up a picnic and bringing it to one of the ready-made rock tables that form the jetty. Sea & Cellar offer a curated selection of freshly baked goods, small batches of nibbles, wine and beer if you're filling a picnic basket.
In the middle of the bay, amongst a fleet of fishing boats sits the iconic 'Motif'. A bright red fishing shack, that you've likely seen in many a painting. I can see why it is has been continually depicted in paint and photographs — it certainly gives that air of northern New England coastal scenery.
I'm sure this place is buzzing in the summer, and there were a few closed stores that made it clear the doors would be open when the summer renters came in.
Before heading back to Boston, we popped into Brothers Brew for a breakfast sandwich and coffee. A great little no-frills coffee shop that offers options beyond a egg+cheese that actually entice you.
Rockport, I'm sure we'll be back!
*We wore masks the whole time unless we were by ourselves at the state park. Make sure to wear yours too!