Rockport is a quaint coastal village north of Boston. It’s a beautiful area to walk around no matter what season it is. We bundled the kids up and took them for a chilly outing. Here are the best things to see and do in Rockport for a day.
1. Halibut Point State Park
Stop at this abandoned granite quarry before you reach town. It’s a short walk to the quarry and the view over the ocean is really beautiful.
You can continue down a trail to the ocean. There is no sandy beach, but there are big rocks the kids love jumping around on.
It can be cold and windy even on the sunniest day, so wear layers! If you are a bird nerd, be on the look out for the large variety of sea birds that migrate through. As you head out, climb the 60 foot World War II firetower for a panoramic view.
2. The Paper House
We didn’t spend more than 10 minutes here, but we were so intrigued to see how someone could build a house entirely of newspaper in 1922. Even the desk, chair and piano were made of paper. Admission is only $2 and based on honor system. You just let yourself in and put the money in the box.
3. Cynthia Curtis Pottery
We stumbled upon this little art studio entirely by accident. It is at the end of the road the paper house is on and we were looking for a place to turn around. I popped in and quickly fell in love with her work. I purchased a small bowl for my mother as a Christmas gift. It had the prettiest blue bottom that the artist made by melting sea glass she had collected on the beach.
4. Roy Moore’s Fish Shack
By this time, we had made it into the downtown area and we were starving. A local recommended eating here and it was very family friendly. It is right on the main strip and there was a nice ocean view out the back.
5. Bearskin Neck
This narrow street is lined with shops and art studios. It is a small strip of land that juts out of the ocean and ends at the jetty. It is a great place to wander, get an ice cream cone or stop at a cafe. It is also the most crowded part of town, especially in the summer. Some of our favorite things to do are getting a coffee at the Bean and Leaf Cafe, toy shopping at the Happy Whale, grabbing a treat at Helmut Strudel and shopping at the Black Dog.
6. Motif #1
As you walk down Bearskin Neck, look out for Motif #1 on your right hand side. This picturesque red fishing shack is known to be the most painted building in America. It has had a cameo in many movies including Finding Nemo (the dentist had a painting of it in the waiting room). All of that fame has made it the emblem of Rockport Harbor.
7. Tuck’s Candy Factory
This family owned operation has been running since 1929. Try out some of their homemade delectables and see how salt water taffy is made.
8. Front Beach
This is a safe, family-friendly beach that my kids would love if it wasn’t 20 below. When we visit in warmer weather, they will love this place. If you’re looking for a beach day, this is your spot.
I really love Rockport. I could live here. It’s such a scenic area and just a perfect place for a day trip with the family.