Rockport - a fascinating seaside spot in Massachusetts
January 1, 1970
by Passport Pomodoro
As summer 2014 I was lucky enough to visit the ‘must sees’ both on the east and the west coast of the USA, the second time I travelled there, I wanted to explore some hidden treasures. My wish was to see a lighthouse, you know, one of those, you can see in cheesy scenes of Hollywood movies. I visualised cuddling on a plaid, listening seagulls, watching the sunset under the white-red tower. You probably figured out, that it didn’t happen like this, although it had much more to do with American movies, than I expected.
Just one hour drive from Boston
It wasn’t the first time I found a place using Instagram. Just try it: type a hashtag what doesn’t exist yet. Not a piece of cake, right? If you have the keywords, you’ll immediately see what are the main attractions, what people did around there in the past few days or weeks, or the same time last year. If you find many recent posts, it can be used even instead of weather forecast. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Looking for lighthouses in Massachusetts I found Rockport, it is approximately one hour drive from Boston, so you can easily make it from there even without staying overnight. One day is enough to ramble around, have a nice meal, spend some time on the beach, but if you are not on a budget – we haven’t found affordable accommodation already months before our visit – it must be amazing to spend a long weekend there.
In the footsteps of Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds
Wouldn’t be surprised if not, but I can give a hand. Miss Congeniality and Blake Lively’s husband were shooting a rom-com (The Proposal) here in 2009. The story took place in Sitka, Alaska, but the actors didn’t have to travel so far. According to local press, Sandra and Ryan were good for tourism, and if you ask me, the movie worth watching on a girly night (to convince boys, mention the towel-covered Bullock!).
If you are walking down on Bearskin Neck and take a turning on Bradley Wharf, you’ll find the red fishing shack, named Motif No. 1. It was originally built approx. 150 years ago, but what you can see now, is a replica, as the original one was destroyed by a blizzard. We saw some painters and it turned out, that the shed was famous long before The Proposal. It is referred as the most painted building in New England, and has an interesting history . For taking pictures, let’s go down to the dock, but be wary, it won’t be easy to leave from there. I could have spent hours just watching the perfect combination of serenity and the bustling wharf-life.
But what else makes the place charming enough to be a Hollywood scene?
Inviting shop-windows, tempting restaurants
The main street is a long line of lovely shops and places to eat. For those who find it hard to resist the temptation, it can be tough, but I love to stroll around these little boutiques, selling handcrafted jewellery, trendy clothes, crafts made by locals, sweets etc. My absolute favourite was the One Ocean One Love Shop, they retail eco-friendly clothing and accessories from hand carved linoleum blocks.
After we absorbed all these beauty we walked out to the end of the breakwater. It is a nice spot to sit down or taking pictures. Kids around us were thrilled, climbing the rocks and watching boats coming back. Paddle board (SUP) and kayak classes were trained around us, and we came to know, that there are guided kayak tours to Thacher Island (that’s a thing I’ll definitely do next time!). SUP turned out to be my favourite water sport lately, I’m gonna share my experience in Bled, Slovenia soon, and also planning to give you tips where to do in Hungary.
As you’ll see the ‘About me’ on the blog, you can find out, that I’m a foodie. I don’t think I’ve ever shared a story about travelling without saying something like ‘oo, and we had the best burger there!’ or ‘do not miss that cake shop, that’s the sugar-coated heaven!’. So yeah, I’m passionate about eating and drinking local specialities, seeking for a good coffee, ice-cream, or street food (just wait for my Indian adventures!).
The place we picked for lunch is on the corner of Bearskin Neck and Mt. Pleasant Street, the Blue Lobster Grille. I’m sure you can guess what I had, and have no doubts, it was AMAZING! We were lucky and had a table in the back room, with stunning view to the wharf. The place was friendly, not fancy, exactly what you expect from a restaurant like this. The service was also excellent and very quick, and we saw that they prepared food for taking out, if that’s an option you like. Do you guys know the feeling, when you are waiting for your order, look around, and everyone has that satisfied face, and you are just sure, that it will be divine?
Here is what we had.
I’ve got a lobster bib to protect my clothes from butter and the whole seafood feast. I never take soaps, or stuff like that from hotels, but this bib was something I must bring with me. Totally useless, but make me smile every time I see it. The fries, the coleslaw and the burger were also great, so even if you are not a seafood fan, you’ll love the Blue Lobster Grille.
No meal is finished until you had desserts.
We found this cute little ice cream store on Bearskin Neck right after we arrived, and I felt like a kid whole day knowing, that I can get my frozen treat after lunch. There is a small table inside if you wanna sit, but on a sunny day like this it was better sauntering around with full tummies. We decided to spend some time on the beach before we leave catching the sunset. This one is about 3 minutes walk from the main attractions. I’m always amazed how a single object – especially if it is colourful – can determine the atmosphere of a place. The tall red lifeguard chair made this shore warm and inviting.
Hard to imagine any better, than laying on the sand, getting tanned, enjoying the New England breeze, and making plans for the rest of your holiday.
This day was perfect, even without the cuddling-on-the-planked-by-the-tower part. How did we fail, it’s an
other story, but the sunset was still breathtaking.
For more pictures – including the lobster bib – about Rockport, visit my blog,
If you have any more suggestions about what to see or do in the neighbourhood, share it with us on Facebook!
Keep traveling! 😉