in the Off-Season- - New
England My Happy Place Photo of the Day
Enjoying Off-Season Travel in Rockport, Mass.
Rockport Harbor in the winter.
Article, photos by Eric Hurwitz
created for VisitingNewEngland.com on 2/18/2022 @newenglandinfo
Virtually every mainststream and travel media article on Rockport,
Mass. centers on the prime tourist season from Memorial Day Weekend
into autumn. That's all fine, of course, but for something different, how about this time embarking on the road less
traveled to take in the joys of this quaint North Shore of
Massachusetts Town during the off-season?
At first glance when approaching Rockport, the town looks and
quiet. Many shops and places to eat in the downtown district are
seasonal and have signs stating so -- including small, locally-owned
businesses at famous Bearskin Neck. This clearly isn't the summer
version of Rockport...
The beaches have emptied with the exception of a few dedicated local
souls out for their daily walks. The leaves are down and the skies more
grey (hey, that sounds like a famous song from the 60s!). The crowds
have clearly taken a vacation break from one of New England's most
beloved vacation destinations.
Despite being bereft of lobster rolls, warmer sand and surf, and summer
breezes, the off-season stands as a fantastic time to visit Rockport.
Sure, you have to choose a reasonably good weather day (say, at least,
partly sunny and highs in the low 40s). The chance to walk the downtown
with lack of cars, crowds and collectively louder groups of people
lends a prime opportunity to take in a classic, coastal Massachusetts
At the tip of Bearskin Neck.
Additionally, it's not like the core of Rockport's appeal has been
taken away because of cold weather. The Motif #1 Red Fish Shack, at Bradley Wharf in
Rockport Harbor, remains standing strong as ever as, reportedly, one of America's
most painted buildings by artists). The colorful, historic buildings
downtown continue to delight those who crave quintessential New England
scenes. Also, several inns and hotels remain open in the Rockport area
for the winter. Front Beach -- right off the downtown -- hasn't drifted
away to sea. Some birds would rather remain in their
hometown rather than take a flight down south.
Seagull at Motif #1 Red Fish Shack.
We can dream, also, when walking the "You could hear a pin drop"
streets of Rockport in the winter. Just sensing the reopening of a
seasonal seafood restaurant and market serves as an exciting
A classic seasonal lobster
Dogs, cooped up in their owners' homes in the colder weather, unleash a
whirlwind of energy along the open stretches of sand. People
generally don't share quite the enthusiasm of dogs when it comes to
colder coastal weather but for those who do, the rewards are tremendous
-- peace, quiet and tranquility with beaautiful scenery well intact.
A closer look at the stone gazebo at
Down the road at Halibut State Park and Reservation, trails lead to a quarry, tide pools,
rocky ledges and spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. At this
point, let's end this article and just enjoy the following scenes just for the
"Halibut." Sorry, bad fish pun.
Happy travels in Rockport!
Quarry, ocean scene.
Expansives view of the Atlantic Ocean.
Halibut State Park in the winter.
Dramatic view at Halibut State Park.
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