Local Haunts: Rockport Day-Trip (Part 2)
When you pack for your visit to Rockport, make sure to include a pair of comfortable walking shoes, because a lot of the charm of this town is outdoors, and you’ll be on your feet, for sure! Here is the second half of our local haunts feature on one of our favorite, New England towns.
There are so many local shops you need to check out on your visit to Rockport. In fact, some people see Rockport as a vacation shopping destination: on a sunny day, there’s so much foot traffic, you’d think we were in the city. But unlike the city, the buildings are smaller and are often converted homes, and there aren’t any crazy drivers to worry about either.
Of course, there’s our shop, Rusty and Ingrid Creative Company, where you can find affordable handmade artwork of your favorite Rockport and New England scenes, in a vintage poster inspired style. You may catch some printmaking in action, as we produce all of our screen prints right there in the studio!
The Paper Mermaid sells stationery and some local art. They also have a variety of unique toys, many of which are mermaid and ocean themed, but there are also imported and vintage-inspired toys available.
Lula’s Pantry is a nice shop filled with high end kitchen and dining supplies and specialty foods. It’s worth a walk-through just for the viewing deck in the back of the store (best view of Motif #1)!
My Sea Baby is a beautiful little store filled with lovely, unique baby and young children’s items, including hand-printed apparel, toys, and decor.
Sea Again is a women’s clothing consignment shop where you will find a good selection of your favorite brands, only lightly used. This store provides an affordable, eco-friendly, and ethical way to shop.
Bearskin Neck is where most of the shopping happens in Rockport.
There are a lot of touristy shops, but also some really fabulous stores carrying local, handmade items and art. Here’s some of our faves:
One Ocean One Love Shop (hand printed eco-friendly beachy apparel)
Check out our maker interview with owner Jamie Mathison!
Wicked Peacock (mostly accessories, along with New England local handmade items)
Strut (stylish women’s apparel, across from Wicked Peacock)
Queen of Sorts (ocean-themed home decor, also has a good selection of local, handmade items),
Rockport Candle Company (Hand poured, scented candles, all made in Rockport)
If you’re coming into town via the commuter rail, make sure to stop over at Whistle Stop Mall on your way into town for a handful of unique, local shops, including a pour over coffee shop.
Anywhere you walk around Rockport (especially along the water) is lovely, but there are a few spots worth exploring:
The Headlands: Go past all the shops, past T-Wharf, and take a left onto Atlantic Ave. Follow until you hit a little walking path that leads to some rocks known as The Headlands, with beautiful views of the harbor and town. Continue walking along the street, staying near the water for a pleasant walk and lots of great ocean views, big ocean houses, other nice footpaths, and Old Garden Beach.
Halibut Point State Park: This is a great place to visit! You may want to drive there; its two miles out of town and a few dollars for parking, but it’s worth it. There’s a big quarry and lookout on the ocean with views (on a clear day) all the way to NH and Maine! Lots of light hiking trails, and tidal pools to explore as well. Amazing sunset views!
*For a slightly more adventurous excursion, you can rent a kayak or paddle board and take a tour, out on the ocean to the Thacher island and seal spotting sights, right off of Tuna Wharf on Bearskin Neck (North Shore Kayak Outdoor Center).
*Also fun to explore in Rockport: A walk out on the jetty at the end of Bearskin Neck!
All photography by: Rusty Kinnunen, except where noted.