As far east as you can get on cape ann, a rocky shore and salty breezes reward visitors

TOWN: Rockport
WHAT:A summer community that attracts tourists and lovers of the arts
WHY:A vibe of its own, it's a bit like a mini-Provincetown

Perched atop rocky Cape Ann, Rockport has long attracted summer visitors, including artists, musicians and in their wake, tourists, to its rugged coastline. Its downtown area reminds me of a mini-Provincetown with galleries, restaurants and gift stores lining Main Street and Bearskin Neck. It maintains an active lobster fleet and its harbor, protected by a breakwater, is lovely. 

History runs as deep as the nearby ocean here. John Smith dropped by in 1614 and called the area Tragabigzanda. We can be thankful the name didn't stick. It's eventual name more naturally combines rock and port, a clue to its main industry during the 1800s: granite quarrying and fishing. The woods in Rockport remain dotted with what resemble huge granite potholes, many filled with crystal-clear water. Halibut Point State Park offers visitors an opportunity to learn more about fascinating history of quarrying, complete with its own huge pit and shipping quay. 

A relatively recent addition to town and arguably the crown jewel of Rockport, the Shalin Liu Performance Center sits comfortably harborside and features world-class jazz, bluegrass, blues and classical performances year 'round. Attending a performance there when the rear curtains are open brings the entire harbor inside through the glass wall at the back of the stage - mesmerizing! 

Let's take a closer look at things to do when you're visiting Rockport.

In the Rough, Casual, Fine Dining

These local cafés on Cape Ann offer great coffee, home-baked goods and more

Music & Theater

Rockport's Shalin Liu: a theater that enchants both performers and audiences alike

“Another glorious day, the air as delicious to the lungs as nectar to the tongue.”

- John Muir