Europe will always be a favorite destination for us, but sometimes travel close to home brings some rewards of its own. We drove a short five hours to reach this beautiful part of the New England coast this past September and discovered just how much beauty our own country has to offer. Rockport, MA is the quintessential New England seacoast getaway. In late September, you can have it almost to yourself. There's a wonderful harbor and a well known fishing shack that always fascinates photographers.
Around these parts, it's called Motif #1 because of how often it's been painted and photographed. If you're not looking at it for real, you're looking at it in one of the galleries!
This is a major art center, but there's lots of shopping and dining in Bear Neck Cove - a place to just relax and enjoy after the summer crush of visitors.
It's a major lobstering town as well, and you'll see signs of it everywhere you turn.
Lobster cages line the wharfs and compete with the church steeples for your attention.
The dining's not always fancy, but if you want a good low cost lobster lunch, this is definitely the place to come!
There are some wonderful views to be had if you climb up just a bit above the town - especially early in the morning on a blue sky day in September.
I can't paint but I can try to turn one of my photos into something approximating one! This view was just so amazing that I created my own impression of it...
If you venture out just a bit further on the Cape Ann peninsula, you'll find somewhat wilder seascapes to enjoy. The big rocks were deserted and we had the crashing waves all to ourselves out here.
No matter where you stop, you'll find fascinating views out over the New England coast.
Drive just a few miles from Rockport, and you're in Gloucester - perhaps the most well known seafaring town around. It also has some of this country's best whale watching boat trips - and whales are pretty much guaranteed.
It's a major thrill when the first whales are spotted...the first was just a tail fluke but it got better!
A mother and her calf followed our boat for miles. The water was so still and so clear that even when they were below the surface, they were visible as phosphorescent green images.
Rockport, off season, is a wonderful place to spend a few days. It epitomizes quaint...
and it's certainly well-named; rocks are everywhere and the views are mesmerizing.
There are so many wonderful inns and B&B's to choose from in this little town. We found and loved Seven South Street Inn where the four course breakfasts were decadent and the owner is the most friendly inn-keeper you'd ever want to meet.
...but the Inn on Cove Hill looked equally appealing as we walked past it each day.
There are beaches to relax on and you'll have them mostly to yourself off-season...
Sunflowers were in bloom everywhere in town and looked like they were going to survive forever nestled on their white picket fences...
I have a feeling Rockport will call us back again...it's a haunting sort of place...
...well worth discovering.