Rockport Harbor is a popular vacation and day-trip destination that offers a variety of galleries and shops and outrageously fresh and delicious lobsters and seafood. Rockport Harbor offers many miles of beaches, paths winding through woods and glades, and scenery that has inspired painters for almost two centuries. A pleasant one-hour drive from Boston, Rockport Harbor is the perfect get-away.
Rockport Harbor has a humid continental climate that has large differences in temperature from season to season. Winters can be very cold, and summers are usually warm to hot and humid. Temperatures range from an average high of 28°C (83°F) in July to an average low of -4°C (25°F) in January.
Visitors to Rockport Harbor will want to see Halibut Point State Park. Open from sunrise to sunset, the park offers breath-taking views of the coastline, walking trails, and tidal pools. In the summer, there are weekly tours of the quarry and granite-cutting demonstrations. A visitors center and museum tells the story of Halibut Point's history and the role Cape Ann has played in the granite quarrying industry. The park has public restrooms and on-site park staff throughout the year. Tours are offered by both park staff and local volunteers.
Rockport Harbor is home to the Paper House, a 1922 home built completely from newspapers. Nominal admission fees allow the public to visit the house from 10am until 5pm from April through October. Built by a mechanical engineer, Elis F. Stenman, the summer home was constructed as a hobby. It contains a piano and a fancy desk and chair, all made of newspaper.
Rockport Harbor's Essex River Cruises and Charters offers narrated trips every day from May to October. Staff will also arrange for clambakes, weddings, company outings, and celebrations at the request of customers. The cruises treat riders to historic shipyards, estates, and farms. Riders can watch fishermen clamming and lobstering on the river and enjoy the glorious scenery. The Essex River Queen II offers restrooms, a canopy roof, and a great sound system, and the facilities are handicapped-accessible.
Also known as the Cape Ann Light Station, Rockport Harbor's Twin Lights are the only multiple lights that survive in the United States. They have been operating since 1789, so they are also among the oldest lighthouses in America. The modern 124-foot granite towers were built so that a ship siting both towers point to true north.