As a resident of Rockport, Massachusetts, I love living in this quaint coastal town. As a photographer, I simply adore it!
Rockport is located approximately 25 miles north of Boston at the tip of the Cape Ann peninsula. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on three sides, Rockport is an ideal location for a scenic drive along the coastline. I’m happy to share with you my favorite route and to offer suggestions of things to see and places to visit.
Let’s Get Started…
Most visitors come to Rockport via Route 128 and take it to the very end, which is the town of Gloucester, Massachusetts. From there, continue going straight to the second traffic light and then make a left onto Route 127A.
Important! The southern half of your drive will be on what’s known as Route 127A. The northern half, however, will be on Route 127. It’s important to note that these are two distinctly different route numbers right from the start.
Okay, once you make that first left onto Route 127A, you are on your way. At this point you are still in Gloucester, but in no time will be crossing over the town line into the southern end of Rockport.
Welcome to Rockport!
While traveling from south to north (Route 127A to Route 127), there are the places I think every visitor should see for themselves. Here are some suggestions…
While Traveling North Along Route 127A…
- Cape Hedge Beach - Turn right at the Cape Hedge Inn and then follow South Street to the very end. The beach will be right in front of you.
- Loblolly Cove/Thacher Island/Twin Lighthouses – Located off of Penzance Road, which is also off of South Street but immediately after the Cape Hedge Inn. You can see Thacher Island’s Twin Lighthouses from Loblolly Cove.
- Downtown Rockport – Park the car and take a stroll. The entire downtown area is walkable. Things to see include numerous shops, art galleries, restaurants, T-Wharf, Motif #1, Lula’s Pantry Viewing Deck, Rockport Harbor, Bearskin Neck, Straitsmouth Lighthouse, and the state-of-the-art Shalin Liu Performance Center.
- Front Beach – Sea glass hunters, beach lovers and sun worshippers flock to this convenient in-town beach.
- Back Beach – A very popular location for scuba divers. Though rocky along the shoreline, as the tide goes out, more and more beach is revealed.
Okay, Now North Onto Route 127…
At the end of Beach Street, make a right onto Route 127. The scenic drive north continues…
- Granite Pier – Turn right onto Wharf Road and follow the paved road down the winding hill and then up onto the dirt and gravel road of the pier for a great view of the town coastline.
- Pigeon Cove Harbor – Look for boats in the small harbor and the building with the lobster on it!
- Emerson Inn By The Sea & Cathedral Ledge – Turn right onto Phillips Ave. and follow the road down to the water. Sometimes off of Cathedral Ledge you can spot memorable waterfowl such as Mergansers, Eiders and Harlequin ducks.
- Halibut Point State Park – Hiking trails, a historic granite quarry, scenic vistas, a birders’ paradise and more!
- Lobster Pool Restaurant – End the day with a tasty lobster and enjoy a beautiful sunset at the northern end of town.
There you have it. An easy, straightforward drive featuring a beautiful scenic route with lots of things to see and do along the way. Makes for a perfect day trip in my book.
As for you photographers, I can tell you first hand there are photo ops everywhere you turn.
Hope to see you around town!
~ Liz Mackney