Thursday, October 1, 2020

Rockport MA, The Town

We motored in nice weather against moderate headwinds to Salem MA today. We took a mooring ball and are getting some laundry done at Hawthorne Creek Marina. We'll grab an early dinner on shore and do some sightseeing here tomorrow.

Rockport was such a nice town that I want to share some of its highlights. 

For me, the most interesting parts of town are its two walled harbors, the main Rockport Harbor and the small Back Harbor. Both are constructed with large granite blocks and are accessed through a narrow gap between the sea walls. At low tide, the top of the harbor walls are more than ten feet above the water. The main harbor is crowded with mostly lobster boats. The tiny Back Harbor has a short dock for small power boats and is where we landed the dinghy when going to shore from where we were anchored in Sandy Bay.  I like their sturdy old New England construction, how they provide snug protection for boats in all types of weather.

Between the two harbors are a few narrow streets and small historic buildings. It is touristy but low key and high quality, nice to wander around for a little while. There are lots of benches around the perimeter of the main harbor where you can sit to enjoy the view or have a picnic lunch.

The dominate structure in the downtown area beyond the harbors is the Rockport Music-Shalin Liu Perfomance Center, which is unfortunately closed due to COVID. From the outside, the building looks like a giant's version of the homes on either side of it. From the sea, the facade is dominated by a huge expanse of windows. These windows and the panoramic view of Ipswich Bay serve as the backdrop for the performance stage. We couldn't go inside, but from pictures it looks magnificent. I've posted a picture from the center's website below.  It must be a great place to listen to music.

Surrounding the downtown area are modest residences. It seems like a well-kept, friendly town. There is a station from which you can take trains to and from Boston. I think this could be a nice place to live, although I expect it is quite blustery and cold in the winter. 

One of my favorite spots is a pond, nestled in a hollow near the center of town. It's a little jewel-box of a city park, a nicely landscaped, peaceful spot to stroll through or sit and relax.

We didn't eat at any of the several restaurants in town, but they all looked good.

Rockport, a nice place to sit out a gale.

The main harbor at Rockport
Street and shops between Rockport's two harbors
House and garden along path to Rockport's pond

Fall blooms in Rockport

Interior of Shalin Liu Performance Center (photo credit Intermezzo anchored 200 yards beyond those windows.