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Rockport, North Shore, MA, Travel Review

Exploring Rockport, MA, and The North Shore

by Lina R.

Rockport Harbor, MA

Rockport Harbor, photo courtesy of MOTT

New England is full of appealing things to do. The coast of Maine and the Lakes Region of New Hampshire are beautiful areas to visit, as well as good "Old Cape Cod." With gas prices soaring, I am afraid many day trips will fall by the wayside this summer. Some people may not venture out and enjoy the great places they have been looking forward to all winter long..

There are alternatives, however, to becoming housebound during this difficult situation. Let us not forget that the North Shore in

Massachusetts is a unique part of New England, and has a lot to offer. Our coastal cities are lined with beaches and filled with museums, parks, campgrounds, golf courses, restaurants, movie theaters, famous monuments, and sporting arenas.

How about a day at the beach? Packing a cooler with lunches, cold drinks, and snacks will spare the cost of eating out. Building sand castles must still provide lots of entertainment for children. It did when we were kids. Beaches, such as Winthrop, Revere, Nahant, Lynn, and Swampscott are minutes away.

Salem is an interesting city that many of us take for granted. I am ashamed to say I have never been to the Witch Museum, but it is on my list of places to see. I do visit Salem often and enjoy some of the fine restaurants, such as Victoria's Station, on the water's edge, and The Tavern on The Green and Nathaniel's, in The Hawthorne Hotel. I have been to the Peabody Essex Museum and the House of Seven Gables and highly recommend both.

I have fond memories of Pioneer Village and Salem Willows from my childhood. Still there today and close to home, these places are a great way to beat the price of gasoline. With its picnic area, rides for the kids, and games to amuse people of all ages, Salem Willows is only minutes from home. Even a short trip to enjoy an ice cream cone and a stop at the famous Everett, (Buddy) Hobbs popcorn stand, for the best popcorn ever, is well worth the trip.

Remember Rockport, the charming seaside village on Cape Ann? Known for its unique shops, extraordinary art galleries, and excellent seafood, it has been one of my favorite places for years. My girlfriend and I recently enjoyed a few relaxing hours walking around downtown and Bearskin Neck. After buying teeshirts in Bearskin Neck Sweats, we wandered into the Bearskin Neck Country Store, where you can listen to a player piano and purchase a bag of "penny candy" for $5.95 a pound.

Our favorite little shop was a bead and jewelry emporium, called Beadazzled. Being a jewelry lover and a bead lady myself, I was quite interested in the one-of-a-kind creations made by the talented proprietor. Lampworking is the common name for melting glass rods in a flame and wrapping the molten glass around a steel mandrel to form a glass bead. We bought some lovely beads to make our own designer necklaces with before moving along to the Village Silversmith. This shop has a wide variety of gold and silver jewelry. The silver chains are nicely made and the prices are reasonable..

This picturesque village has plenty of fun and interesting things to do. Besides the browsing, shopping, and dining, there are a number of events that take place all year round. If you like walking, biking, swimming, sailing, whale-watching, sunset cruises, xcanoeing, or fishing, you will find it here.

Did you know that there are no traffic lights in Rockport? For details on the history of Rockport, visit the Sandy Bay Historical Museum on King Street. There you will find out why Rockport is a "dry" town, and learn who Hannah Jumper was.

A commuter train runs between Boston and Rockport every day and is an alternative to driving. The Park N' Ride is located at the transfer station on Upper Main St. (Route 127), with free parking from 11a.m. ­ 7p.m. daily. A trolley ride from here to Dock Square will cost you fifty cents. It runs every 20 minutes, back and forth. For further information a good website is www.rockportusa.com.

People come here from all over the country to see what we often take for granted. Sometimes we overlook the many wonderful things available to us right in our own back yards. Let's get out there and enjoy the North Shore.

For more of Lina's writings, be sure to visit her web site at My Web World.


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