Bearskin Neck (Rockport, MA)

A mere hour and change north of Boston, Rockport is famous for its scenic views, waterfront vistas and quaint setting.  I decided to begin my trek at the historic Bearskin Neck. DSC_0967

A cozy, sleepy town just off the beaten path of Rockport Center, I have only one gripe about Bearskin Neck (one which is common among New England attractions); parking.  There are a scant 11 parking spots at  the edge of Bearskin Neck where most of the tourists congregate and you will want to be cognizant of the time you spend while you’re parked.  There are parking meters which do take coins as well as credit and debit cards and it is strictly enforced.  Parking is also limited in the Rockport Center area, although you may park in a lot across from the beach in Rockport for $15 for the entire day.  Parking is also available at the town’s municipal parking lot.  From there, a free shuttle will also drop you off at Rockport Center.

Depending on who you choose to believe, Bearskin Neck’s name can be traced back to John Babson or, more predictably, a bear.  According to a sign posted in Rockport, Bearskin Neck got its name from a bear that got caught in a wave and was killed when it came to shore.  But, another tale insists it got its name when fishermen who saw the bearskin a prominent resident, John Babson, had left to dry on the rocks that occupy much of the area. 

Arriving at Bearskin Neck, I feared I had taken a wrong turn down a pedestrian only road.  It is easy to be confused by this since Bearskin Neck is only one small yet busy walkway.  But, eventually you will arrive at Bearskin Neck.  Be careful while driving o that road as people walked aimlessly throughout the road, stopped to take selfies in the middle of the road and paid little attention to the traffic around them.  When you do reach the end of Bearskin Neck you will find a small parking area, a sitting area with panoramic views, and a  rocky walkway that ends in a peninsula. DSC_0991DSC_0855 DSC_0973DSC_0851

Bearskin Neck is also a popular spot for boaters

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In fact, it was once a thriving fishing and lobster trapping area.  Now, not so much.  But, there are still some fishermen and women who still call it their trade.


Naturally, one of the more eye catching things about the Bearskin Neck section of Rockport are….the rocks.


Lots and lots of rocks

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The Straitsmouth Isle Lighthouse is visible from Bearskin Neck.  The island is closed to the public.  So, unless you have a boat, this is the closes you will get to it


Bearskin Neck and Rockport are a walking area with a quaint feel.  Art galleries, independent book stores and gift shops line the narrow, pedestrian streets of Bearskin Neck.

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There are many fun activities to do in bearskin Neck from kayaking to palm reading.  I would probably do the former prior to the latter just as an extra precaution.

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The “other” popular attraction in Bearskin Neck, besides the rocky peninsula, is Motif No. 1.  Motif number 1 is a replica of a fisherman’s shack.  The original Motif 1 was destructed during the Blizzard of 1978.  It has been featured in many classic paintings and even in film

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Bearskin neck is also teeming with wild life of all species.  For instance, I ran into “Paws” while I was on my journey.


Of course, there are also seagulls a plenty in Bearskin Neck.  They are especially fond of Motif No. 1. DSC_0897DSC_0899

This one seemed too shy to fly away. DSC_0870

He eventually decided to go for a dip with a friend instead DSC_0873

This seagull just wanted to get away from it all.  But, i still found him. DSC_0975

And then it was on to Rockport center.  Yes, that all pictured above happened in the Bearskin Neck section of Rockport – one small road and connecting peninsula. Rockport Center has a more modern feel to it, albeit just slightly more modern.

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Most of the noteworthy attractions, such as the Rockport Art Association, are located in the Cultural District on or off Main St.


The First Congregational Church of Rockport has been in the same location since 1805, although other churches with the same name had been at different locations dating back to the 1700’s.


One of the coolest things about Rockport Center, at least for photographing, are the nooks in between buildings that allow for more unique photograph taking

DSC_0926 DSC_0928 Rockport Front Beach is a cute little beach for boys and gulls of every age.  Sorry.

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On the way back to my car, Hooda let me take her photo.  But, only if she could stand by her dad.


To enjoy Rockport to its fullest, a weekend trip or, better yet, a three day weekend would do it justice.  I was barely able to take in a sampling of the main attractions in one day.  And, I still missed out on some of the attractions.  Beautiful and entertaining places are abundant.  I have many more shots I didn’t include in this blog. To date, Rockport has been the most photo friendly, fun place to photograph.

About New England Nomad

Hi I'm Wayne. Welcome to my blog. I am a true New Englander through and through. I love everything about New England. I especially love discovering new places in New England and sharing my experiences with everyone. I tend to focus on the more unique and lesser known places and things in New England on my blog. Oh yeah, and I love dogs. I always try to include at least one dog in each of my blog posts. I discovered my love of photography a couple of years ago. I know, I got a late start. Now, I photograph anything that seems out of the ordinary, interesting, beautiful and/or unique. And I have noticed how every person, place or thing I photograph has a story behind it or him or her. I don't just photograph things or people or animals. I try to get their background, history or as much information as possible to give the subject more context and meaning. It's interesting how one simple photograph can evoke so much. I am currently using a Nikon D3200 "beginner's camera." Even though there are better cameras on the market, and I will upgrade some time, I love how it functions (usually) and it has served me well. The great thing about my blog is you don't have to be from New England, or even like New England to like my blog (although I've never met anyone who doesn't). All you have to like is to see and read about new or interesting places and things. Hopefully, you'll join me on my many adventures in New England! View all posts by New England Nomad

One response to “Bearskin Neck (Rockport, MA)

  • Dawn

    Thanks! Great post and photos 🙂 I haven’t been to Rockport in so such a long time and I don’t know that I will ever be that way again. Sam wonders why the little dog is mad 😉 he does look like the canine equivalent of grumpy cat…


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