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Rockport MA in August (no car)

Bracknell, United...
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Rockport MA in August (no car)

Hi...me and my husband will be travelling from UK to Boston and then getting train from North Station in Rockport MA to spend four days in August....would be so grateful for any ideas, suggestions or recommendations on what we will be able to do and see bearing in mind we wont have use of a car.

Thanks

SB

Andover...
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1. Re: Rockport MA in August (no car)

While my first preference would be to have a car, the Rockport area is certainly doable without one. Where in Rockport will you staying? If you are not going to have use of a car, then my strong suggestion would be to stay as close to Bearskin Neck as possible although I am certain I have seen a trolley bus in Rockport , which may take you around to other areas. Much of the touristy things are pretty much walkable if you are in relatively good shape.Bearskin Neck puts you close to several good restaurants including one of my favorites, Ellen's Harborside. Other good ones include Roy's Lobster House. My son's personal favorite is a place called Top Dog..and if you like hot dogs this is the place for you. They serve hot dogs with all sorts of bizarre toppings. Thankfully there are other things on the menu.

Bearskin neck also is home to several art galleries ( be sure to check out the photography one), shops and boating opportunities. If you are feeling adventurous, you can rent a kayak .There is a nearby beach and plenty of lodging.

Also, with 4 days, you will have ample time to head back to the train station and take the commuter rail up to Ipswich Ma. From Ipswich train station, you can hop on a shuttle that will take you to all the main attractions in Ipswich, including Crane's Beach. The shuttle service will also take you to nearby Essex Ma and all the attractions there including the Essex Shipbuilding Museum and Woodman's ( famous for their fried clams).

North Shore, MA
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2. Re: Rockport MA in August (no car)

You will be somewhat limited without a car, but can use public transportation, perhaps supplemented by taxis, to get around Cape Ann. The local buses are run by Cape Ann Transit and cover quite a lot of area. Note that you can wave for the bus to stop at at unscheduled stops along any route. On the less flexible side, unfortunately they don't run at night or on Sundays. Here's their website for schedules and other information:

http://www.canntran.com/

You can also use the commuter rail (same train you're taking from Boston) to go to Gloucester. The trains do run in the evening and on weekends, but again not so frequently. You can also take the train to Salem for a day trip (I'm assuming you spending some time in Boston before or after your stay in Rockport so won't want to do a day trip there).

I know from your little journey to the Maine forum that you're staying at the Seven South Street Inn. From the Inn, you can walk to a couple of beaches and to Bearskin Neck (shops and galleries, many restaurants, views). If you tell us a little about your interests, we can offer better ideas. To give you one specific idea, my favorite place in Rockport is Halibut Point. The blue route bus will get you there. Here's more information:

www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/northeast/halb.htm

Hope you'll enjoy your visit!

North Shore, MA
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3. Re: Rockport MA in August (no car)

Sorry, miscricket, I was typing while you were posting! I do want to point out that getting to Ipswich by commuter rail involves taking the train from Rockport inbound to Beverly (main station, downtown) and then picking up an outbound train to Ipswich (this is the Newburyport branch of the rail line). It's doable, but kind of a long ride. However, I think there may be another way for the OP to get to Ipswich and Crane Beach. The purple CATA bus line goes to the Essex/Gloucester line and from there you can pick up the shuttle that goes through Essex (another favorite of mine) and on to Ipswich and Cranes. This will be a long ride, too, but scenic! I'm sure the folks at the Inn can offer some guidance. It looks like the shuttle (Ipswich Essex Explorer) is running weekends again this year. Here's a link:

www.ipswichessexexplorer.com/default.htm

Edited: 08 May 2011, 01:51
Bracknell, United...
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4. Re: Rockport MA in August (no car)

Thank you kindly for you response, we are staying at seven south street Inn but will certainly look at taking train to Ipswich. Maybe we should plan to get a car for a day or two once we arrive in Rockport ....what is like driving around the area as we have been put off driving in around Boston itself as the traffic is supposed to be so bad . Is there car rental easily available in Rockport?

Thanks Again

North Shore, MA
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5. Re: Rockport MA in August (no car)

I think renting a car for a day, or maybe two, would be a great idea, Sez97. I'm glad we didn't scare you away with the complicated train information! I later had a more careful look at the schedules and realized that to go to Crane Beach in Ipswich by train and shuttle from Rockport would be a very long day with a lot of time (hours!) wasted making connections. A car would be a much better way to get to Ipswich. It will also allow you to explore Essex without worrying about the bus and shuttle connection and to go to Newburyport and Plum Island and many other places.

Enterprise Car Rental is in nearby Gloucester. They usually will bring the car to you or pick you up and take you to the rental place. Here's a link, but do note their limited weekend hours:

www.enterprise.com/car_rental/deeplinkmap.do…

Driving on Cape Ann and nearby should be fine. It's nothing like driving in Boston, where a car is a hindrance rather than a help. Traffic will be heavy on the weekends, so it may be better to pick weekdays for your exploration by rental car. Hope this helps!

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6. Re: Rockport MA in August (no car)

Here's a link to Crane Beach:

thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/northeast-ma…

While there, you might want to visit the nearby Crane Estate:

thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/northeast-ma…

Here's some visitor information for Ipswich, Essex, and Newburyport:

http://www.ipswichma.com/

http://www.visitessexma.com/

www.newburyportchamber.org/what_to_do.shtml

And for Plum Island (Parker River Nat'l Wildlife Refuge):

http://www.fws.gov/northeast/parkerriver/

http://www.parkerriver.org/

The route of the Ipswich Essex Explorer (the shuttle we mentioned earlier) makes a pretty good driving route through these towns. I really enjoy taking an Essex River Cruise. Great at the end of the day followed by dinner in Essex:

http://www.essexcruises.com/

Bracknell, United...
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7. Re: Rockport MA in August (no car)

Thankyou route128North for all the information really very helpful

and much appreciated . I think we will do the car hire for sure now for at least a couple of days as wont to make the most of our time in Rockport and surrounding area as it will be many years before I get to come back to the area.

I was actually born in Brookline but when I was five we emigrated over to the Uk and I haven't been back to this area since so am really excited and appreciate everyones helpful comments and advice

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8. Re: Rockport MA in August (no car)

You're most welcome, Sez97, and welcome home! ;-) I know Brookline quite well--you were born in a wonderful spot! I expect you will enjoy your stay on Cape Ann, especially with a car to allow more exploration for a couple of days. Depending on your interests, you can probably spend two or three days there without a car, particularly if you do some simple travel by train and bus (not the crazy connections I initially suggested!). Hope you'll enjoy and if you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Salvador, BA
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9. Re: Rockport MA in August (no car)

If you have a car, it's a very pretty drive from Gloucester/Rockport across to Newburyport, via Ipswich and Essex, with lots to do and see once you arrive.

Andover...
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10. Re: Rockport MA in August (no car)

Route128..no worries..and you gave much more detailed information. Sez97, I am glad that you are going to rent a car. While it's not a problem to make it doable without one, I think your enjoyment of the area will be more with a car. The roads around Cape Ann are very pleasant to drive (at least most of the time) and I take drives in that area for pleasure.

The only think I will add to all the above suggestions is that if you make it up to Ipswich ( and I hope you do) on the road to Crane's beach ( and estate) is a place called Russell Orchards and Winery. It's a pretty cool place and I had forgotten about it earlier..but was there yesterday.

Also, I concur completely with Route128 and the Essex river cruise. The end of the day is my favorite time to do it...something about the sun being low in the sky..the lighting is just so nice.