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Rockville MD
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We will be visiting the Linden Tree Inn Aug 17-18.

Any recommendations about activities and dining?

Wenham, MA
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6 posts
5 reviews
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1. Re: Rockport/Glouster

We love to walk Bearskin Neck in Rockport during summer. Lots of activity and a nice view at the end. It may take you an hour. Have not eaten there myself, but lots of friends without kids like Passports in Gloucester. Good Harbor Beach is top if that is what you want to do.

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1,754 posts
18 reviews
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2. Re: Rockport/Glouster

If you find the time to visit Gloucester (you can't get to Rockport without at least passing through), you might enjoy a stop at Hammond's Castle museum.

And also in Gloucester, a great restaurant is Franklin Cafe. Their menu changes frequenty, so "google" them to see their menu.

Cambridge, MA
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791 posts
12 reviews
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3. Re: Rockport/Glouster

Wingaersheek in Gloucester, and Crane in Ipswich, are two excellent beaches to go to. Both are "undeveloped" except for concession stands and parking, with miles of shoreline and dunes. Be sure to bring insect repellent along with your sunscreen! Rockport's beaches aren't all that great; why d'ya think they call it Rockport?

My favorite offbeat funky place on Cape Ann is the Paper House in Rockport's Pigeon Cove section. During the mid-20th century, an electrical engineer who read five newspapers a day decided to recycle in a different way. He framed and furnished his entire cottage with compressed and varnished newspapers. Just about everything on or in that little house is constructed from that material. The only exceptions I noticed were the light bulbs in the lamps, the keyboard and machinery of the piano, the hearth and chimney of the fireplace, the works of the grandfather clock, the shingles on the roof, and of course the flooring and doors and windows. (Apparently indoor plumbing was never installed, and the kitchen wasn't open for viewing.)

The views at sunset from Bearskin Neck and the Headlands have to be seen to be believed. Small wonder it's an artist's paradise.

A nice Rockport stroll to take, when you've had enough of picture galleries and souvenir shops, is down South St and around Marmion Way. It's a quiet residential area with plenty more ocean vistas, none better than from around the Captain's House B & B whence you can see over to the famous twin lighthouses.

After multiple day trips to Rockport - I've yet to spend time in Gloucester - I have to say that the dining is OK but unspectacular. Only as of this spring has Rockport legalized some limited liquor sales, thus far only beer and wine (I think), and only in establishments which secure a special permit. IMHO the menu prices are high considering what you get, and "tourist town" is a weak excuse. There's a shop on the main street leading to Bearskin Neck which sells only strudel and has earned lots of praise - one of these days I'll catch them when they're open. But for lunch and dinner, maybe people in the know about Gloucester can offer suggestions.

Boston and...
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3,722 posts
31 reviews
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4. Re: Rockport/Glouster

I believe the best place for dinner on Cape Ann is the Emerson Inn in Rockport. The Ocean View Inn in the Bass Rocks area of Gloucester is upscale, and has great easterly-oriented ocean views (of course). Good for Saturday or Sunday brunch.

There is a very nice restaurant on the main Street in downtown Gloucester. I can't remember its name. It has gold color tablecloths. You can't miss it. Delicious food and classy decor, and it's neat when your server brings you a steaming popover when first approaching your table (lunch or dinner).

Otherwise, Gloucester has many pub-type places, great seafood of course, and some restaurants right on the water where you dine outside and feel a part of everything. There are the obvious ones along the main waterfront, but also check out the ones over on Rocky Neck, the old artists' colony.

For more "in-the-rough" atmosphere, try Amelia's, next to Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, and the Lobster Pool at Folly Cove in Rockport for the best fresh lobster and fish & chips.

The whale watches are closer than Boston to Stellwagen Bank.

And one of my favorite places in the world for beauty, exercise and fresh air is Halibut Point, a park a couple of miles west of downtown Rockport. There is a beautiful forest path leading to a high overlook, and to rocks that are great for walking and climbing over. Very little athleticism necessary. There is an old granite quarry along the way that may be the only one you'll ever get next to.

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