Rockport, Massachusetts, is one of those storybook New England fishing villages, and it’s just a little ways north of Boston. Lobster is one of the main catches, and I’d heard from a friend that it’s one of the best places in the country to get a lobster roll.
Pulling up to Rockport, I drove straight to the harbor and parked in the large lot. A red building at the breakwater was adorned with buoys, and it really set the feel for the village.
Lots of boats lay at anchor in the harbor, and lobster traps were stacked on one end. Up the coast from the harbor (a quick walk) is a sandy section of beach along another inlet full of sailing vessels.
Much of the town extends out on a point called Bear Skin Neck, and it’s full of homes, restaurants and shops selling everything from taffy to tourist trinkets, art and more.
Bear Skin Neck got its name from a bear that was caught by the tide and killed in 1700. For 150 years, it was the commercial and shipbuilding center of Rockport, with the first dock being built on it in 1743. It was also the site of a stone fort and barracks that were taken by the British in the War of 1812.
After walking out to the tip of Bear Skin Neck and looking across the harbor area at a lighthouse on the opposite point, it was time for dinner.
We headed to a local place that served whole lobsters for $12 and lobster rolls for $14 with chips and a drink. Each lobster roll had more than one full lobster on it, and while lobster isn’t really my thing, they were pretty good.
Lobster is nothing new to the region. During colonial and early American times, it was so prevalent that it was considered cheap, and it was served to prisoners. Some prisoners in Boston threatened to riot if they had to eat lobster another day.