Okay, so…I didn’t do too well with the hints and the suspense and build up, so—surprise! 🎉 We’re in New England! We decided to take a trip up this way to explore beautiful Maine and Massachusetts this year. We being my husband and I.
This guy. Right here. This is Tim pretending to be a statue at Hammond Castle in Gloucester, Massachusetts! More on that in a minute.
So, I did a TON of research on Google, VRBO, you name it. And I decided, “You know what? I’ve never been up to the way, way, really Northern states in this country. I like seafood. Where can I go that is really far up North and has seafood?”
And thus New England trip was born! 👶🏻
The first place we stayed was in Rockport, Massachusetts. It’s a few hours from Boston, a few hours from Gloucester (where aforementioned weird castle is), a few hours from Salem—it’s basically a few hours from everything. It being in November, we were traveling in their off season. What is off season, my friends? WELL. It may mean, as my husband pointed out, several things are closed, but it ALSO means—the world is your oyster. No fighting people through tourist traps, no people looking at you weird when you Instagram your food (Guilty, your honor.) or crowds of any kind.
We stayed on Bear Skin Neck, a small spit of land in Rockport. It is BEAUTIFUL. Imagine that Charleston and Gatlinburg (It’s a small mountain chalet town near where I live, look it up.) had a baby, and you have Rockport. It’s very Cape Cod. In fact, it is so Cape Cod and it was so deserted while we were there, it felt like we were on a movie set, possibly like the town where they filmed Jaws. Sorry, that’s the only movie I could think of set near water..except Titanic, but…not feeling it.
It’s got houses in every pastel color of the rainbow, but it’s beautiful. Cape Cod shingles, ropes and anchors everywhere, and the BUOYS. Don’t even get me started on the buoys.
I LOVE THEM. ❤️🦀 If you want an authentic Cape Cod feel, look no further than this place. The VRBO we rented was over an ice cream shop and charming. It was a cozy little attic apartment with all the amenities. People were also starting to decorate for Christmas, so there was even more boatloads of charm. 🎄
More specifically, stay on Bear Skin Neck if you can. Everything is within walking distance! It was awesome.
We initially flew into Portland, Maine for this trip. The seafood we ate on the way to Rockport, Massachusetts was phenomenal. A place in Saco, Maine called Skipper’s Seafood.
It looked like a Captain D’s, but it tasted like H-E-A-V-E-N. Tim got a crab melt sandwich and I got a shrimp roll. Both were amazing. I don’t think I ever really had real seafood until this trip! My grandfather, Poppy, says cold water fish just tastes better to him. I have to agree!
When we weren’t eating seafood, taking pictures of buoys and enjoying Rockport all to ourselves, we drove to Gloucester, which is only about 12 minutes from where we stayed. It’s the home of the Gorton’s Fisherman. 😱 And we visited Hammond Castle, the home of an eccentric inventor in the 1920’s. You have to call for tours inside, but the grounds are open and worth a look! We may have reinacted various Monty Python scenes there…🤗
As for Salem, it is just a 30 minute drive from Rockport and worth a visit, just for the history and because it’s SALEM. We went and saw The Witch House because, it’s what you do. Being from Tennessee, we usually tear down things that are 50+ years old, so the fact that this house is still standing and was built in the 1620s is a MAJOR accomplishment.
I have loved every minute of being here. ❤️ Travel invigorates me! This was a longish entry, so I will do a PART 2 addition that includes some more information on the last half of our trip in Portland, Maine! It ain’t over yet! 👍🏻