Last weekend, The Little Black Cat and I headed North up to Rockport, MA in search of one thing: Strudel.
Not a bad weekend adventure, right?
There’s a place up there called Helmut’s Strudel that makes fantastic pastry. It’s apparently some kind of little franchise. I’ll get to that in a minute. First, a little about Rockport.
About Rockport, MA
If you’re not from around these parts, Rockport is a tiny little town up on the tippy end of Massachusetts, right above Gloucester. It sticks right out into the ocean.
You definitely feel the influence of the sea in town. It’s everywhere.
So, in typical Massachusetts-coastal fashion, Rockport is mobbed with touristas in the summer. And by mobbed, I do mean mobbed.
In the winter, a lot (but not all) of the businesses are closed. It’s a great place to bundle up, grab a hot chocolate, and walk around.
Because it’s the beginning of the summer tourist season, we had to circle a bit to find parking. We wound up with a street spot by this little beach, and this fantastic, ocean-themed inn.
Seaside houses in Rockport, MA
Check this one out. They just kept adding on to it, right?
A lot of these little places are for rent seasonally.
Millbrook Meadow Park
We cut through Millbrook Meadow Park, which is dedicated to the area granite workers. (Gloucester and Rockport, which comprise Cape Ann, have long been a huge source of granite.)
There are some fantastically old trees around town.
This thing here is actually an old mill stone.
They recently cleaned out the rear of the park and redid the pond/waterfall area.
Cemeteries by the sea
Tons of tiny little cemeteries around town. The headstones are all extra weathered from being by the sea.
So, Rockport is packed with little shops that sell everything from jewelry and antiques to chocolate and books.
Toad Hall is one of The Little Black Cat’s favorite childhood bookstores, located in an old bank.
It’s 3 levels inside, connected by a spiral staircase.
They also do good stuff. The bookstore is an indie nonprofit that donates 100% of its net profits to environmental causes. (Pretty cool, right? Buy their books here.)
Bearskin Neck, Rockport, MA
The Little Black Cat and I went to an amazing Tibetan singing bowl demo at this little joint last summer.
This shop only sells shells.
There are a TON of art galleries down here, if that’s your thing.
As well as a bunch of metaphysical shops.
Helmut’s Strudel is located near the end of Bearskin Neck, on the right if you’re walking out towards the ocean.
They sell cookies, pastry, and ice cream.
And, of course, strudel. I walked out with a couple of almond croissants, and a sweet cheese strudel. They also had cherry and apple the day we were there.
Hidden doorways & staircases
There are a lot of semi-secret looking nooks and crannies around town.
The end of Bearskin Neck
My Place by the Sea a little restaurant with patio dining down at the very end of Bearskin Neck.
The end of the Neck gives you great views of the boats in the harbor, as well as the open ocean.
Oh, and Rockport is definitely very dog friendly. There are bowls of water outside many of the shops. And you can’t walk very far without running into some kind of four-legged critter.
This little guy was just 8 weeks old, and on his way to being a therapy dog.
And this fine beast was happily wagging his tail for us so hard that he was practically trimming the hedges behind him.
People also really tend their outdoor spaces nicely.
What do you think? Have you been here? In season? Off season? Leave a comment, let us know!