I’ve spent a lot of time in Massachusetts but have done surprisingly little touring outside of Boston and Cape Cod. Early on, exploration around the eastern part of the state was due to house hunting with my parents when they were first moving to the area. Then, we visited the historic towns of Concord and Lexington, and also stopped by Walden Pond. I’ve been to Foxboro (er, Gillette Stadium) more times than I can count, and have done quite a bit of exploration on the Cape since my parents retired in the area. But the North Shore has always evaded me.

I remember watching The Perfect Storm when it came out in theaters, and I’ve heard many a reference to the legendary North Shore fishing legacy. So I was thrilled when I learned that our friends were planning to take us exploring in Rockport and Gloucester for the day.

First stop was Rockport. The town is located on a huge peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic, and the center of town is positioned right at the tip on the water. Having zero expectations going in, I was pleased to see colorful, historic New England-style buildings housing local restaurants and shops lining the streets. Of course I had to pop my head into every store.

After some time spent shopping, Clem and Giancarlo suggested we stop at a local lobster place. We chowed on some fresh lobster rolls (and I mean fresh – they steamed the lobsters right in front of us…) and then headed toward the waterfront.

Day trip to Rockport Massachusetts

Where we had fresh lobster rolls.

We found ourselves a perch and hung out on the rocks for a while. I even dozed off briefly under the sun! The weather was absolutely perfect.

Our second and final stop was in Gloucester. We briefly walked the grounds of the Beauport mansion before strolling along the rocks jutting out into the ocean adjacent to the Eastern Point lighthouse.

Nobody could believe that the tall buildings in the distance were Boston… I was the only person who guessed right!

I’ll leave you with one last photo: Before we made our way back to Brookline, we had to catch the end of the Italy-Germany soccer match in the Euro Cup. Thank goodness for Watch ESPN – we weren’t anywhere near a sports bar and the game was in a shootout! We ended up watching on my phone from inside of our Zipcar. Giancarlo was disappointed to see his team get kicked out of the tournament, but Clem was delighted since, as she puts it, “no self-respecting French person could ever cheer for Italy.”

Day trip to the North Shore of Massachusetts

Watch ESPN saved our bacon when Italy-Germany went to a shootout.