Very Good 347 Reviews
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What We Love

  • A grand historic hotel on the Cape Ann oceanfront, with breakfast and afternoon treatsBasking in the old-fashioned elegance of this nearly 150-year-old Massachusetts hotel
  • Visiting the Bearskin Neck fishing shack, believed to be America’s most painted building
  • Attending a concert at the acclaimed Shalin Liu Performance Center
  • Sampling the daily breakfast that comes complimentary with your stay

What To Know

  • There's a heated pool
  • The porch – with rocking chairs – faces the ocean
  • The Emerson Pub serves up fantastic meals
sky grass walkway lawn Resort cottage shore


A charming stay at a newly renovated 19th-century hotel overlooking the Atlantic, with breakfast

The Lowdown

Have a grand old time at a grand, old – specifically, almost 150-year-old – Massachusetts mansion. Emerson Inn is located in the North Shore’s Rockport, on the coast of Cape Ann and overlooking the open ocean. Built in the mid-19th century, the former Hotel Edward and Ralph Waldo Emerson Inn offers a gracious take on New England hospitality, with a spa tub and balcony in every room and an elevated American tavern that serves artisan cheeses and pan-seared scallops. Now owned by leading hotel group regional hotel group Migis, it’s a perfect place to live the meaning of that Abenaki word, which translates to “a place to steal away and rest.”
So is Rockport itself, of course. Formerly an established artists colony and fishing village, it has held onto its historic charm, appearing on Yankee magazine’s 2015 list of the 10 prettiest coastal towns in the region. Honor the fishing-village past with a trip to several of the other seafood restaurants in town, or gaze upon one of the most painted buildings in America, the iconic Bearskin Neck fishing shack, and perhaps try to paint it yourself. Of course, a stay at Emerson Inn wouldn’t be complete without a nod to the namesake transcendalist, who was a repeat guest to surrounding Pigeon Cove. Honor his legacy of embracing nature, whether on a seasonal whale-watching tour or an excursion to a quiet Atlantic beach.


 Each of the 36 accommodations is individually designed, in the same classic style as the rest of the historic hotel. Expect a private balcony and spa tub, plus a few modern updates: a cable TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, a hair dryer and a telephone. 


 Opened in May 2016, Pigeon Cove Tavern is an elegant American restaurant that comprises a dining room, deck and parlor. At all three, enjoy sweeping Atlantic views, carefully curated wines and beers and dishes like roasted beets and arugula or pan-seared scallops with spring quinoa and beurre blanc. The delicious dinners, which were conceived by Chef Doug Papows, can be enjoyed by candlelight for an extra-romantic touch. 


Once a thriving artists colony and popular fishing, Rockport has managed to retain its old-fashioned charm, as acknowledged by Yankee – the magazine included the coastal town on its 2015 list of the 10 prettiest coastal towns in New England. You’ll find hand-dipped chocolate and saltwater taffy at Tuck’s Candy; behold what’s believed to be the most painted building in America, the Bearskin Neck fishing shack; and retreat to a local beach for some Atlantic swimming. You can also embark on a lighthouse or seasonal whale-watching expedition, and we recommend spending at least one concert at the Shalin Liu Performance Center. Boston is just over one hour away.

How to Get There

Emerson Inn
1 Cathedral Ave
Rockport, MA 01966-1102 United States


4.0 Very Good 347 Reviews
Bygone Era Elegance + Modern Amenities = Fantastic Place to Stay
Reviewed 1 week ago

Loved, Loved, Loved this hotel! Book a room overlooking the ocean as the sunrises and views are spectacular - we were mesmerized by the natural beauty and deliberately awakened early to enjoy the unfolding displays from our room (could watch it from our bed). In addition, this hotel is located in a quiet, tranquil area. Close enough to Rockport and Gloucester that we could enjoy the goings on there, yet far enough away that we could retreat to serenity. The gardens on the grounds are pretty and inviting. Adirondack chairs in the garden and rocking chairs on the porch beckon one to relax/recharge. The rooms boast of comfortable beds and linens. More than enough outlets for charging phones, tablets, and other electronic devices. No mini-fridge in the room so do be aware of that (perfectly manageable however).

Highly recommend this place and we would definitely seek this place out when we return to the area.

Birthday party for 50 people
Reviewed 1 month ago

We had 50 guests at the Emerson Inn for a weekend birthday party. We have been going to the Emerson Inn for 30 years. Recently the rooms and bathrooms have all been tastefully modernized. Under new management, the food and service are top quality. They go out of their way to please guests and accommodate unusual requests. The jazz band which they recommended was terrific. The lobster dinner was lauded by many regular lobster-eaters as the best they have had in a long time. My guests and I will return often to this beautiful place.

Scenic and Attentive
Reviewed 1 month ago

We stayed for a night early in the season, and were pleased with the stay...Great location, close to town but distant enough to minimize noise. Staff was attentive and courteous! Try to stay on the 3rd floor if possible...no lift, but we didn't mind the stairs in the least.

Best wedding ever!
Reviewed 2 months ago

We just returned from my son’s wedding at the Emerson Inn by the Sea. Starting at check in all the way through the wedding three days later, we had an amazing time! The rooms were immaculate and the beds very comfortable, and we had a beautiful ocean front view. The rehearsal/ welcome dinner on Friday evening was beautiful! The food was excellent and the room looked so warm and welcoming to all the family and friends attending. The daily breakfast was delicious and plentiful.
The wedding day was picture perfect weather. The wedding coordinator Candace, along with her team of workers, converted the parlor into a dance floor and decorated the dining room which was breath taking with candles and votives sparkling on the tables. In a very short span of time, Candace and her team of workers transformed the dining room with amazing detail! The bar tenders were fabulous as they prepared signature drinks for the guests. Rachael was so helpful in getting all out flowers & butonaires fastened perfectly.
When we continued on to the after party, Candace took the time to painstakingly wrap picture frames and candlesticks for our return journey. She was awesome! What more can I say ... great staff, outstanding venue, comfy beds, and delicious food made it a magical weekend!

Reviewed 8 months ago

Wow! Where do I start with this review! Let me start with Rachel at the front desk. She was so warm, accommodating and inviting! Thanks Rachel, Christine and Meagan for making my birthday extra special! The room was immaculate. The bed was very, very comfortable. The ocean view was awesome! Breakfast biffet was excellent! The Trail along the ocean and rock scenery was amazing! I will definitely stay again!