Very Good 499 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


An Autumn visit to Cape Ann, MA
Tim F

We spent one evening at the Emerson Inn and truly enjoyed our stay. We enjoyed a lovely meal at the Pigeon Cove Cafe located right in the inn. We then attended a local church coffeehouse concert that evening, And upon waking the next morning, we returned to the Pigeon Cove Cafe for the complementary breakfast buffet.
We would recommend a stay at the Emerson Inn to friends & family.

Peaceful waterfront spot up from main town

My favorite experience at this inn was sitting on a rocking chair in the cool.morning, looking out to the calm water, drinking (free) coffee, enjoying the quiet. The best moment in my Rockport visit. The least favorite was hearing the guy in the next room snoring. Staff was friendly and attentive. This place is 2 miles from the main town, so it's best to have a car. Without one, it's a slightly hilly walk, mostly not in view of the water, or calling a taxi which may take time to come in from the next town. New England charm throughout. An older building recently updated with new carpet, new beds, etc. Large warm lobby. Nice restaurant. My stay included buffet breakfast with tasty sausage, good fruit, etc.

A charming and scenic historic Inn

First of all you have to realize that since this is an old and historic building, there isn’t much you can do with the very small and cramped rooms. Sparse, is putting it mildly...but they do make the most of what space they have. Looking beyond the rooms, the Inn offers spectacular oceans views, a gorgeous porch with rocking chairs, beautiful grounds with a cool walking trail, complimentary morning coffee and danish and an afternoon tea, a pretty decent restaurant with an awesome breakfast, and a relaxing lobby and bar. The ocean view is amazing....we literally watched a gorgeous sunrise from our bed. Staff was friendly and accommodating ( i.e. no ice machines so they have to bring you a bag of ice if needed). Be forewarned...no elevators so staying on the 3rd floor was quite challenging and tiresome. Breakfast on the back porch was so relaxing. If you are looking for a nice quiet and relaxing getaway, the Emerson Inn is for you.