Very Good 144 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


Great last minute find, classic New England shoreline inn

Found this on HotelTonight for a great price, about $170. Took the last room, a handicapped room, #203. It's a convenient, first floor room tucked in a quiet corner, with its own entrance and dedicated handicapped parking spot right outside the room. Otherwise, the inn has all the handicapped accessibility one would expect from 19th century. Staff was friendly and helpful. Pigeons' Cove location was great, with inn set back from the sea with a medium sized lawn betwixt it and the shore. Corn hole game was on lawn: much fun for all ages, plus a pool.
Note: some reservations include breakfast; cut-rate ones through third parties don't, so compare rates directly with the hotel site if you want a full breakfast. For all, there are fresh pastries and coffee in the living room from quarter past seven to nine or so every morning. For my wife and I, this nourishment was enough. The front porch is a great place to have a meal, watch the sunrise, or just chill in a rocking chair.
There is a restaurant on site, but the food is too complex for my taste (I like simple things), so we went up the road to the Lobster Pool.
Bathrobes in room were nice.

the perfect way to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary
Gayle G

The inn, excellent staff, delicious breakfasts and dinners, comfortable accomodations, gracious surroundings, morning coffee and afternoon tea served in china cups all added up to the perfect setting for our anniversary getaway. Watching the spectacular sunrise and sunsets from our bedroom window and the lovely wrap around porch was wonderful. An addition bonus for me, mobility challenged, was an accessible room on the first floor with easy access to porch, parlor, bar and dining area as well as a ramp and handicap parking space outside our door. The chicken confit at Pigeon Cove tavern was beautifully prepared and presented, excellent coffee, breakfast freshly prepared. Hotel desk staff and restaurant staff were welcoming, informative, thoughtful, among the best we have ever encountered.

A perfect quick retreat

I was able to sneak away for a mid-week getaway and everything was just perfect. I loved speaking with all the staff about the property, the history and of course the views. My room was efficient and I didn't need anything much larger since there is ample common space to enjoy a good read, scroll my phone or just ponder the raw beauty of the ocean. There isn't much better than the back porch at the Emerson Inn. I cannot wait to get back