Back Beach in Rockport, Mass

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Back Beach is a popular beach in Rockport, Mass that is known for its picturesque views and serene environment.

Back Beach generally receives good reviews, particularly from scuba divers. It is known for its easy access, gentle slopes, and suitable conditions for beginner divers.

Have you been to Back Beach in Rockport? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think of it!

Here are some ratings for Back Beach:

Scenery and Atmosphere: ★★★★☆

Back Beach is a small, quarter-mile-long sandy beach surrounded by rocky outcrops. The beach provides stunning views of Sandy Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

The rocky shoreline and tidal pools make it a great place for exploring marine life. Back Beach offers a more tranquil setting compared to some of the busier beaches.

Activities: ★★★★☆

The beach is well-known for scuba diving and snorkeling due to its clear waters and interesting underwater landscapes.

Many divers appreciate the presence of marine life, including lobsters, crabs, flounder, and various seaweeds. The beach is also popular for night diving due to its sheltered environment and bio-luminescent cove.

It’s also a favorite spot for sunbathing, swimming, and picnicking. Back Beach is a great place for a relaxing day by the sea without the crowds.

The beach also features an annual 4th of July bonfire which is a beloved tradition dating back to the 1950s. This event, organized by the Rockport Firemen’s Association, begins after the Firemen’s Parade and a concert by the Rockport Legion Band.

Facilities: ★★★☆☆

While Back Beach is more low-key compared to Front Beach, it still offers basic amenities such as restrooms, benches and nearby parking on Route 27 just opposite of the beach.

The beach also features a band stand where concerts are held in the summer. There are also no lifeguards on duty, so swimmers should be cautious.

Cleanliness: ★★★★☆

The beach is typically clean, with clear water and well-maintained sand. Occasional seaweed can be present, but it’s generally kept tidy.

Smoking of any type is banned on all six municipally owned Rockport beaches: Long Beach, Front Beach, Back Beach, Cape Hedge Beach, Old Garden Beach, and Pebble Beach, and dogs are prohibited during the summer months, between June 1 and September 15.

Accessibility: ★★★☆☆

Back Beach is situated along Beach Street, north of the downtown area of Rockport. It is easily accessible and offers a quieter alternative to the more centrally located Front Beach.

While accessible, parking can be challenging, especially during peak times, and it is metered. It’s within walking distance from downtown Rockport, but it might require a bit of a walk from parking areas.

There have also been issues with local residents complaining about noise and behavior of divers, which have resulted in increased scrutiny and potential fines.

Back Beach, is named in contrast to the nearby Front Beach. While Front Beach is situated in the more central and accessible part of the town, Back Beach is located a bit further away from the central downtown area.

The name “Back Beach” reflects its position as being behind the main, more prominent beach (Front Beach), making it less immediately visible or accessible compared to its counterpart. This naming convention helps distinguish the two beaches based on their relative locations in Rockport.

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Back Beach offers a more serene and less crowded experience with great diving opportunities. However, it lacks in terms of facilities and parking convenience. It’s an excellent choice for those looking for a peaceful spot with good water activities.

Overall, Back Beach is cherished for its natural beauty and tranquil atmosphere, making it a perfect spot for those looking to enjoy the coastal charm of Rockport away from the busier areas.

History:

The history of Back Beach in Rockport is intertwined with the broader history of the town itself, which has been a popular destination for both locals and tourists for many years.

Rockport was initially part of Gloucester and became its own town in 1840. The area around Back Beach, like much of Rockport, has long been inhabited and utilized for its coastal resources.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Rockport was a hub for fishing and granite quarrying. Back Beach and the surrounding coastline would have been significant for these industries, providing access to the ocean for fishermen and potentially serving as a site for loading or transporting granite.

As the 20th century progressed, Rockport began to develop as a tourist destination. The natural beauty of the area, including its beaches, attracted visitors from Boston and beyond. Back Beach, with its clear waters and scenic views, became a favored spot for visitors seeking a more tranquil beach experience.

In 1950, Back Beach began hosting an annual 4th of July bonfire, which now draws thousands of people every year.

Back Beach has played a role in the cultural life of Rockport. It has been a location for community gatherings, beach activities, and even art, as Rockport is known for its vibrant arts scene. The peaceful environment and picturesque setting have inspired artists and photographers over the years.

Today, Back Beach continues to be a beloved destination for both locals and tourists. It has maintained its charm and natural beauty, offering a quieter alternative to Front Beach and serving as a site for recreational activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and beachcombing.

While specific historical events centered exclusively on Back Beach might not be extensively documented, its development and significance are closely tied to the overall growth and evolution of Rockport as a seaside town. The beach has transitioned from being part of a working coastline to a cherished recreational and cultural landmark.

Address: Beach Street, Rockport, Ma

Website: rockportusa.com/2023/07/07/beaches-of-rockport/

Sources:
Macneill, Arianna. “Rockport residents file lawsuit over scuba divers undressing in front of their homes, ‘clanging’ air tanks.” Boston.com, 10 July. 2020, boston.com/news/local-news/2020/07/10/rockport-scuba-diving-lawsuit/
“Parks, Grounds, & Beaches Division.” Rockport.ma.gov, rockportma.gov/206/Parks-Grounds-Beaches-Division

About William Briscoe

William Briscoe is a seasoned travel blogger and adventurer based in Massachusetts. With a passion for exploring hidden gems and sharing his travel experiences, Briscoe's website, "Mass Attractions," has become a go-to resource for those seeking seasonal attractions in Massachusetts. William enjoys exploring the scenic beauty of New England, spending time with his family and two rescue dogs, and experimenting with classical New England recipes in his kitchen. He holds a degree in English Literature from Boston University, which he believes laid the foundation for his writing skills.

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