ROCKPORT — If you’ve ever lusted for a beach house perched on the rocky shores of the Atlantic, you’ll be totally smitten with this classic seaside hotel on Pigeon Cove. With a wrap-around porch and a wide lawn that slopes to the sea, the Emerson Inn has a timeless appeal that has enchanted guests — including namesake Ralph Waldo Emerson — for generations.
The 36 guest rooms are done up in New England cottage style (think floral wallpaper and white-painted furnishings), with Emerson quotes sprinkled throughout. The “premier’’ level rooms have balconies and spa tubs; many of the king and queen rooms overlook the ocean. There are also two rental cottages on the property. The turn-of-the-century-style Grand Cafe offers updated New England cuisine for dinner, with live piano music during special holiday meals. Nearby, the shops and galleries of Bearskin Neck are fun to poke around, and Halibut Point State Park offers ocean walks near an old granite quarry.
Emerson Inn by the Sea 1 Cathedral Ave., Rockport, 800-964-5550, www.emerson innbythesea.com, rates from $99 (includes breakfast).
DIANE BAIR AND