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In the heart of downtown Rockport, Addison Choate provides a jumping off point for everything Cape Ann has on offer — especially in the fall.


A highlight of life in New England, summer visits to Cape Ann include picturesque dips in cold, clear water, fried clam dinners, sunny weather, and some of the best beaches in the country. It feels like the region couldn’t get any better — but come fall, it does. 

Visit Cape Ann in September and October and you’ll beat the throngs of tourists who congest the region’s little towns (officially Essex, Manchester, Gloucester, and Rockport). You’ll get the ideal weather for some of the area’s best activities, like hiking along the coast or going antiquing. It’s easier to get a restaurant reservation, and local whale experts call September the best month to go on a whale watch — the waters are still warm, and you’ll get to see the calves that were born during the summer.

And one of the best places to stay to get that quintessential Cape Ann experience? Addison Choate in Rockport, a seven-room boutique hotel with elevated, charming accommodations and a fantastic location right in Rockport’s walkable downtown

A Glimpse into Addison Choate: The Historic Boutique Hotel

The historic building dates to 1851 when it became the residence for local merchant Addison Choate, who had a shop in Rockport’s nearby Dock Square. Current owners Marshall and Courtney Tulley purchased the property in 2019, renovating the space with modern amenities while retaining the building’s historical integrity and laid-back charm. 

“Our goal was to blend the historic charm of the property with a  laid-back, eclectic vibe,” says Courtney, “and create a space that could serve as a home away from home for travelers exploring our scenic seaside village.”

Designed with Guests in Mind: Unparalleled Comfort and Hospitality

Of the seven guest rooms at the Rockport, MA hotel, two are suites, two are queens, and three are kings — and each room has its own characteristics. The Crow’s Nest, for example, is the third-floor hideaway with a large living room for additional sleeping accommodations, while the Dog Watch is a two-floor suite with a full kitchen. Every room has an ensuite marble bathroom, wide-plank pine floors, plush beds, and lots of natural light. 

Step outside your guest room, though, and you’ll still feel perfectly at home — the property has charming common spaces like a living room, a dining room, and a wrap-around porch that gives the hotel that cozy home-away-from-home atmosphere, just how Marshall and Courtney intended. “We provide a thoughtful hospitality that, we think, is a little bit of a lost art,” says Marshall.

Part of that hospitality includes a daily complimentary breakfast. Guests fill out their breakfast menus and hang them on their door each evening. In the morning, waiting in the lobby is their made-to-order breakfast that they can enjoy wherever they want — like in the common dining room or outside.

“When we were searching for the right property, years ago, we had an innkeeper tell us that there were really two aspects to this business: beds and breakfasts,” says Marshall. “So we took that to heart, and found the most comfortable beds and paired them with a delicious fresh baked breakfast each morning.”

The pair also recently acquired another property down the road from Addison Choate: the Sally Webster Inn. Built in 1832 by a different Choate, the inn has a “historic, feminine vibe with stylish wallpaper, brightly colored design, and rooms that are all named after female pirates,” says Courtney.

As avid travelers, Courtney and Marshall know what they would want to feel at home, like complimentary made-to-order breakfast, business WiFi, streaming TV options, and the most comfortable beds north of Boston.

“It’s fun and rewarding to see guests come down to breakfast wearing our robes or turning off lights in our living room to conserve energy,” says Marshall. “It just shows that they are relaxed and feel at home, and that’s really the whole idea.”

Embracing the Cape Ann Experience: Activities and Attractions

Addison Choate Exterior

The Tulleys also recognize what makes their Rockport properties so special: the location. Even in the fall, there are countless things to do in Rockport. While Addison Choate is walking distance to everything in Rockport’s downtown area, they offer bike rentals, too, so guests can peacefully explore the surrounding area in depth. 

And come October, when Salem sees tens of thousands of visitors each weekend, Rockport makes a perfect home base for travelers to the Witch City. Addison Choate is a short walk from Rockport’s commuter rail, through which visitors can get to Salem in around 35 minutes without having to worry about parking the car. 

Why Cape Ann in the Fall?

Courtney also adds that September and October are the best months to experience the beauty and tranquility of Cape Ann. The weather is still usually gorgeous, and it’s easy to spend time by the waterfront, walk along the beach, see a show at Shalin Liu, grab dinner at one of Rockport’s popular restaurants, or stroll through the shops and galleries on Bearskin Neck without battling crowds of tourists. 

“The artistic spirit,  small-town atmosphere, and historic charm make this destination so special,” says Marshall. For more information, visit