If you’re collecting most-beautiful sunset spots, Rock Harbor in Orleans (right off the rotary) is one of them. It’s a busy (and buggy) spot, with commercial and charter fishing outfits based here.
During the War of 1812, Orleans militiamen repelled a British warship from these waters. A packet service to Plymouth, Boston, and Maine thrived here, as did a saltworks.
Some of the houses you pass on the meander down Rock Harbor Road were built using lumber from the saltworks, which closed down as the harbor continually filled with silt. The trees in the harbor are plunked in each year to mark the channel, which must be dredged regularly.
As for fishing the bay for its trophy striped bass and bluefish (not to mention bluefin tuna) => Rock Harbor Charters (508-255-9757) consists of 14 sport fishing boats, the largest charter fleet in New England, and run by seasoned, Coast Guard-licensed captains.
Your catch is cleaned to grill- or freezer-readiness. Don’t forget to bring an extra cooler for your catch — and do plan on catching your limit.
Trips typically leave 2 hours before high tide and return 2 hours after.