“new england's best-kept secret”
What makes Crane Beach a special place?
At Crane Beach, you’ll enjoy one of the finest beaches and outdoor recreation destinations on the East Coast. With its clean, inviting water, miles of shoreline, and mesmerizing views, Crane Beach has been a favorite with the ocean-loving public for generations. Whether you intend to take a refreshing plunge, play in the sand, or just soak up the sun, this unparalleled seaside experience is sure to provide lots of fun – and great memories, too.
There’s more to see here than sun and sand. Crane Beach is managed for both recreation and conservation – people and ecology – through careful planning. More than five miles of trails wind through coastal dunes here, which shield inland areas from storm waves and flooding. And, Castle Neck is the site of the North Shore’s largest pitch pine forest.
Crane Beach is also among the world’s most important nesting sites for piping plovers, a threatened bird that was nearly hunted to extinction in the 19th century for its eggs and feathers. Crane Beach has been nationally recognized for its successful shorebird protection program. To protect these threatened shorebirds, we ask that you avoid the fenced nesting areas and the wrack, the line of washed-up organic debris where the birds feed and hide.
Trails 5.5 miles of trails traverse dunes and track the beachfront on both the Ipswich Bay and Essex River Estuary sides of the Castle Neck peninsula. Moderate hiking. These trails are part of the Bay Circuit Trail.
When to Visit Year-round, daily, 8am to sunset. Allow a minimum of 2 hours, 6 hours if also visiting Castle Hill (including Great House or landscape tour) and the Crane Wildlife Refuge. Please note that dogs are welcome at Crane Beach from October 1 through March 30.
Facilities In-season: Lifeguards and rangers, bike rack, bathhouses (with toilets and changing area), outside showers, picnic tables, Crane Beach Store (refreshments and merchandise), drinking water fountains (located outside the bathhouses), information kiosk, transportation for mobility-impaired and challenged visitors. Off-season: portable toilets (located outside bathhouses), transportation for mobility-impaired and challenged visitors.
Been going to Crane's my whole life. It's honestly one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever been to, and I lived in Hawaii for 7 years.
If you're in the Greater Boston area, forget Cape Cod. It's crowded, expensive, and full of tourists. Hit the North Shore instead, and check out the gorgeous beaches on Cape Ann and the North Shore. Crane Beach in Ipswich is a nature preserve, which means no boardwalk, no cheesy souvenir stands, just a snack bar and miles and miles of beautiful beach. Don't forget to grab lunch at the famous Clam Box!
On your way back from the beach stop off at the Russell Orchards. The orchard has been in operation since 1920 and is a much-beloved local tradition. Definitely try the cider donuts, they’re to DIE for!
Beautiful Beach! One of the best that we visited on the New England Coast. Sandy and stretches forever! It does cost $20 to park for the whole day but that also includes parking and touring the grounds and 1st floor of the amazing Castle Hill Estate nearby. They also have brand new bathrooms, showers and a snack building. Sand and waves were perfect for our 3 kids. I would agree with the previous person that it was better then most of the beaches on Cape Cod.
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- Sun - Sat: 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
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Good for bird watching, hiking, and swimming.
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