Crane Beach
GOOD FOR: All Ages
RATING: (7)


Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:290 Argilla Road, Ipswich, MA
Hours:8 a.m. to sunset daily
Fee: Admission fees vary depending on vehicle and time of day; Trustees of Reservations members receive a discount
Contact:

thetrustees.org; 978-356-4354

Bathrooms: At the bathhouse
Water/Snacks: Water fountain near the bathhouse; snack bar open seasonally
Map:

White sand beaches, gorgeous views, and trails for hiking, snowshoeing, and crosscountry skiing make Crane Beach a family favorite.

A seaside scavenger hunt at Crane Beach is an exciting way to spend the afternoon.
Photo by: Kim Foley MacKinnon

Crane Beach is well known as one of the most gorgeous beaches on the East Coast. It lives up to its reputation, but it’s more than just a beach. The property is part of the Crane Estate, a complex of more than 2,000 acres comprising the beach, the dunes, Castle Hill, a wildlife refuge, and the 59-room Stuart-style mansion called the Great House on Castle Hill, all owned by The Trustees of Reservations.

More than 5 miles of trails lead through the protected coastal dunes, which are part of the Bay Circuit Trail. Kids, however, will most likely want to stay by the water. Pick up a scavenger hunt from the visitor center— the laminated sheets are attached to a bucket—and explore the water’s edge, looking for razor clam shells, sand dollars, crab shells, and other evidence of sea creatures. Trustees employees often have special family-friendly programs running in summer, so be sure to check their schedule.

Remember: Flotation devices are not allowed. You can bring a dog October 1 through March 30 if you have registered for the Trustees’ Green Dogs program, which is free for members.

Plan B:

Nearby Appleton Farms and Grass Rides (Trip 77) is a charming seventeenth-century farm still in operation, also run by the Trustees.

Where to Eat Nearby:

You can eat at the snack bar or head back to MA 133 for clam shacks and ice cream spots.



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