Crane Beach FAQ

Effective May 1st, 2024, the Trustees Crane Beach Parking Permit Program has ended. Crane Beach Admissions are now on a tiered discount structure associated with Membership level.  

Read these frequently asked questions regarding these changes and other topics regarding visiting Crane Beach. 

Click below to jump to a topic to answer questions about your Crane Beach visit.

FAQs Regarding Crane Beach Changes
Provide Feedback On The New Crane Beach Changes
Membership Questions
Ticketing Questions
Questions About My Visit
Contact Information
To purchase a timed entry pass


A:  The Trustees have phased out Crane Beach Parking Permits and moved to a system of admissions discounts based on Membership level. The new approach will improve the visitor experience and make passes to Crane Beach a little more available.  

Q: Why is The Trustees making this change and how is it an improvement for beachgoers?

A: Crane Beach has always been a popular destination, but Beach visitation and the popularity of Crane Beach Parking Permits skyrocketed during the COVID pandemic. That demand has not slowed. With thousands more Permits in circulation than parking spaces at the Beach, the availability of passes has become too limited, and the beachgoing experience has suffered. Our new approach has been designed to address these issues.   

Q: What will the admission prices be under this new system?

A: Click here to view the admissions discounts  at Crane Beach. Our ticketing system will determine your Membership level when you make a reservation and apply the corresponding discount.  

Q: I am an Ipswich resident; do I need a Timed Entry Pass?

A: Residents arriving to the gate with a valid Ipswich Beach Sticker affixed to their vehicles do not need to reserve a Timed Entry Pass. 

Q: What will I have to pay during the summer beach season to visit Crane Beach under the new system?

A: Under the new system, we will continue to require advanced passes for anyone visiting Crane Beach by car from May 15th through Labor Day (the “summer season”). Sustaining, Sponsor, and Founder’s Circle Members can reserve passes at no charge. Other Members will receive discounts as follows*:  

  • Non-members: $35 weekdays; $40 weekends and holidays 
  • Individual, Family, and Contributing Members: 50% discount off the non-member price  
  • Supporting-level Members: $10, weekdays, weekends, and holidays. Free after 4 PM; free off-season. 
  • Sustaining, Sponsor, and Founder’s Circle Members: Free  

Pricing for summer visitors who do not arrive by car will be as follows:  


  • $5 for Individual, Family, Contributing and Supporting Members  
  • $10 for non-members.  

Bicycle or On Foot  

  • Members: free  
  • Non-members: $5    

Cape Ann Transportation Authority (CATA) (buses that operate independently of The Trustees and run between the Ipswich commuter rail station and Crane Beach on weekends during the summer. More information at 

  • Members: $2 (no beach access fee) 
  • Non-members: $5  

*Additional information on prices and visiting Crane Beach is available on The Trustees’ website 

As of May 2024, no active Permits will remain in circulation, and all summer-season visitors to Crane Beach will pay according to the pricing schedule set forth immediately above.  

Q: What are the new rates in the off-season (November – March)?

A: Under the new system, passes are required on weekends only and strongly suggested on weekdays, especially on warmer days in late-spring and early-fall. Admission prices in the off season will be as follows:  

  • Non-members:  $10  
  • Individual, Family, and Contributing Members:  $5  
  • Supporting, Sustaining, Sponsor and Founder’s Circle: Free  

*Additional information on pricing and visiting Crane Beach is available our website. As of May 2024, no active Permits will remain in circulation, and all off-season visitors to Crane Beach will pay according to the pricing schedule set forth immediately above.  

Q: Will I still have to get an advanced pass, and will passes be released the same days/times?

A: Yes, passes are still required. As in past years, we will release passes at noon each Monday (for the upcoming Tuesday-Thursday) and each Thursday (for the upcoming Friday-Monday). The two-day-a-week release will begin May 16, 2024.  

Q:  Will I need to verify my Membership when purchasing Crane Beach passes online?

A: Yes, all Members will be required to log-in to the Crane Beach ticketing system, using their Membership number or email, to receive the appropriate discount during online purchase of Crane Beach Passes. You can confirm the status of your Membership and, if needed, retrieve your Membership number using this Membership lookup tool 

Q: Will non-members still be able to access Crane Beach?

A: Yes. In fact, moving away from the Permit system will likely make timed passes to Crane Beach a little more available for non-members. However, the popularity of Crane Beach means it may always be challenging to reserve a pass.  

Q: Will The Trustees make more money under this new system?

A: We do not expect to make more money under this system, and we are not doing this for financial reasons. The new system will allow us to continue to generate the revenue we need to operate Crane Beach with the level of quality you have come to expect. However, our primary reason for making this change is to improve the beachgoing experience for visitors.   

Q: What is happening with the Bakers Pasture lot?

A: The Bakers Pasture lot will continue to be used as a parking option during the summer season. For 2024, Bakers Pasture will be open on weekends and holidays only from Memorial Day-Labor Day. Advanced passes are required to park in this lot and are available to all under the same admissions structure as the main beach lot. More information about Bakers Pasture can be found here. The Trustees are considering alternative approaches to Bakers Pasture parking in the future, and we will share updates when they are available.  

Q: Will people who walk and/or ride their bikes still enjoy free entry and do they need a timed pass?

A: All Members who arrive by bicycle or on foot will be free, and non-members will be $5. Any Member arriving via the Cape Ann Transportation Authority (CATA) bus, which runs from the Ipswich commuter rail station to Crane Beach during the summer, can access Crane Beach for $2 (no beach access fee) and non-Members will be $5.  

Q: Is my Membership tax-deductible under the new system?

A: Yes. Membership dues have always been tax deductible, but the value of Permits included with or purchased alongside Memberships are not tax deductible. One benefit of the new system we are phasing in, therefore, is that all Memberships will be fully tax-deductible.  

Q: Why are advanced passes still required even though COVID-19 restrictions have lifted statewide?

A: The Trustees are committed to welcoming as many visitors as safely possible to all our special places, including Crane Beach. Advanced passes provide us with the ability to maximize our resources, manage traffic on Argilla Rd and ensure we provide access to as many visitors as possible while still delivering a safe and efficient visitor experience.  

Q: Are there any changes being made to Horse Trailer Permits?

A: No. Horse Trailer Permits will still be available for purchase during the time horses are permitted on Crane Beach (October 1- March 31). Click here for more information on Horse Permits.   

Click here to submit feedback about the upcoming permit changes.


Click here to look up your membership information. For a tutorial on how to use our membership look-up tool, click here.

Q: How long will it take for me to get my Membership Card?

A: If you purchased your Membership online, you may use the confirmation email you received as proof of purchase until your Membership card(s) arrive by mail, usually in 3-5 weeks. 

Q: I don’t have my permanent Member # yet, how do I reserve a Timed Entry Pass?

A: Between the time of your Membership purchase and the time you receive your Membership cards, you can use the temporary number provided to you when you purchased the Membership.


Q: Are there still capacity limits at Crane Beach?

A: No, capacity limits have been lifted. We are only limited by the amount of space our parking lot can hold. 

Q: Can I bike or walk to the beach?

A: Member pedestrians and cyclists who show a valid Membership card may enter for free. Non-member pedestrians and cyclists can buy a pass in advance online or may pay via credit card at the Crane Beach gate. Note: Biking, including fat tire bikes, is not allowed on the beach  

Q: Will I be able to get a refund on a Timed Entry Pass if I can’t make it?

A: Unless The Trustees close the beach for an extended period (more than 2 hours) for any reason (extreme weather, emergency), Timed Entry Passes are nonrefundable. In all but the most extreme cases, Crane Beach is open rain or shine. Please note- refunds are not given for road closure due to forecasted flooding. If you are visiting Crane Beach during a high tide cycle, please be sure to check our X (formerly Twitter) page for more information about road access.   

Q: Does my Timed Entry Pass for Crane Beach allow me to also visit Castle Hill and vice versa?

A: No, each site has its own Timed Entry Pass, and they are not reciprocal. 

Q: I just reserved a Timed Entry Pass, but the confirmation wasn’t emailed to me.

A: Please check your spam/junk folder in your email, as tickets can land there sometimes. If you still don’t see it, please email with your first name, last name and reservation date to confirm.


Q: What happens when I arrive at the Crane Beach gate?

A: Everyone will be asked to stop and check in with a gate attendant to show the printed or digital version of the Timed Entry Pass booking confirmation. Ipswich resident vehicles will be checked for a valid sticker before those vehicles can proceed to the Town parking lot. 

Q: Can I leave and re-enter on the same pass?

A: During times when Timed Entry Passes are required, we do not allow re-entry on a Timed Entry Pass. At other times, re-entry is possible with a credit card receipt or Crane Beach Permit.  

Q: What amenities are available at Crane Beach?

A: Restrooms are available year-round. Changing booths, outdoor rinsing stations, Crane Beach Store and Snack Shack (operated by Relish Catering for the 2024 season) are available daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day, weather permitting. Crane Beach is also home to five miles of dune hiking trails. Accessible parking, beach wheelchairs, and an accessibility shuttle from the parking lot to beachfront are available. The accessibility shuttle can be requested at the Beach Store in the Summer Season and at the entry gate at all other times.  

Q: Can I bring my dog to Crane Beach?

A: Dogs are allowed at Crane Beach between October 1 and March 31. See the Regulations & Advisories section of the Crane Beach website for more information.   

Q: How are Crane Beach admission fees used?

A: Admission fees help to pay the annual costs to maintain the beach and facilities, protect public safety, carry out dune and wildlife protection programs, and maintain historic buildings and structures. When you go to Crane Beach, you are directly helping The Trustees of Reservations protect and care for this important landscape and landmark.  


Click here to submit feedback about the phasing out of permits.

For timed entry pass and ticketing questions:
Crane Beach: email

For general timed entry pass and ticketing questions email:

For Membership questions, email: 


Timed Entry Pass

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