Soak up the seaside fun at one of the Northeast's most spectacular beaches, and follow trails and boardwalks through a spellbinding landscape of sand dunes and salt marsh.
Visited by more than 350,000 people annually, Crane Beach remains a national model for balancing conservation of diverse natural habitats and wildlife—more than 1,200 acres of beachfront, dunes, and maritime forest grace the property—with the management of active public recreation. Whether you want to take a refreshing plunge, play in the sand, or bask in the sun, this unparalleled seaside experience has provided fun and lasting memories for generations.
Crane Beach is 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—and has been nationally recognized for its successful shorebird protection program. To protect threatened shorebirds during your visit, 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.
Advance passes for Crane Beach are suggested but not required. However, if you have an advance pass, you are guaranteed admission for the day of your visit, even if passes sell out.
While swimming and sunbathing are the main draws, Crane Beach is a four-season playground where walkers, hikers, birdwatchers, citizen scientists,students, and more come to enjoy the great outdoors. Don’t miss more than five miles of trails that wind through coastal dunes and shield the inland areas from storm waves and flooding. The interior of Castle Neck is home to the North Shore’s largest pitch pine forest, and exquisite hiking awaits. From October 1 to March 31, dogs and horses are allowed (see Regulations & Advisories.) Learn more about bringing horses to Crane Beach.
Ranger coverage year-round and daily during open hours. Lifeguard coverage 8AM-5PM daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the bathhouse is host to our first aid and EMT office, a bustling refreshment stand, and our beach store. During other times of the year, these amenities are closed. Restrooms are available during open hours.
Experience 5.5 miles of trails, traversing the dunes, maritime scrub forest, and beachfront on both the Ipswich Bay and Essex River estuary sides of the Castle Neck peninsula. Due to soft sand and many hilly dunes,trail difficulty is Moderate. These trails are a spurof the Bay Circuit Trail. Bring plenty of water, a hat, sunscreen, and a cell phone for safety!
Horseback riding is permitted on Crane Beach from 10/1-3/31. The Crane Beach Horse Trailer Permit Program is a Trustees Members only program. Questions? Email email@example.com.
Learn more and apply for a Horse Trailer Permit now.
310 Argilla Road
Ipswich, MA 01938
From Rt. 128 North Exit 20A, take Rt. 1A north for 8 mi. to Ipswich. Turn right onto Rt. 133 East and follow for 1.5 mi. Turn left onto Northgate Rd. and follow for 0.5 mi. Turn right onto Argilla Rd. and follow for 2.5 mi. to entrance and parking (1,300 cars) at end of road.
At Crane Beach, you will find a spectacular stretch of white sand along the Atlantic coast, perfect for sunbathing, swimming, walking, and more. On your way out to the beachfront, stop by the bathhouse complex to use the restroom or visit our seasonal refreshment stand and beach store. Looking for something more active? Explore miles of hiking trails in the dune and maritime scrub forest.
Regular hikes and paddling trips are offered out of the Crane Estate, and the Barn at Castle Hill hosts our popular summer camp each year. Information about events, programs, other Trustees properties in the region, and Membership in The Trustees is available in the beach store or online.
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: Family restrooms and visitor access to floating beach wheelchairs
Literature about events at the Crane Estate, other Trustees properties in the region, and Membership in The Trustees is available from the bulletin board and the beach office.
We recommend that you download a map before your visit.
Please also note the following additional waterfront rules:
Horses at Crane Beach – Horseback riding is permitted on Crane Beach from October 1 – March 31
Dogs at Crane Beach: Dogs are allowed at Crane Beach between October 1 and March 31 (free for Member dogs and $5/dog for Nonmember dogs.) Dog regulations will be shared with dog walkers at the beach gate.
Authorized seasonal bow hunting, is allowed on this reservation for a limited number of hunters through a deer management program administered by The Trustees. Per MassWildlife regulations, hunting is permitted from the first Monday in October through December each year, from ½ hour before sunrise all day until ½ hour after sunset, Monday through Saturday. Hunting is not allowed on Sundays. Signage is posted at the property listing safety precautions and requirements. Learn more about hunting on Trustees properties. Any questions may be directed to The Trustees coastal ecologist via firstname.lastname@example.org.
on this page
Find answers to frequently-asked questions about Crane Beach including timed entry ticketing, rules for the beach, and membership questions.
The Trustees State of The Coast report examines the sea level rise and storm surge impacts affecting coastal zone communities on the North Shore.
In 1910, Richard T. Crane, Jr., purchased 800 acres on and around Castle Hill – the first of many family land acquisitions that eventually formed the 2,100-acre Crane Estate. Following Mr. Crane’s death in 1945, the family gave 1,000 acres, comprising most of Crane Beach and the dunes of Castle Neck, to The Trustees. When Richard’s wife Florence died in 1949, her bequest added another 350 acres, the Great House, and most of Castle Hill. A quarter-century later, her daughter-in-law, Miné S. Crane, added the 680-acre Crane Wildlife Refuge.
Still pristine and beautiful after all those years.... Beautiful white sand beach with ever changing seascape, pristine and away from everything. Just the beach, birds and the ocean. I am still visiting this beach since my first time in 1975 and every time I stand on the top of the boardwalk I think, WOW this is really beautiful place and I want to come back here again and again.....
– Michaela R, TripAdvisor Review
Ipswich | Northeast
Experience the grandeur of a 2,100-acre seaside estate, its marvelously landscape...
Essex | Northeast
Paddle through a mix of salt marsh and coastal islands, then venture ashore and e...