Crane Beach on the Crane Estate


1,234 acres

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.


Plan Your Visit
  • Overview
  • Ideas for Your Visit
  • Admission & Hours
  • Directions & Contact Info
  • What You'll Find
  • Facilities & Accessibility
  • Property Map
  • Regulations & Advisories


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.

Member verification is now required to receive discounts off Crane Beach Day passes.  To lookup your Membership account, please use the Trustees Membership Lookup Tool.

Get your day pass

Ideas for Your Visit

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 9AM-5PM daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day, weather permitting.

Bathhouse Complex
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, weather permitting. Please note: restrooms close 20 minutes prior to sunset and there is no running water or rinse stations available outside of the summer season (Memorial Day-Labor Day) 

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 spur of the Bay Circuit Trail. Bring plenty of water, a hat, sunscreen, and a cell phone for safety!

Admission & Hours


  • 8AM-Sunset daily. Note that the beach entry gate closes 20 minutes before Sunset.
  • 2024 Admission Fees
  • Beginning Thursday May 16th, 2024, passes are released at noon on Monday for the upcoming Tuesday-Thursday and noon on Thursday for the upcoming Friday-Monday. Passes are required for daily admission in the Summer Season beginning May 15th, 2024.  Get your pass here.
  • Anytime the beach reaches its operating capacity, ALL visitors except those with a Timed Entry Pass or valid 2024 Ipswich Resident Sticker will be turned away until more space becomes available. 

Horseback Riding
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
Learn more and apply for a Horse Trailer Permit now.

Directions & Contact Info

310 Argilla Road
Ipswich, MA 01938
Telephone: 978.356.4354

Get directions on Google Maps.

Public Transportation: Take Newburyport/Ipswich Commuter line to Ipswich Commuter Station.

CATA operates a beach shuttle service from mid-June through Labor Day on weekends and holidays. For more information click here.

Driving Directions
From Rt. 128 North Exit 45B, 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.

What You'll Find

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.

Facilities & Accessibility

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.

Off-season: Family restrooms and visitor access to floating beach wheelchairs. Please note that there is no running water in winter.


  • Crane Beach has 25 accessible parking spaces available on a first come-first-serve basis for admission ticket holders.
  • Waterproof beach wheelchair – Inquire at the beach store in summer and at the entry gate during all other seasons.
  • Beach transport service transportation for mobility-impaired and challenged visitors: If you have mobility challenges, we will give you a ride from the parking lot to the main beach front and back. Inquire at the beach store in summer and at the entry gate during all other seasons.
  • Wheelchair accessible restrooms and bath house.

For questions, please contact

Property Map

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.

Regulations & Advisories

Rules & Regulations for Crane Beach (PDF).

Please also note the following additional waterfront rules:

  • No watercraft of any kind can be launched from anywhere on the Crane Estate. This includes canoes, kayaks, and sailboards.
  • Fishing is allowed outside of the swim area and away from any/all swimmers.
  • Masks and snorkels are not allowed as they make it difficult to hear a lifeguard’s command.
  • Boogie boards are allowed in short surf and with lifeguard discretion.
  • Skim boards may be allowed with lifeguard discretion if conditions permit.

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 at

PHOTOGRAPHY: We ask that photographers or their clients become Contributing Level Members before conducting portrait sessions at this property. Click here for more information, and to request permission for any portrait sessions. The Trustees of Reservations reserves the right, and may give permission to its designated photographers and videographers, or to outside media, to photograph or video visitors and program participants at all its facilities and properties.

Before Setting Out
More to Explore

Summer Camp

At the Crane Estate. Nature and culture exploration, swimming, weekly quests, and more!

SummerQuest, Ipswich

Advance Passes

Due to high demand, advance passes are required for all, including members, non-members, and permit holders.
Upcoming Events


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.

The View From Here
See What People Say

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

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