The 1,200-acre Crane Beach on the Crane Estate, an hour's drive to the north of Boston in the 17th-century village of Ipswich, has 4 miles of sparkling white sand that serve as a nesting ground for the threatened piping plover, a small shorebird. It's one of the most stunning beaches in the state. From Rt. 128 North, take Exit 20A and follow Route 1A North for 8 miles. Turn right on Route 133 East and follow for 1 1/2 miles. Turn left on Northgate Road and in 1/2 mile,
turn right on Argilla Road and follow for 2 1/2 miles to the entrance. Arrive early or come later in the afternoon as the parking lot does fill up and you could be turned away. Admission fees range from $2 to $25, depending on the time of year and whether you arrive on foot or by car. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; parking (fee); showers; toilets. Best for: swimming; walking; sunset.
Argilla Rd., Ipswich, Massachusetts, 01938, United States