Fodor's Expert Review Crane Beach on the Crane Estate
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 Route 128 North, take Exit 20A and follow Route 1A North for 8 miles. Turn right on Route 133 East and follow for 1½ miles. Turn left on Northgate Road and in ½ mile, turn right on Argilla Road and follow for 2½ 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 $30, depending on the time of year, day of the week, and whether you arrive on foot, by bike, or by car. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; parking (fee); showers; toilets. Best for: swimming; walking; sunset.