Crane Beach is part of the once private Crane Estate in Ipswich. Today, this stunning public beach is more than a place for fun in the sun—it’s a crucial nesting site for the nearly extinct piping plover bird and features a shorebird protection program to keep these feathered friends safe. Visitors can explore more than five miles of trails through coastal dunes. Tour the now-separate estate, Castle Hill, which includes the stunning Crane mansion and gardens. Kayaking season at the Crane Estate begins on Memorial Day weekend and runs through mid-October, and there are professionally guided adventures, including a fan-favorite Choate Island Kayak & Hike trip, to explore its land and waters.
Getting there: Drive the scenic coastal road, or take the Newburyport/Rockport commuter rail from North Station to Ipswich.