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“Don't go in July...the Greenhead flies will eat you alive!”
Review of Crane Beach

Crane Beach
Ranked #2 of 21 things to do in Ipswich
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Enjoy the Northeast's most spectacular beach and follow trails and boardwalks through a landscape of sand dunes and salt marsh.
Concord, New Hampshire
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
“Don't go in July...the Greenhead flies will eat you alive!”
Reviewed 14 March 2009

My family has owned a house in Ipswich since 1948. Over the years we have advised visiting friends to wait until the Greenhead horse fly season in July is over before venturing to Crane Beach. During the summer there are even signs posted at the entrance to the parking lot stating "Greenhead Season - No Refunds."

Nothing repels these vicious biting flies except, believe it or not, Avon Skin So Soft. The down side is that this lotion will cook your skin to a crisp in the hot July sun even with sunblock. Just make sure you cover every inch of exposed skin because the Greenheads will find the one spot you miss. I speak from experience.

Late August and early September are the best times to visit Crane Beach. The water temperature is as warm as it gets all year and the biting insects are gone. There is also an annual sandcastle building contest in August that draws huge crowds, so plan accordingly. The beach website lists the specific dates each year.

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76 Thank RMFD94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
40 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 176 helpful votes
“One of the Best”
Reviewed 6 September 2008

Crane beach is one of the best beaches I've been to in the US. This beach is stunning in its size, setting and privacy. There are no private homes that front Crane beach, which makes for joyful summer day relaxing in the sun.

The sand here is powder fine; there is not a rock of pebble to be found either on the beach or in the water-rare for New England. The sand area is huge between the dunes and water. Keep in mind this beach is at least 5 miles long, so if you want privacy take a five minute walk just around the first set of dunes going south along the water. Shame on you if you put your beach chairs down in a crowded area.

I walked south along the beach and must say it is even better with tide pools and sand bars sheltering calm waters. There was hardly a person to be seen and the number of shore birds making their migration to warm climates was amazing. Those nasty green-head flies were also gone- not a one to be seen the entire day.

The water at Cranes on my visit was surprisingly warm. It was crystal clear too and the waves gentle on visit. There were no lifeguards on my visit due to it being the "off season". Ditto for the concession stand and bathhouse-closed. But for $7 it was well worth the trip and I look forward to visiting Crane beach many more times in the future.

Helpful?
13 Thank gfkr2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Wonderfully scenic beach”
Reviewed 8 July 2007

Love this beach and its surroundings in one of the earliest
settled parts of the entire country. Very well maintained by The
Trustees of Reservations, a non-profit organization.
Excellent facilities and good for small children because
there are no big waves and the lifeguards are very
vigilant and are on duty until sundown ( or so it seems,
when I stay until sundown!) On nice weekends the
parking lot fills quickly so arrive as early as you can.
Folks come from far and wide to spend the day at this
gorgeous long (4 miles) beach with lovely dunes,
sandbars, and views across Ipswich Bay to Plum Island.

Helpful?
5 Thank eiffel13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brussels, Belgium
Level 6 Contributor
564 reviews
93 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 811 helpful votes
“excellent”
Reviewed 5 February 2007

We went walking on this beach, which is part of the larger reservation, on a very cold February day. We pretty much had the beach to ourselves. It was very serene, with a thin crust of snow covering the sand, and the sun reflecting off the sand dunes. We found several gorgeous sand dollars (a rarity!). We walked the entire length of the beach until the point where the coastline turns and forms an inlet. The walk (about 2 miles) took us about 1 hour. The return trip was much shorter, about 40 min. The beach is well maintained, the scenery is beautiful. Well worth the $7 parking fee. This fee (I understand it is higher in the summer) also gets you in to see the Great House of the Crane Estate. We did that as well, briefly. By then, we were thoroughly frozen.
We will definitely return in the spring and would highly recommend this beautiful area to anyone.

Helpful?
4 Thank giulietta429
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Holliston, MA
Level 4 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“My favorite beach in MA”
Reviewed 19 December 2006

This is my favorite beach in MA. It gets crowded in summer, but if you walk far enough, you'll have the beach pretty much to yourself. There's always ample parking and there's a good snackbar too.

From October to April you can walk your dog or even ride your horses.

Helpful?
2 Thank TA_Blue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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