Day Trip: Crane Beach & Crane Estate at Castle Hill

What better way to embrace summer than a day at the beach? In just under an hour from Concord, you can get to Crane Beach and  the beautiful Crane Estate at Castle Hill.

Become a Trustees member and enjoy discounts and passes to dozens of Trustees sites, including Crane and Concord’s Old Manse.  You’ll appreciate discounts on parking, too!

Tickets are available online through the Trustees website


Passes are released on Monday at Noon for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.

Passes are released  on Thursday at Noon for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday.

We highly recommend reserving parking at alternative Baker’s Pasture parking. The access to this end of Crane Beach gives you more space to roam and less populated area of the beach. After you park in field, take left as you come off path to beach and go to the end. You will have long stretches of beach to explore and will encounter very few people on this end. 

The entrance to Bakers Pasture is just before the beach main gate at 310 Argilla Road, Ipswich, MA 01938

What makes Crane Beach a special place?
At Crane Beach, you’ll enjoy one of the finest beaches and outdoor recreation destinations on the East Coast. With its clean, inviting water, miles of shoreline, and mesmerizing views, Crane Beach has been a favorite with the ocean-loving public for generations. Whether you intend to take a refreshing plunge, play in the sand, or just soak up the sun, this unparalleled seaside experience is sure to provide lots of fun – and great memories, too.

There’s more to see here than sun and sand. Crane Beach is managed for both recreation and conservation – people and ecology – through careful planning. More than five miles of trails wind through coastal dunes here, which shield inland areas from storm waves and flooding. And, Castle Neck is the site of the North Shore’s largest pitch pine forest.

Crane Beach is also 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. Crane Beach has been nationally recognized for its successful shorebird protection program. To protect these threatened shorebirds, 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.

5.5 miles of trails traverse dunes and track the beachfront on both the Ipswich Bay and Essex River Estuary sides of the Castle Neck peninsula. Moderate hiking. These trails are part of the Bay Circuit Trail.

Along your walk, check out the Wreck of the Ada K. Damon from 1909.

When to Visit
Year-round, daily, 8AM to 6PM.

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, transportation for mobility-impaired and challenged visitors. Off-season: Family restrooms and visitor access to floating beach wheelchairs.



The 165-acres of Castle Hill are part of the 2,100-acre Crane Estate. The summer home of plumbing tycoon Richard Teller Crane, Jr., Castle Hill is both an amazing historic property and a wonderful place to take a stroll. Explore the grounds, featuring formal gardens with fountains, a woodland path, and Italian-inspired sculptures. Walk our half-mile long Grand Allee that leads to a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Castle Hill offers a taste of the European on the New England coast.  

Staying for the evening???

Castle Hill Illuminated: The Sound and Light Show

Imagine yourself a guest at the Crane family’s famed summer home in 1929. Strolls in the garden, ladies in tea dresses, bustling servants, clinking glasses, and jazz tunes wafting across the warm summer air. The estate’s sounds and sights come alive in our dynamic 35-minute multi-sensory experience Castle Hill Illuminated. This night-time spectacle combines music, narration, and lighting to offer you a new and exciting way to experience Castle Hill.

The outdoor setting and limited entry times allow you to socially distance and attend the event safely. Masks and advanced reservations are required. Click on each date to see the entry time options. A weather cancellation, if necessary, will be made by 4PM each day. Ticket holders will be notified and refunded.

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your entry time to park, check in, and get oriented. Castle Hill Illuminated unfolds in 4 scenes around the Great House, Grand Allee, and Italian Garden. Sensible walking shoes and insect repellent are recommended.

Castle Hill Illuminated is a creation of Design by Chris Bocchiaro in cooperation with the Crane Estate.

Wednesdays through Saturdays
Now through September 12


  • Trustees Member Vehicle: $20
  • Non-Member Vehicle: $30
One ticket per vehicle. Ticket covers all guests arriving in the vehicle.