The Surprising Beauty of Crane Beach

Crane Beach

Castle Hill above Crane Beach derives its history from December 29, 1634, when a group of Ipswich town men voted “that the Neck of Land wheareuppon the great Hill standeth, which is known by the name of the Castle Hill, lyeinge on the other side of this River towards the Sea, shall remayne unto the common use of the Towne forever.” – Wikipedia, Castle Hill above Ipswich, Massachusetts


Crane Beach, Ipswich, Massachusetts
Crane Beach, Ipswich, Massachusetts


I missed posting here last week, but it was a busy week — two of my sons and I traveled to Boston to be with the closest of friends, ones who-are-like-family who live there now. It was a wonderful time.

We had the chance to travel to Crane Beach near Ipswich, Massachusetts for a day. There were so many other things we enjoyed during our week in Boston, including paddleboarding on the Charles River, and a U2 concert (which was out of this world), but my photographs from Crane Beach are ones I have to share.

Crane Beach, Massachusetts

We drove out on a Tuesday after July 4th weekend, a day which was forecast for rain. The weather turned out to be incredibly clear and sunny, until about the time we left in late afternoon.

I’ve spent a day on Crane Beach 15 years ago, and the experience was nice, but the beach was very crowded — probably the most crowded beach I’ve ever seen.

This time, however, Crane Beach was empty. And the skies were so blue. The sand, white. The water, warm-ish and clear.

Crane Beach
Crane Beach — isn’t it beautiful?

It all was unexpected, a surprise.

My boys and I enjoyed every minute, walking the sand, enjoying the color and the beach almost entirely to ourselves. When we returned, I had to learn more about it, and about the castle high up overlooking the beach. This is what I found:

The property changed hands from Winthrops in 1637, through several families until the property was purchased by Richard Teller Crane, Jr., in 1910. The Cranes built two successive estate homes, and in 1945, the Crane family donated their beach and estate to a conservation trust, which runs the beach and wildlife preservation land to this day. In 1998, Castle Hill above Crane Beach was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1998.

The view from the sand dune, Crane Beach
The view from the sand dune, Crane Beach

The tidal pools and sand bars stretched far and wide when we arrived, but by the time we left at high tide, the beach shrank to 1/5 its original size at low tide. The tidal pools left a beautiful pattern of ripples in the sand at low tide:

Crane Beach, the tidal patterns
Crane Beach, the tidal patterns

The biggest surprise for me, now, a week and a half later, is looking at the images I took with my iPhone. All of the images above have been taken with my regular iPhone, and though I’ve added a watermark, I haven’t enhanced the color at all. The blues of the sky and water, the white of the sand–all are true to what we saw, but also far more vibrant than my memory recalls.

I loved Crane Beach this time …

Have you visited Crane Beach? Please share your experience with us in the comments below.

Thank you, and have a great summer-y week!

Published by Jennifer Lyn Art

About Jennifer Writer Author Photographer Artist Corporate Marketer Happy Wife & Mom World Traveler Grateful.

5 thoughts on “The Surprising Beauty of Crane Beach

  1. Lovely pics as usual. Nothing like family time. And was happy to learn that you find the iPhone takes respectable photos. I’ve stopped carrying my camera (which isn’t a big statement since I never came close to being the photographer you are) but I do find the iPhone 6 Plus takes very satisfying shots. We just returned from a family vacation in Provence. My photos do justice to the outstanding scenery and makes me happy to stop carrying a much more bulky item. Glad you had a great time.

    1. The iPhone always seems to be improving its camera, and I tend to rely on them more and more, which is so convenient. Glad to hear your trip to Provence was fun. Thank you, Barbara!

  2. Your pictures are beautiful, as always. I long to spend time at the beaches/seasides of the East. So far it has only been a dream.

    Here’s a quote for your new life: ” . . .throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” –Mark Twain

    Happy you were able to get away and have fun with your boys–those are often the best moments of life (and make for wonderful memories)

  3. Loved the photos…felt as if I could feel the sand and smell the air. Beautiful!

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