The Crane Estate is a beautiful 2,100-acre estate in Ipswich, Massachusetts that was owned by prominent industrialist Richard T. Crane, Jr. in the early 1900s. The estate's most famous attraction is Castle Hill, a National Historic Landmark that is home to The Great House, an impressive mansion with a gorgeous lawn known as the Grand Allée. However, nature lovers are more likely to be interested in visiting the Crane Wildlife Refuge and Crane Beach in order to enjoy activities like swimming, sunbathing, hiking, and wildlife viewing.
Things to Do
- Soak up some sun with a visit to Crane Beach, which features beachfront trails along Ipswich Bay and is one of the most important nesting sites for piping plovers, a threatened bird species.
- Explore the Crane Wildlife Refuge, which has several hiking trails through coastal and island habitats that are home to hawks, deer, otters, sparrows, sandpipers, and many other animals.
- View the famous Castle Hill grounds and tour The Great House, (a 59 room mansion) which is often used for weddings and other special celebrations.
- Relax at the casino area (which used to be the guest house and pool). During the summer & fall, families are invited to play croquet on the lawn (where the pool used to be), or play other board games inside. There is also a pool table inside to enjoy.
Crane Estate Insider Tips
- Be sure to walk down the rolling lawn for a terrific view of the ocean and Plum Island.
- Restrooms are available in the old guest house at the casino. (Right hand side of the croquet lawn if you are facing the back of the great house).
- Check out their calendar in order to learn about upcoming events such as concerts, festivals, outdoor activities, and more.
- Learn more about the Crane family and the history of this famous estate by taking one of the many guided tours they offer throughout the year.
- Crane Beach is just up the road, and open year-round from 8 a.m. until sunset. Lifeguards are only provided in the summertime.
- During the summer (Memorial Day - Labor Day), beach parking is $25 on weekends and $20 on weekdays. Your parking pass will get you into the Crane Estate grounds.