Best of Boston

1999 Best Beach

Crane Beach

The white sand goes on forever—or at least for four-and-a-half miles. This North Shore strip has the dunes, the best-blended concession stands, the most peaceful ambience—all in a preserved marshland setting that makes the parking fee ($9 to $15—half price after 3 p.m. every day) worth it. Besides, proceeds go to the Trustees of Reservations to protect historic homes in the area. If the greenheads are getting nippy, as they can in August, head uphill and tour the grounds of the historic Crane estate, and make a pit stop for fried clams at Woodman’s around the corner.

Argilla Rd., Ipswich,