Best of Boston

2000 Best Beach

Crane Beach

The long, winding boardwalks and grassy dunes at Crane Beach can magically readjust the tired mind of even the most citified creature. After sinking your toes into the beach’s soft white sand, you may decide to trade in your power suit for a bathing suit—permanently. Bird lovers, bring your binoculars—Crane is home to more than 200 aviary species, including wild turkeys. Getting there a problem? For those without wheels, take the commuter rail to downtown Ipswich, and then bike five miles to the beach. For those who drive: Stop to go antiquing in nearby Essex on the way. For kids of all ages: Don’t miss Crane’s annual sand-sculpture competition on August 12. Beach amenities: ample parking, refreshments, clean bathhouses, and outside showers.

Argilla Road, Ipswich, 978-356-4354,