I remember going to Hawaii and loving the guide books called Maui Revealed. They were written by locals and the folks burnt a lot of bridges with the locals and revealed insider tips. Here is my quick and dirty insider tips guide for a day trip to the beach in Ipswich. I know many of you have the Gloucester beach sticker, but it’s always great to check out other North Shore treasures.
Here is the play if you are going to come up from Boston or from anywhere on the North Shore and hit Ipswich.
Cranes Beach – On weekends head over early. Get there between 9:30
and 10am to get in the first 5 to 10 parking rows and avoid a crazy traffic backup. Stay to the far right and head towards the sand bar. The tides are key at Cranes. The water will seem cold right at the life guard stations, but immediately take a hike to the sand bars on the right and enjoy the quieter setting. For a real treat hike around the beach to the backside of Cranes. I usually head out before the large crowds arrive. On your way out, if you have never been to the estate it is worth a walk around. Another insider tip is to take the cheaper option and head to the beach during the week for a late afternoon swim and dinner. The weather and water are perfect, especially for the pale nation. You can even get the pizza joint, Theo’s to deliver to Cranes. I am fortunate to have The Trustees sticker, which is a great deal.
Ipswich Clambake – After you are done at the beach head over to Ipswich Clambake on 196 High Street (take a right off of 133 in Ipswich). It is a great fish market and place for all things seafood. The chowder is excellent and I think they have the best lobster roll on the North Shore. In all honesty I really have yet to test the other places (The Lobster Roll Call coming soon!). Simple, buttered bun and lots of very fresh Lobster. I can’t say enough about them and the place is sparkling clean.
White’s Farm - Keep heading away from Ipswich on High Street (rt 133) and you hit White’s. White’s is in the top 5 local homemade ice cream joints. Every flavor rocks and the kids can take their ice cream cone and drop it in a real sand box! The play here is to go Kiddie size even for the grown ups.
Ipswich Role Call: Too many great spots to name, but here are a few of the top spots:
Down River Ice Cream – Another great homemade Ice Cream place right past Cranes turn on 133.
Russel Orchard – An Ipswich institution and a great place to stop after Cranes.
The Clam Box – My personal favorite for fried seafood, but get there early or call for take out (insider tip)
Stone Soup – One of the top breakfast places and every dinner on their menu is great. Get the breakfast sandwich on fresh italian bread!
Riverview Pizza – One of my top ten places for pizza on the North Shore.
Choate Pub – Great local bar & great burgers!
1640 Hart House – The tavern here is a great play.
Orange Julius - Yes there is an Orange Julius at the Dairy Queen. Hello 1985 at the mall!
East End Bagels – Across the street from Orange Julius is Mitchell st. and they are down that road and a commenter below and New Yorker validates they have great bagels. I have to check them out!
Thanks for reading,