A Day at The Beach? – By: Allie Barone
As the holidays approach, and the thermometer begins to drop we often forget about all of the places we love to visit in the summer. For many New Englanders, the place most missed during the winter months is the beach. Would you believe it if we told you that you can still enjoy a day at the beach even after the summer days have passed? Crane Beach in Ipswich is the perfect outdoor location for your off-season beach days. Sure you won’t be splashing in the ocean in your bikini, but there are still plenty to do and some added benefits of visiting Crane Beach in the off-season.
The first recognizable perk of visiting this beach in the off-season is that reduced price on parking. Rates start at $10 per car, compared to $25-30 in the summer! One of our favorite reasons to take advantage of the off-season is because the beach welcomes our furry friends at this time of the year. Both dogs, and horses are allowed on the beach from October until the end of March for a small additional fee. There are both on and off-leash zones of the beach, so everyone can play how they choose! If you are a horse lover, bring your oversized friend to Crane Beach and enjoy riding on the beach. It is beautiful to watch all the horses gallop across the sand even if you do not own a horse!
Crane Beach is open daily to the public from 8am until sunset. Be sure to tour the historic Castle Hill during your visit for an added history lesson! With its white, fine sand, and clear blue waters, Crane is also the perfect setting for a family portrait. In addition to the beach, there is also 5.5 miles of walking trails through the dunes (dogs not permitted) for a nice fall or winter hike.
While you are in Ipswich do not miss another great spot to visit.. The Lemon Tree!
You can find the Lemon Tree at 1 Topsfield Rd, Ipswich right across from the train station. It is a magically cozy café that offers organic juices, smoothies, coffees, baked goods and more. All items are locally sourced, and the menu is designed to accommodate common food sensitivities such as gluten and dairy. If you have been looking for a delicious gluten-free bagel, the Lemon Tree is your place! The café is open every day until 4pm, and has so much more to offer than the standard coffee shop!
Pictured here with the everything grain-free bagel is a gluten-free peanut butter chocolate chip muffin, and a coconut milk hot chocolate made with real cacao! These treats are perfect after a chilly nature walk at the beach! There is plenty of couches, and seating to relax in while you are surrounded by bright, beautiful colors and artwork. The store also offers locally-made goods such as jewelry, beauty products, and home décor. Check out their holiday open house on Saturday, December 2nd for even more vendors and festivities! You can also pre-order your holiday pies on their facebook page located here. It is guaranteed you will find something to enjoy at this whimsical, health conscious café, especially after you bundle up to enjoy the beauty of the beach!