One of the jewels of the Massachusetts coastline, Crane Beach is a paradise for people and birdlife alike. But where to stay? We put the nearby hotels and inns to the test – and these top picks are bookable on Culture Trip.
Crane Beach is a truly gorgeous seaside destination, with its 4mi (6.4km) of powdery white sand edged by rolling dunes. Unlike some of the more developed spots along the Massachusetts coast, it’s gloriously unmodernized and a haven for birdlife. Located in Ipswich, an hour’s drive from Boston, it does make a manageable day trip – but we bet once you’re there, you’ll decide to stay. For when you do, here are the best hotels to book on Culture Trip near Crane Beach, Massachusetts.
Think about everything you want from a boutique hotel, and everything you’d expect from New England hospitality, and the intersection of that Venn diagram is where you’ll find Briar Barn Inn. Located in Rowley, a charming mill town north of Ipswich, the hotel’s farmhouse-style architecture, soft-toned decor and plush furniture immediately inspire a sense of relaxed country charm. Its spa and notable Grove restaurant elevate each stay to a luxury experience.
Located on the seafront in Gloucester, a maritime town on Cape Ann just half an hour’s drive from Crane Beach, this hotel has the maritime styling and sea views of a cruise liner. Pretend you’re living it up on the QE2 while dining in the hotel’s large banquet-hall style dining room, sleeping in its smart modern bedrooms or lounging by the heated infinity pool on its Birdseye Rooftop. To top off your aquatic adventure, book special packages that include tuna fishing, yachting or surf trips.
Originally a 19th-century farmhouse, this gorgeous country inn was bought by Chicago industrialist Richard T. Crane, Jr. in 1910, while he was buying up, developing and preserving Ipswich and its surroundings for his eponymous estate – including Crane Beach. Today, the inn makes a wonderful base for exploring all the Crane Estate has to offer, including the Castle Hill estate house and miles of trails through wildlife-rich countryside. Choose from 10 gorgeous rooms, each decked out in a traditional style with queen and king beds, antique furniture, high-end linens and spa robes as standard.
Named for its builder and first owner, Clark and Currier, respectively, this Newburyport house should be the first choice for history lovers. Not only is the building itself over 200 years old, but it’s crammed to the rafters with antique pieces and fascinating keepsakes. Its 11 named rooms are decorated in muted tones and impeccable taste, while the buffet breakfast and the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies keep guests coming back for repeat visits.
Everything about this Lark property is about making the most of its impeccable coastal setting on Plum Island, a sandy spur that is 11mi (18km) in length, jutting out into the Atlantic from Newburyport. Wide windows and sun balconies overlook the white sands and cobalt ocean, while the uber-modern rooms have been renovated in a subtle palette of whites and blues. By day, take a birdwatching trip around Plum’s 4,662-acre (1,887ha) wildlife refuge. There are fireplaces in your room for colder nights, or choose one of the suites with a terrace, hot tub and BBQ for the full package.
An early 2020s makeover has turned a serviceable B&B into a polished gem. Everything about this property in the seaside village of Rockport feels fresh – from the colorful artworks and delicious breakfast pastries to the spa-like marble bathrooms. As if to emphasize its walkable proximity to Rockport’s five beaches, the hotel’s tasteful rooms have been given tongue-in-cheek nautical names, like Wide Berth and Even Keel. Choose Dog Watch for that bit extra: a spacious two-floor suite with a full kitchen, large living room and king-size bed.
Just 1mi (1.6km) back from Crane Beach, this Essex B&B feels far away from everything else, with about as little hustle and bustle as you could wish for. It has a rural, laid-back vibe and just two rooms. But whether you choose to stay in Port or Starboard, you’re sure to love the farm setting, the delicious continental breakfast and your hosts’ tales of local history – the house itself dates all the way back to 1695.
Less a hotel than a historical reenactment experience, the Haskell House is an original 17th-century house of the First Period that enables guests to experience how America’s early colonists lived. Put yourself in the footsteps of those forebears as you sleep in the canopy beds of the two wood-paneled guest chambers, or eat off reproduction 18th-century pewter plates by the fireside. Luckily, the plumbing is not original, and both bedrooms have their own private baths.
Looking for more inspiration? Treat yourself to a stay at one of the best luxury hotels in Boston or book a different kind of stay at one of the best Airbnbs and vacation rentals in Boston. There’s plenty to keep you busy all across the state, from the best day trips from Boston to this beach-lover’s guide to Nantucket. Before you leave, don’t miss these must-try restaurants in Boston.
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