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Famous for lobsters and clams, antiques, Crane Beach, artists, and author John Updike, Ipswich is a classic New England coastal town reachable from Boston by car or train.



The swift, tidal Ipswich River runs through the heart of Ipswich, Massachusetts, an old New England colonial town founded in 1634 and located 35 miles (56 km) northeast of Boston (map).

Ipswich became famous in the 1960s and later as the home of novelist and poet John Updike (1932-2009).

What to See & Do

Come by car or train to swim, eat clams, lobsters and other good things, browse its shops, admire the historic houses, its village green, its hilltop white Congregational church, tour the Ipswich Historical Society's old Whipple House and Ipswich Museum, then the vast Crane Estate, with its huge manor-like Great House on Castle Hill. More...

At the foot of Castle Hill, Crane Beach is a four-mile-long barrier beach that fills with sun-and-sea seekers in summer. More...

On the way to Crane Beach, stop at Russell Orchards Farm & Winery for fresh fruit (pick-your-own in autumn), or to taste their fruit wines and other good farm products. (Here's more on New England wines.)

Here's more on Ipswich Sights.

Ipswich Transportation

Ipswich is 35 miles (56 km) northeast of Boston along US Route 1A (map), though the fastest drive is via I-93 North to I-95/MA 128 North, east to MA 1A north. Or take MA 133 north from Gloucester and Essex.

You can easily get to Ipswich from Boston's North Station via the MBTA Commuter Rail's Newburyport line, a trip of just under one hour. More...

Ipswich Essex Explorer Bus Lines

On summer weekends from mid-June through early September (Labor Day weekend), the Cape Ann Transportation Authority (CATA) operates the Ipswich-Essex Explorer, two local bus routes connecting the Ipswich Commuter Rail train station with the Ipswich Visitor Center, Wolf Hollow, Russel Orchards Farm & Winery, Crane Beach, Essex's Main Street Antique Shops, the Essex Shipbuilding Museum, and Woodman's Seafood Restaurant, famous for its lobsters and clams. More...

Where to Stay

Ipswich has few lodging places, so it's best to stay in a larger North Shore town such as Gloucester or Rockport, both of which have fine selections of hotels, motels, inns, B&Bs and resorts. More...

—by Tom Brosnahan

What to See & Do




About Cape Ann

Cape Ann Transportation

North Shore


About Massachusetts

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Whipple House, Ipswich MA

Whipple House (1677), Ipswich MA.

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