Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Woodman's and a Windy Day at Crane Beach

Being from the North Shore originally, and since my mom still is up there, Nick and I like to get out of the city on occasion and see the sights.  One of those is Crane Beach in Ipswich.  I spent many a summer getting very tan on those beaches and enjoying time on some friends' boats (I was a lucky girl!).  Since it had been such a mild winter, Nick and I thought it would fun to take Holly up to the beach for the day and enjoy the off-leash area and play fetch (her favorite obsession).  We picked a nice sunny day, but it ended up being SUPER windy out.  That weekend the news was reporting 50 mph wind gusts, but decided to push on.  Having learned my lesson from previous visits, I forced my mom and Nick to head into the wind first - a more trying trip out but a pleasant return trip.  What was great was that because of the wind, there were only a few others on the beach that day, so we had plenty of beach to ourselves.

Windy Day!
Wind is Not Stopping Holly
Family Photo :)
While Crane Beach does cost money to access ($8 in the winter off season) the money goes to the the Trustees of the Reservations, which works hard at preserving the Crane Estate area, which is beautiful, so it lessens the blow - that, and a car and trunk full of people to offset the cost!

110% When Playing Fetch!
Paw Prints
Dogs are allowed on Crane Beach through March, which is definitely something to keep in mind for next winter if you have a dog because it is a lot of fun!

Of course, we could not go all the way out to Ipswich and Route 133 without driving the extra couple of miles to Woodman's of Essex!  Woodman's is given the distinction of being the original restaurant to bless us with the fried clam.  Now, when discussing the best fried clams on the North Shore, people have very strong feelings about where to go, but Woodman's is definitely consistently mentioned as the best.  Come the summer high season, the lines are super long with locals and tourists alike waiting for some delicious fried seafood!

All three of us could not pass up the plate of fried clams, which comes with both french fries and onion rings - a giant plate full of yummy fried food!  The clams were the perfect size with a flavorful golden crust that added flavor and texture rather and heavy grease.  Needless to say it was delicious.  The onion rings were just the way I liked them - a well-done golden brown!  The french fries were not as crispy as I like, but the rest of the plate more than made up for them.

Fried Clam Plate
Regardless of the time of year, a trip to Crane Beach and Woodman's makes for a perfect New England day.  Even in February, it was a fantastic day with beautiful views.

Where do you go for fried clams?

Woodman's of Essex on Urbanspoon


  1. I love Crane. I've never been in the winter. I must say though, summer admission has gotten quite pricey

  2. I haven't had fried clams in ages! I used to get them all the time as a kid, but then I moved away from MA and good fried clams are pretty hard to find outside of New England. Good thing I'm back! I'll have to check out Woodman's this summer.

  3. holy wind. great beach photos!

  4. I have worked up on the North Shore for 4 years and have yet to get to Crane Beach! Looks beautiful!

  5. I also adore Ipswich! I had some fabulous fried clams at the Clam Box this past fall. Don't you love that there are no lines during the off-season?

    1. It was bizarre walking right in, ordering and then sitting immediately! Love the Clam Box as well!

    2. The Clam Box is my favorite, the clams are consistently good. The fact that you can choose large belly, regular sized bellies, or just strips is a plus in my book, as I prefer the large bellies variety. A little expensive, and usually a long wait time wont stop this fried clam aficionado!
      One thing to keep in mind is this, they change the oil in ALL of the fryers at 2:30, so either go early, or after 3:10 to get tastier clams, and less wait time.

  6. That looks like an awesome way to spend the day! I bet Holly and Gunner would be good friends. :) I did not know dogs were allowed through March so we'll be keeping that in mind for next year!

  7. Love Crane's. And it's so great that you're taking advantage before the crowds hit!

  8. I love Crane's Beach. I havent been there in ages and I have to say I have never tried fried clams. Maybe it is about time I tried!

  9. I love Crane Beach and the Clam Box. It's so nice to be near the ocean, no matter what time of year!


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