Home to Willowdale State Forest and Sandy Point State Reservation, Ipswich includes the southern part of Plum Island and Plum Island State Park. A residential community with a vibrant tourism industry, the town is famous for its clams, celebrated annually at the Ipswich Chowderfest and also for Crane Beach, a beautiful barrier beach near the Crane estate.
Flooding in May 2006 caused extensive damage to three bridges in town. The Choate Bridge (built in 1764), a stone arch bridge, was closed as a result of structural damage. County Street Bridge and Mill Bridge were also closed for repairs. The Mill Bridge remains closed 2 years after the storm as various historical, town and state agencies bicker over funding and the proper way to repair the bridge, inconveniencing residents and increasing traffic loads on other less suitable roads. Following the bridge closings, a fire occurred in an historical block of shops adjacent to the Choate Bridge. Another fire occurred in 2008.