Provincetown is known for it's narrow crowded streets filled with interesting shops, galleries, and folks of all description. You can find just about everything you are looking for...and I mean that literally. Some of it is pretty off the wall ... but most of it is creative and intrigueing. There isn't so much of that Cape Cod "artsy" feel of years ago when artists painted seascapes on the streets, but you'll certainly find things to entertain you on that special thoroughfare that stretches for about two miles at land's end.
Of course I notice the architecture along the way as well. There are some interesting buildings still surviving and others being restored this year. Good to see that Provincetown is still vital after so many years of being a tourist destination. She changes yearly... but seems to survive in spite of everyone. I like places like that.
We spent one day in Provincetown, the outer-most town in the Cape. It is known as 'P-town' by tourists (I'm not sure how the locals feel about that!). It is a town where houses are built almost one on top of the other, all small and quaint. The streets are narrow and it is suggested that you find public parking (at $8 USD/day) and walk or ride a bike instead. Bike rentals are available and it's the preferred method of transportation. Families may want to be made aware that Provincetown is an openly gay/lesbian community. There is a big emphasis on art there, and art dealers and artists abound. There is an undeniable charm to the town in it's quaintness but be aware that at night it comes alive and you MUST avoid driving your car through it.......I tried it and I regretted it. You move at a snails pace, literally, while people fill the streets and you wait for them to move, not vice versa.
My kids and I were particularly drawn to the wharf where fishing boats were docking at the end of the day, and where we were to embark on our Sunset Sail with the BayLadyII, a 75ft. schooner. This sailboat leaves Provincetown 3 or 4 times a day and for a reasonable price ($27USD for the 3 of us) you can sail out into the Bay and feel the salty air and the windspray and watch the sails billow in the sun. It is wonderful! If you prefer a more comfortable, stable ride then there are many types of boats leaving the dock throughout the day....with every amenity you can think of! But you pay the price...so I highly recommend the schooner as it brings you closest to the sea in a most pleasant way!
Provincetown's pier is just off the main part of Commercial Street. Not only is it beautiful, and God it really is, but it's got a lot of things to do. From the pier you can charter a boat to take you fishing, book a whale watch or visit the town's Pirate Museum. The atmosphere of the pier provides for endless photo opportunities with its many boats and beautiful views of Cape Cod bay. If nothing else take a stroll down the pier just to look.
Commercial Street is pretty much Provincetown's main drag. It's where most of its shops and restaurants and clubs are located. It's a one-way street so pedestrians don't have to look more than one way when crossing, but it's also very narrow so there isn't much room for people and cars at the same time.
Like many of the world's great streets, it's good to just stroll up and down Commercial Street a few times and see what there is to see. Maybe pop into an art gallery or stop at bar for a drink or grab a seat at a sidewalk cafe. It's got everything from sex shops and gay book stores to ice cream parlors and antique stores--all with a beautiful view of the Altantic.
The character of the street changes a lot from day to night, with the town's more colorful characters coming out as night falls. Either way it's a lot of fun.
A beautiful, quiet beach. Perfect for relaxing on a summer day! There's plenty of parking, the beach is very easy to get to (just off Route 6). The sand is pretty coarse, the water pretty clear, and Herring Cove seems to have less seaweed than you'll find on some Cape beaches.
Provincetown has four beaches -- Herring Cove Beach, Long Point Beach, Race Point Beach, and Harbor Beach -- and all are beautiful!
The Critter Cruise from Viking Princess Cruises is a one and one-quarter hour marine life excursion around Provincetown Harbor. We pulled up a lobster trap, a plankton net, and a bottom dredge. There was something for everyone to do, but it was still easy to relax and just enjoy the ride at the same time. They won the Cape Cod Life Readers' Choice Award for Best Kids' Activity for 2006.
My host family at Cape Cod drove me to Provincetown for an afternoon. Provincetown is located at the tip of the hook-like cape. Walking along the streets of Provincetown, I spotted a few unique and quirky houses and buildings, probably reflecting the psyche of the inhabitants of this town.
But one of the simple pleasures of Provincetown is walking the streets. Clapperboard abounds, creating an archetypal New England environment. White, grey, blue, brown, green - the buildings are in different hues but nevertheless clapperboad typifies the region for me. It's a delightful little town.
A simple pleasure but something that continues to draw people is the checking out of the fishing boats on the quayside. it's not very big in Provincetown, but still forms part of a great shoreline walk, especially at sunrise or sunset,
With it being a working port, boats are everywhere in Provincetown. But it's not just the fishing boats, whale watching cruises and ferries coming from the mainland - a natural harbour results in a pretty safe environment for pleasure boats. Even if you don't take to the water, there's plenty of evidence on the shore of a favourite pastime - and it certainly adds to the charm of the town.
So you've made the effort to get to the top of the tallest American granite building (220 feet or so). But is it worth it? A resounding yes - some great 270 degree views (nothing to see behind you sadly :))
Incurably romantic? Or just a lover of sunsets? Herring Cove Beach is the place to head. Cape Cod is famous for spectacular sunsets. Unfortunately, didn't experience anything stunning, but simply head east along Commercial or Bradford Sts. The beginning of the Cape Cod National Sea Shore is at the end of the two streets and, if you don't want to trek across the salt marshes and tidal flats, base yourself somewhere along the stone jetty with other tourists and local fishermen.
But there can also be some wonderful sunsets (and sunrises) in Provincetown itself.
Race Point Beach, the northern tip of Cape Cod, is the beginning of unbroken sand-dunes and beaches that sweep south virtually unbroken to Nauset Marsh 30 miles away. Pounding waves are the trademark of Race Point and, in the dunes, 4 wheel drive adventurers. It's pretty straightforward to get to from P'town, and there's a great bushland cycle ride - at the height of summer and the crazy traffic jams, arguably the best way to get there.
A long spit of land juts into the ocean from the edge of town. From the town beach, with the lighthouse positioned at its furthest tip, it seems incredibly close. But Long Point Beach out of season is somewhere that requires a very determined walker to reach it!
2 hours would do it (and 2 hours back) via the stone jetty, but the reward would be complete isolation except for the gulls (and the occasion boat passing by as it comes in to dock). During the season its a slightly different story as there are boats plying the bay from Provincetown, taking would be bathers and sun worshippers.
Provincetown's town beach is pleasant enough to while away the day, but the beaches to the east and north are much more dramatic, fairly isolated - and very easy to get to.
Herring Cove is the closest - and can be reached by car, bicycle or foot (although the latter is quite a trek). The beach could be seen as two different beaches (although it is one long strip) as there are two distinct 'types' of users.
Closest to town involves (and best reached by bicycle as the car park is further north) walking across the salt flats and dunes. It is the unofficial nudist and gay beach because of its isolation.
From the car park north (and during the seaon there is also a kiosk selling drinks and snacks) is families and 4 wheel drive users.
In the photos, the first 2 images are norh facing 'family' beach
excellent hotel poolside with view of the ocean friendly people all around clean room and updated...more
I have stayed in many places in Provincetown and on the Cape in general and I must say that Crowne...more
I've stayed all over PTown, but keep finding myself drawn back to the Provincetown Inn. It's a bit...more