Provincetown – Along Cape Cod in Massachusetts
Provincetown, or P-Town as it is more commonly called, can be found at the southern most end of Cape Cod in Barnstable County, Massachusetts. Provincetown is known for its beaches, artists, and the harbor and is a vacation destination for gays and lesbians. Vehicular access to Provincetown is by U.S. Route 6 and Route 6A and by seasonal ferries from Plymouth and Boston, Massachusetts, docking at MacMillan Pier, located east of the Town Hall. The town’s only rail service was abandoned in the early 1960’s. The Provincetown Municipal Airport is serviced by Cape Air. The nearest national and international airport are Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts.
Once known as a fishing village and one of the most productive fishing and whaling ports on the east coast, it is home to the whale watching fleet directly adjacent to Stellwagon National Marine Sanctuary, the capital of whale watching on the East Coast. About 75% of Provincetown has been preserved in its rustic and natural state and is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore Park. The Park provides visitors to P-Town with the Outer Cape’s maritime history, phenomenal ocean beaches and nature bike trails.
Provincetown has something for everybody from picnicking to bike riding to walking tours. There is also camping at a choice of three camping areas that accommodate both tents and RV’s. For the adventurous soul, there are the National Seashore Bike Trails that offer spectacular views of dunes, ponds, forests and ocean. Boaters will find sailboat and kayak rentals as well as sailing lessons at the Provincetown Harbor.
No trip to Provincetown is complete without visiting the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum. The extraordinary art collection at the museum tells the history of Provincetown’s art colony. The Monument commemorates the arrival of the Pilgrims at Provincetown Harbor. It is a granite structure made of granite blocks donated by cities, towns and organizations from around the United States. There are 166 steps and 60 ramps to ascend to get to the top of the monument.
The Race Point Lighthouse, which is only accessible by foot or dune buggy, has accommodations in the Keeper’s House and the Whistle Building for small groups that want to experience the lifestyle of a 20th century lighthouse keeper.
Provincetown has more than 78 bed and breakfast, hotels and Inn from which to choose. Many of the Inns and guest houses have undergone restoration to their original architecture and some are pet friendly. Commercial Street is known as “Restaurant Row” where every dining experience imaginable can be found. Everything from fine dining to seashore take out to cafes and bakeries can be found.
*Photos courtesy of Provincetown Tourism Office