Located on Cape Cod’s outermost tip, Provincetown is a vibrant community with a fascinating history, a colorful arts scene and some great shops, restaurants and beaches. The town is famous for its gay community, which celebrates at several unique annual events including the Carnival festival in August and Holly Folly in December.
In November of 1620, the Mayflower set anchor in Provincetown Harbor and the Pilgrims explored this Outer Cape area before permanently settling across the bay in Plymouth. To commemorate this visit, the Pilgrim Monument, which stands 252-1/2 feet atop High Pole Hill, was completed in 1910. Climb to the top for some exercise and a spectacular view.
Since the late 1800s, Provincetown—with its pastel sunsets and ethereal natural light—has been a haven for artists of all stripes. For most of that time—it was founded in 1914—the Provincetown Art Association & Museum has honored these individuals, and the museum hosts exhibit openings and other events throughout the year. All along Commercial Street, galleries such as Kobalt Gallery, Gallery Voyeur and many more showcase the work of prominent and local artists.
A peaceful walk in winter, Commercial Street explodes with activity in summer, and visitors will find eye-catching shops selling everything from clothing, candy and ice cream, to custom hammocks, fishing gear and P-town souvenirs. Don’t miss the intoxicating scent of incense emanating from Shop Therapy, which offers a nice collection of tapestries and beads.
Commercial Street offers endless dining options, sure to please any palate. A landmark, the Lobster Pot is beloved for its fresh local seafood; The Central House at the Crown & Anchor features a well-marbled menu prepared by a well-known chef; and Kung Fu Dumplings offers a selection of Chinese favorites. Hungry for more? Try the grilled PB&J—featuring homemade peanut brittle and strawberries—at The Canteen, or a lobster roll at The Burger Queen.
Surrounded by water, Provincetown has many natural attractions to explore. Take in some rays at Race Point or Herring Cove Beach; cycle along trails in the scenic Province Lands; or set out on a whale watch in hopes of seeing a leviathan or two, first-hand.